Where to Book a Stay in Bangkok for a Local Experience

The Yard Hostel is just one of the places that will allow you to experience a less tourist-oriented side of Bangkok
The Yard Hostel is just one of the places that will allow you to experience a less tourist-oriented side of Bangkok | Courtesy of The Yard Hostel / Expedia
Siobhan Grogan

Where to stay in Bangkok? We recommend that you leave the shopping centres and major attractions to other tourists, and instead seek out the city’s best-kept secrets. These quirky, lesser-known hotels allow guests to see a different side of the Thai capital, from coffee shops loved by locals to iconic buildings that are integral to its history. Intriguing extras include Buddhist meditation classes, authentic Thai food and free exhibitions.

1. Bangkok Tree House

Boutique Hotel, Independent Hotel, Eco Hotel, Treehouse, Hotel, Eco-Lodge

Industrial-style lodges with glass frontages, stacked on top of each other amid trees at Bangkok Tree House
Courtesy of Bangkok Tree House / Expedia

Why would you sleep in a boring old hotel when you can stay in a treehouse? Just 10 minutes’ walk from Bangnamphueng Nok Temple, this extraordinary property, perched high above the forest, is linked by wooden boardwalks that weave through the trees. Made and owned by locals, there’s even a cafe surrounded by foliage serving simple, tasty Thai dishes including Pad Thai, spicy seafood soup and papaya salad.

2. 103 - Bed and Brews


Mezzanine above double bed in triangular, wood-based room with private balcony at 103 - Bed and Brews
Courtesy of 103 - Bed and Brews / Expedia

Don’t stay among the giant shopping malls and office buildings when you can experience the real Bangkok. This stylish and understated boutique hotel, once home to a Chinese merchant who imported traditional herbal medicines, is in the city’s historic Old Town. The property is now just off Chinatown’s main strip, surrounded by bars, art galleries and eateries. Breakfast, drinks and March cold brew coffee are served in the downstairs cafe, a casual space popular with guests and locals.

3. The Yard Hostel

Eco Hotel, Hostel

Wooden steps with no handrail lead to a raised bed in a neutral-toned ensuite room at the Yard Hostel
Courtesy of the Yard Hostel / Expedia

Staying at this unique property feels more like visiting a particularly cool friend than bedding down in a hostel. Located on a quiet back street in residential Ari, there are three rooms in the house and a mix of dorms and rooms in converted shipping containers in the garden. There’s a communal area with TV, books and games and a relaxing garden where guests can mingle over drinks and swap local tips with friendly staff.

4. The Sukhothai Bangkok


Man lights many candles on a table in a dimly lit space in front of a large dining area at Sukhothai Bangkok
Courtesy of The Sukhothai Bangkok / Expedia

Named after the ancient capital of Thailand, the Sukhothai echoes the country’s delicate old-world beauty. Sweeping gardens are scattered with lotus ponds, the spa uses local oils, techniques and Tibetan chimes and the Celadon restaurant is considered one of the best Thai restaurants in the city. Get a real taste of Bangkok by ordering the mind-blowing nine-course tasting menu, including grilled river prawns and Thai vodka sorbet.

5. Bangkok Publishing Residence

Boutique Hotel

A room at Bangkok Publishing Residence with a double bed, olive-coloured walls and traditional paintings
Courtesy of Bangkok Publishing Residence / Expedia

This charming adults-only boutique hotel, housed in a 1960s printing house on Lan Luang Road, is the former residence of the esteemed Bangkok Weekly magazine. After a seven-year renovation, it now offers eight B&B rooms with antique furniture and original floors, along with modern comforts including a free minibar, Bluetooth speaker and Nespresso machine. Make yourself at home with the stash of magazines and board games in the lobby, free bike rentals and piano and drum kit for impromptu concerts.

6. Shanghai Mansion

Hotel, Boutique Hotel

Dimly lit walkway in Shanghai Mansion, with four cushioned chairs before a large portrait of a woman on a wall
Courtesy of Shanghai Mansion / Expedia
Spend time discovering Bangkok’s historic Chinatown by staying right in its heart at the Shanghai Mansion. An opulent 1930s-inspired property, this boutique hotel radiates vintage glamour with freestanding bathtubs, jewel-coloured velvet furniture and swathes of brocade and silk. There’s nightly live jazz, a water garden lit by lanterns and a Chinese fusion restaurant. Meanwhile, staff can also share insider tips on the area’s best bars, street food stalls and century-old coffee shops.

7. Prince Theatre Heritage Stay


Open-plan communal area at Prince Theatre Heritage Stay, with TVs, plus greenery hanging over tables and chairs
Courtesy of Prince Theatre Heritage Stay / Expedia

Part museum, part hotel, this unique property is a 100-year-old art-deco-inspired cinema with the original screen still in the lobby. It’s now home to four spacious suites and a range of dorm rooms with private pods, ideal for groups of friends or family travelling together. For those who want to mingle, the lobby serves cocktails inspired by vintage movies while classic films play on the big screen. There’s also a small exhibition detailing the building’s fascinating history – this is where to stay in Bangkok for an insightful visit.

8. Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel

Eco Hotel, Hotel, Boutique Hotel

Green towels folded into an elephant shape on a double bed in a plant-themed room at Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel
Courtesy of Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel / Hotels.com
A small, ecofriendly hotel in the traditional Phranakorn district, this property encourages guests to live within the local community and look beyond Bangkok’s tourist attractions. Its 31 rooms are made from recycled materials and even cleaned using ecofriendly products, while the on-site cafe serves vegetables grown in the rooftop garden. Elsewhere, communal classes including fruit carving, soap making and Thai cooking are held every day and are a great chance to meet other guests.

9. Noursabah Boutique Bed Bangkok

Bed and Breakfast

Skyline city views from bed in white-toned room with glass doors to its balcony at Noursabah Boutique Bed Bangkok
Courtesy of Noursabah Boutique Bed Bangkok / Expedia

Swerve the flashy five-stars and big-name properties, choosing this small-but-elegant boutique hotel inspired by Thai culture. There are double rooms and suites available as well as fantastic family and quadruple rooms for those travelling with friends. Less than half a mile (800m) from the Phaya Thai BTS station, the area is popular with the city’s Chinese and Thai Muslim community, and renowned as being where to stay in Bangkok for the city’s best street food.

10. VIE Hotel Bangkok


Open-air pool area with city views from soft lounger on wooden decking at VIE Hotel Bangkok, candlelit at dusk
Courtesy of VIE Hotel Bangkok / Expedia

This plush boutique hotel, steps from the BTS Skytrain Ratchathewi, is inspired by the nearby Jim Thompson House, a museum dedicated to the American silk entrepreneur. Expect vibrant silk in rich golds and reds at every turn and the city’s shopping district is on the doorstep if you feel inspired to take some home. Elsewhere, there’s a top-notch sushi bar and innovative French fine-dining restaurant if you can tear yourself away from the pool with stunning skyline views.

11. Ariyasom Villa

Boutique Hotel

Four-poster bed in room with green sofa, wooden table and green curtains at Ariyasom Villa
Courtesy of Ariyasom Villa / Expedia

Built as a family home in the 1940s, this beautiful 24-room boutique hotel feels like a well-kept secret in the heart of downtown Bangkok. Rooms are traditionally Thai with silk drapes, recycled teak floors and colourful fabrics while the hotel’s quiet leafy grounds, shaded pool and library make it easy to feel at home. A Buddhist monk gives meditation classes in the small spa, while the excellent restaurant serves healthy vegetarian dishes loved by the owners themselves.

Need a bit of relaxation on your Thailand trip? Make sure to book a spot in one of the top spa hotels in Bangkok.

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