Finding a homey nook in busy Bangkok

THROUGH years of traveling in and out of Bangkok there is something I’ve learned—always expect the unexpected. The recent visit afforded me with another pleasant surprise in the center of the perennially growing Big Mango.

In this cosmopolitan urban zone where every square meter matters concrete structures still pop up like mushrooms. However, green spaces are getting scarce. But check this new hotel by one of Bangkok’s oldest and liveliest roads—the Ad Lib Hotel.

Tucked in a small, private enclave at the end of SukhumvitSoi 1, Ad Lib Hotel has managed to address the need to be surrounded by nature. In creating a soothing oasis, the property was enveloped with walls of lush greenery, a vertical garden feature that delightfully integrates nature with the hotel’s homey interior scheme.

Homey enough that it won’t come as a surprise if guests would feel immediate comfort upon arriving in the premises for the place can be an extension of their residences. With Ad Lib veering away from the traditional hotel concept of everything “scripted,” there is none of the usual things you expect to see in a traditional hotel—no front desk, no lobby, no designated staff uniforms (talk about equality with everyone sporting a white polo shirt and khaki trouser. You don’t know who’s what until they introduce themselves). It’s like stepping in a well-designed modern abode fitted with tasteful appointments in complementing neutral tones and a sprinkling of eye-catching objects d’art.

Ad Lib’s public space has a flowing open plan where spaces are delineated by furniture across a rectangular area—the dining area with tables is by the open kitchen, sectional sofas define the “living room” and an entertaining area with a long bar and more seating areas. The openness of the area is made wider with the floor to ceiling clear glass walling that divide the interior from the spacious outer deck. Not only does this eliminate interior-exterior boundary, it also allows natural light to stream in at daytime while providing a de-stressing view of the lush vertical garden that surround the property from the inside.

“It’s a place for sipping, slurping, munching, chatting, laughing, playing, cuddling and dreaming. This hall is a place to engage or you can do it at the roof deck pool area, a cool spot to escape Bangkok’s sweltering heat,” said Nattadej Phumsupyuenyong, the hotel’s front office manager, and added, “At the end of the day, Ad Lib is a place to relax your weary head.”

And that part of the day, you will look forward to. Flanking the public space at head of the U-shape designed boutique hotel are the 48 private quarters that offer a view of the tree-shaded courtyard or the vertical garden. Just like the public area, each of the contemporary yet warm and calming rooms is designed to maximize space to its full potential. Devoid of clutter, the essential appointments are strategically placed in a space where rest and comfort is guaranteed.

Ad Lib Hotel is at SukhumvitSoi 1, Bangkok, Thailand, within walking distance of Ploenchit and Nana BTS stations. Know more about Ad Lib at

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