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“Quiet hostel in a great location”

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Niras Bankoc Cultural Hostel
Ranked #40 of 1,189 Specialty Lodging in Bangkok
Certificate of Excellence
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
67 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
“Quiet hostel in a great location”
Reviewed May 24, 2011

We stayed for 8 nights in the deluxe double room with shared bathroom and absolutely loved it. We chose Niras because we were looking for somewhere quiet and small to relax, yet somewhere that was still close to the main tourist sites of Bangkok.

The service at the hostel was fantastic - the staff would always check up on us and ask if we need any help with transport or if we had any other queries. The hostel has a cafe at the front which serves breakfast to the guests and is also open to the public until 10:30PM. The cafe area was also used by guests during the day. Because we had a deluxe double room booked, we received a complimentary breakfast every morning and also a small bottle of water each. The breakfast was simple but they were willing to tailor it to your preferences (fried or scrambled eggs, a sausage or not). The coffee was great, especially since we hadn't drank strong espresso coffee for a long time. We also tried the cakes they sold at the cafe and would highly recommend the cappuccino mousse cake.

The hostel is in an old shop style building that has been tastefully restored. Our room didn't have a window but did have a skylight. We also had a fridge, cable TV and a table with chairs. The shared bathrooms were the nicest shared bathrooms we've come across yet with 24 hour hot water and good water pressure. I don't think it's worth paying the extra for a room with an ensuite since the bathrooms were so nice and the staff kept them very clean.

There is a TV room / lounge behind the cafe for guests only and they have a good range of DVDs available to watch. However, this room is small and we found that it was occupied by people waiting for their onward transport. The cafe was normally empty enough to grab a table though.

Niras was the most expensive hostel we stayed at in SE Asia. However, we didn't regret spending the money because the hostel was exactly what we're after. Keep in mind that it's not a party hostel and it's also not in the thick of the backpacker district. There are cheaper options available closer to Khao San Road but we weren't the biggest fan of this area; it was mostly filled with tacky market stalls, over priced Western style restaurants and a lot of touts. Niras is in a more 'normal' Bangkok neighbourhood. Across the road from the hostel there are many stalls selling excellent cheap food at night, including Pad Thai, fish ball noodle soup, wanton egg noodles and fried rice noodles. Most dishes were 30-70 Baht depending on whether they included seafood or not. During the day there are also a few other stalls selling noodles too. We tried most of the stalls in the area and didn't have a bad meal at any of them.

Niras is conveniently located about 15mins walk from Khao San Road, about 20mins walk from Chinatown, 15mins walk from the Grand Palace and about 5 mins walk from the canal boat station Phan Fa Lilat. We found that the easiest way to get to the main shopping area (around MBK, Siam Paragon etc) was to go via canal boat for only 9 Baht per person to Hua Chung. From Hua Chang it's only a 5 minute walk to MBK. When the canal boats weren't operating at night we took a taxi to town instead for 60-70 Baht.

We would definitely come back next time we're in Bangkok and recommend it to anyone looking for a quiet, friendly hostel.

Room Tip: The double deluxe room is nice
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank clare_nz_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
iamBique, Owner at Niras Bankoc Cultural Hostel, responded to this review, May 25, 2011
Dear valued guest,

Thank you very much for your time to write us the review with wonderful points of our small hostel.
It has became one of the most descriptive review we've received.
We all staffs were very grateful after reading your review and fulfilled to know that our mission was completed to make your stay the most enjoyable.

Importantly, you are the right type of travellers who fit with our cultural hostel's character .
The one enjoys historic spot and is looking for authenthic Thai culture like Thai people really do.

Thank you again for choosing our hostel and very pleased to take care of you both.
Hope to welcome you again in Bangkok.
Best regards,
Niras Bankoc team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Basingstoke, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed May 14, 2011

There is no doubt that this is a nice place, well kept old building. It is around a 20 minutes walk to Khao San Road and areas for restaurants, bars etc....We stayed in a double room, shared bathroom for 1000 Baht per night. Dorms were nice and were 450 PP/PN.

However it was only when we looked over (many) hotels in Khao San Rd for accommodation and found out just how overpriced this place is...For 500 Baht a night we had a hotel which was equally as nice, admittedly without the old character but with a location only two minutes walk to Khao San Rd and nice quiet rooms (we are not party animals). For 1000 you could get a very nice, superior double room, breakfast and a lovely pool. Our room at Niras didn't even have a window.

The nice wooden floors and doors here are actually quite impractical as they make a lot of noise when people are walking around, especially as most rooms and dorms have shared bathrooms.

I would also always judge a hotel by its service when there is a complaint. We had some washing done here and were provided with a basket to put washing into. No mention was made of separating colors and all over the world we have never done this, it is surely common sense for a laundry? Our washing returned with four tops ruined as they had been discolored heavily by multiple colors. These colors were not even from our clothes!
The hotel offered to re-wash and this didn't work. I expressed with the manager that we were not happy and was reasonable in asking only for the money for the washing to be refunded. 150 Baht wouldn't buy you one t-shirt but would have been an adequate gesture for a service which went wrong and we would still have been out-of-pocket. The manager simply couldn't understand and kept saying that this was the first time it had happened almost as if it was our fault...Another girl at the hostel experienced the same issue and also was offered nothing and no understanding was available from the manager.

I would recommended you look elsewhere as quality and location for Niras does not match up with the price.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mattcooke123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
iamBique, Owner at Niras Bankoc Cultural Hostel, responded to this review, May 15, 2011
Dear valued guest,

First we would like to thank you for your compliment to our hostel as a nice one.

However, we are also not surprised about your review according to your threat to write bad review to our property if we could not return you refund of laundry. We understand that only this matter causes everything in the hostel looks unpleasant. Thus, we would like to clarify only the truth of laundry issue.

In fact, our laundry is just a washing and drying machine as normal as every hostel. Moreover, for other hostels, with coin washing machine , the guests always do the laundry by themselves and wait until it's done.
However, to facilitate all travelers after long travel, we offer to do it and fold them neatly after dying. We are definitely confident that one basket of clothes per one time washing which doesn't mix with other guests. If we mixed them all together, it would be very complicated for us to identify which clothes would belong to which guests that become a very big trouble when we return them.

For discolored clothes, it's beyond our understanding and knowledge.
The clothes owner should know which clothes seem to discolor others. Normally, our guests, themselves, would separate the clothes for us if they think that it might ruin others.

For the other female guest you mentioned. Like our offer to you, the front office offered her to rewash her cloths again by housekeeping not machine and she also seemed to accept that she didn’t separate the coloured one from the others.

Kindly apologize for our hostel features which may not suit your hotel standard.
all the clear description including no window in some rooms, retro wooden Furnishing and location, has been informed on web sites for your consideration before booking.

We believe that we do our best to be responsible and provide you the best service. Nonetheless, we are also sorry that we cannot follow everything to satisfy your need as we also have our standard and rule.

Best regards,
Niras Bankoc
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
24 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed May 8, 2011

Booked 4 nights with it because of all the positive reviews and awards listed in hostelworld, and didn't regret it! Very friendly staff, excellent service (even helped us get taxis), very good coffee; the hostel itself is a charming little establishment with tastefully decorated rooms, the bathrooms are clean and fully equipped. One thing though is that the walls aren't really soundproof, but besides the footsteps and the occasional squeaking door it is quiet enough for me. Its location is perfect for reaching Bangkok's main cultural attractions, it is within 10min walk away from Khao San, and right opposite it there is a stall selling the best pad thai I have ever had (together with a lot of other great food). Downside is that it is far from the main shopping / commercial districts, most of the time we have to take a cab to places we want to go to, but be sure to ask the front desk first because we realised on our last day that it is possible to take a boat straight to Siam / Chit Lom. We didn't get to try that though...

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sgsheep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
iamBique, Owner at Niras Bankoc Cultural Hostel, responded to this review, May 11, 2011
Dear valued guest,

Thank you very much for taking time to review our hostel and staying with us.
It's very honorable to be your " one of the best".Thank you to be one voice of our guests to convey how our hostel is to others. Your review is meaningful to our property.

Regarding our comments regarding noise, as our hostel has been renovated from historical preserved house with lots of wooden furnishing in retro style, we do hope to find some solutions to reduce some noises from all wooden furnishing.

Secondly, our strategic location is in the heart of the old city and walking distance to all cultural attractions.We are sorry that it's not close to shopping centers. However, hope next time you will have a chance to experience canal boat which is convenient and 15 minutes to shopping center .
We are pleased to help you enjoying Bangkok.Hopefully, we will welcome you again next time.
Best regards,
Niras Bankoc family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
45 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2011

I've always stayed at Pathumwan Princess when holidaying in BKK. PP was fully booked so we stayed at Niras recently after it was recommended by a travel agent. It has great location close to major tourist attractions. Our room was clean and comfortable and ensuite bathroom a bonus. We enjoyed the coffee and pastries in the mornings and found the noodle place across the road very handy. The thing that sets Niras apart from other hostels is the service. The staff were so friendly and were always happy to provide directions or assistance. I was quite surprised to read the one negative review as we had a great experience there as did other guests we spoke to. The money we saved by staying at Niras & not at 4-5 star hotel we spent on shopping! Planning on returning in November.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Julie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
iamBique, Owner at Niras Bankoc Cultural Hostel, responded to this review, April 28, 2011
Dear valued guest,

Thank you very much for taking time to write us the review.
It's very kind of you to share your impressive experiences of our hostel with other travellers.
Hope to welcome you and helping you enjoy our city next time in Bangkok.
Best regards,
Niras Bankoc Family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2011

I love Niras Bankoc and would stay there again in a heartbeat. It's in a fantastic location, so close to all of the temples, the river and Grand Palace, across the road from one of Bangkok's best Pad Thai kitchens, and only a short tuk-tuk to Khao San Road. The hostel is peaceful and comfortable. They've done a great job with the renovations. I stayed in one of the deluxe rooms (only complaint was a possible flea infestation...) and also in the 8/bed female dorm, which was one of the nicest dorms I've ever stayed in. Comfy beds, nice big lockers, reading lights and air con! The upstairs bathrooms are all really nice. The staff are lovely and so helpful. This is definitely not a party hostel, but it's still a good place to meet other travellers. Highly recommended. My home away from home in Bangkok :)

Room Tip: Go for the 8-bed dorms. Really good value.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BackpackerNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
iamBique, Owner at Niras Bankoc Cultural Hostel, responded to this review, April 25, 2011
Dear valued guest ,
Thank you very much for the review and useful comments.
Your review means a lot to your staffs and our property.We feel very honored to be your first review.Thank you very much for your honest comment regarding deluxe room, we will take immediate action to check the problem ,possibly they might be some mosquitoes in the room.Please kindly accept our apology.
We really appreciated that you truly understanded our hostel's values and concept of " a genuine local experience ".
Hope to welcome you again next time in Bangkok.

Best regards,
Niras Bankoc Family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2011

I've stayed in hostels in 8 different countries and this one gets ranked as one of the not-so-good ones. We stayed in the 4 person dorm, which was so narrow that we could barely move. I think capsule hotels in Japan are roomier! Definitely the smallest room I have ever stayed in. Beds are creaky. The ladder for the bunk is narrow and I almost fell off several times. The sheets were stained and my friends likened the place to a horror movie. We're not spoiled, we travel all the time and I've even once slept on the street so if I find this place creepy, you could only imagine.

The breakfast was awful. Whoever wrote about the toast below is insane. It was so stale. I didn't even eat my eggs. Again, considering we ate insects in Thailand, we're not picky eaters.

What really pissed me off near the end of the trip was the key deposit. It was 300 baht, which is pretty expensive. The key holder is fragile -you can see that some of them have been glued together after having broken apart. I dropped my key holder by accident from my top bunk and it broke in half. Despite returning the actual KEY and the two pieces, they refused to give me my deposit back. I really don't see how it will cost 300 baht to GLUE back together the two pieces. It's not the money but the principle of it. Why give people a key on a holder that has clearly broken multiple times? Use PLASTIC like normal hostels do! On our first two nights in Thailand, we stayed at the Kingston, which is really nice and in an excellent location. Considering how much the deposit was, we might as well have stayed at the Kingston.

Good points were location and that the bathrooms were plentiful. One of the staff (male) was really helpful and friendly. Towels were good. But I will definitely not stay here again when I return to Bangkok.

I also reviewed on HostelBookers but they didn't post the review. Sketch.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank magesticbaby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
iamBique, Owner at Niras Bankoc Cultural Hostel, responded to this review, April 21, 2011
Dear guest,
First of all, kindly apologize that your first review has been deleted on the booking website because it violated the guidelines.
We would like to clarify again as normal practice in most of the accommodations , guests are requested for key deposit first and then return it to them when check out .However, The guests will be charged in case that the key is damagedr lost.If the condition of the key is not terribly damged, there'll be no charge.
Kindly also to be informd that 300 Thai baht is the standard key deposit in Thailand.

Regarding your comments, our made-to-order bunk beds are standard quality and also specially designed with strong ladder and extra large size of single bed suited for even tall or oversized persons.

For our breakfast, all sets are freshly cooked. As a small hostel with average not more than 10 people having breakfast in every morning, Therefore, to maintain quality of food ,all breakfast set will be freshly cooked or prepared by each order.

Thank you for your understanding.
We are really regretful that our key deposit charge disappointed you and our service didn’t meet your personal expectation.
Best regards,
Niras Bankoc Hostel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2011

+ THE TASTIEST TOAST OF THE ENTIRE TRIP, WITH TWEETY-PIE'S FACE ON EACH SLICE OF TOAST.
+ Beautiful authentic building
+ Also a cafe, a really nice cool (air-con) place to sit, magazines, drinks & nibbles
+ Nice rooms
+ Good bathrooms
+ Wifi
+ Good location if you want to be away from Khaosan Road (which we definitely did). Still within walking distance of the backpacker district, we also walked to the Grand Palace complex
+ Really friendly staff, took our picture at the end haha!
+ They let us check out late when I took ages in the shower because I forgot that we had to check out. :)
+ The double rooms looked really nice!

- Common area was basically a cafe instead of a travellers' area, like we didn't really meet anybody there.
- Breakfast was fairly expensive.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Laurenandco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
iamBique, Owner at Niras Bankoc Cultural Hostel, responded to this review, April 25, 2011
Dear valued guest,

Thank you very much for the review with wonderful description to illustrate our hostel.Your review is like well-written article with lovely comparison.
We all are very impressed with your comments.Importantly,thank you very much to understand and see our charm.

Thank you for your comment regarding our common room.We do hope to provide more communcal areas to all guests.currently they may share communal areas mianly on the group floor like in the lobby of the hostel which is the gourmet coffee shop and in our relaxing common room they also enjoy watching DVD and reading booking in the quiet corner .Moreover, on the top of our hostel, they may enjoy the rooftop terrace.

For our American breakfast ,sorry that it didn't meet your expectation, we do hope to improve it as maybe it's too basic and standard as 65 Thai baht including sausage,fried egg, breads (butter & Jam ), orange juice.
Thank you again for your visit and wish you good luck with all travels.
Best regards,
Niras Bankoc Family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Niras Bankoc Cultural Hostel

Property: Niras Bankoc Cultural Hostel
Address: 204 - 206 Mahachai Road | Sumranrat Phra-Nakorn, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Bangkok
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #40 of 1,189 Specialty Lodging in Bangkok
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Niras Bankoc Cultural Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Genuine Local Experience (A perfect place for travelers who love culture) -The Country Winner of Hoscar Awards 2009 by Hostelworld-The World’s Best Boutique hostels 2009 by guardian magazine - To experience A Perfect Location The origin of the great city of Bangkok today is located 'Koh Rattanakosin' where Niras Bankoc is in the middle of which is close to many HISTORICAL and attraction places especially like Giant Swing and Golden Mountain. Other nearby places like Wat Po, The Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha, Democracy Monument and even Khaosand Road ... etc. you can travel JUST by WALKING! The hostel is located in peaceful neighborhood with several local food stalls and shophouses. The real escape from busy backpacker area and touristy places.- To experience A Unique Style Living in the old house which age is over 100 years. Until now, it has been declared as the cultural and conservation building. Feeling the charm of origin and experiencing the genuine local living way and homey atmosphere: Plus Lovely antique coffee shop offers premium gourmet coffee and beverages.- To experience A Warm Welcome We are not part of big chain hostelwith limited numbers of guests; we put more care in detail of all guests, consider everyone like a member in the house & help guests enjoy BKK even traveling alone. ... more   less 
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