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.
- 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