A Simple and Easy Guide to Renting a Service Apartment in Bangkok, Thailand

What are the best areas of Bangkok to rent? What facilities and services can I expect from a Bangkok serviced apartment? What are the best and worst serviced apartments in Bangkok? Read on to learn the answers to these questions and much more in my simple and easy guide to renting a serviced apartment in Bangkok for both expats and travelers.

Bangkok is the Center of Southeast Asia

As the commercial center of Thailand and the hub of business and leisure travel within Southeast Asia, Bangkok has exceptional hotels of all kinds catering to the business elite and casual traveler.

Recently, a new kind of accommodation has gained favor with business executives on short stays in Bangkok–the luxury serviced apartment. With increased commercial expansion over the past several years, serviced apartments are quickly becoming the favorite choice of living style for their affordable luxury.

What is a Serviced Apartment?

The serviced part of the equation usually refers to the daily or twice weekly cleaning of your room, the furniture, kitchen amenities and so on that normal apartments do not include. Some service apartments also function as hotels, and these are called Aparthotels.

What’s So Special About Bangkok Serviced Apartments?

Real estate and relocation agents believe Bangkok has the most number of sophisticated apartments the world has to offer. There are not just one or two luxurious apartments, but close to 50. This is because skilled labor is cheap in thailand, and the city itself is a major business hub for the southeast asia region.

Renting a serviced apartment in bangkok can be a daunting task for several reasons–the primary one being there are so many ‘fine print’ and extra costs involved when signing a weekly, monthly or yearly contract.

I have been living in Bangkok for a few years now, and have gone through several serviced apartments, learning on the way which ‘services’ are included and what to expect from your stay in Bangkok.

Bangkok’s City Plan

The Bangkok Jungle has several meanings, one of them being that the city was never built with a city plan or urban design in mind. The city is a sprawling landscape, a montage of residential and commercial buildings juxtaposing one another. It is home to 10 to 15 million people, depending on who is arriving from the rural country and abroad. The people as well, from poor to affluent, live side by side.

The city itself is lopsided; if you look down any major road in bangkok, you will see that both sides of the road arent balanced, building heights are different, and there is an overall lack of symmetry. This is what makes Bangkok unique and charming. And what makes it a jungle.

The Best Areas To Live In Bangkok

Bangkok contains inexpensive to exclusive apartments, but the best ones are found in the following regions of Bangkok:

  • Sukhumvit, the main road or artery of Bangkok
  • Asok, one of the most exclusive and expensive areas to live
  • Thong Lo, the chic and fashionable street,
  • Sathorn, the business district of Bangkok
  • Silom, another business and red light district
  • Ploenchit, business district
  • Chit Lom, business district

The areas listed above are all within easy access to shopping, dining, entertainment, trains, skytrains, and expressways. If you choose to live in one of these areas, you will experience life in the center of Bangkok’s thriving business and shopping centres while indulging in an ultra private serviced apartment in Bangkok. I personally recommend Asok and Chit Lom, as they are the classiest areas of Bangkok, but if you are looking to be close to the night markets Silom is perfect, and Sukhumvit is always a colorful experience.

Facilities and Services of Typical Bangkok Serviced Apartments

These vary between the different types of apartments and condos, but a standard of excellence has been establlished from the increasing competition among serviced apartments. Facilities and services are upgraded regularly to keep up with rival residences. However, before investing in a serviced apartment, be sure to check if these services and facilities are available.

5 Services That Should Be Included Free of Charge:

  • Room Cleaning
  • Water/Utilities
  • Internet Usage
  • 24 Hour Security
  • Room Service/Errand Boy

4 Facilities That Should Be Included

  • Restaurant
  • Gym
  • Pool
  • Convenience Store

The Loopholes: Length of Stay, Deposits and Electricity

If you are staying for a month or year, the serviced apartment may charge you for electricity. Make sure that you negotiate this price to 6.5 Baht/Unit. A lot of times the apartment owners will charge 8 Baht/Unit for more profit. They only pay 3 or 4 Baht/Unit.

Be careful when signing leases; most require a 2 month deposit, and if you move out before your contract is finished you forfeit this deposit.

Make sure the serviced apartment has a laundry service, either in house or out of house. Most serviced apartments have coin operated laundry rooms as well as pick up services. More deluxe suites will have washing machine in the room. Note that most places do not have dryers.

How much Should I Pay?

This is a difficult question to answer, but the more facilities a serviced apartment has, the more it will cost. If a serviced apartment has a pool, gym and also functions as a 24 hour hotel, then the monthly price will be above 30,000 Baht.

Location also has a large part to do with cost of a bangkok serviced apartment. If you are staying in an area not close to skytrain or subway access, your price will be much lower. Conversely, staying in the business districts of Silom or trendy spots like Ekkamai or Thonglor will raise your monthly rent.

Which Serviced Apartment Should I Choose?

The serviced apartment market in Bangkok is lead by three groups, The President Group, The Ascott Group, and Centre Point. Most of them offer first class accommodation and have a decent system of serving their customers. However, there are numerous independent serviced apartments to choose from.

The 2 Worst Serviced Apartments in Bangkok

  • Ascott Bangkok Sathorn

There have been several articles written in trade journals about the decline in service at the once famous and most prestigious serviced apartment in Bangkok. Once known for attention to customer relations, their lack of it is now glaringly obvious to everyone who stays there. This place is an example of a chain serviced apartment becoming too much like a corporation with no human touch of service.

  • Lebua

Rumor is their staff is very untrustworthy. Read the trade journals and ‘google’ the residence for reviews.

Top 2 Most Luxurious Bangkok Serviced Apartments

  • Siri Sathorn Apartments

Siri Sathorn is a five-star luxury `boutique` property which epitomises private and elegant living in a residential setting. It is a concept of the perfect home which appeals to international traveller. This place caters to Japanese clientelle but of course is open to everyone.

  • Fraser Place Urbana Langusan

They have an exclusive 45-metre driveway leading from the main road to the serviced residence for great privacy. They also have some of the best services and customer relations I have ever experienced, pampered is the only word that comes to mind

Best Value Bangkok Serviced Apartments

  • Silom Convent Garden

Newly built in November 2006, this chic serviced apartment is located in the Silom-Sathorn area but has some of the cheapest rates for this business and night market district. For 36,000 Baht/$1000 a month you can have a 38 square meter, 1 bedroom, fully furnished luxurious apartment complete with full kitchen, washer machine, flat screen tv, and rain shower. The only drawback is the place doesn’t have a pool or gym, but thats the reason the price is so low and why its one of the best values in Bangkok.

If you are still undecided whether to have a stay in Bangkok on your next trip, it was just recently announced that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) plans to make Bangkok a “paradise” city. The article from the Bangkok Post states the BMA will establish a fund to address trash, pollution and traffic problems. Now is the time to take your next vacation or business trip to Bangkok, as life couldn’t get any better in the City of Angels!

Travel Asia

If you are looking for a change of scene as far as holidays are considered, try travel Asia for a truly unique traveling experience. Apart from being the largest continent Asia is also home to a cross section of intriguing cultures and myriad people from different countries spread across Asia. Traveling in Asia, is a unique experience in itself if you are ready to experiment with something new. A word of caution at the outset though, prepare yourself for the unexpected, ranging from the bizarre to the incredulous, from Elephant rides to animals on the street Asia, is truly a maze that you will find amazing!

Home to more than five billion people, Asia boasts of diverse attractions that would be difficult to cover in a single trip, though you could try seeing the best of the most interesting Asian features. Amazingly so, countries such as India, Malaysia, Indonesia Nepal, Thailand, China, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Singapore, etc are all as different from each other as could be. Most of these countries boast of attractions like great scenic beauty, superb architecture, art and architecture, traditional fairs, bizarre costumes, mouth watering food and traditional customs and systems that are ingrained into the life of the people.

Travel Asia leaves most tourists with a breathtaking experience. When you visit India, you have a wide choice of things to do and see. From visiting heritage sites like Taj Mahal, Ajanta and Ellora Caves, and Khajuraho Temples, to Kerala’s backwaters, tigers in the Indian forests or taking an elephant ride, experiencing an Ayurvedic spa, or viewing the majestic Himalayas, you have it all!

While on a travel Asia trip make sure you visit China in order to visit one of the most ancient civilizations in the world. Visit there the Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors, Potala Palace, West Lake, the Forbidden City, etc. Japan the land of the rising sun will fascinate you with attractions such as Kyoto’s Higashiyama area, Nara Park, Kin Osaki, and Himeji Castle. Your travel Asia trip would be incomplete without visiting Bangkok, in Thailand and Singapore two major tourist attractions in Asia which are not only cheap but extremely diverse in all that it has to offer. In Thailand you will witness lovely pristine islands, impressive monuments apart from other local flavors. Visit the gothic ruins in Bangkok or go shopping like crazy or relax by the Phukhet cool waters, its paradise all the way! The Singapore island kingdom is an amazing tourist experience from its ravishing street sea food culture to the botanical gardens, etc.

While on your travel Asia visit , it will be hard to miss out on the Philippines, with more than 7000 islands or Maldives too which boasts of the most pristine waters with different shades and more than 1,000 coral islands perched in the tranquility of the Indian Ocean.

A bit quirky at times, fascinatingly diverse and colorful at others the sheer size and immensity of travel Asia holiday will leave you flustered and gasping for more. If you want to truly experience Asia do local and soak in the vibrant culture you find on the streets, it will leave you with warmth and enriching experience that is hard to get over. Sheer diversity and natural splendor ensure that Asia proves to be a most rewarding holiday destination for all.

A Step Closer to Paradise – A Trip to Asia

Have you ever though about escaping from your daily, boring routine and diving into a fresh new world that you have never experienced before? Did it ever cross your mind that just a few hundred (heh, thousands probably!) miles away you could find the most exotic and colorful bazaar of people, religions and nature? Well, I bet you have thought about that but in most cases your mind would have fantasized about exotic beaches like Miami or the Caribbean isles. Not bad, not at all! However, I have something better to propose, Asia. Yes, if you are seeking for a brand new, shockingly different experience then Asia is the place to go!

Asia is the mother of countless religions, cultures, stories and myths. Each country in Asia has its very unique living style and customs; experiences you might never have if you never leave the boarders of the western world. You should bear in mind that there are lots of countries that you could visit while roaming around Asia. You could be in the most hi-tech country of the world, Japan or you could go to virgin exotic places, never touched by the human kind such as Singapore, Thailand and Laos. Of course, you shouldn’t miss Asia’s big sons, China and India! Sri Lanka is a really good destination if you need to concentrate inside yourself and possibly test your limits.

If you are a fan of sight seeing then you should spend some time in Bangkok and Singapore. You just can’t imagine how beautiful those places are! Apart from sight seeing, you could pay a visit to the Crocodile farm or to one of the Bangkok’s Zoos; you could visit the Thai Human Imagery museum or you could simply relax yourself in spas. In case you are seeking for adventure you could always take a night safari in Singapore and watch all wild animals in action! Of course, there are countless other interesting things to do but wouldn’t it be cooler if you discovered them by yourself?