The Babylon Bangkok Bed & Breakfast (with Sauna & Spa) has been voted by many gay travellers as one of the modern wonders of the world. An urban oasis exclusively for gay men, there’s plenty of low hanging fruit in this garden. Whilst I personally normally avoid “exclusively gay”, after spending time at Babylon Bangkok I’ve had a change of heart and I’m in fact quite taken.
Just as there are 7 wonders of the world, I’ll give you my 7 reasons why you’ll be taken by this modern wonder:
(1) Spoilt for choice. With accommodation choices ranging from basic budget rooms (with shared bathrooms & communal showers…ooh la la) to larger (and lusher) fully-serviced suites, the main barracks building also has many beautiful, airy and tasteful communal spaces for you to spread out, relax and mingle.
If you’d prefer a little more privacy and/or distance from the action, stay in one of the 19 garden suites or one of the lovely rooms (4) of Botticelli house (with their own private sitting rooms). It’s refreshing to have such a choice. For me personally, I like my privacy but I also hate to miss out on the action – I’d suggest a couple of nights in the barracks before moving over to a garden suite.
(2) Hanging gardens of Babylon. Like its namesake, the gardens of Babylon are absolutely stunning. The owner is an avid gardener who evidently takes immense pride and care in his work. Seriously, these are some of the finest, most diverse, well-planned gardens you’ll ever see. Savor them.
(3) Design. Ancient Greece and Egypt collide with the mystic Far East, couched in a modern industrial design. Sound a bit much? In fact not. The giant muscular stone men (and various other marble, slate and stonework detailing) adds grandeur and a little bit of camp fun without being overbearing. Dotted throughout the entire property (especially the garden suites and Botticelli house) is the most amazing array of beautiful Asian antiques (part of the owner’s private collection) as well as various modern artworks. It’s worth taking time to appreciate these rare and valuable pieces.
(4) Spirit. Babylon embraces a philosophy celebrating community and human spirit. With numerous beautiful communal areas throughout the property begging you to take a rest & relax, all of a sudden you’ll find yourself talking to a stranger, swapping stories and laughter. Suddenly you’ll find you’ve made a new friend, perhaps several. You can easily escape to your room…but you know what…it’s nice making new friends.
(5) Bang for your buck. The rates are great value. Although there are lower priced hotels in Bangkok, they’re unlikely to have such magnificent gardens, stunning décor and additional spaces to spread out and enjoy. And once you include breakfast, the restaurant & spa (offering extremely high quality and value) as well as access to the main sauna area (with pool, gym, jacuzzi, sauna, steam etc), dare I say you’re getting some pretty good bang for your buck. However be warned, in line with point 4 (Spirit), Babylon Barracks doesn’t pretend to be a 5 star hotel (they’d rather emulate a homey family atmosphere, hence why they refer to themselves as a Bed & Breakfast). The staff, while polite and friendly, keep a distance (they’d prefer for you to meet other guests) and there is no room service (the restaurant is open from midday until 930pm each day).
(6) Foam parties. Yep you heard me right, there are regular foam parties. Need I say more (next is March 29 – check the online calendar)
(7) Sharing is caring. You’ll be sharing the gym, spa, sauna, pool and restaurant with day visitors (however it’s mostly hotel guests before 5pm on weekdays). For some of you, the volume of men in towels is the key reason you’ll be staying here. However if it’s not your thing, you needn’t hang around this part of the facility during busy times (after 5pm). Enjoy your beautiful room and the gardens, or the rest of Bangkok.
(8) Did I say 7 reasons? Why stop at 7? Perhaps there’s an 8th reason (and 8th wonder of the world) waiting for you at Babylon? Go get him, Tiger!
Babylon is located close to the gay area of Silom and the MRT Lumpini station. Bookings are only made direct with the hotel. Special offers are provided for longer stays and customers below 30 years of age (or with a combined age of less than 60 for couples). The hotel is busy year round with customers from all over the world and all age groups – make sure to book ahead.
As a special honeymoon offer for readers of our blog, any gay couples who marry in 2014 will receive 50% off the published rate for a stay in Botticelli house between May 20 and October 20, 2014 (please ensure you mention the offer when making reservations and make sure to bring a copy of your marriage license/certificate).