The lobby in retro-style and one of the guestrooms at Bangkok Publishing Residence. Peerawat Jariyasombat
As travellers get bored with ordinary hotels, poshtels and themed hotels are stepping in. Steps from the busy Huai Khwang MRT, there is a unique place where backpackers know they can stay in style while exploring the city like locals.
Yim Huai Khwang Hostel differentiates itself from other hostels in the city with modern designs in sweet colours and with a minimalist style. Besides enjoying standard facilities, guests can have delicious meals quietly in a common area, or play the board games provided. Yim Huai Khwang defines itself as a poshtel.
The poshtel is a new hotel segment in Thailand.
It is placed between hostel and boutique hotel. It provides the basics of a hostel, such as bed and breakfast, but tops it up with superior-quality facilities such as a good mattress, personal TV and bathroom amenities. The poshtel defines its character through decorations, design and personalised services.
The wide range of facilities and services pushes Yim Huai Khwang to stand among the 10 best poshtels of 2017, as determined by Expedia.
Impressed by the cozy hostel atmosphere, design hotels, and boutique hotels in Europe, Chotirat Apiwattanapong decided to open one in Bangkok. His Yim Huai Khwang poshtel offers 15 rooms with 28 bunk beds, complete with a coffee shop. However, what he seriously focuses on is service.
“We treat our guests the same way we treat our friends in our home,” Chotirat explains. “Different from guests who stay in standard hotels, our guests are looking for the local stuff and local places. Of course, we do our best to search for information for them. The difficult part is we have to guess what they like and what they do not like. It is quite difficult, as their interest may be beyond our expectations.”
The poshtel is mushrooming in major destinations across Thailand. If you notice, you may find a number of them growing in famous destinations like riverside areas or in the old towns.
On the bustling Dinso Road in Bangkok, the Printing House Poshtel is set among an enclave rich with cultural attractions, hundreds of food shops and food stalls which lure diners around the clock.
The brand new poshtel has been adapted from an old printing house, which can be dated back some 60 years. Of course, some rare books and equipment from the past, like old typewriters, make for excellent decorative items in the poshtel.
“Some travellers expect more than facilities and a relaxing atmosphere from hotels. They prefer to stay amid a local ambience and cultivate experiences from the trip,” says Waranya Tipayaphan, owner of the Printing House Poshtel, who has been in the hotel business for more than 20 years. He believes that tourists have more specific demands compared to the past.
“In the past, Thailand had only hostels for backpackers,” he says. “Actually there are different grades of backpackers. Some of them may be business people looking for unique places to stay after completing their business missions.
“Having had enough with business hotels, they are more independent and prefer staying in hotels they like, trying new types of street food and living like the locals.”
That is the reason the Printing House Poshtel offers among the best facilities among hostels available here, such as a superior quality mattress, spacious bed, personal TV, refrigerator and bathroom amenities. Some poshtels and hotels in Thailand are developing their stories to impress guests. Some come with unique themes you may never think about, such as Mustang Nero, a hotel decorated in the theme of a safari, or Sook Station, which has a prison theme. Some travellers also love to spend nights in hotels and poshtels under the themes of school, designer lofts and warehouses.
One of the best examples of themed hotels is Bangkok Publishing Residence, located a short drive away. The brand-new hotel comes with only eight guestrooms. Though adapted from an old building, it has been beautifully transformed into half-museum, half-hotel, which allows guests to drift into the past, when books and magazines played significant roles. Old machines and tools from yesteryear create a charming atmosphere at the museum, while chic furniture gives the cozy feeling of home.
“When guests come back, they may find this hotel with a new layout, with a new set of vintage furniture, depending on what furniture we get,” Panida Tosnaitada, managing director of NPY Development, which runs the hotel, says. The hotel’s unique interior designs attract a number of Thai tourists to come back over and over again, though the hotel has been open less than a year. Panida admits that she is not a hotelier but an art person, so she runs this hotel like a lively art space.
“My staff and I are artists, so we do it our way. We decorate this place, making it a charming home and serving our guests like relatives. Where they want to go, what they want to do — we will find it out for them,” she says. The gap between hotels and hostels is shrinking. People in the hospitality business are trying their best to develop dream accommodation to meet ever-changing demands.
The friendly and modern atmosphere of Yim Huai Khwang Hostel. Peerawat Jariyasombat
Nice interior decoration at the Printing House Poshtel. Peerawat Jariyasombat