The Aravinda Living Home is located at 384 Sukhumvit 65, Prakanong Nua, Wattana, Sukhumvit. The facility is a studio apartment complex which has been transitioned to a short-term stay hotel. Most of the residents are travelers and others who are staying for a few months at a time. The rooms are not huge but each room features a tiny balcony, hot water, shower, sink, very cold aircon, reefer, microwave, CATV with a few English channels, good wi-fi and a stiff bed.
The rooms at the Aravinda are pretty clean with nice tiled floors and a fully tiled bathroom. There are no other real amenities on offer other than a coin operated laundry downstairs which is very reasonably priced. Some booking sites indicate that it has a gym and swimming pool. The swimming pool has been paved over and the 1 piece of gym equipment sits in a corner. The staff will not enter your room to clean it unless requested. They will provide toilet paper, toiletries and drinking water on request. There is also access to free purified water downstairs and they sell beer, soda and snacks.
The Aravinda is located near the Ekkamai BTS to access all of Bangkok. Taxi’s are not prevalent in the area but a 5-10 minute stroll through the residential neighborhood will put you out on Sukhumvit Road where there are plenty of taxis, moto-bikes and the BTS. The Ekkamai bus station is a few minutes walk past the BTS and the ideal place to grab a bus to Aranyaprathet if you are planning to cross into Cambodia at Poipet and go to Siem Reap.
You really can’t find a better value room for the price of less than $21 USD per night in Bangkok. I almost always find the best rate on Agoda.com. The hotel also has a website and runs very good rates from time to time, mostly aimed at folks looking for a longer term stay.
Food Tip: About 2 blocks up from 7-11 on Suk Soi 65 as you are walking to the Aravinda there are a few small shops and an area where food vendors set up each morning and evening. There is a guy who runs a ramen cart who serves the best noodle soup in Bangkok for 40 Baht. There is also a great local Thai restaurant 4-5 doors down from the 7-11 as you are walking towards the Ekkamai BTS. This restaurant is only open for breakfast and lunch and closed on Sunday. The ladies serving speak almost no English here but it’s a point and shoot for about 40 Baht. You point at what you would like, it is already prepared and sitting in the serving trays. You can get two choices of smaller servings with rice or one large serving with rice for roughly 40 Baht. They hand you the plate and you walk over and grab a seat. Ice water is free and safe to drink. This place is always full of hospital employees, students and locals and the food never disappoints.
Transportation/Travel tip: From the BKK airport it is a 30 minute, 250 Baht taxi ride to the Aravinda when not using the tollway. Do not pay the extra 40 Baht for the tollway after 9PM as the traffic has likely disappeared. The Aravinda is a bit hard to find the first time. Have the driver take you down to Sukhumvit Soi 65 which is a stones throw from the Ekkamai BTS Station. The 7-11 on the corner is your landmark. The turn off to Suk Soi 65 is only possible from the east bound lane and you will likely be in the westbound lane if coming from the airport. Your driver will have to make a u-turn after passing the Ekkamai BTS station on Sukhumvit Road. After turning north on Suk Soi 65 follow the road until it veers to the right and continue to go straight to the first left turn. Turn left and drive 2 blocks and make a right down a very narrow street and drive down about 4 buildings and the Aravinda will be on your left, you have arrived! The area is a mix of residential homes and condo’s.
If you are really on a budget it is possible to take the airport BTS to Makkasan and transfer to the subway at Phetchaburi and then transfer back to the BTS at Asoke and ride to the Ekkamai. BTS. Total cost would be about 130 Baht and would take at least 30 minutes. The amount of effort likely exceeds the amount of Baht you would save.