D & D Inn
68-70 Th Khao San, Banglamphu
Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Nice breakfast included
Located in the popular Khao San area, this place is very, very busy, and in spite of its size, reservations are a must. It's location and a very nice breakfast and nice, but at times harried service, that requires a bit of patience from time to time, make it a very popular backpackers place to stay. They have two types of rooms, and while similarly equipped, only the newer deluxe room have small refridgerators.
You can't reserve them over the web, but possibly by phone. I just walk up and take my chances. If they're full, make a reservation for the following day or two and head to the Rambuttri Village Inn, across the main road (see below). There usually have rooms.
A couple of odd things: In the deluxe rooms they offer a free bottle of water. It's a glass bottle. Mine, quite cold slipped from my grasp and it cost over $3 to replace. I found that a very strange thing. Even in Burma, where free water was included, it was in the fridge in the usual sealed plastic bottles. Another memorable annoyance was that at noon, at check out time with a large amount of traffic trying to make it to the front desk, the maid on my floor started a large buffer up that blocked the entire passage out of that floor. People scambling over that buffer carrying their suddenly useless wheeled luggage, with the maid not budging. Finally she fled totally frustrated, and left the buffer there. Her super, a large and not very friendly woman, only helped you to yank the luggage over that now abandoned buffer, but the buffer stayed.
There is a roof-top pool, too, and a kitchen and outdoor bar. It is so chlorinated that my eyes were instantly burning and turning red. Some of the guys there, who were watching me, were laughing and pointing at their own red eyes.
They play DVDs for you to watch, but the TV channels are quite limited and often require technical assistance for being readjusted. They have a roving TV tech who happily provides that service.
Laundry service is available.
To get to the D&D Inn, get off where the AE2 bus terminates, walk in direction of the back of the bus, stay on the same side of the street of the bus stop and take the first street right. There is a police station on the corner. A little way down on the right side you see the D&D sign. Just enter the tunnel of concession shops and you will see the glass door to the D&D lobby at the end.
Rambuttri Village Inn
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
What I immediately think of is clean white rooms. Everything you need is there, including one or two TV movie channels, although no refridgerator. The price is reasonable, the service nice, although the desk personnel can get testy at times. It all depends on the time of the day there as well. Reservations are definitely not needed in the off-season, although I suspect that it could get very busy diring the tourist high-season.
There is a roof-top pool here as well, but everything else, and an excellent Internet shop is offered via concessions outside of the Inn.
From the AE2 bus stop, walk in direction of the rear of the bus, past the police station (on your right). Cross the street here, and where the walls of the temple, that you see on the left side of the street stops, enter the alley. You can't miss it. Many Tuktuks and cabbies are there and you can see restaurants as well. A short walk will take you to a lane on your right that leads straight into the lobby of the Rambuttri Village Inn.
The location of these Inns is in walking distance to the Wat Prah Kheo and the riverside piers. Also, you find yourself amidst lots of restaurants, bars, and sidewalk food vendors that make the area from annoying to annoyingly interesting to walk around in. Eating is no problem. There are also plenty of ATMs there. To get there from the airport, just take the airport express bus, door 8, bottom level, and get your bus ticket either indoor or just outside of the doors for AE 2. It takes from 35 to 60 minutes to get there, depending on time of the day and traffic.
If you need a taxi, it's best to go to the end of the street and toward the busy main street that crosses the huge traffic circle. Pick a cab that is willing to run the meter from there. The taxi drivers in the Kheo san area are used to exploiting the foreigners and try to negotiate a price up front, which at best is still a multiple of what a metered ride would charge you.
If you plan to go shopping for computer-related or other electronics stuff, go to the Panthip Plaza.
Personally, I'd go there to see what's new, and it's definitely a fun morning to wander around there and maybe pick up some DVDs etc., but I prefer to buy computer hardware on-line, right here in the US.