Are Luxury Designer Hostels the New Way to Travel? Review: iSanook Hostel, Bangkok

With the air conditioning up high, you pull the sumptuous fluffy mattress up to your chin and snuggle down for a good night’s sleep at iSanook Hostel in Bangkok. Who would have thought that backpacking could be so comfortable? As you lay your head down on the thick, fluffy pillow you smile as you start to drift off into a relaxing sleep… ‘My friends back home all think I’m roughing it! If only they knew the truth…’

Backpacker hostels are becoming more and more luxurious these days, with a real focus on cutting edge interior design, high quality amenities and a range of modern facilities that you probably didn’t even have back home! We spent a few nights at the just-opened iSanook Hostel located near Chinatown in downtown Bangkok to see just how good life as a backpacker can get!

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Here’s a visual walking tour of what we think is one of the poshest digs in town…

Let the tour begin! 

The Lobby…

From the moment you step into the lobby of iSanook Hostel you realise that this is no ordinary hostel. The place is spotlessly clean, bright, colourful interior design and trendy furniture. You could be mistaken for thinking that you’d just stepped into an art gallery, rather than a hostel. The atmosphere is chilled out and you instantly worry that this haven of tranquility could prevent you from ever leaving to explore the city!

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The Dorm Rooms

The dorm rooms are designed to perfection with everything you need to make you feel safe and at home get a good, private night’s sleep. There’s air conditioning and fast speed WIFI so you can relax in comfort whilst you send emails home about your travels!

One of the highlights for sure, are the extremely thick and comfortable mattresses and the fluffy high quality bedding. Each bed has its own locker, two power sockets, reading light and towel. There are 4-bed, 6-bed and 8-bed dorms available and you can decide between mixed or all female dorms.

Their opening promotion price is just 290 THB / night for a luxury bed in an 8-bed dorm (that’s just $8 USD!) 350 THB for 6-bed dorm and 400 THB for 4-bed dorm. (Reserve your bed now on Hostelworld to make sure you take advantage of this ridiculous opening price!)

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8-Bed Dorm
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6-Bed Dorm
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4-Bed Dorm

The Bathrooms

The urban-style bathrooms with their metallic grey concrete walls and brightly coloured accessories are like something out of a chic boutique hotel or a fancy gymnasium – with power showers, huge mirrors and immaculately clean tiles. iSanook Hostel also provides soap, shampoo, hairdryer and towels – even a hand held make-up mirror for girls! 

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iSanook Café & Snacks

As well as a self catering kitchen on the premises so that you can rustle up your own food, there’s a great cafe / bistro right across the street from the hostel, iSanook Café & Snacks. Bagels, quiches, croissants and delicious home baked goods will satisfy your hunger and quell any homesickness pangs. The café also serves good strong coffee (served ice cold if you like!) – a great boost before hitting the hectic streets of Bangkok! A delicious budget breakfast is available, exclusively for hostel guests. 

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The Location

Whilst many backpackers make a bee-line for tourist-clad Khao San Road when choosing a hostel in Bangkok, the location of iSanook Hostel is actually much more authentic and offers a much more central base from which to explore the city. The fascinating area of ChinaTown is just 10 minutes walk away, as well as the shopping Mecca of Siam Square and MBK Shopping Mall. Both the MRT station Sam Yan (around 0.7 km) and the Siphraya Pier (around 1km) which can be the starting points of your city sightseeing tour are within walking distance. And, for those wishing to explore other parts of the country, heading north to the mountains of Chiang Mai or south to the islands and beaches, Hua Lamphong Train Station is just 15 minutes walk.

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After our tour of the hostel is complete, one thing is for certain – luxury hostels such as iSanook do not just attract your stereotypical scruffy backpacker (although they are more than welcome too!) there are a range of visitors staying in the hostel;  from young travelling digital nomads and entrepreneurs to ‘flashpacking’ couples and hipster tourists…

Whatever you want to label the cool clientele at this place, you can rest assured that there’ll always be somebody interesting to get chatting to at the hostel bar!

Would you like to stay at a hostel like this? What in your opinion makes a good hostel?

For more information about iSanook hostel, check out their website and Facebook page. You can book online through

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