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On my recent trip to Bangkok I finally made it to a boutique hotel I’ve had my eye on for a while – Loy La Long. I’ve already written about the hotel (along with four other boutique hotels in Bangkok worth checking out) because it caught my eye, but couldn’t wait to finally visit the unique hotel in person.
It did not disappoint.
The Loy La Long hotel, located in an old Thai wooden house right on the Chayo Praya River, is unlike anywhere else you’ll stay in Thailand. Not only is it literally on the river – the edge of the common area drops right off into the water just a foot below – but is located on temple grounds (you have to walk through the temple complexes entry way and through the various buildings to reach the house) and has only seven rooms, including a small dorm room.
The moment you step into the building you feel like you’re entering a hidden home, not a hotel. The shoes come off and you find yourself shuffling along the teak floors (one of the best feelings ever, and a major reason why I like the Jim Thompson House so much) in a little haven from the busy city – instead of tuk tuks and motorbikes you only hear the water splashing under the floorboards, and instead of incessant heat there’s a soft breeze floating through the airy downstairs.
It’s clear that attention has been paid to every little detail and each of the rooms are individually decorated around a different color scheme.
A little bit traditional, little bit vintage and a little bit eclectic, Loy La Long certainly feels like its had a personal touch. Unfortunately, I had a flight to catch early in the morning meaning I left the hotel in the middle of the night and didn’t feel like I could make the most of my stay. I would definitely go back, however, and think the property is a true hidden gem in Bangkok. While the location isn’t in the most convenient spot for sightseeing or public transportation, it certainly shows you a different side of the city and is still within walking distance to a couple points of interest like Wat Traimit, which houses the world’s largest golden Buddha (it’s impressive…).
Loy La Long is located close to Bangkok’s Chinatown area (one of Bangkok’s most well-preserved areas where you can still get a neighborhood feel) in the temple complex of Wat Patumkongka a short drive away from the Hua Lamphong MRT (subway) station (you could walk…but it’s hot!). Definitely download the map on their website to help you get there – coming from the other side of town, several taxi drivers refused to take me due to traffic and not knowing where it was. If you’re already closer to the area, you should be fine.
Rooms start around 2,000 baht (about $60) in the low season for the single and go up to 4,400 baht in the high season for the one suite. Though more than what you would pay at other guesthouses or hostels, it’s by far the cheapest you’ll pay on the river and for a much more unique experience. The food and drinks available at the hotel seemed overpriced (about five times what you would pay on the street) but there are plenty of other eating options around.
Note: I was a special guest of the hotel but all opinions and recommendations are my own and I would happily stay there again…and for longer next time!