Having arrived at pier N13 I was a little worried even before getting out of the taxi, I called the hotel on my own mobile and asked the driver to speak to the hotel to explain where we, or they, were, after which I spoke to the receptionist and they said he had dropped us off at the wrong place and to wait where we were for the hotel staff to come and find us ;o(
Anyway our taxi driver unloaded us and kept pointing up the road, I assumed this was where we were supposed to be, so rather than stand around with luggage and my wife and I looking like lost tourists in the middle of Bangkok, we headed to where we thought we should be, not fun, hot sweaty tired stressed, not a happy bunny at all!
Anyway, somehow, a couple of hotel staff managed to find us getting lost amongst the chaos of Bangkok at dusk, took our cases and led us to sanctuary. As a first impression I hated this place!
By the time we had gotten onto the boat and across to the hotel the smile on my wife's face had calmed me down. Couple this with the first upgrade to a bigger suite we've ever had in a hotel and it would be fair to say I had been won over ;))
However, I do think the current arrangement is not good enough, the potential to upset customers before they even get to the hotel is a risky strategy in my view and some clearer instructions either on the main road or some other way of getting you safely to the pier needs to be sought.
Having said that, once you know what your doing, having your own private water taxi is a real blast, and we absolutely loved it. Picture the scene; You arrive on a packed pier make a call on your mobile phone, 30 seconds later a beautiful wooden boat arrives to collect you. You make your way through the throng go aboard and then the American voice behind says come on guys all aboard. The guy on board helping my wife to her seat turns around, puts his hand up, and says, sorry Sir this is a private boat. Priceless!!!!!
The Hotel, the rooms, the staff, are just superb, only stayed two nights, had it been two months then that would have been perfectly fine by me. A beautiful oasis in the middle of bedlam.
The only small point that I think the hotel would benefit from would be to consider the dining arrangements. As we had spent a couple of weeks here there and everywhere around Thailand, these last two days and nights were intended to be a time of total relaxation celebrating our anniversary in luxury, before our flight home. We had picked this hotel with the intention of not leaving the grounds at all, but the price of the food and drinks were just too silly, don't get me wrong the food was fine but we'd had as good, actually scratch that, we'd had better sat on cheap plastic garden chairs on the side of the road, including drinks, for about 5 quid (250 baht). The hotel was charging 60 quid (3000bt) for the same/similar meal, and so we ended up back and forth across the river. I don't mind paying extra for hotel extras, but c'mon guys, really?
So, apart from the issue with food, what started a little worryingly turned into a great stay and I'm sure, now that we know where to catch the river taxi, we'll be back again soon.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Praya Palazzo is a stylish 17-room mansion with a rich historical background that offers a unique experience for the discerning travelers. Dating back to the ancient kingdom of Siam, the mansion is situated in the heart of Bangkok on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. Ideal for travelers who want to relax while enjoying city life in the oldest part of Bangkok, Praya Palazzo is in walking distance to many historical sites and attractions such as The Grand Palace, The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn), Chinatown, The National Museum, and Kao San Road just to name a few. Praya Palazzo brings back the sense and lifestyle of the King Rama V period, conveying authentic Thai culture through vision, taste, scent, rhyme and touch. We are proud to offer you personalized service with style but not snobbism, casual atmosphere but not neglect, high standards but not stiffness, simplicity and authenticity. We look forward to sharing with you the passion and love that allowed this residence to stand still today. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Praya Palazzo Hotel Bangkok