We stayed at the Swan hotel for 3 nights at the start of our trip in Thailand and then rebooked again for another night at the end because we were very happy with it. We found discounted room rates on asiarooms.com which worked out just over 1000 baht (£21 ish) a night for a double room including breakfast which seemed good value for Bangkok. The hotel is in the Silom area (the business and gem district) which is quite a quiet area but we chose it for:
a) easy access to the river for the ferry - it is absolutely perfect for access to the river (only a 5-10 min walk) via the pier of the Oriental Hotel - here you can get the ferry boats (look for the orange flag) up the river to the pier for the Royal Palace and Wat Pho, or you can charter a long tail for a tour of the canals and floating market on the other side of the river (Thornburi)
b) easy access to the sky train - just walk up the soi (small road where the hotel is) back to the main road and turn right, then walk for about 10 min to the Skytrain station. The skytrain is absolutely fantastic - very frequent, very easy to use (you hand over a note at the ticket office and they give you 5 and 10 baht coins to use to buy a ticket using the machines), nice views of the city, and air-conditioned (lush in the Bangkok heat). We used the skytrain loads to go out in the evenings (to see Patpong, the Sun Lum night bazaar) and the Chatuchak weekend market and MBK mall during the day.
We specifically didn't want to stay in the Khao San road area (although visited it one evening which was great) and was wary of staying around the Sala Daeng or Nana areas due to the sex trade etc. and it was perfect location for everything we wanted to do. The only exception was getting back from the Royal Palace/Khao San road areas in the evening when the boats had stopped running but tuk-tuks and taxis are plentiful and cheap. It was also nice to be in an area that isn't too commercialised like the main Siam Square area where the malls are - on the walk to the Skytrain there is a local thai market (Bank Rak market) and loads of local thai food stalls and shops and even a school which adds to the atmosphere.
The hotel is medium size with the rooms arranged in a square around a lovely central pool which many people were using. Our room was very large - quite basic if you're used to posh hotels but absolutely fine for us. We had a good TV with BBC world, fantastic air-conditioning, free water, a fridge, huge comfortable bed and nice bathroom. There is only hot water in the mornings and evenings but this wasn't a problem atall as we were out during the day. We did use the showers a couple of times out of these hours and they weren't cold anyway - just luke warm but that was fine in the stifling Bangkok heat - nice actually.
We got free breakfast included in our room rate, which was fruit juice or a lovely fresh fruit plate, tea or coffee, toast with jam, and eggs (your choice) with bacon or sausage. The restaurant where you have breakfast is also open all day and you can sit out by the pool - we had ice cream and drinks there one day and lunch another and the food was very good.
The hotel also has internet which you buy vouchers for at the main desk and a printing service - although quite expensive. The staff on the main desk were always friendly and helpful to us and carried our bags to our room. Be careful if you need a taxi though - there is always one (and a tuk-tuk) waiting outside which they try to get you to use but it seems to have a deal with the hotel and tries to rip you off - they refuse to use the meter and charge you 2-3 x what you should be paying. We got stung by this once when they had already put our bags in the boot - the next time when we needed to go back to the airport we just walked up the road 2 mins to the main road and a meter taxi stopped for us there. Make sure you always ask for a 'meter' taxi. Also, the staff in the cafe cvould have been a bit more friendly. Lastly, the hotel happily lets you use the room until whatever time you want the day you are supposed to check out for a half day fee, which was really handy for us the first day we left when we had to get the overnight sleeper train, and the second time, when we left for the aiport, because it meant we could go out all day then return and have a shower just before we left
Overall, the hotel was perfect for our needs and we would have quite happily stayed there longer.
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