When traveling alone, I book hostels not for the affordable price, but for the experience. For flashpackers like myself, hostels and boutique hotels provide a grittier, more authentic travel experience compared to high-end accommodations. I enjoy meeting and interacting with other backpackers and globetrotters, which is something that five-star hotels cannot provide.
For the Phuket leg of my Thailand backpacking trip, I found Book-A-Bed Poshtel through Agoda and charged it to my credit card immediately. It ticked most of the items on my hostel must-have list.
1. Accessible location
I chose to stay in Old Phuket Town for a slower-paced experience away from the beach party scene. Book-A-Bed is located across a mall called Limelight Avenue, which has a grocery store, café, small food court, and restaurants. It’s just a five-minute walk from one of the Airport Bus Stops. It’s easy to get a Grab car or bike from this area. Popular spots such as Sengho Bookstore, the Golden Dragon Monument, and historic strees like Thalang Road are just walking distance or a quick bike ride away. I even found a nearby post office where I mailed a postcard.
2. Indy Night Market
Open on Wednesdays to Fridays from 4-10pm, Phuket Indy Night Market, known as Lard Ploy Khong in Thai, is set up right in front of Book-A-Bed. I got the stomach flu on my first night in Phuket, so this small-scale market gave me easy access to food and drinks while waiting for my body to recuperate.
3. Trendy Rooms
I’m at that age where I’m no longer interested in bunk beds in a dormitory or shared room—unless I’m with a group and we have the dorm room all to ourselves. In Book-A-Bed, I did not book a bed alone, but a private room. As always, I was drawn to the unconventional design. My double room was made to look like a little bookstore, where there’s a sofa bed below the bookshelf. The main bed is on the upper section of the loft—accessible via steep stairs, you’ve been warned!—which is where I slept. It has a private bathroom and a window view of the street, which turns into a night market thrice a week.
Another caveat: If your room faces the market, the smell will permeate your bedroom during those nights. My other gripe: On my first night, the new bed felt like I was sleeping on a Filipino banig (mat) on the floor. I had to get creative and layer it with a triple-folded comforter. Other than that, my stay was overall good.
A swimming pool, no matter what size, is always a bonus amenity, especially for hostels that are expected to give just the basics. Theirs is surrounded by a garden fronting the quad rooms and the bar area.
5. Interactive Stations
Book-A-Bed’s communal area has a shared kitchen, dining tables, gaming zone, mini library, shared PC with decent WiFi, a pool, and a bar. Sadly, they no longer offer free breakfast. I was too lazy to make my own meals, so I just hopped to the cafés on Limelight Avenue.
6. Friendly Reception Area
The great thing about hostels is that their staff will always share practical travel advice. Backpackers are their main clientele, so they know better than to send you to overpriced tour providers and tourist traps—unless that’s your cup of tea. They know we’re after off-the-beaten paths, DIY commutes, and authentic cultural experiences. Book-A-Bed’s receptionists graciously helped me with my bus and island-hopping queries.
7. Mixed Crowd
It was refreshing to see other types of travelers other than backpackers. I spotted a group of stylish seniors (Think of an older Sarah Jessica Parker and her SATC gals pre-falling out), a family of kids and teens, and couples speaking in a variety of accents. While I did get to small talk with a lot of them, I didn’t make any solid connections the way I did with my Chiang Mai group. Oh well, that’s the hit-and-miss of hostel life.
If you’re heading to Phuket and you’re looking for a trendy, interactive place to stay in the heart of Old Phuket Town, Book-A-Bed offers more than just the basics for a price that won’t break the bank.
Book-A-Bed-Poshtel is located at 2/15 Dibuk Road, Talad Yai, Mueang, Phuket 83000, Thailand. Get discount rates via Agoda.