For decades, Bangkok’s notorious Bangkwang Prison – affectionately known as the ‘Bangkok Hilton’ – has been the only way to ‘enjoy’ a night behind bars, but that’s all changed with the arrival of the new Sook Station Hotel.
Rather than dramatic city or river views that are typical in Bangkok hotels, Sook Station instead offers the custodial charm of a fence, topped with wire for good measure. That’s not the only prison-related feature of the hotel, though. On entry, guests are treated to a mug shot, are given a prison number rather than a room key and have to share bathrooms with the other guests in keeping with the jail theme. Bedrooms will see guests sleeping quite literally behind bars and in their complimentary black and white striped pyjamas, all the while yearning for the freedom of the outside world, as rooms measure as little as eight square meters.
However, it’s not quite as scary as it sounds. Whilst there is a perimeter fence, thankfully it’s on a roof terrace where one can socialize and drink with the other ‘inmates’. There’s also a hot tub for guests to enjoy and teddy bears strewn around the hotel – just in case it all gets a little too much. The lounge offers further opportunities for interaction with others and a co-working space, making it ideal for digital nomads. After all, ‘Sook’ in Thai means happiness, and this is one of the few prisons in Thailand where happiness looks to be a sure thing.
Guests might not have quite the same stories to tell as if they’d stayed in a real prison, but they’re sure to have some interesting memories after spending the night in this hostel.