I first stayed at the Wild Orchid Villa in Bangkok in 2010 when I visited Thailand with the travel company ThaIntro (check out part 1 and part 2 of my week with ThaItnro for more on what I got up to!). I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the décor (and the effectiveness of the aircon in the luxury rooms we had,) and I was totally sold. I have a confession to make, and it probably makes me sound like a terrible ‘backpacker’ but I’ll tell you anyway. I’ve stayed there three times since. That’s right, every time I’ve stopped in Bangkok I’ve ended up back at the Wild Orchid. Here’s why:
Wild Orchid Villa is located about a five minute walk from the Khaosan Road. The hostel is close enough to reach the action, day or night, at a moment’s notice, but far enough away that you can expect a quiet night’s sleep when you eventually make it back to bed. The hostel is across the road from an ATM, on the corner is a bank where you can change currency, and on your walk to the Khaosan Road you will pass many market stalls and tempting restaurants. It’s a great area for first time travellers to Bangkok – you’ll feel right in the middle of it all!
The communal area of Wild Orchid is beautifully decorated. Its well thought out design makes it welcoming to guests, but also anyone who wants to sit down and have a meal or drink. The open front allows you to people watch to your hearts content, or just make friends with the person next to you! The food Wild Orchid offers is great too. From ice shakes to traditional Thai dishes, there’s a real mix on the menu. Prices are reasonable too, making it the perfect stop for a quick breakfast or snack before heading out to explore.
I’ve stayed in two different types of room at Wild Orchid; the ‘Standard’ twin room with aircon (the cheapest ensuite room in the Hostel,) and the ‘Economy’ single room with shared bathroom and fan, (the cheapest room full stop).
Image property of Wild Orchid Villa
The ‘Standard’ twin room is spacious and feels incredibly luxurious for a hostel. There is a daily cleaning service, two comfortable twin beds (with the squidgiest, softest pillows ever), a desk and an ensuite wet room containing a sink, western toilet and shower. There’s also a window with some sort of industrial view depending on your location in the building. The ‘Standard’ twin starts at 700 THB (about £14) per night during low season which it works out at 350 THB when split – it’s not bad for the quality of room provided.
Grainy ‘Economy’ single pic!
The ‘Economy’ single is a pretty antisocial option, but hey, we all have those times when we just want a bit of time to recuperate! I stayed in the ‘Economy’ single on the last night of my trip in 2010. I was completely burnt out, having spent a couple of days in hospital mid trip, and powered on through until the end. Having said goodbye to all my other travel buddies, I just needed some peace and quiet to prepare myself for a non-stop flight home early the next morning. The room was as small as you would expect, but it was enough room for myself and my huge backpack. The fan, too, wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. In fact, I was so cold that I had to use my travel towel as an extra blanket, which is rare in humid Bangkok! I’m not fussy when it comes to sharing bathrooms, and thanks to the great cleaning staff they were spick and span every time I used them. ‘Economy’ singles are 600 TBH (£12) per night, which is pricey for a lone traveller. However, I was willing to pay it to ensure a quiet night’s sleep before my journey home!
The one thing that this hostel lacks is the typical ‘hostel’ atmosphere. Although group trips are organised by the hostel, there’s no sense of ‘community’ here. Most people we met were travelling in groups, and due to the ‘luxury’ sense of the building, it’s also a place where many families or older travellers stay. It makes for a great mix of people if you push yourself to get chatting to others around you. The restaurant downstairs is lively throughout the day, but you’d never guess it from the peaceful bedrooms above. The whole hostel has a very ‘safe’ atmosphere, although the safes themselves are located in the downstairs restaurant/communal area! The safes can be seen from reception and there are security cameras too. I had no problem with them!
Image property of Villa Cha Cha
Wild Orchid has a travel agent in the downstairs restaurant/communal area. Airport transfers, day trips, travel tickets, or simple directions can be obtained from here. There are no ‘activities’ to do on site at the hostel, but Wild Orchid is sister hostels with Villa Cha Cha, which has a swimming pool. Wild Orchid guests can buy a pass to use the Villa Cha Cha pool for a small daily fee. It’s totally worth it when Bangkok is at it’s most humid to be able to cool down in the pool.
Would I recommend it?
Yes, I would. Bangkok is crazy enough for me without staying in a lively dorm. Plus, Bangkok has become a bit of a stopover for me when I travel to Asia, meaning I want a good first night and last night’s sleep on my trip. Wild Orchid is reliable for a quiet, comfy bed, plus good food and a safe atmosphere, which ticks all my boxes.
Visit Wild Orchid Villa:
8 Sol Chana Songhkram Bangkok, (02) 629 4378, www.wildorchidvilla.com