Siamaze Hostel, Bangkok

Anyone who has followed my Facebook posts over the past few weeks will probably know that I fell in love with my Bangkok hostel. For the rest of you, here’s the skinny on Siamaze Hostel.

When I checked out I received an email from Trip Advisor asking if I had any issues with the hostel.  I really had to wear my cranky pants to come up with three piddly little issues.  I could also list about 100 things they got right, so all things considered, Siamaze was a GREAT hostel.

The only faults I could find:
• There’s a smelly open water channel beside the hostel.
• The air conditioning works so well that it’s absolutely frigid at times.
• The hostel is located far from Khao San Road (Ground Zero for most Bangkok backpackers).

The part about the open sewer running beside the hostel is hard to gloss over, especially when you walk past it in the middle of the sweltering afternoon. However, the ground floor terrace is surrounded by a 10′ tall hedge and the smell is not an issue behind a thick hedge.  Rooms that face south (?) and the female bathrooms are another issue. The solution is to ask for a room on the other side of the hostel and use the men’s bathrooms. Voila, no more smell.

Depending on your personal tastes, the other two negatives might actually be positives. I got a sore throat from sleeping too close to the AC unit on the second night of my stay. I switched to a bed at the other end of the room and was cozy under the duvet for the rest of my stay. Look at it this way: You’ll never be too warm in this place even when the temperature outside hits 40C.

And finally, the distance from the city centre isn’t an issue if you don’t mind paying 80 cents for a 15 minute subway ride. And for that 80 cents you get peace and quiet at night as opposed to the insanity of Khao San Road. You won’t find people pissing or puking on your doorstep at 4:00 a.m. if you stay at Siamaze. 

Now the positives. This place was purpose-built as a hostel just a few years ago. It has all of the features that you’d expect in a decent hostel and many more. I have no idea how they pay the mortgage when they charge 351 Baht for a bed in a 6-bed dorm. That’s $13.29 CDN per night at the current exchange rate. That’s also none of my business. Yes, it’s one of the more expensive hostels in Bangkok but it’s worth every penny and much more!

What you won’t get at Siamaze Hostel is a non-stop party. There are 3 floors with about 10 dorms per floor and 4, 6 or 8 beds per dorm, yet there never seemed to be more than 5 or 6 people hanging around in the common area. I know the place was sold out one night, and nearly full other nights, so I have no idea where the people were, but they weren’t getting in my way. Unfortunately there were few people around should you feel like socializing. And to people who have a problem with that I would say: “Help yourself to a free cookie and get over it. I did.” There are plenty of places to socialize in Bangkok. Siamaze Hostel just isn’t one of them.

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THE SKINNY ON SIAMAZE HOSTEL
For $13.29 a night you get:
• free wi-fi throughout the building
• use of 2 computers in lobby, printer, scanner, etc.
• solid bunk beds that don’t squeak or shake (or collapse as I experienced in Auckland)
• hotel quality sheets, duvets and pillows (very firm bed though)
• individual reading light and powerpoint at each bed
• privacy curtain
• extra wide ladder to top bed
• large locker beside each bed
• powerpoint inside each locker (to charge camera, phone, laptop, etc.)
• beautiful common area with communal tables
• self-serve kitchen
• beer and soft drinks for sale at reasonable prices (by Thai standards, practically free for North Americans and Europeans)
• walkout to private terrace with two large tables, lounge chairs, hammock, etc.
• free coffee, tea and cookies (24 hours)
• free breakfast consisting of juice, toast, jam, cereal (mornings)
• sound-proofed TV lounge on each floor
• AC unit in each dorm (separate control)
• sliding door to balcony off each room
• heavy duty black-out curtains
• reasonably priced coin laundry on each floor (no need to use the dryer in this weather)
• drying rack on each balcony
• gleaming ceramic tiles in common areas, laminate in dorms
• clean and spacious bathrooms
• large showers with plenty of hot water and good water pressure
• good locks on toilet stalls and showers
• card access to elevator and individual dorms
• luggage storage area
• very friendly and accommodating staff (no drama when I asked to change rooms, then change beds, extend my stay, etc.)
• on-site parking
• English speaking staff on site during day, security guard in parking lot at night
• organized tours, pub crawls, night market outings, etc.
• 1 minute walk to tuk-tuk stand and 24 hour 7-11 Store
• 5 minute walk to Sutthisan subway station
• cash, debit and major credit cards accepted

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