What does “heritage” mean? For a lot of people, the word heritage is evocative of a building from a different era which has survived into the present day. Bangkok has some lovely such buildings, although sadly many are disappearing due to rapacious property development.
But in south east Asia, “heritage” is also an adjective for a style of hotel regardless of its age, like “boutique” or “vintage”. A lot of Thais do not like old buildings because they feel they may be haunted, so a new built hotel in a heritage style can be quite attractive to them even if westerners may regard such buildings as somewhat inauthentic.
Thus we have the Siri Heritage Hotel, almost brand new but borrowing many cues from a “heritage” style.
I booked this on the day of arrival through Agoda (despite my reservations about them). The price for a room was $475. I feel Bangkok had become markedly more expensive across the board in the past couple of years and this was another example of that – even in the quieter season, there were few hotels available in this price range. The room had no bath and no real view, so while it was nice, it wasn’t cheap for what it was.
This was located close to Khao San Road, within walking distance of the Royal Palace and similar attractions. I almost never stay in this area of Bangkok, which I regard as quite cut off. I rued choosing it for this stay – the first taxi driver refused to take me, the second got lost even with the address in Thai and the third one simply dropped me in the broad area, leaving me to walk around to find the hotel myself. When I left, the first taxi I hailed also refused to take me on the meter, this being a tourist area. Grab is not always the bargain it is cracked up to be – I find it can be quite a bit costlier than taxis – but at least Grab will have a firm address for the driver to orient himself by.
Although I find this part of town a bit remote, it really depends what you like. As a tourist – especially a first time visitor – to Bangkok, the proximity to many of the historical attractions is a plus. There are lots of food options close to the hotel, which is not always the case in Bangkok. Plus the area is low-rise and despite being touristy does feel more Thai in style than some of the rapidly developed parts of the city which have taken on a blander, international character.
The room had a large bed, cupboard, a small table with a couple of chairs, a fridge and so on – a comfortable place to pass some time. The floor was laid in varnished hardwood, which is a treat to walk on barefoot. The bed was large but the sheets felt like polycotton not cotton so were quite warm, which in the Bangkok climate is not comfortable.
There was a tiny balcony looking out onto neighbouring buildings.
The bathroom was decorated in quite a thoughtful design, from its tilework to its brass finished fixtures. But it wasn’t functionally designed – there was no glass (or soap, or anything) beside the sink and the shower was fixed at a certain height and angle which was not convenient for me.
There is a medium sized swimming pool in the central part of the hotel. In the lobby during the day there are free simple packaged snacks and coffee, which is a nice welcoming touch.
The staff were friendly. Both at checkin and leaving, I was attended by (different) Filipino staff, which is an interesting reflection on how tight Bangkok’s labour market is currently.
The design of this hotel is pleasing and the location is very good as long as you want to be in the old part of town. The room was comfortable with some annoyances which could easily be fixed. I didn’t think it was great value for the price, though.