Conference goers in Bangkok often don’t spend much time at their hotels. Does it make more sense to book a cheaper hotel close to the convention and exhibition centre even if it doesn’t have many facilities?
Varinda Hostel / Apartment is located just 5 minutes from the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok, Thailand – on foot! The rooms are spacious and clean, and the beds are comfortable. Could you ask for anything more?
The last time I attended a conference in Bangkok I was put up at a gorgeous 5-star hotel, but it was on the other side of town. So …
Despite the hotel’s excellent facilities – there was a swimming pool, a fitness centre, a spa, 2 restaurants, and a lounge – I didn’t get to use any of them during my stay.
Most disappointing of all, the hotel was located on the other side of town from the conference site. Getting back and forth between the hotel and the convention site was more time consuming, more expensive, and less comfortable than it needed to be.
When I decided to attend TBEX Asia, a.k.a. Travel Blogger Exchange Asia 2015, I decided that location was more important than the hotel’s facilities. No point in having a swimming pool if you don’t have any free time to swim.
I was hoping for a find a hotel close enough to the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center that I could return to it in the event there was a gap between the afternoon and evening activities – as happened on my last stay.
I logged on to Hotels.com and searched according to distance from the venue of the conference, the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre.
The closest listing, the Varinda Hostel/Apartment, was also the cheapest: a mere US$18 a night! I looked at the map, and it looked close. I looked at the pictures of the hotel rooms, and they looked fine.
One of the things I liked was that I could cancel up until 48 hours before arrival without having to pay anything. So I booked a room for 3 nights.
“I can always change my mind,” I thought.
The room is MUCH larger than I was expecting. There is a king size bed and a single bed (which I’m using to put my stuff on).
The refrigerator is larger than what I’ve had at any but the POSHEST of 5 star resorts I have stayed at. The toilet is small, but the shower is large. The water heater, however, is a bit confusing. I can’t figure out how to adjust the setting.
Best of all, it’s extremely clean – freshly painted, very bright, and totally cheerful.
Regarding the location, it is a 5-minute walk from the hotel to Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre by way of the MRT station. There is also a mini-mart across the lane from the hostel.
The room has a television but no telephone (you can use the phone in the lobby). There is free Wi-Fi. Soap, shampoo, and towels are provided, but no toothbrushes, toothpaste, or shaving kits.
That’s the good news. The bad news is the Internet connection is unstable. On one of my 3 nights at the hostel, I am able to get on line by sitting outside near the lobby, and I get stuff done. No such luck the other 2 nights.
I would give this hostel a qualified thumb’s up. If you want to be as close to the convention and exhibition center as possible, I can’t think of a better place.
And you cannot beat the price!
If you need a reliable Internet connection, however, you might want to find another hotel – unless, of course, you don’t mind surfing the net at the convention centre and giving it a rest in the evening.
If you book a room at this hostel, make sure to copy the phone number so that you can give it to the taxi driver.
It is located on a small lane, and it is unlikely he can find it without seeking directions. The hostel also doesn’t have a website. So you’ll have to book through a 3rd party website such as Hotels.com.