King One Apartment is a two-star hotel located near Bangkok’s impossible to pronounce Suvarnabhumi International Airport. With 70 rooms, it offers cheap sleeps for travelers arriving in the wee hours or departing on early morning flights. So how was my stay?
Why would I splash out on a Business Class airplane ticket to Bangkok and then spend my first night in two-star hotel?
The reason was simple: I didn’t want to waste money on a room I was only going to spend a few hours in.
I was going to arrive at about midnight. I wanted a hotel as close to the airport as possible.
And I was planning to leave first thing in the morning, which I knew would probably end up being more like 12 noon.
When I started searching for a hotel on hotel booking websites, I was spoiled for choice.
There appeared to be dozens of hotels in close proximity to the airport, and there were hotels at all price ranges.
Did I need a swimming pool or a spa or a well-equipped fitness centre? Probably not because I wouldn’t have time to use them.
If I were departing on an early morning flight and wanted to stay at a hotel near the airport the night before, I might have opted for a hotel with something more to offer.
But that wasn’t the case. I was just going to spend a few hours there before showering, getting dressed, and heading to my real travel destination: Pattaya, a beach resort a 90-minute to two-hour drive away.
My Room …
My room was simple but clean. It really had everything I needed for an overnight stay – plus some!
There was a refrigerator larger than most of the refrigerators at the four- and five-star hotels I’ve stayed at.
It was stocked with soft drinks and beer. Not only was the beer not ridiculously overpriced (it was 50 baht), it was also a godsend for anyone like me arriving after midnight.
While there was a 24-hour mini-mart across the street, alcohol cannot be sold past midnight (and during odd intervals during the day) in Thailand.
Under Thai law, you can only buy alcohol between 11 am and 2 pm and between 5 pm and 12 midnight. For some strange reason, however, you CAN consume alcoholic beverages in food and beverage outlets during these periods. But I digress …
My room had a clothes closet, which I didn’t need because I was only planning to stay a few hours.
There was a table, which could be used as a workstation or to eat at. There was a flat-screen TV, which I didn’t turn on.
Best of all, the Wi-Fi was easy to log on to, the connection was stable during my stay, and the bed had a very comfortable mattress. I slept like a log.
The Bathroom …
The bathroom was simple but clean, with a toilet, a small sink, and a mirror. Some of the comments I read on hotel booking websites mentioned that the towels were frayed.
That was, in fact, true. But that didn’t bother me. As long as they were clean, that was the only thing I was concerned with.
The Shower …
The shower was a bit unusual. It appeared to be an outdoor space, which had been turned into a shower.
For privacy, wooden slats had been installed, which I was able to peak through while showering.
Unfortunately, the slats prevented light from entering the room, and there were no other windows.
The Facilities …
The hotel had a common area with a lounge and a makeshift fitness room with some downmarket apparatus.
There was also a pool table and the kind of punching bag that Muay Thai practitioners practise kickboxing on.
The Neighborhood …
According to the website I booked my room on, the hotel had a 24-hour bar/lounge and offered breakfast, but it was not included in the price of the room.
According to the woman on duty, however, the food and beverage service had been discontinued. Which just goes to prove, you can’t believe everything you read on line.
It didn’t really matter, however, because there were two well-stocked mini-marts across the street, several cafes, and some portable food vendors.
I purchased yogurt, a cup of granola, and a bottle of orange juice to consume in my room for breakfast along with the complimentary Nescafe in the mini-bar.
A friend I met on board my flight from Hong Kong to Bangkok showed me how to avoid the long lines at the taxi rank upon arrival at Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Otherwise, I would have wished I had booked a hotel offering a shuttle.
The fare from the airport to the hotel was 73 baht. I gave the driver a 100 baht bill and told him to keep the change. That was the equivalent of HK$25 or roughly US$3.00, including the tip.
I mentioned upon check-in that I would needed transportation to Pattaya in the morning.
When I went down into the lobby in the morning, the woman at the from desk had been informed of this and asked if I would like her to book a taxi for me.
She checked the fare and said it would be 2,000 baht, which is roughly HK$500, or US$60. I had forgotten to check what the fare should be, but it seemed reasonable, considering the distance.
I had written down the name of the hotel, but forgotten to write down the address. The woman checked it for me on the Internet.
The woman at the front desk and the hotel maid helped me with my luggage when the taxi driver arrived.
I asked them to tell him I didn’t want any texting or phone calls during the trip. They laughed, assuring me that wouldn’t happen.
As some as I got in the cab, the driver showed me a DVD and inserted it into a DVD player above the dashboard.
The music was excellent. After about 30 minutes I discovered there was a screen on the dashboard I could watch.
I must say, the music helped pass the time. This sure beat taking the shuttle, the way I did on my last trip from Bangkok to Phuket.
For Future Reference …
In the future, I will try to remember to not only write down the address of a hotel I want to be taken to. I will also try to remember to write down the phone number, as well.
The driver wasn’t familiar with the lay of Pattaya and needed to call ahead to get directions. The same thing happened when I booked a taxi in Pattaya to take me from one hotel to another. The driver also had to call ahead.
If I want to book a hotel near the airport, I will also make sure they offer a pick-up service.
Taxis in Bangkok might be cheap, but the lines at the airport can be breathtakingly long.
King One Apartments – 789 Moo 9, Soi Lat Krabang 14/1, Lat Krabang Rd., Bang Phli, Bangkok, Thailand.