The Eugenia, Bangkok. Still a little gem.
The Eugenia is now off the Candy list. It’s now tipped into being a little too scuffed.
I’ve tried out a number of hotels in Bangkok over the past few years since I first stayed in the Eugenia back in 2006 (review here). Getting around Bangkok is still a bit of a nightmare, so you have to mitigate this by planning where you stay very sensibly in relation to what you want to go and do.
I made the mistake of staying near the palace during one visit and spent more time stuck in traffic jams than I did sleeping, eating, shopping and getting massages combined.
For me, the Eugenia is still number one on my list for the following reasons:
- It’s pretty quick to get to and from the airport.
- I love the styling.
- It’s got a pool.
- It’s tiny – just 12 bedrooms, which is my kind of boutique hotel.
- I love the breakfast in your bedroom at no extra cost.
- It’s a 10 minute walk or 3 minute hotel tuk-tuk ride to the Sky Train.
- It’s close to Siam by Sky Train which is where I like to shop.
- It’s within a 5 minute walk of some awesome home-furnishing shops like Incredible and Almeta Silk.
- My favourite foot massage joint in Bangkok is within a 5 minute walk – Mulberry Spa.
- It’s close to a lot of good restaurants, bars and clubs.
- It’s on the right side of town to get down to Silom and some of my other favourite restaurants and bars by taxi if I don’t want to get the sky-train.
So for convenience and style it ticks lots of boxes, and makes up for what it lacks in facilities and flawless service by being tiny and friendly.
I’ve stayed in both the 1st floor Eugenia rooms which are at the front of the hotel and open onto a terrace, and the Sawadee rooms on the 2nd floor which are at the back. What you lose in terrace you gain in peace and quiet, and I was very happy staying in the Sawadee rooms this time round.
The Eugenia is all about colonial shabby chic, so floorboards creak, air-con is quite noisy, and there’s no lift, but that just adds to the feeling that you’re staying in someone’s house rather than a hotel, and that’s just fine with me.
When I first stayed here the rooms had the most fantastic heavy linen sheets, but now they have gone back to cotton (albeit very high quality), I was unaccountably disappointed by this.
Beds are very comfortable though, huge deep mattresses and lovely duvets.
All the drinks in the minibar are free which is a nice touch, and as they don’t really have a breakfast room, they bring it to you in your room as a matter of course, which is perfect. We also got a good wifi connection in the room which was useful.
I love The Eugenia’s monotone floor tiles. The showers are hot and strong, and the copper bathtubs a lovely treat.
The only quibble is that although their organic, homemade bath products all smell fantastic, they aren’t that great at doing the job of lathering up, and tend to leave me feeling a bit gunky. Must try harder on that front.
Don’t expect perfect English here. The staff are all very helpful and are as attentive as they need to be, without being overbearing. I tend to try and find one staff member who I can go to for everything rather than having to explain things a couple of times to different people who don’t understand. This trip it was Ong-Art Rungsamai, the reservation manager. He was efficient and used his initiative to help us find and book what we needed in the city.
There is a good if tiny restaurant downstairs: the D.B Bradley room, which I’ll review separately, and the Zheng He Lounge for reading and drinks, both beautifully decorated, and very chilled.
The swimming pool at the back of the hotel is big enough to exercise in and is mostly shaded during the day, and there is a little sala bar beside the pool which is a lovely spot to hang out and have a pre-dinner drink.
Where: All the contact details are at the bottom of this post here, which has more photos and blather too.
Costs have risen since we first stayed (although that was very soon after it had opened), but not by much. We paid US$230 a night this time round for a smaller Sawadee room rather than US$166 for the larger Eugenia room back in 2006, but I still think it’s great value for what you get.