Monday, May 9, 2011

Accommodations, Part 12: Sathorn Inn, Bangkok

The Chong Nonsi BTS Station, as seen from the Sathorn Inn in Bangkok

There are many, many hotel and guest house choices for those who travel on a budget but still want the convenience of mobility in Bangkok. We've already covered a couple and you'll find them under Accomodations if you click the link in the Labels column to the right.

Proximity to a BTS station and a place where it's relatively easy to get a taxi out and back are certainly on my list, as I'm not a fan of motocy (motorcycle) taxis, and while I enjoy a walk I don't like to count on a 15-minute hike to get where I'd like to go and back several times a day. For those who spend a lot of time in their rooms on vacation this isn't nearly as important, but my feeling is that I can sit in a room at home and save the $2,000 to travel if that's the case.

From the Chong Nonsi BTS station you can see at least five places to stay within a five minute walk. One of those is the Om Yim Lodge that we looked at first back almost a year ago in June, and another is the Sathorn Inn, not much over a football field away from the Om Yim, on the same side of Naratiwat Road. The photo below was taken from the Chong Nonsi BTS station and the one up top was taken from the Sathorn Inn itself. In the top image you can see the small soi that leads to the hotel in the lower right hand corner.

The construction skeleton at the bottom of this photo is the finished dark building in the lower left in the top photo today

The Sathorn Inn is a hotel and not a guest house so it has far more rooms than the Om Yim, but it's not a big corporate monstrosity. In fact, I've appreciated the much more casual atmosphere there than some other places. The staff is polite and stay out of your business - as some of you would appreciate, I'd guess - but they're also personable and enjoyable to visit with. Those who speak enough English, that is. The owner is often on premises himself.

As you can see below, rooms are basic, but kept clean and in good repair. There is an elevator/lift and it has what I'd call the usual amenities: dependable and efficient air conditioning, TV, small refrigerator, a wardrobe, complimentary water daily, a safe, a writing desk with a chair you can move to it for working, and comfortable firm beds. The "Western" toilets have an elongated bowl that are more comfortable for those of a larger stature or higher weight, I've been told repeatedly. There is no pool.

The soap and shampoo are simple, but you're a five minute walk to two 7-elevens on the other side of Naratiwat Road - up and over via the BTS platform - and personally I prefer to just buy my own brand of choice there as there are several familiar brands available, usually cheaper than they are back home. There is not usually a lot of excess counter space in the bathrooms, though, so those of you who travel with a lot of toiletries will be working out of a bag.

Housekeeping has always been efficient, fast and responsive to requests, such as replacement towels when I've showered twice in an afternoon (sometimes a necessity when it's really hot and humid) or for new batteries for a remote when theirs died.

The one thing I hope they've gone to by now is free wireless internet, but again - I'm not one who spends all that much time in my room to begin with, and I certainly don't need all that much time online. Rates were Bt50 per hour, Bt120 for three hours. The speed was very good, as I recall.

Breakfast wasn't included for my standard room and I'm sorry to say I don't recall what breakfast cost in the dining room off the lobby, but it was negligible and very good - that much I do remember. It is included with a deluxe room. My experience has usually been if the place has a decent cook that almost anything cooked to order beats food that's held one way or another for a larger bunch of customers.

There are usually carts just outside selling food to the locals and doing a brisk morning and lunchtime business, too - something that's often a good sign of "safe" food for foreign stomachs; just use your common sense here.

As of today their site lists standard rooms with a double bed at Bt950 ($31), deluxe rooms with a double at Bt1250 ($42) and a junior suite at Bt1600 ($53). I'd say it's definitely worth considering.


Anonymous said...

How does this one compare with the Om Yim for quality & value?

Are my joiners likely to be as welcome?

khunbaobao said...

My opinion is that they're very similar as far as quality and value go, since you've asked. Om Yim is gay owned and operated and Sathorn Inn is not, but unless there's a sign up to say otherwise my guess is that if you're being discreet you wouldn't have a problem bringing a guest to your room most ANY place based on that in and of itself. If you want to know for sure, email or call the hotel and ask.Trust me on this: you wouldn't be the first to ask.

Now, if you were bringing in someone with spiked pink hair...

Anonymous said...

As well as the 7-Elevens there's also a very good Villa Mart alongside the Trinity Complex with a large ex-pat customer base - at times there are more ex-pats than locals shopping there - and they have an excellent selection of breads and cheeses and other foods favoured by ex-pats and hi-so Thais.

Anonymous said...

now this is the real dilemma - I'm very fond of boys with outstanding/flamboyant coiffures...Eduard

khunbaobao said...

That's a very helpful tip for anyone staying in the area - thank you for sharing it here. Villa Markets aren't cheap, but they do stock better quality items, and a lot of imports.

Google maps it on Silom Soi 3, right next to the I Residence and around 250 meters away from the Chong Nonsi BTS on the other side of the street from Om Yim and the Sathorn Inn.

Thanks again!

khunbaobao said...

Eduard - You'd raise less eyebrows in the lobby by booking the Om Yim, then. I'm not one of those who feels it's necessary for people to be "in your face" about their personal lives - but that's "up to yooouuuu", as they say.

Email me about this if you want more suggestions.