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Reviewed 27 July 2012

We had a 2 night stay in Bangkok before heading to the Thai islands and Riverview Guest House is where we stayed. It was very difficult to find. We had a map printed off from the website that we gave to our cab driver, and he still had to stop at least 5 times to ask for directions. No one had any idea where we were supposed to go. It is tucked away in a little alley that a car can barely fit down. It is located in Chinatown in a very industrial neighbourhood. Block after block of metal and repair shops. The reason we did choose this place was that it was within walking distance of the train station, which worked out great for us.

The room was spacious, but there was a pretty strong smell from the bathroom. We were happy to only have had to stay for 2 nights. Not specifically in this guest house, but in Bangkok period. This place did have a lovely rooftop restaurant that had a great view of the river and city. The food was pretty good too.

Date of stay: August 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Beppster
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 20 July 2012

What you will notice first about this place is the problem finding it. It is located in some back-alley maze, and cars can not drive all the way up to the guest house.

The neighborhood looks quite rough, and people living here are poor, really really poor. Travellers might not want to make the walk back to the guest house at night alone. The dark alleys can be eerily quiet. I must point out however that my girlfriend and I never felt threatened or unsafe. Well, except for the once or twice when we met some hostile dogs in an alley next to the guest house, that was quite an uncomfortable situation.

As you might have realised by now, this place is not suitable for your regular average-city-hotel tourist. Expect the other guests to be backpackers and the likes.

There are different kinds of rooms in the guest house. I seem to remember we stayed in a standard room. The room was quite big but was in dire need of a renovation. There was a fridge in the room. We opened the fridge door to have a look inside, and I really wish we hadn't. Out came the most foul smell and judging by the mold and mildew, whatever items had been left in the fridge had been there for A LONG time. We closed the fridge door quickly and did not open it again!

There was a gap under the door to our room. Maybe about 1-2cm (.5 of an inch). At night when our room was dark the light from the hallway shined in. That was no problem in itself, but when you saw the shadows or rats passing by the door...well, that was not as fun.

The rats were also in the rooms, but we did not find out about that until later. We had some cookies still in their plastic packaging laying on a cupboard. When we were leaving Bangkok we put the cookies in our luggage and left. When we got back home and unpacked, we noticed the packaging had been chewed through and the contents had been nibbled on. How lovely!

Our room was on the 2nd floor, and there was no elevator to that floor, so we had to walk through the guest house via a laundry room/hallway, and then get to a staircase there. At night some people were sleeping in this part of the hotel...probably staff and their families. The staircase and the 2nd floor hallway were full of building materials and junk. At our arrival there was a cockroach on the staircase landing that seemed to be alive (but just barely). Each day when we got back to the guest house we noted how far it had managed to crawl that day, it was about 10-15cm (half a foot) the first 2 days, then I guess it died because it didn't move the following 3-4 days. The most interesting thing about this was that the guest house staff did not seem to care that there was a dead cockroach lying there for a week...

The guest house had free WiFi in the lobby, but we could even manage to access it from our 2nd floor room. However, the WiFi-router in the lobby had an overheating problem, so at night the front desk staff turned it off until morning for it to cool down. It took a few days for me to figure out the problem and then I just asked them to leave it on. They had a rather good broadband connection so I could download movies to my laptop that I could watch as I continued my travels later.

Overall, this place was weird but in some ways still cozy. The idea to run a hotel/guest house at this location was strange, but it seemed to be popular. They also had a nice roof-top bar (that was also filled with building material and junk) that had a fantastic view at night. Of course, do not come here expecting the roof-top bar to be the kind of bars you find on top of hotels in the US or Europe because you will be disappointed. The elevator going to the roof-top bar was quite scary though, people afraid of modern western elevators should stand clear of this one!

The front desk woman was nice and helped us with getting our clothes washed etc.

Next time I visit Bangkok, I would probably opt for spending a few more $$$ and get a better place to stay, but for backpackers on a shoestring budget I guess it might be an option.

Room tip: You really get what you pay for at this place, if you really must stay here stay in one of the better rooms (above standard). If that makes the place expensive, choose a standard room at a proper hotel instead.
Date of stay: November 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Simon B
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 14 July 2012

My wife and I had a clean and relatively spacious room with a small balcony that indeed had a mostly unobstructed view of the river. Floors are clean, wood laminate material. The bed had no major problems, and the sheets seemed clean. The shower is not enclosed, though, so the toilet and sink may get wet when you shower--which is not atypical for a budget hotel. The location is great if you want to be close to the river and Chinatown. The rooftop bar has a fantastic river view, though there were few people in the bar during my stay. The people at the front desk were helpful enough to us, and we did not get an unfriendly vibe from them by any means.

BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE, this part of Chinatown is a rough-and-tumble light industrial area, and the hotel is close to engine repair shops and grimy light industrial businesses. The streets can be deserted at night. While there is much that should be of interest to tourists, Chinatown in Bangkok is a place where people work hard, and much of it doesn't beckon with the friendly face that Chinatowns have in San Francisco, New York, etc. So, if you haven't been here before, be prepared. If you're prepared for this, and you're okay with budget accommodations on a tiny side street, then the River View Guest House should suit you fine. We had a great time using Chinatown as our base on a 2-day stopover in Bangkok.

Date of stay: May 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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2  Thank LorenzoAtlanta
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 18 May 2012

The guesthouse is located directly on the river near chinatown market. The view from the roof top restaurant is outstanding and the service staff friendly and nice! The rooms are quite big for the price but unfortunatly not always clean. All in all the guest house and espcially the restaurant is worth a visit!

Date of stay: February 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
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5  Thank Gio1895
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 7 May 2012

I don't normally bother leaving reviews for places I stay at, but having recently visited River View Guesthouse I felt compelled to share my experiences.

My partner and I spent a considerable amount of time searching for suitable accommodation in Bangkok and eventually settled on this hotel. We booked a room in advance, but ended up leaving immediately because we were extremely disappointed with the rooms.

Firstly, the place is very hard to find. Our taxi driver drove for ages trying to locate the hotel and eventually we had to get out of the car and find it on foot . Walking though numerous tiny streets (which seemed to be a part of Bangkok which contained dozens of little automobile shops displaying rusty old car parts scattered on the floor) we eventually manged to find the hotel after 10 minutes of confusion.

We reserved the "Urban Chic' room which was located on the second floor. We were told that the elevator did not go to that floor and had to get a lift to the 3rd floor and then walk down a flight of stairs to get the 2nd floor. Slightly annoying, but no major problem.

Once we arrived on the right floor, I was shocked that the foyer area looked like a building site as it was evident that all of the rooms on the floor were unfinished, with cement, tools and rubbish lying across the dirty concrete floors. I was able to recognise our room immediately, as it was the only one which had the exterior painted. Why the hotel decided to rent the room out on a unfinished floor is unknown to me. OK, we were booking the room and not the foyer area, but it would have been nice not to have to walk through a building site to get to our room.

Upon entering the room, things did not get any better. We had decided to book this room based on numerous factors including the information found from the hotel's own website. When viewing the website, the rooms looked amazing, but in reality, the rooms did not match up to the standard of the photographs shown on the site. The floor and ceiling were bare concrete and the decor looked like it was some secondhand cheap Ikea furniture. The room we booked also boasted of a 'City View'. If you call looking out towards some grey shabby looking buildings and some air conditioning units a 'city view' I guess you would be happy.

After 2 minutes we decided not to stay and went to reception to advise we would be leaving. The woman accepted this and we apologised for the inconvenience caused. Things started to get ugly though, when she advised that she would not be refunding 100 baht as we "had already used the room". We had barely been in the room for more than 2 minutes and spent most of that time discussing what we should do and made no use of the facilities whatsoever. This was explained to the woman but she refused and said it would take extra time to clean up our mess. I explained that we had not used anything and that she would be welcome to check the rooms for herself and insisted that she refund our full amount and said sorry once again. Her reply was a curt " Stop saying sorry!" and I could sense her getting angry. We held firm and with emotions beginning to rise she eventually she gave us our money back by slapping it on the counter.

Their website stated that their hotel is "not for the faint hearted". Now I understand exactly what they mean.

Clearly, River View Guesthouse hired a very good photographer and copywriter for their website and I would advise travelers to read carefully the reviews listed on here. However, some of the more positive reviews found here are suspicious if you ask me and I think the staff have contributed a number of their own biased reviews.

Date of stay: May 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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7  Thank DigitalNomadic
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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