Over the course of this trip, I sampled a lot of hotels in Bangkok. Some reviews you’ve already seen, some will come later. Of all the hotels I stayed at in Bangkok, the A-Loft was by far the cheapest, and it was also by far the best. I wouldn’t even think of staying at another hotel on a future trip to Bangkok unless I had urgent business in another part of the city and it was essential that I stay nearby.
I introduced probably 5-10 people to this hotel during my various swings through town and all of them were shocked by how nice it was, doubly shocked by the price and the majority said something like “Well f*ck, i’m paying X amount (twice as much) to stay at INSERT HOTEL up the road and this is much nicer.” They then checked out and joined the A-Loft fan club.
The location on Sukhumvit Soi 11 is great. You are 1-block away from the Nana Plaza BTS stop, you are across the street from the nightclub BED, which is the most exclusive high end night club in Bangkok (which doesn’t mean a whole lot). There are tons of restaurants and shopping options around. If you’re looking for sleaze you’re a short ride from Soi Cowboy or the Nana Entertainment Complex; and if you’re looking for great tailoring, you are about a block and a half away from Narin Couture (between Sukhumvit 8/10), where I had some top notch sport coats made (ones that I would put up against jackets made in NY, London, Etc…).
The A-Loft is designed to be a “little brother” chain to the W. This means it shares many of the design features without the high price tag. I haven’t stayed at other A-Loft properties, but I have stayed at a number of W’s, and this felt more like a carbon copy of a W than a scaled down version to me.
You arrive up a raised circular driveway, then ascend a quick staircase and enter the (always) well air conditioned lobby. There were at least 3-4 working people on the desk 24/7 whenever I was in the lobby. Past the desk there is an elevator bank on the right. Along the left side of the lobby there are some chairs and couches to sit in and in the back there is a bistro type place where you can get quick food or drink for take-away. One floor above the lobby there is a bar with a nice seating area, light food and interesting drinks made with molecular gastronomy methods. A few floors above the lobby there is an outdoor pool with a gym nearby (small, but very nice top of the line gym equipment) and a sit down restaurant one or two floors above the pool.
The fixtures and hallways are all done in the typical sleek, modern and minimalist style of the W hotels worldwide. The rooms are also very nicely appointed, with a mini-bar, safe, TV and phone. In some of the “touch” rooms, an iPod is used as a universal controller for everything in the room, though this hasn’t been rolled out across the entire hotel. The beds are very comfortable, and my only gripe is that there is only a shower and no bathtub.
There are so many things to love about this hotel. It has a “cool” factor (virtually all the guests are young people), the WiFi is free, it’s a great place to have drinks before going out (They even have BeerLao in the bar!), staying in the hotel gets you free admission to BED, stays of multiple nights generally come with food & beverage credits, there is 24/7 room service and the room rate is generally between $60-$80 USD / night. The room is the same price whether it is one or two beds, so if you are splitting with a friend, you will essentially be paying $30/night for a 5-star hotel experience. Viva la A-Loft!
A-Loft Report Card
Pros: Great location, nice bar, 24/7 room service, free wifi, pool, gym, helpful welcoming staff, free entrance to BED nightclub across the street, comfortable bed, modern stylish & clean rooms, low prices.
Cons: No bathtubs, room service is “meh.”
Verdict: Would I stay here again? I wouldn’t stay anywhere else in Bangkok. The Mandarin-Oriental can go jump off a bridge for all I care.