We stayed at the Bangkok Loft Inn for 11 days in March 2013,at the end of a 5 weeks holiday in Malaysia and Thailand.We booked with Agoda and chose it because we had already stayed in other areas of Bangkok on other visits(Lumpini,Khao San,Pratunam,Sukumvit x 2 etc) so we thought this would be a new area to discover and hey!Thonburi is advertised as the Venice of the East and the pollution is less this side of the river,etc.??Or so we thought.!
We had good contact with 'Rin' by email beforehand.The accommodation offers a free pick up taxi transfer one way from Suvannabhumi aiport if you stay more than 3 days.
However Airasia, which is the main low-cost airline in the region NOW flies into Don Muang airport.Perhaps their offer should apply to BOTH airports,seeing as a lot of the trade will now be coming into Don Muang.??
Anyway,as we were departing from Suvannabhumi airport it was agreed that the return transfer would be free,under their scheme,and the pick up at Don Muang on arrival we would pay for(500TB) We decided to book these transfers as we thought there might be difficulty in taxis finding the place.We would not even dream of doing public transport with a big suitcase and a roller.(Are people mad,?)
The plane was scheduled to arrive at 13.30,according to our paperwork;but this was incorrect.It actually arrived at 13.00.We were at the appointed new place(gate 6) at 13.30(baggage and immigration were quick) but there was no driver waiting for us.We rang the hotel,and the driver appeared 5 minutes later.(Airasia's fault perhaps,not his?).It took us exactly 1 hour to get to the hotel,with a nice clean ride.
The first shock was to find the BLI is situated on an 8 lane autoroute with 24 hour traffic!
Their website neglects to mention this and other reviews don't exactly spell it out either.(So much for choosing Thonburi!) The area is a big suburb of Bangkok,with major roads and no cultural interests that we could walk to,and none of the conveniences of a tourist-oriented area.
The other major problem was the lack of anywhere to eat in the evening.The hotel does not have a 'restaurant' AND 'terrace restaurant',both of which are advertised on their website.It has a breakfast room where only breakfast is served,with no adjoining kitchen judging by the way the used crockery had to be stacked on a table on the terrace.Apart from being vegetarian,we would have had difficulty eating locally even if we weren't. Another tripadvisor review said there was a food court nearby.There isn't.
There is a 7/11 shop within walking distance but this only sells snacks,drinks,etc;The stalls of Thai food opposite meant you had to stand (and didn't look very salubrious),the newish little restaurant near to the hotel appears to be run as a hobby,as they had no menu but said they could do spaghetti(tiny portion) and salad which cost us 140TB.(expensive by Thai standards) No other choice offered.
There was a street cafe with tables on the pavement which served good value fish and chips and fried chicken and steaks.We ate there 3 times out of desperation (but it was a very limited menu,all fried,and non vegetarian)There is a Robinsons store a 15 minute walk away and presumed there would be a Food Court there(as in the Sukumvit 16 Robinson)but no!They had an Oishi Ramen outlet(Japanese noodles etc..ate there once), a Swensens(just ice cream) and a MK which features cooking your own meal in a steam boat(meat orientated)a KFC and a Donut place.
So this really had a negative effect on our stay at the Bangkok loft Inn,and the first time we have come across an eating problem in our hotel area in Thailand.Usually you are spoilt for choice.After a tiring day sightseeing,you hope to find some place that you can eat reasonably cheaply within close proximity of your accommodation that doesn't involve a 10 minute walk to the Skytrain station and the 20 minutes to get into town and look for a place+the return journey.
The hotel itself is 3 years old and is family run.The Reception is open 24 hours a day.The reception staff were a mixed bunch,however a lady called Pat was outstanding in being pleasant ALL the time,greeting you when you came in and out,and really giving you the impression she cared.Each day I read the Bangkok Post newspaper in reception,which was well airconditioned and contained 3 sets of chairs and tables,plus very clean toilets if you needed them,and a fridge offering drinks at very reasonable prices. There was a jar of free sweets on the table and you could have a free banana and longan as you passed by Reception.(Nice touch) I enjoyed people watching and it would appear that 3 days seemed to be the average length of stay?
There is also a 'business centre' on the mezzanine floor(free use of PC's and free wifi) plus a bookcase of books and some easy chairs.
The breakfast was also on this floor and the room was air conditioned and run by a delightful lady called 'Pear'.She was an absolute sweetheart,greeting every guest with a cheerful 'Morning' and serving the main course(which you had to order the night before) as well as keeping the breakfast buffet tidy.The breakfast was very good!Cereals,a fridge of yogurts from which to help yourself,bread to toast ,pastries and Thai special desserts,fruit juice, coffee, tea, chocolate,fresh fruit(and twice I was lucky enough to snag the mango and sticky rice option!)+ whatever main course you had ordered.There were Asian breakfast options,full American choices,as well as three different salads for vegetarians(hurrah!) and eggs in various shapes and forms.The breakfast room had a small terrace with a table and chairs and plants which made the place more scenic,and also allowed smokers to smoke outside!!
Our Room 310
The room was clean and the linen changed daily.We asked for 2 extra pillows and 20 more hangers,and they came up straight away.There is an empty fridge which you can stock yourself,or buy from the big fridge downstairs(at more or less supermarket prices),Although there is a cupboard with sliding doors for hanging things there is only one shelf in the room(high up above the hanging space)There is a flat screen TV and safe in the room as well as coffee and tea making facilities.Free wifi reached the room. The bed was a double with firmer than expected mattress. There was also a 2-seater couch, nets and blackout curtains at the window.The bathroom had shower cabin, toilet, washbasin,big mirror and was very well lit.There is bedside lighting if you want to read in bed,as well as pictures on the wall and a big mirror over the desk+ hair dryer.
We had asked for a room at the back which was fortunate after the surprise of the main road at the front of the property.We had a view of a little lane at the back.Room 310.It at the end of the corridor so we didn't have the noise from people getting out of the lift and walking by,but you could hear a throb,which was apparently the airconditioning units from the bank next door.(Reception said you would only hear it during the day!)
The night 'porter' had a lovely sense of humour and was helpful with luggage etc.
Reception would flag down a taxi for you,and could answer a lot of questions.
The hotel was fine for what it was,but their website needs to be corrected re restaurant facilities, and the room service mentioned does not involve food...just drinks.There is no food available in the BLI except breakfast!
The laundry tariffs were the same as the big 4 star(and I mean 4 star) Centara Duang Tawan in Chiang Mai. Prices10-40 TB depending on the item.Having been used to same- day laundry for 30TB a kilo,which included ironing,in other parts of Thailand,we decided to wash our clothes ourselves.A hook in the shower cubicle allowed for initial dripping,and then we put the hanger outside the window on the small balcony where the A/C unit was.Dried in a day usually.
Air con unit was remote controlled and thankfully was not aimed at the bed.
The taxi transfer organised by the BLI for the departure arrived nice and early and was clean and a pleasant ride at night through the heart of Bangkok.The driver helped us with our luggage and wasn't angling for a tip as well.
Summary.This is a clean,safe,excellently priced accommodation with helpful staff and a good breakfast.However eating in the area can be a problem,and the main road at the front needs taking into consideration.I would give it 5 stars if it was situated in a more-tourist orientated area,or had it's own restaurant serving evening food!!
There is a covered roof top to the property....this would make an ideal 'food court '/restaurant for residents if the hotel decided to go one step further and fit a kitchen and serve cheap Thai food.But without that consideration I would unfortunately not return to this area.
Thanks to Pat and Pear for their lovely characters and the pleasant conversations!!
Rooms at the back quieter and view a lane(even numbers.)
Rooms near the lifts can get a lot of traf...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.