A Hostel can be a wonderfull place. Its staff can make you feel like home away from home, it can be a hub for travelers, it can help you meet the most amazing people and charm you with it's atmosphere. Or it can be none of these things, just a dirty matress in a room as hot as a sauna.
I chose Hello Bangkok Guesthouse because of its great location and the affordable prices. Arriving at 6 am, after an 11h flight next to the most annoying italian lady I've ever met, the only thing that kept me on my feet was the thought of sinking into a soft bed and sleeping like a baby.
I booked a mixed dorm with aircon. From my last visit to Thailand I knew that i'm not a fan of fans (hah). As I said the Location of this Guesthouse is great, at the end of Soi Kraisi Street, opposite a colourfull chinese Temple and with a lovely view of the golden Bell of Wat Bowonniwet. It's right in the center, 5 min. to Kaosan Road and in my humble opinion the much nicer Rambuttri Alley. Even tough it's so close to the touristic area, this street shows a lot of Thai life, you have people selling fried fish for breakfast in the morning, monks in their orange robes collecting food, a little market with mainly clothes in the afternoon and small soup kitchens were the thais sit and eat untill the early morning hours. It's nice!
The Hostel Lobby is shared with a Five Star Coffee (that's not my rating but the name), they sell coffee, drinks and fast food. So you check in next to a display case with chicken that looks like it was burried with one of the egyptian pharaos 2000 years ago. The Hotel staff is a mix of lovely Thai people of all ages who even speak some basic english. As I said - basic. Besides doing Hostel Reception they also serve in the "restaurant" so for check in I had to wait until the reception girl was done serving coffee. After some paperwork (my hostelworld online reservation was found immediatly) I was handed a key, bed No. 7 was all mine and so and made my way up the stairway (no elevator). Luckily my dorm room was on the first floor of 5.
So the first thing I noticed when entering the dorm room (6 Beds) was the heat. I'm not talking about the 32 degrees of regular stinky Bangkok big city heat I mean heat as hot and like a sauna filled with a sweaty soccer team (not that I've ever been in a sauna with a soccer team but you get the picture). I was shure the site I booked on statet it was a dorm with A/C but this was a fan room. I was so tired that I just dropped my bag and tried to climb to one of the top bunk beds. Bed No. 7 was allready occupied with a drunk backpacker snoring peacefully. I tried to be as quiet as possible, which was not easy because the metall frame was pretty shaky and squeky. Finally I made it and rested my tired body on the dirty pillow and the even dirtier blanket, closed my eyes and was ready to sink into the land of dreams. 5 seconds later I sat back up. Even tough the fan was as loud as an airplane it managed to get absolutely no cool air in my direction. I begann to regret choosing a top bunk because up here it was even hotter and every time I moved my bed protested by making more squeky sounds. After trying to ignore all this out of sheer desperation and giving up again a couple of times I climbed down and tried my luck with the lower bunk bed. Aaahh sweet cool fan air in my face. After a few hours of well deserved sleep I made the mistake of entering the shower (did something die in here?) I decided that this would be my first and last night in the Hello Bangkok Dorm.
So if you want great service, clean rooms, comfortable beds and great atmosphere; don't come here. You know what they say: you get what you pay for. If you're just looking for a cheap place in a great location this could be the place for you!
Mixed Dorm with Fan: 200 Baht
Dorm with A/C: 300 Baht
Single Room with A/C: 700 Baht