I’ve finally found the weekend coworking space I’ve been looking for – it’s 38 floors up and great value for money
There are three stages to writing an article: the first is finding your story; the second is research, writing and editing; then the third is publishing and sharing with the world. Now, stages two and three are often require some graft, with articulation of your thoughts and finding a suitable layout and tone of voice, but sometimes the first part of the process is so wonderfully simple that the article almost writes itself.
I’m talking about the times when you stumble across a solution to the very problem you yourself had previously and just know that others would have had a similar problem – so you want to share your solution and help them out.
Rewind exactly one week, to the scene of me desperately searching for a decent weekend coworking space in Bangkok. I had assumed that it would be easy to find a smart little venue, ideally a few floors up with a decent view of the city, with great Wi-Fi, reliable air conditioning and that relaxed yet buzzy vibe that makes the concept of a coworking space so popular today.
The view from my coworking wonderland (Travel Daily is based out of a great coworking space in Chid Lom but in my experience, these places are weirdly quiet on weekends – if open at all – and not very motivating places to be. However, hotel venues are often lively throughout the week and therefore always my preference for weekend work.)
My search in and around Sukhumvit Sois 11 and 13 had been fruitless, so I retired, defeated, to the Starbucks – on the ground floor – and cursed my luck that I could have been in an any poorly lit cafe in the world, instead of up in the clouds looking down over one of the most exciting cities on the planet.
But now, seven days later, here I am, 38 floors above ground with my mind active and my motivation brimming. The attentive, friendly waitress Faii has just this minute put down a freshly brewed americano – none of that ‘pouring yourself a cup of six-hour-ago-brewed rubbish’ here – that comes with a biscuit and glass of water, and the music is upbeat enough to keep the mood high but not so overpowering as to ruin my focus.
“Where is this high-raise haven of productivity?!” I hear you cry. Well, to be honest I’m reluctant to tell you because you might come here and take up all the comfy chairs. At the moment, of the 25 seats here, only four are taken – including my own. There’s a similar amount of space available upstairs, also with a smoking balcony for those who need it, with no-one there so it seems that this place for now is one of Asok’s little secrets.
But I owe it to you to tell you about it – and to the hotel management to share with the world what a great product they have created. I’m sitting in Axis and Spin, the bar at the top of The Continent Hotel on Sukhumvit Road, which becomes a coworking space daily between 10am and 4pm (so that makes the upstairs venue the Bangkok Heightz Thai restaurant).
With floor-to-ceiling windows letting in plenty of natural light, which look out over the small but sophisticated rooftop pool on the 37th floor below, I feel like I’m a million miles away from the ever-reliable yet uninspiring Starbucks of last week when really I’m one BTS stop – walking distance – away.
Just as I’m wondering how the hotel management came up with concept, the lift pings and hotel general manager Jay Jhingran arrives and walks over to say hello, smiling kindly. The industry veteran, whose former roles include VP of operations at Lebua in State Tower and senior VP of sales at Oberoi, tells me about the transformation and how it’s helping business.
“We wanted to created something business-focussed with a smart use of this venue”
He mentions the hotel’s existing events: “We still host a monthly pool party and weekly ladies’ night,” – which attract Bangkok’s hiso social crowd – “But we wanted to created something business-focussed with a smart use of this venue”. The room is already decorated in a smart monochrome motif which feels conducive to ‘getting stuff done’.
And when we discuss the prices: THB300 for 4 hours, with complimentary tea, coffee and snacks – the same as two cups of coffee in an average cafe – I realise that I’ve struck gold. Coworking space gold.
The venue in its evening layout I can see myself using this place a lot in the future as I check the time and the article I’ve just written. What did I tell you about some stories writing themselves? I’ve just produced 700 words in 30 minutes. This may be the most productive I have ever been.