I haven’t stayed at a lot of hostels, but I recently returned from a one week trip to Bangkok. I booked my stay at an awesome hostel called Bed Station booked through Agoda, I know many people actually avoid staying in hostels in favor of hotels because they don’t fully understand the concept of how hostels work. They are fun sometimes, unique, and inexpensive place to stay while you are traveling. The quality and characteristics of hostels vary widely, so do your research. Here’s what I learned during my stay.
I didn’t just go to the cheapest accommodation I found in Agoda, no matter how I wanted to. While this hostel was not the cheapest place, I booked impulsively, just as before the beds ran out, because it’s clean, comfortable and had free breakfast. My favorite bit about the hostel was they had all day free tea and coffee!
Bed Station Hostel is reviewed in the hostel industry as one of the most popular of places in Bangkok. And not to my surprise, it did match my expectations – from the reviews and recommendations I read. I loved the location of the hostel, I took the rail link from Suvarnabhumi Airport for 45 baht and it was a 5 minute walk from Phaya Thai BTS Station and a lot of must see places were in close proximity. Some of the important places close by included the Ratchathewi BTS Station, MBK and Siam Paragon shopping mall, Pratunam Market, Platinum and Pantip mall, 24hr convenience stores and food stalls around the corner.
They charged me 100 baht for the 8-bed dorm room electronic key card deposit which later I collected during checkout. I loved the air-conditioned room and the design, provided a nice setup of privacy with curtains on each bed, lights, power plug points and space at the end for a small bag and wont affect others at night even you turned on your bed lights, so I slept really well. The lockers were big enough for your entire pack which is awesome.
Usually in hotel rooms you will find a television, safe, toiletries and a mini refrigerator. Maybe even a tea or coffee pot. In general hostels don’t provide these. And since you are on vacation to see and explore a new place, you don’t really need a television. And it’s not much of a burden to carry your own travel-sized toiletries and essentials.
They even had private rooms for 2 persons with in-room television and safe deposit box, but I think staying in a private room in a hostel simply ends up feeling like a bare bones hotel with a more social atmosphere. Sometimes you won’t even be able to tell you’re not in a hotel!
Towels are another thing that can vary from one hostel to another. Many provide towels at no charge, though they won’t replace it every day as they do in hotels. However, sometimes you will come across a hostel that charges a buck or two for a towel. Slightly annoying and almost feels petty, but in the end it’s not that big a deal. Either pay the fee or bring your own towel. I bought a towel before checking-in to the hostel from a close by store.
Bed Station Hostel had a communal kitchen area with an attached bar where travelers can cook in order to save on eating out. Not only does this save money, but it’s one way you can meet other travelers, especially if you’re traveling solo. Go hang out in the hostel’s bar or restaurant and strike up a conversation. You could end up with a fun 30 minute chat or a new best friend. You probably will not meet so much people who will share their travel stories at a hotel restaurant/bar than the ones you find and meet at a hostel.
The hostel provided washers and dryers for a fee, if you’re traveling for a long time or packing light you will probably need to do laundry. Do keep in mind that laundry services at hostels are usually a lot cheaper than what a hotel would charge to wash your clothes.
Booking tours and train tickets were provided by the hostel. They were very kind and always helpful for travelers to see the area and knew the local operators. They can help you pick the right tours that fit your interests and get you all set up. Many European hostels have their own tours, usually free walking tours of the city which is the perfect introduction to the city.
They had communal bathrooms, gender separated on the fourth floor to avoid disturbance to the hostelers. You can chill in the common area with comfortable bean bags, play video games, read guide books, surf the internet with free wifi provided by the hostel or sip tea all day.
I particularly loved the outside smoking area, I usually have my coffee there and surf the net while some random traveler comes and says ‘Hi’ and lead it to a conversation or plans for the rest of the day or evening.
Bed Station Hostel . Perfect location in Bangkok. Attention to detail. Personalized experience. Going the extra mile, every time, all the time. One of my best hostel experiences ever, without exaggeration. I recommend it in a heartbeat, a hundred times over if you are searching for a hostel in Bangkok.
The same as with hotels, be sure to read the reviews to find a hostel that best fits your needs. Check the location, the amenities, the extras, and what the overall atmosphere seems to be. Don’t be afraid to give it a try and see for yourself what it’s really like to stay in a hostel!