Hostels are starting to pop up in Southeast Asia, an area previously dominated by guesthouses and hotels.

OPEN LAST YEAR in Bangkok, Lub*d (despite the ridiculous name) continually nails 95%+ customer ratings on booking sites and rave reviews.   Here’s why:

Design

This is the big shocker, the amount of time that went into laying the hostel out.  Its nouveau-industrial look gives off the feeling of a white-hot advertising agency rather than a bunk bed emporium.  High ceilings, distressed wood, blasted concrete and wide stairs all work exceedingly well together.

 Rooms

Not the hugest but certainly the neatest.  Big, thick mattresses and bedding that feels like it comes from The Martha Stewart Collection.  Couple that with unbelievably efficient air conditioning and that new-hotel smell…it’s a winner.

Safety

Lub*d is smartly located away from the Koh San Road glut, a safe walk from the Chong Nonsi BTS/Skytrain.  A digital room card taps open your room, as well as the main entrance.   Each room has a big safe.

 Bathrooms

A girl staying here told me that let out a moan when she saw them for the first time.  A huge sink, with actual mirrors, sits dead in the middle of the room.  It’s surrounded by sizeable showers, each with overhead spray-age and honest-to-Jesus hot water.  

 Computer Friendly

Nine laptops sit in the lobby, with free use for all guests.  Speedy WiFi is available in all of the rooms, free of charge.   Bigger plus – all rooms have oodles of electrical outlets.

 Touches

 The little things add up, from the way that the electrical outlets match items in the room, to the fun atmosphere of the lobby (which stocks board games showing no sign of disrepair, as well as a bar).

 The Only Downside

 Lub*d isn’t cheap, compared what you can find at guesthouses.  650 Baht will swing you a dorm bed.  A better bet is splitting a “twin rail room” with a friend, which ran two of us $1,200 Baht.  I felt that paying an extra 200 Baht was worth it, just so that I could go a whole night without seeing bamboo.

 Lub*d. 4 Decho (pronounced “Day-Show”) Road, Bangkok.  +66 (0) 2 634 7999  www.lubd.com

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