Staff Picks hotel review: BelAire Bangkok
The right hotel room can make or break your vacay. What you want is a great base with all the mod cons right in the middle of all the partying/shopping/entertainment action and close to transport if you want to go further afield – right? Well, you’re in luck. Our Staff Picks hotels have been personally vetted by our very own consultants to give it the A-OK before you stay. Student Flights Swanston Street Store Manager Jen Wilson recently tested out the facilities at the BelAire Bangkok hotel – here’s her review.
Every time I visit Bangkok I always see things I haven’t seen before. And this time was no different. I stayed at the BelAire Bangkok hotel (previously known as the Bel Aire Princess), which is right in the centre of Bangkok on busy Sukhumvit Road and super close to everything – shopping centres, major attractions, clubs and markets. My first impressions were that the hotel was way more fancy than I could afford, and that was just the lobby! They even opened the door for me! The BelAire Bangkok is a really nice hotel with all the mod cons you need without being pretentious or out of my budget. The hotel has heaps of great facilities – a large outdoor swimming pool on the 3rd floor with a poolside bar, a restaurant, bar and a gym (in case you’re feeling athletic after that hero lap around the pool table). And the breakfast is awesome!
My Superior Room was spacious with an ensuite and a view of central Bangkok. I’m pretty sure it has everything you need – a king-size bed, air-conditioning (much needed – Bangkok is hot – damn hot!), flatscreen TV and a mini-fridge. The Staff Picks hotel package also includes a free welcome cocktail (served in an awesome souvenir tuk-tuk cup that you get to keep!), free wi-fi throughout the hotel (so I could take pics at the rooftop pool) and the complimentary breakfast – yum...
Being close to all the action means I could pack in a lot during my four-night stay. I visited Khao San Road a.k.a. backpacker central, went on a canal tour, saw a ladyboy cabaret show, checked out the Chinatown area and saw heaps of temples. I also went ziplining on a canopy tour through the jungle at Flight of the Gibbon, about one hour outside of Bangkok. It’s three kilometres long with heaps of platform stations and hanging sky bridges and amazing views.
All too often, backpackers and students get caught up trying to do things on their own, like I did on previous visits, but in the end, it kind of works to have some activities organised that you otherwise wouldn’t have done. I saw a whole new side to Bangkok and there is certainly more to the city than Khao San Road! With such a great location, free extras and a really nice room, I felt this hotel was totally value for money and I’d definitely come back and stay at BelAire Bangkok.