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“A diamond in the raw”

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Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel
Ranked #5 of 858 Hotels in Bangkok
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
154 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
“A diamond in the raw”
Reviewed 18 May 2011

Let's get the elephant in the room out of the way: yes the location is not in as fancy an area as most 4* hotels. The entry to the hotel is in a soi (ie an alley) and therefore it looks a bit more decrepit than ideal. That said it is absolutely safe (we were two chicks travelling by ourselves and did not feel theatened for a second) and let's be lucid; the reason why the hotel is so incredibly quiet is precisely that it is a little way away ! The tropical garden is a peace haven in the chaotic Bangkok and everything is there for the guests to relax.

Other than that, I'd be hard rpessed to find anything wrong with this place: great service, kooky and original look, comfortable rooms, great breakfast, convenient amenities (kids play area, internet area and massage spa in a little teak open house opposite the restaurant). The staff is great and incredibly relaxed - flexible and non intrusive.

Do you need a TV with 125 channels and a telephone in your room? If so, this is not the place for you. If not and you value rest, relaxation, service and friendliness, run there !

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Traveling_Chuck_2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PhranakornNornlen, Manager at Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel, responded to this review, 20 May 2011
Thank you for your nice review kaa, we believe our guests can make a better choice after reading your review as you clearly explained that we are not a usual hotel, we just want to ensure everyone come here will get a good travel experience, and they will get exactly what they want - if they read the TA reviews like this one before booking with us :)
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (189)
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English first
Paris, France
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 May 2011

We stayed here for the first time a few years ago and were totally charmed by it. It is not in the main tourist area of Bangkok and has a lovely little garden, so is a little oasis within the big dirty city of Bangkok. However on returning, we found the prices has increased quite a lot, the breakfasts were really not appetizing and lots of the little quirkiness that we loved first time around had gone - such as the little cd players in the rooms, the free insect repellent left out for guests, etc. We paid for a twin room, which was very basic, no soap, no towel rails or soap dishes in the bathroom, in fact no mirror so my husband couldn't shave for 3 days! The bed was like a rock, so my husband suffered from terrible back pain while we were there. They seem to have moved away from the very laid back atmosphere and I saw more and more "rules" posted around the hotel. Overall, if you'd never been there before, you would probably like it, but compared to what it was, we were very disappointed and didn't return for our last few nights in Bangkok as we would usually have done.

Room Tip: Don't go there if you need a soft mattress.
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank WeezieFr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PhranakornNornlen, Manager at Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel, responded to this review, 20 May 2011
We are terribly sorry for your poor experience in PN :(
For the price we've never adjusted for the last 4 years, may be the time you first came was during our soft opening and that's why the price is different. Do you mind to give us some details about the breakfast? We know some of our breakfasts (we change the menu everyday) may not suit every guest as we try to introduce some thai ingredients and local tastes but they may taste a bit strange to foreigners. We normally have the same amenities for every room such as cd player, insect repellent ,home-made soap & mirror- we would love to know which room that you have stayed and we can investigate if something went wrong during that period. And we will discuss with the team and try to avoid the same mistake happen again. Our bed is always the same, in fact we have prepared some extra soft mattress for guests who are not used to hard bed, you just need to inform the front house and they will prepare for you. We would love to know which rules that you saw around our hotel make you feel uncomfortable, if there is any simply because we want to keep our style and character, our operation is small and we can only cater those who accept our style such as "no-smoking", "no outside vistors to guest's room", especially we want our guests to be like-minded ( families with small kids, honey couples, and people who look for authenticity), please kindly contact us and we would love to know more about your concerns and hope to do something to compensate your unpleasant stays, please accept our apology :(
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Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
53 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 May 2011

I stayed at the Phranakorn Nornlen Hotel for 3 nights in November 2010, and it was great. The hotel is unique with very quirky decor. The room was comfortable. The breakfasts were amazing - different each morning and very tasty. The food and smoothies at the hotel restaurant were fantastic. The staff were very helpful and friendly. I liked the location in a more traditional Thai neighborhood, and a short walk to the river ferry.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank garryoak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PhranakornNornlen, Manager at Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel, responded to this review, 14 May 2011
Our smoothie is certainly one of the best in town! Simply because we don't add water to dilute the content, they are mixed of fresh and frozen fruits with a hint of spices! Our location "Old Bangkok" remain as the most interesting place to visit in Bangkok, It's full of characters but also closed to other popular shopping spots such as Siam square or JJ market! Nearby by our guest house is called Sampeng market where you can find lots of good stuffs especially fabrics! Thank you for sharing your good memories with PN :)
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Boca Raton, Florida
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 May 2011

Some friends and I stayed here for a few nights at the end of a two week trip all around Thailand. It is such a cute hotel, and the service is better than anywhere else I've stayed. It's not one of the fanciest, but just a quaint little bed and breakfast. All the rooms are different with beautiful hand painted murals. The breakfast is very yummy, and most of what they make comes from their own organic garden on the roof. I highly recommend Phranakorn Nornlen for a quiet get-away from the hub bub of the city. It's is a tranquil oasis!!!

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lara_D_FL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PhranakornNornlen, Manager at Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel, responded to this review, 14 May 2011
Dear Lara,
Thank you for your compliment! our team must be very happy as you said our service is the best :)
The roof top herbs garden is our project to promote "urban farming" and some of the institutes actually come to learn from us ( and we learned from the other like our soap project). The greens are actually tasted sweeter comapring with the non-organic ones!
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Hanoi
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 May 2011

Can only agree with the other reviws, and add that the playroom/garden is perfect for relaxing with small kids after a hot day of sightseeing.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank MHNHanoi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PhranakornNornlen, Manager at Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel, responded to this review, 18 May 2011
Thank you for your feedback krub! We realised that it's not very pleasant to stay out with young kids for whole day especially Bangkok during the summer seasons, that's why we had prepared a small play ground for kids so they can run around and play with our staff whist parents can chill with a fresh smoothie or Thai beer in the afternoon!
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Swansea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 May 2011

I'm resubmitting this review as I clicked on 'average' in error first time around. I was horrified when I realised, as Phra-Nakorn Nor-Len is truly an excellent place to stay and I wouldn't want to give anyone the wrong impression. We were delighted to arrive in such a tranquil and beautiful place after arriving in Bangkok at the end of a holiday travelling in southern Thailand. The staff were so welcoming - offering fresh juice and smiles whilst our room was prepared. There had been misunderstanding about our son's age and the hotel had anticipated a baby arriving, rather than a tall 11 year old. It was resolved within with a good deal of amusement and we were shown to the 'Chicken Room' - a confectionery of bright fabrics, and decorated walls. The room & bathroom were spotlessly clean and the shower the best we'd had in our 3 wee trip. We could access a tiny balcony from the room and leave the doors open as there was a magnetic mosquito screen. This meant we could have the fan on but not the air con all the time - a big plus for us.

The hotel is charmingly decorated throughout - covered in quirky murals and filled with bespoke furniture. The food is excellent - the breakfasts set us up for days out tramping the streets. Everything is beautifully presented and organised and the ambience is peaceful and tranquil. The big roof garden is a bonus with fanatstic views over RamaVIII Bridge and Wat Intharawharn. We sat up drinking beers & playing cards and had it to ourselves. There are endless street stalls selling food just steps away from the hotel and we sampled some fine food during our stay. The district is worth exploring as there are not many other hotels and the locals are very friendly.

The express boat stop N14 is less than 10 mins walk away and reurn tickets for 3 cost 40 odd baht. It's a great way to travel and people watch as you see Bangkok from a different persepctive. If you have to wait for a boat then spend 20baht on stale bread form the vendors and join the fish feeding frenzy.

We missed our stop on one trip and by happy accident ended up at N6 and caught the stunning flower market - highly recommended. We went on to the fabric market at Pahurat, just around the corner, which was a joy for me as I'm a fabric junkie and I bought lots of silk remnants and printed cottons.

Would also highly recommend a visit to Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan (more info on http://www.bangkok.com/attraction-temple/) It's the last of it's kind in the world and very different to other temples in Bangkok. Great views from the top and the maze -like feel to it is special.

We did end up fairly briefly on the Khao San Rd.- tourist central, though it does have Lofty Bamboo - a certified fair trade shop selling beautiful silver jewellery, bead and leather work, clothes and accessories.

The hotel was always a joy to return to because for all that it's fun it's hot and busy out there and yet you come through the gate and don't feel as if your in a city at all.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank klaxon2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PhranakornNornlen, Manager at Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel, responded to this review, 9 May 2011
Thank you for resubmitting your review! we don't need to say much as you have fully explored the district like a local! In fact the area we are located is rich in culture and local wonders if this what you are after (except khaosan- a 100% touristy place), guests who chose to stay with PN have more or less the same reason, they all search for something that are authentic. Thank you for appreciating the true beauty of Thailand :)
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Dearborn, Michigan
Level Contributor
45 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 April 2011

I absolutely LOVED staying at Phranakon Nornlen and would definitely stay there again. It was a lush green wonderland in the middle of a very busy city. Inside the gates you practically forgot you were even in a city though. It is the most charming little place imaginable. If you are looking for 5 star luxury this isn't the place for you, but if you want to stay somewhere with personality and uniqueness I HIGHLY recommend it!!

The staff were the friendliest most helpful people I have ever met. I don't know if Tukta is still there, but she especially was outstanding. We were having trouble with our cell phone and she went to the local convenience store with us to translate and when that didn't work gave us an old phone of the hotel's and just asked that we mail it back at the end of our trip.

The breakfasts were more food than you could possibly eat not to mention delicious!

The beds were a little bit hard but that seemed sort of standard everywhere we went in Thailand. A small price to pay for the overall wonderfulness of the place!

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank calliec2442
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PhranakornNornlen, Manager at Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel, responded to this review, 9 May 2011
Thanks a lot for your compliment! yes PN is really not a kind of place for everyone since we have a concept which is not about luxury living but the harmony and creativity by making use of environmental friendly materials. Our staff are not trained to serve guests in a formal way but learn how to treat everyone as a friend with respect and make them feel warmed and welcoming. Tukta is now helping us on the walking tour, we design this program to bring our guests to see and explore the real charm of Thailand f as a local thai!
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Additional Information about Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel

Property: Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel
Address: 46 Thewet Soi 1, Krungkaseam Rd. | Bangkhunprom, Phranakorn, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Bangkok > Banglamphu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Bangkok
#11 Romantic Hotel in Bangkok
#104 Business Hotel in Bangkok
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dear guests: Please be advised we are not associated with any online travelagents. We only accept reservations via our website and our Facebook fan page Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel We are a small hotel situated within Phranakorn district ( Old Bangkok), with the concept of slow life, we hope to bring your trip and rest apart from the usual hectic environment. Learning to respect the way of nature and living among real life community are one of experiences you cannot easily find in this rush and bustle world. Here at PN we don't just offer a place to stay, but we offer experience as well. Please booking from our website only. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
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