Get more Bangkok for your buck at Volve Hotel Bangkok, which proves that hotels haven’t just evolved – they’ve ’volved. This unassuming hideaway is more home than hotel (and that’s just the way we like it). Volve’s building is small (a stark contrast to Bangkok’s characteristic, cloud-poking skyscrapers), its staff are clad in refreshingly casual uniforms and there’s no pool or garden – but a rooftop terrace, cool design touches galore, an excellent restaurant and a relaxed, friendly feel fill the gaps and then some.
Get this when you book through us:
One bottle of Thai craft beer a room and 15 per cent off à la carte food and drink
Noon, but flexible (a half-night charge applies between 2pm and 6pm; any later, and one night is charged in full). Earliest check-in, 2pm, but flexible (a half-night charge applies between 8am and 2pm; any earlier, and an additional night is charged.)
Double rooms from £75.24 (THB3,303), including tax at 17.7 per cent.
Rates usually exclude breakfast (around THB470 a day for adults and THB294 for under-13s; pick from buffet and à la carte options).
Explorers of the culinary kind should delve into their interesting minibar and sample crispy silkworms (a local delicacy). Volve works with a small craft coffee roaster from the Northern Thai town of Chiang Mai; beans are grown in the hills of Chiang Rai. Tea-lovers should sample the traditional orange-coloured Thai tea...
At the hotel
Rooftop terrace and gardens; free WiFi throughout. In rooms: desk, TV, minibar, Malin + Goetz bath products.
Our favourite rooms
Opt for a Studio Suite and make the most of the extra space. Any of the rooms towards the back of the hotel get our vote, on account of their winsome garden views.
Attention, waterbabies: Volve doesn’t have a pool, so you’ll need to get your liquid thrills elsewhere (at one of Bangkok’s brilliant spas, perhaps).
Save plenty of room in your trunk for Thonglor finds; there are boutiques and galleries aplenty on your doorstep.
Got Thai friends? You can call them for free using your in-room telephone.
Little Smiths are welcome, though the hotel is geared towards adults. Baby cots can be added to rooms for free (on request); families should opt for the Two-Bedroom Suite for its ample space.
They’re all on a par – nab whichever one takes your fancy.
Low-key cool, like your setting. Support local Thai designers by modelling your just-found Thonglor acquisitions.
Tucked away beneath the lobby, Jan Jao Dining Room is a cool and casual eatery that's perfect for relaxed morning meals and long lunches (it doesn’t currently serve dinner). Dishes are inspired by the ‘Western’ restaurants run by Chinese immigrants in Bangkok from the Fifties onwards, which served Thai-Chinese interpretations of Western dishes: grilled beef salad and pork chops, for example. Tick off Thai specialties at breakfast: wonton noodles with fish balls, traditional rice porridge (served with slow-cooked sweet pork belly, salted duck egg, pickled vegetables and peanuts) or Thai French toast, perhaps. The styling is equally nostalgic: poured terrazzo finishes; wooden dice pieces hand-made by Thai craftsmen in Bang Po, an area famed for its woodcraft; old Thai movies projected dimly on the walls.
Come for breakfast, stay for lunch (served 11am to 5pm). The restaurant doesn’t serve dinner, but there’s a room service menu for that...
Order items from the restaurant and lobby café to your room during their opening hours, including coffees and cocktails (a slimmed-down selection is available across the clock). The Breakfast in Bed options are understandably popular with lovebirds.
Volve is set on a quiet residential street, surrounded by houses; there’s a real neighbourhood feel, plus plenty of local boutiques, bars and restaurants.
Bangkok International Airport (aka Suvarnabhumi) is 25 kilometres away (an hour’s drive). Let Smith24 sort your transfers.
Adventurous types can hop on a train to Bangkok Railway Station (Hua Lamphong), which is nine kilometres from Volve. Services connect to all of Thailand’s main cities (www.thairailways.com). From Hua Lamphong, take the (blue) Metro line to Sukhumvit, then walk two minutes to Asok station, which is on the (green) Sukhumvit line of the BTS Skytrain. From Asok, ride two stops to Thong Lo and leave by exit 1; from there, it's a 3-minute walk from the hotel. Being so close to the Sukhumvit line will undoubtedly come in handy during your stay, as it serves many of the city's hotspots.
Since taxis are cheap and easy to come by, we wouldn’t recommend wheels – but if you do want to drive here, the hotel has free parking. Enter Soi Sukhumvit 53 from the main Sukhumvit Road, carry on for 150 metres and you’ll find Volve on the right. Spaces are limited, so it's best to let the hotel know if you'll be needing one.
Worth getting out of bed for
Start with what’s closest: enjoy a coffee in the lobby café, a drink on the rooftop terrace or a craft beer from your minibar. Feeling a little more lively? Go home armed with some Muay Thai skills by paying a visit to the RSM Muay Thai Academy at 23 Sukhumvit Road in Thonglor (+66 2 661 6292). While away at least a few hours in blissful spa-style indulgence at Health Land, also on Sukhumvit Road. Explore Thonglor and its cool, cultured galleries, shops, bars and restaurants...
Had one too many pad Thais and chicken skewers? Get a carb-free vegan fix at Broccoli Revolution at 899 Sukhumvit Road; the global menu hops from Myanmar to South America via Italy, Vietnam and Thailand. Try the Burmese tea-leaves salad or the guiltless broccoli-and-quinoa charcoal burger. Buay Potchana (+66 2 392 7320) is an unassuming and utterly brilliant, family-run duck noodles shop at 318/1 Sukhumvit Road in Thonglor; the locals love it. Don’t miss the signature stewed duck noodles; add some greenery via a bowl of boiled kale with oyster sauce, too.
Get deliberately lost down the Rabbit Hole, a hard-to-find, speakeasy-style cocktail bar that serves sensational libations. Seek and ye shall find (it) at 125 Soi Sukhumvit. It’s also worth working up a thirst for the dark and deliberately dishevelled Iron Fairies bar, which is styled like an iron-smith’s workshop (#industrialchic) at 55 Khlong Tan Nuea.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this city hotel in Bangkok and unpacked their spices, sunnies and Thonglor-market finds, a full account of their Thai city-break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Volve Hotel Bangkok…
There’s no chance of forgetting where you are (Bangkok, ducky) at local-loving Volve Hotel Bangkok, which enjoys a reciprocal romance with its setting. The building – smaller and less cloud-poking than the city’s norm – is set on a quiet residential street in cosmopolitan Thonglor, an area that buzzes with a Bangkok energy of the most authentic kind. Staff aren’t wearing uniforms, service is casual and friendly and there’s no pool or gardens – but you won’t notice anything lacking when you clap eyes on the lobby café and restaurant. The former dishes up potent Thai coffees (and equally potent cocktails); the latter riffs nostalgically on traditional Thai-Chinese eateries from the Fifties (old Thai movies projected onto a wall add to the theme). Design doyennes will find nothing to fault here: the hotel uses marble, glass and wood to pleasing effect, throwing in a few twists of its own: copper flourishes, interesting collage artworks, designer furniture and woodwork by traditional artisans. It’s Bangkok, baby, but probably not as you know it.