LGBT Travel Guide Bangkok – part 1, accommodation

LGBT Travel Guide Bangkok
Tim Firmager
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Thailand is a well-know destination to the gay community, not least because of its promotion of tolerance to homosexuality, and high-profile transgender community. We at Vada are keen to explore what this is really like for LGBT tourists visiting the country, so are publishing a series of LGBT travel guides to Thailand for Phuket, Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

In this LGBT travel guide Bangkok, we explore the country’s capital city, known for its Ladyboy community and clubbing scene. In this first part of the travel guide we look at LGBT-friendly accommodation in Bangkok, from budget to ultra luxury options. Part 2 explores the culture and fun to be had in the city.

Le Meridien, Bangkok – for luxury and location

If luxury and location are both top of your hotel requirements list, then Le Meridien Bangkok meets both of these. This 5-star brand known for sophistication is located in the Silom area, only a few minutes’ walk from the gay-district of Bangkok, as well the as Patpong Road night market.

The splendour and service is apparent from the moment you pull up at the hotel, no wonder it has continuously won TripAdvisor awards for excellence over the past 5 years. Luxury here has a focus on understatement rather than being flashy. For example the subtle hotel scent as you enter reception, or personalisation for returning guests (we received foaming milk for our breakfast coffee with our instagram name on as an example).

We stayed in a Vista Plus room (number 2004), the 37sqm is ample for two people sharing, and is set on the higher levels of the hotel so have great views across the city, and of sunset in between the skyscraper skyline. All the usual technology that is expected of a 5-star property can be found in the room, including Japanese style toilets (in the Vista Plus room category), and very handy universal plug sockets including by the bed! We loved the Asian touches in an otherwise western room, such as the Thai poem on the wall, designs on mirrors and soft furnishings, and the sliding doors to open the bathroom out into the main bedroom. The deep bath and rain shower big enough for two, make this room category an enticing choice for a couple sharing.


For LGBT readers wanting to dine at Le Meridien, it has one restaurant, Latest Recipe, which serves up an international selection for both breakfast and dinner. Both are an expansive buffet affair, and the latter also includes an a la carte option. There is also Latitude 13 as a bar with snacks, but more impressively is Bamboo Chic Bar. We highly recommend guests have a drink here before going out (or out out), with it’s luxury interior inspired by Dorothy lost in Oz.

For those needing to workout, Le Meridien offers a reasonably good fitness centre, with adjoining outdoor (albeit small) pool and deck area on the 6th floor. Spa by Le Meridien takes up the remainder of this floor, with the focus of this floor dedicated to pursuing a unique lifestyle experience. Opting for a 90 minute Hot Lava Touch, we found exceptionally professional service.

Distance from Bangkok International Airport: 45 minutes by taxi, price circa 500THB.

Room rates from: 4066 THB (circa £95) for a Vista room, and 4379 THB for a Vista Plus room. Note SPG members (it’s free to sign up) get a discount on room rates.

W Hotel, Bangkok – for fabulous design

Lifestyle and design are chief amongst this hotel brand’s qualities. The W Bangkok is a new hotel with bold, bright art installations and decor that reflect the bustling city. The most popular hotel for gay men in particular, travellers will be hard pressed not to find themselves checking out (and being checked out) others around the 6th floor outdoor pool deck, with shade provided by what can only be described as a UFO-shaped design launching from the side of the pool.

Accommodation starts at the lowest category, Wonderful Room. Do not be put off about ‘lowest’, these rooms continue the design theme of the hotel, with gold accents, modern furniture and bold patterns, and at 41sqm do not scrimp on space. Tech-fans will appreciate that all room temperature and lighting is controlled from an in-room tablet.

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The W also boasts lobby-level WooBar, where each Wednesday and Thursday night are ‘boys night’ (Boys Love Bubbles) and ‘girls night’ respectively, providing free-flowing bubbles from 400THB. This is an ideal lounge location to start a night out in the surrounding Silom region.

We suggest booking a room rate including breakfast, with a variety of western, Chinese and Thai buffet items available, moreover a large range of vitamin-juices to kick-start you from the night before. Lunch items can be ordered from the deck bar by the pool is spending a day lazing by the pool. For dinner (if eating in) will be at The Kitchen Table restaurant We recommend the Pla Tod Nam Pla (deep fried seabags with caramel sauce), Pad Thai with chicken or the Tom Yum Goong Mae Nam (hot and sour prawn soup with chilli, lime and lemongrass). For foodies reading, the W Hotel owns the colonial property next door, which offers a further selection of fine-dining options.

Other facilities in the W, aside from the fantastic pool, which is ideal for checking out other guys who have checked in, include a fitness centre (more equipment than it’s counterpart at Le Meridien) and the Away Spa. Here we indulged in the AWAY signature massage and facial – face and body pampering easily achieved. The various zones, and customised treatment rooms set this spa apart in terms of facilities, professionalism and complete relaxation away from the hectic city.

Distance from Bangkok International Airport: 45 minutes by taxi, price circa 500THB.

Room rates from: 4200 THB (circa £95 – £100), for a Wonderful Room category. Note SPG members (it’s free to sign up) get a discount on room rates.

Pathumwan Princess Hotel – for shopping and keeping fit

Great for those who want to shop rather than party, Pathumwan Princess Hotel is located above Bangkok’s mega mall MBK and touching distance the downtown shopping district of Siam. The hotel is directly connected to the National Stadium BTS Skytrain Station, so hopping around town on public transport is easy.

Notably for LGBT travellers, The hotel’s Olympic Club within Pathumwan Princess Hotel is gay popular and well equipped with weights, classes, steam rooms and saunas. Not surprising as it this fitness centre is 9000sqm and has more than 100 workout stations, jogging tracks, and a basketball half-court. It is said that the gym membership is 80% gay men, so if fitness facilities are important, Pathumwan Princess Hotel is accommodation to consider. The Olympic Club has one of the nicest swimming pools in Bangkok: 25m in length and using saline water (rather than chlorinated). The surrounding wooden deck is the place to ogle the man-candy. There are also two secluded garden jacuzzis and a Pool Bar for refreshments. Hotel members have free access, but if you’re not staying and do want to use the facilities a day pass costs 500THB – see for more details.

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Accommodation offerings start from 35 sqm Superior rooms offers comfort with simple furnishings. The hotel rooms offer wide picture views of Bangkok’s gleaming skyscrapers. The bathroom features a glass partition with electrically operated privacy curtain. Room have all the usual amenities expected of a 4 star property.

Distance from Bangkok International Airport: 45 minutes by taxi, price circa 500THB.

Room rates from: 3600 THB (circa £85) for a Superior Room.

Babylon Bangkok – the gay sauna with accommodation

Hotel Babylon Bangkok is known as the gay hotel of the city, catering almost exclusively to gay men. The accommodation offering reflects that, with the lowest room categories all having communal bathrooms where imagination can run wild. Garden Suite room categories upwards all have their own private bathrooms.

Babylon Bangkok has everything centred around the sauna area, so each morning guests need to get their voucher from reception and then swap that for a locker key. Access to the sauna area provides pool access, gym (which does offer a personal training service), spa (offering a range of massage services) and unusually to the restaurant area too. The sauna, steam room and jacuzzi area itself is known for having a wild, sinful and lusty atmosphere….so basically it’s a gay sauna with accommodation. If wanting to spend time in a gay sauna is on the itinerary for a trip to Bangkok, a couple of nights at Babylon Bangkok may be the ideal choice.

The price point for Babylon Bangkok is the cheapest of the options we have featured, which reflects the slightly dated interiors and service that is not quite as polished as other venues.

Distance from Bangkok International Airport: 45 minutes by taxi, price circa 500THB.

Room rates from: 1530 THB (circa £35) for a Standard Barrack Room (communal bathrooms); 2700 THB (circa £65) for a Garden Suite (with private bathroom).

About Tim Firmager

Tim divides his time being a Digital Consultant in The City and as a food and travel writer across the globe. When he's not working as one of the Lifestyle Editors here at Vada, he's planning his next trip, or on the lookout for the latest food crazes or unusual foods in London's markets.