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“Hidden gem in Bangkok”

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Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel
Ranked #4 of 896 Hotels in Bangkok
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 January 2010

We stayed here for a total of 4 nights in November 09 (3 at beginning of hol and 1 at the end) and we loved it.

We were picked up by the hotel taxi, a very comfortable car after a shattering flight from London. It was boiling but the driver apologised for making us wait (for about 5 mins), took our bags and gave us 2 ice cold bottles of water which were very welcome!

On checking-in, we were given two fruity drinks, again ice-cold and delicious. Then a voucher for two free meals in the cafe - again very welcome as we arrived around 8-9pm and were starving!

So far, so impressed.

I have to say that the staff are lovely and a real credit to the place. They always had a smile on their face and were very friendly and helpful. Not one single staff member, including the cleaning ladies, ignored us if we saw them. They always said hello. I've stayed in many grander places and never had that treatment before - apart from in Hong Kong - so it impressed me. Maybe it's just the good service you get in Asia generally?

Bedroom was a decent-size and we had a little balcony - 1st time overlooking the patio and 2nd time overlooking the huge golden Buddha monument towards the back.

The bed has a hard mattress and we were fine with that - helps my back out anyway. The decor is pretty and colourful and there are some nice touches to it that personalised it a bit more for us. For example, there are 3 CDs for morning, afternoon and night, free bottles of water every day, free herbal tea served in your room and home-made toiletries for the bathroom.

There isn't a wardrobe but they do have a few hangers so be aware of that.

Bathroom again is decorated prettily and has nice copper (I think) shower piping. If you're looking for a 5 star (or even 4 star) bathroom experience, you won't get it here. Water is lukewarm at best but my boyfriend was fine with this and I lived with it as I'm a hot shower fan! Bangkok is so hot anyway, a coldish shower was quite good really.

I really enjoyed the breakfasts. I know some people have said that they're of a modest size but I didn't find this the case. It's not a huge buffet or anything but they're very clear on website so do read it. Every day we got a beautifully presented and healthy breakfast consisting of freshly squeezed juice (all sorts of different fruits), something hot like Pad Thai, some soup and fruit plus glasses of water. If you're veggie like me just make sure that you ask them not to put the dried shrimp into the Pad Thai.

The patio/internet/reception area was beautiful. There's free internet 24 hours. You can also book very cheap massages which were very thorough!

In response to the person who said they got bitten loads in this area, I would say that there were notices up about this and they provided free mozzie repellent too. Maybe it wasn't around when he/she was sitting there??

Area is pretty nice, it's really local and good to have a wander round. Think there's a school opposite and you do get some noise from this in the morning.

It's probably a 10 min walk to the riverboat which takes you to the sights. Otherwise we just got the cheap and plentiful taxis everywhere - they made up for the total lack of public transport in this city. There's Skytrain which is fine if you're staying round there, otherwise it's taxi, bus, walking or tuk tuk. Taxi drivers on a couple of occasions seemed to be a little unsure of where they were going so don't expect them to have done The Knowledge! However with the little map the hotel gave us and some broken English we got around, no probs. THe taxis are way better than the tuk tuks - coming from London, we really appreciated their dirt-cheapness.

There's also a lovely roof terrace with views and herb garden - pleasant spot to have a read or drink.

I guess if you want to stay somewhere a little bit quirky and cute then I would absolutely recommend this place. If you're looking to stay with a bunch of other backpackers or in a Hilton in the shopping district, this is NOT the place for you.

For us, the price was right and the service was friendly - we are in our early 30s and were not backpacking. Little touches such as the water, free meal etc just made it for us. One staff member actually ran after us when we'd checked out to give us water for the trip to the airport and wish us a pleasant journey. They also welcome new guests with a hello written on a chalk board as you walk into the garden, which I thought was cute. If you've got kids, they love them, staff members were always playing and talking to the children staying there when we were. Free walking tours are offered but unfortunately we weren't there on the days they were doing them.

Couldn't ask for more really, well done Phranakorn - we'd definitely stay again.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank aligs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PhranakornNornlen, PN Gang at Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 7 January 2010

Dear our lovely guests, thank you for your review. You remember all details - service, decorations, and transportation around our hotel area...so impressed :):) We hope to see yo again next time, pls feel free to let us know if any special requests you may have :) Anyway, the picture showing in your profile is the south of Thailand, right? It's so beautiful!

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Reviewed 2 January 2010

This place seems to be an oasis in the busy Bangkok life. All rooms are uniquely painted/decorated, and very charming indeed. (think trees and pots with flowers) The place and staff will make you feel at home and very welcome.

A nice touch in the rooms is the wall-mounted CD player with music that totally fits the boutique, laidback atmosphere of the hotel. There are Apple mac's with internet access available for free, and there are daily Thai massages if you like. On Tuesdays and Saturdays there's a free walking tour, visiting some eating markets and you can sample some awesome Thai food. Recommended! The food at the hotel itself is very good too; don't miss out on the "nutty satay", it's the best. There's a rooftop chillout which looks over Thewet with a lighted Buddha up front.

Thewet is a relaxed place. Getting anywhere and back is easy with the watertaxi. (10 minutes walk) Kao San road is walkable too (20 minutes), but the atmosphere there is way different; people look/act grumpy and tourists have taken over. Thewet is still pure Thai!

There's no doubt that if we ever visit Bangkok again, this is the place we will stay in.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Sanbert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PhranakornNornlen, PN Gang at Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 7 January 2010

Dear Both, thank you very much for your review :D Wish you a very happy year!

If you back to us next time, we'll find the new route of walking tour and definitely new menu for you to taste..hope to see you again, our lovely guests.

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Reviewed 1 January 2010

I searched trip advisor looking for a hotel and came across the Phranakorn Nornlen. I was happy with the stay. The hotel is tucked away in a small alley. The surrounding neighborhood looks a little shady but once you pass the gates to the hotel grounds you enter a peaceful garden/cafe area that leave's you worries behind. There's a convenient internet lounge with travel books all over. There's a small cafe that serves beer and food. Breakfast at the hotel is excellent. Everything is so fresh and presented well. I believe most of it comes from the rooftop garden of the hotel.

The rooms are cozy and they bring hot tea to your room every night. Internet wasn't always stable but I was able to find what I needed. The staff is very friendly and will help with any questions you have.

It's probably a little more expensive than other places you can find in Bangkok but it's safe, clean and I felt very comfortable staying here. I paid about $60 a night which is cheap by U.S. standards but a little high for Bangkok

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled solo
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Thank heyqqqq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PhranakornNornlen, PN Gang at Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 7 January 2010

Dear Guest, thank you for your review, we saw it's posted since Jan1...such a wonderful gift for us :):)
We're more than happy this place safe and comforatable for you, hope to see you again next time, happy new year 2010!!

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Reviewed 23 December 2009

I'm so glad I read the reviews of this hotel at Tripadvisor before making reservations for our 6-night stay in Bangkok. We couldn't have picked a better hotel (boutique hotel?) for a comfortable, quiet oasis in the bustling city of Bangkok.
First off this is not a luxury hotel complete with all the amenities of home. Second, the location is not in the midst of tourist attractions which are fairly easily reached by express ferry (a 10 minute walk to the pier from the hotel) or by tuk-tuk or taxi for a moderate fare. These two inconveniences (if you want to call them that) are more than compensated for by all the other qualities of this hotel.
The staff is extremely helpful and knowledgeable, the food delicious (not your typical continental or American breakfast) and wholesome, even the coffee was good, the premises and decorations are most interesting both in the courtyard and in the rooms. The bathroom was sufficient with a shower, sink and flush toilet and the bed comfortable (I do like a hard mattress). The room was pleasantly comfortable, temperature wise (good airconditioner plus an overhead fan) but no chair for sitting. No closets but shelving for clothing and some hooks with a couple of hangers. A CD player with some wonderful new age music, a telephone but no tv (who has time to watch it anyhow) and no mini-bar. 2 bottles of water were supplied every day and you could always get ice from the restaurant when it was open.
Free Internet is available in all the rooms (wifi) and there were 3 iMacs next to the lobby for those without their own computer. Massages were available on-site also but not much privacy! And did it hurt! Not your gentle massage but I loved it anyway.
A free walking tour was included - a visit to a wat (temple) followed by some thai snacks (lunch really). Quite unexpected.
We will definitely stay here the next time we visit Bangkok.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Adorevoyagerpartout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PhranakornNornlen, Pn Gang at Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 26 December 2009

Thanks so much for your review, these are very important and also bring us a passion for work :)

We're happy to know you tried a lot to blend with local Thai. You're so kind, it's nice to meet you, and we hope very much to serve you again next time.

We wish you a great helth and wealth, happy new year 2010, our lovely guest :D

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Reviewed 15 December 2009

I had read the mixed reviews here on TripAdvisor, but as I enjoy a more personal guesthouse experience and wanted to avoid the Khao San Road tourist scene, I decided to go ahead and stay here. I ended up having a very mixed experience and do wish I had stayed somewhere else after all, even Khao San.

The positives are that the staff is extremely nice and friendly and wonderful; the breakfasts they cook are interesting and mostly very good; there are 3 computers with internet for use anytime; the rooms are thoughtfully decorated and have homemade soap and hot tea waiting at night and other nice personal touches.

The negatives are that firstly, this hotel is EXTREMELY out of the way. It's about a 20-30 minute walk north of Khao San, which is already a big walk north from the rest of the city. It's true that the hotel is very close to a boat stop which is great during daylight hours, but boats stop running around 6 PM so if you're spending late afternoon down at in chinatown, or downtown, Sky Bar, jim thompson, etc, you're totally screwed. Even with the taxi direction sheet, I could not get A SINGLE CAB to take me to the place which got to be incredibly frustrating. The night I arrived I actually ended up walking, lost, over an hour from Khao San area all around Bangkok with all my heavy bags trying to find the hotel. It was awful, and if an english-speaking man hadn't seen me crying and walked me a long stretch of the way to the hotel I am not sure what would have happened. The rest of the trip, I took cabs or motorcycles back to the Khao San area and then just walked 20 more minutes north back to the hotel, since none of them were willing to try to find the hotel.

Secondly, someone else mentioned the mosquitos - it is insane! I didn't get bit at all in Lao or Cambodia, then come to Bangkok and my legs got murdered inside my own hotel, sitting in the internet area. They have an indoor/outdoor garden thing goign on, with beautiful plants and flowers around which look nice but must be a mosquito breeding ground. It was so crazy. I had so many bites all over my legs after my first night emailing down in the hotel computer area that I actually broke out in a horrible rash all over my legs.

Thirdly, my hot water did not work the whole time. I didn't even bother to complain about this since I felt bad for causing so many other problems, with needing laundry done and mosquito lotion and my problems with the hotel location. And cold showers aren't the worst thing in hot Bangkok. But still it was one other sort of frustrating factor.

Lastly I agree with those who say the price just seems too high for what you are getting. It is so far out of the way, and the breakfasts are good but fairly modest-sized. I am not sure why it costs 3x the guesthouses that are so much more centrally located.

I can see having a great experience here if you are okay with a more remote location and want to be away from the tourist scene....on the other hand, I thought I wanted that, and in fact the drawbacks proved a little much for even me.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled solo
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1  Thank JDMBrooklyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PhranakornNornlen, PN Gang at Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 19 December 2009

We're so sorry to hear the things you experienced were not so good...please feel free to let us know if any help needed on your next arrival in Thailand. We also hope you have a good health and wealth, and lastly, thanks so much for your review.

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Reviewed 5 December 2009

We stayed at Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel with our 4 month old baby for 4 nights last September. What a wonderful spot. We were given such a wonderful welcome and felt like celebrities with our little girl. She was very welcome there. We LOVED the decor and the atmosphere. It was like a breath of fresh air after the chaos of Bangkok streets. We had great food and juices from the kitchen. The views from the roof garden were great, especially at night! Another highlight was the massage! We could have massages downstairs in the dayroom off the courtyard, with our baby monitor next to us, while our daughter slept happily in her little cot in our room. (the cot was provided for us too! We were also offered hot water and a little basin to bathe her as the rooms only had showers.) Another nice touch was a bottle of iced water each after we'd organized ourselves to leave and loaded up the taxi on the last day. We'd recommend this place to everyone! It was great!

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank GMCTauranga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PhranakornNornlen, PN Gang at Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 6 December 2009

Dear Guests, thank you for your review. We hope to serve you again next time when your kid grow up :D

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Reviewed 1 December 2009

What can I say that hasn't already been said? This hotel is a true gem, an oasis of calm and peace in a crazy-busy city. We stayed in two different rooms (at the beginning and end of our trip) and I really liked them both. Clean, comfortable, big bathroom, lovely terrace overlooking the courtyard. The service was super friendly, professional, and warm. We felt at home right away. One could while away lots of time here and it would be wonderful. The food was also very good. And those smoothies!!! The best in SE Asia, in my opinion. Highly recommend and can't wait to return!

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank emiana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PhranakornNornlen, PN Gang at Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 6 December 2009

Dear Emiana, first of all, let us say thank you for choosing stay with us and also for your beautiful review :) Please feel free to let us know if any special requets you may have on your next arrival in Thailand.

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Additional Information about 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: £56 - £76 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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:
Phranakorn Nornlen Hotel Bangkok

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