Bangkok's Best Budget Hotels and Hidden Value Sleep Spots

The Bangkok budget hotel scene has never been better. From stylish hostels to small boutique hotels, there is a wealth of choice without draining your pockets. Funky and atmospheric seems to be all the rage these days, and the colorful and artistic Phra Nakorn Norn Len is the pick of the litter, with individually styled and painted rooms located in a charming part of old Bangkok. Other similar budget options in old Bangkok neighborhoods include Baan Dinso and Loy La Long. For modern and convenient, consider Imm Fusion, which is just steps from a skytrain station, or the nearby Klassique, making it easy to get into the center. For those who can't bear to be out of the heart of the city, Lub d  has to be the world's most stylish hostel and has private rooms as well at excellent prices, and the S33, of the boutique S Group, has an affordable option right in the middle of one of Bangkok's most posh neighborhoods. Back out on the Chao Phraya River, the Ibis Bangkok Riverside gives all the pleasantries of sitting next to the banks of the river without any of the usually associated high end prices. For a budget value stay where you choose just how many amenities you want to pay for, nothing can be the Asok branch of Tune Hotels, the popular chain that is redefining the budget market. 


Spiffy clean rooms, comfortable beds, and all the basic amenities (free WiFi, cable TV, minibar, electric hot water kettle) for a decent stay, plus access to public transport make this a good choice. While they have dropped the Best Western brand and are now just Klassique, the hotel still has a mid-range/trusted brand feel to it, and certainly at a lower price than a majority of hotels on Sukhumvit. While it isn't in the heart of Sukhumvit, the On Nut skytrain station is just a ten minute walk from here, and one can be at all the central hot spots for nightlife, dining, and shopping, within 15 minutes. Additionally, being on the eastern side of town, it is closer to the airport. There are both local wet markets and large supermarkets a short stroll from here, as well as a good collection of eateries and street stalls, and this part of Bangkok is also home to the cheapest massage joints in the city. On Nut Road, 5 minutes on foot from here, has row upon row of excellent cheap massage spots, well known to the Thai and local crowd, but often missed by tourists.

Recommended for Budget Hotels because: For an affordable and comfortable hotel with easy access to the skytrain, Klassique is a good option.

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Located in an old Thai home with teak wood floors and set in the timeless Giant Swing neighborhood, far from the glitzy malls of modern Bangkok, Baan Dinso is more fit for a royal stay, but it comes at unbelievably great value prices. Part of the atmospheric old mansion is a hostel, with dorm beds available for a pittance, but there are also elegant single, twin, and deluxe rooms available, also at great deals, and this is an excellent selection for those who want to experience traditional Bangkok in a part of the city that really isn't far (just a 15 minute walk to Khao San Road), yet almost completely devoid of the tourist masses.

Recommended for Budget Hotels because: For charm and a glimpse into old Bangkok, Baan Dinso is a budget value winner

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The original Luxx was one of the pioneers of the small boutique hotels in the Bangkok market, and now they have expanded to include the larger Luxx XL which features larger rooms normally only found in some of the cities upscale luxury hotels. The rooms here feature teak wood floors and furniture, balconies, and large in room entertainment systems with LCD TV's, DVD+CD+MP3 players. An added plus is the Luxx XL's location along elegant and tranquil Lang Suan, with easy access to the heart of Bangkok's shopping district at Central World and Gaysorn Plaza

Recommended for Budget Hotels because: For a sleek and elegant spot at less than elegant prices, Luxx XL is a winner

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While the prices at this hidden gem at the edge of Chinatown are not rock bottom, they are the cheapest for such an atmospheric spot along the Chao Phraya River. Loy La Long is a beautiful old Thai teak wood house tucked into an alleyway and exuding tons of charm. The rooms are individually painted with a tremendous palette of colors, there is a deck to sit on and watch the river life go by, and the entire place is all about slowing down and revisiting Bangkok life the way it should be. As the sign in the hotel says, "let it be, let it go, let it flow." The hotel recently featured in one of the top grossing Thai films, the romantic comedy Bangkok Traffic Love Story.

Recommended for Budget Hotels because: For utter charm and traditional Thai, Loy La Long is a five star choice

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Lub d Bangkok - Silom - Hostel
Photo courtesy of courtesy Lub D Hostel

Lub D Silom is the winner of several awards for its cleanliness, service, and all out effort to be the top hostel in Bangkok, but in addition to also being a hostel it provides private rooms in the budget hotel category. Perfectly located in the center of the busy Silom District, one has easy access to Bangkok's Central Business District, shopping, Patpong nightlife, and public transportation. The Lub D staff are renowned for their friendliness and helpfulness, and this is one of these rare hostels where everything is safe, secure, efficient, and in working order.

Recommended for Budget Hotels because: For a hostel that redefines the term hostel, Lub d is a must

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The S Group of hotels has several properties in central Sukhumvit, all of which are classy boutique digs with pretty hefty price tags. The S33 Compact is a pleasant exception, and it offers great value for the money. The modern minimalist rooms are bright, have work desks, comfortable beds, and are suitable for business travellers on down to budget lovers. Even better is the location, right in some of the most posh real estate in town. Many of Bangkok's top hot tables (Peppina, Appia, Isao) are right around the corner, there are tons of Japanese restaurants, upscale supermarkets, and the new glitzy EmQuartier Mall is just down the street. Throw in the free tuk tuk service to the nearby Phrom Phong skytrain station, and you've got all the makings of a great stay.

Recommended for Budget Hotels because: For stylish digs in a super hot location, you can't beat S33 price-wise.

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No mention of budget hotels would be complete without the inclusion of Tune Hotels. The Malaysian chain offers a spiffy almost business class style stay at rock bottom prices. You can sometimes get your room for the price you'd pay to share a hostel dorm. The key though, is booking early. Prices rise as it gets closer to the date. Additionally, you need to avoid the amenities, as Tune's savings are based on bringing your own and omitting the extras. If you need a towel, air con, and in room internet, you will pay more, and again pay more if you buy it on site as opposed to booking in advance. If you bring your own towel and toothpaste, use the fan and the free lobby computers and internet, then you will be living large.

Recommended for Budget Hotels because: For a spiffy and great value sleep, Tune Hotel is a super choice

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Usually one pays a premium for having a place to stay on the Chao Phraya River. Not so at the Ibis Bangkok Riverside. This charming hotel is located in a tranquil spot on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya, and is just minutes away from all the city action. A free shuttle bus and boat are available to whisk one over to the BTS Skytrain while back on the other side, a large swimming pool sits right on the river, perfect for escaping the city crowds, heat, and chaos. Rooms are bright and modern, and you'd be hard pressed to find digs of this level and location anywhere else in town.

Recommended for Budget Hotels because: For the best budget stay on the river, you can't beat the Ibis Bangkok Riverside

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An extremely stylish budget hotel, Imm Fusion is certainly one of the best bargains to be found in Bangkok. Located just steps away from the On Nut BTS Skytrain station, access into central Bangkok is just a short ride away, and the surrounding neighborhood features large shopping malls, vibrant street life, and a happening night market full of food stalls and beer bars. The interior of the hotel is set around a Moroccan themed pool, with plenty of cushions and inviting poolside niches to get comfy in. Rooms are small, but spiffy and smart, and the Imm Fusion has daily promos such as 99 baht breakfasts or 2 for 1 beer happy hours to go with their already bargain room prices.

Recommended for Budget Hotels because: For great value, access to the Skytrain, and a touch of Morocco, choose Imm Fusion

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Phra Nakorn Norn Len is one of Bangkok's most unique stays and an artistic boutique style option at budget prices. The hotel is owned by an artist and offers rooms that are each completely different, with vibrant colours, paintings, and different themes. Hallways are filled with murals, and staff run various art and music workshops such as batik painting, or traditional Thai crafts. The location is also great in terms of being in the old area of Bangkok, away from the urban sprawl, malls, and excessive development. Only drawback is not being on the traffic free transport lines. The lobby here is filled with recreated facades of traditional Thai shops and offers some pleasant places to relax and escape the bustle of the city. The hotel also sports a rooftop bar, complete with their own herb garden. There are surprises around every corner here.

Recommended for Budget Hotels because: For something completely different, Phra Nakorn Norn Len is a totally unique place

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Meet Dave Stamboulis

Dave Stamboulis is a travel writer/photographer based in Bangkok. Born in Athens, Greece and growing up in the U.S., Dave first discovered Bangkok while on a 45,000-kilometer bicycle trip and...  More About Dave