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“Unique resort marred by spotty service”
Review of Praya Palazzo

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Praya Palazzo
Ranked #287 of 891 Hotels in Bangkok
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 21, 2013

My wife and I concluded our two week holiday in Thailand with two nights in Bangkok and the Praya Palazzo. Since this is my first review, I will also preface this by saying that, between my wife and I, we have quite a bit of experience with 4 and 5 star hotels/resorts in Europe, Asia, the middle east, Africa and the Americas.

On the positive side, the hotel itself is an architectural gem discreetly situated on the calm side of the river. The access is by the hotel taxi boat, available on demand 24/7 via the dedicated mobile phones lent to you by the hotel. The trip takes about five minutes and we never had to wait more than a few minutes for pickup; very nice. The hotel grounds are beautifully kept and the location is splendid.

Unfortunately, the hotel has some rather serious shortcomings compared to what is to be expected at this level. The bathroom door was made of slats, leaving almost no privacy towards the bedroom; not very romantic if somebody needs to use the toilet! Our "Superior" room had a bath tub with a shower head, but no where to hang it, making for a very uncomfortable shower while squatting in the tub. There was also no shower curtain, which made it virtually impossible to shower without soaking the whole bathroom. Who has the time for a bath when there is Bangkok to explore?

The worst part, unfortunately, was the breakfast service, which is included in the room price. They have forsaken the buffet in lieu of a an à la carte selection, which sounds nice in practice but in reality it was uninspired and, frankly, boring. It seemed like the kitchen had made no effort in either presentation or preparation. Compared to other Thai hotels in this price range it was a huge letdown.

The breakfast service was also ridiculously slow at times; having to wait almost 30 minutes for two slices of toast when there's almost nobody else eating, is, quite frankly, a disaster. If it was a one-off occurrence, we would have written it off, but it was systematic. The waiters were either nowhere to be found or too busy chatting in a corner rather than serving their guests.

As it stands, this resort needs a firm hand to pull it up from the mud and into the class and sophistication it deserves. Until then, we will stay somewhere else.

Room Tip: Make sure you get a room on the second floor. The floorboards creak a lot when walked upon and there...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank David R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prayapalazzo, General Manager at Praya Palazzo, responded to this reviewResponded May 2, 2013

Dear ExpatAtHome72,
Warmest greetings from a sunny Bangkok!
Thank you for your detailed review and for sharing your observations and experiences. Thank you for all your compliments and also for sharing the areas where we need to improve. It is a pity that you have encountered so many shortcomings and to have this many in one stay is rather rare, hence we really feel sad that you could not entirely enjoy yourself.
From your review we know that the room category you mentioning is a Deluxe room (the only room type where Shower and Bath is combined. Our Superior has only a shower and the Suites have both a Shower and a Bath tub - separately). If we remember corectly your original room was a Superior but we had upgraded you to a Deluxe upon arrival. If we would have known your preference to have a shower separately we could have introduced you our Junior-Suite instead or perhaps offer the Superior instead of the Deluxe.
It is also a pity that we could not ensure you had a great breakfast experience. Normally the "a la carte" is well received by our guests because the breakfast is freshly prepared a la minute but inactive waiters is of course not our typical standard and we have no excuse for the delays in service and the lack of getting you some hot toast quickly. (one toaster broke but that still is not an excuse for the delay).
We do hope however that you would give us another chance to experience our property and we will try our level best to exceed your expectations.
Warmest regards from our entire team and wish you many happy and safe travels.

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Reviewed February 10, 2013

We enjoyed three days at Praya Palazzo between Christmas and New Year's and found it exceptional - a historic, secluded riverside retreat as beautiful as pictured - and yes, there are geckos :) While essentially accessible only by boat, the hotel boat was free, prompt, and comfortable, and the quick trip across the river more than worth it when we were ready to flee the city hubbub after a long day of sightseeing - the hotel even lent us a mobile phone so we could conveniently call to have the boat sent. The boat picks up/drops off at a busy pier where you can grab a water taxi to numerous popular tourist destinations - or you can walk about 10 - 15min from the pier to the Royal Palace complex and Wat Pho. The hotel's food and ambiance were wonderful and the management so attentive and welcoming, the hotel was a true highlight of our Bangkok stay and our ATW tour.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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19  Thank Happy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prayapalazzo, General Manager at Praya Palazzo, responded to this reviewResponded February 12, 2013

Dear Happy T,

Warmest greetings from Praya Palazzo and thank you very much for your very kind words. We are really happy to see that you had a great time with us and loved our gecko's :)

Thank you for sharing your experiences and also describing our mansion's accessibility which is only by boat. The phone indeed is very helpful to most of our guests, not just to call for the boat but also when they are lost in town or need help in translations at the market or with giving directions to a taxi driver :)

Thank you also for the compliments on our food, ambiance and our management team. We are glad our little residence was a highlight on your Bangkok stay and we hope to welcome you back again soon on your next visit.

Warmest regards and wish you lots of great travels ahead.

The Praya Palazzo Team!

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Reviewed February 7, 2013

This is a great boutique hotel to stay at for location and ease of site-seeing around Bangkok. Although we stayed at the Shangri-La for 2 nights (and the Oriental the time before), the Praya Palazzo was a much more special, unique experience and I'd recommend it to friends heading to Bangkok. Being a boutique hotel with not many rooms, the staff really goes the extra mile to help and assist you. When you arrive you are explained that the hotel has a very beautiful history (it was the realized passionate dream of a couple who restored it) which actually makes you appreciate the work put into it rather than other conventional hotel chains.

The room was just perfect, comfortable, silent, lots of wood and plenty of character. True modern yet classic Thai style. The bed is big, very comfortable and you have to love the rain shower. We came back to the restaurant nearly everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner- a brilliant combination of Western modern and traditional Thai food in a serene environment. Nice hearty breakfast. The restaurant and pool have stunning views over the River (which you can stare at for hours due to all the mesmerising commotion), and the location is central without being noisy. The hotel provides a boat to get to wharf 13.

You

Room Tip: Tip: The hotel is only accessibly by water, so you need to get a taxi to wharf 13 and you need to ca...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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22  Thank Christopher C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prayapalazzo, General Manager at Praya Palazzo, responded to this reviewResponded February 12, 2013

Dear Christopher C,
Warmest greetings from Praya Palazzo and thank you very much for your detailed and very nice review. You compared our little mansion to some of the most luxurious hotels in Bangkok and we are so proud to read that you found our property more special. We have shared this with our team already!
Also, thank you for mentioning that our team goes out of their way to look after guests as that is indeed one of our most important goals. As a small boutique hotel this is one of our strengths and that is also what we love to do and is the reason we are in the hotel business. We are trying hard to create a homely feeling instead that of a hotel feeling.

The residence has indeed a very interesting history and it is nice that you enjoyed and appreciate its history and character. This is what makes our little mansion so special.

It is very kind of you to point out our room quality, the food standards and also the views and accessibility. All of which have been beautifully described.

We hope to welcome you back again soon and introduce to you some new heritage dishes we are trying out at the moment.

Warmest regards from our entire team and wish you lots of happy travelling.

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Reviewed February 5, 2013

Gorgeous location, and fabulous staff who went out of their way to rectify some issues and problems; pity they couldn't do anything about the pool being unusable. (I would never knowingly stay in a hotel in Bangkok without a pool!) The room was very small and a bit dingy. I am not sure that the description of river room views is accurate. The hotel lacks some attention to detail that should be standard at this end of the market - bathroom soap that stained towels, only a hand held shower, minimal (sometimes no) hot water, and old/tired towels. Breakfast too was less than satisfactory (fresh juice is available everywhere in Thailand, but not here.)

Room Tip: River view rooms don't actually have much of view.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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4  Thank HoJo_Guest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prayapalazzo, General Manager at Praya Palazzo, responded to this reviewResponded February 12, 2013

Dear HoJo_Guest,

Warmest greetings from the Praya Palazzo team and many thanks for sharing your experience and observations. We remember you and your friends well and as you mentioned it was indeed a real pity that the pool was out of order. You may remember that one of the pumps broke down and although this is normally not a major issue, the excessive rainfall the same evening caused the water PH levels to be unbalanced. We decided not to take any risks and close the pool just in case, did a deep cleaning and re-balanced the PH levels as there are so many horror stories about hotel pools around the world and we simply did not wanted to take any risk.
We agree that the arrangements we made at another nearby hotel for our guests to use their pool was not a perfect solution, but at the same time we did not know of any better way to have our guests enjoy the pool during those three days. We regret this affected your quality of stay with us. Also because this all happened in one day, we had little time to inform our guests prior to arriving and we tried hard to deal with the situation in the best way possible.

This is the first time we had a comment about our boutique branded bathroom soap (we have several kinds) and the quality of our towels. We most certainly will ensure that the towels are in good condition and we will try to find out which type of soap leaves the stains. Strangely it is something we have never noticed before, thank you for mentioning it.
We have noted your comment about the breakfast juice and you are right, for a property at our level we should offer fresh juice only. We will change it shortly.

Our Superior Rooms have a shower room, no bathtub. The Deluxe Rooms have a bathtub with a hand-held shower (as you mentioned) and the Suites have both a bathtub and a separate shower. We will make this more clear on our website and other platforms so guests are well informed about the different room options we have.

Recently we invited a well known photographer to re-shoot our hotel photos which gives a much better indication what the rooms look like and where the property is located. Although the residence is located directly at the river, because of some mature trees not all windows offer a direct view on the river itself. Bangkok does not have many trees left so we are really proud of our trees and they offer some nice shade during the day and also attract a lot of birds, another luxury in Bangkok.

Thank you very much again for your review and we hope you will be back one day to plunge in our infinity edge pool and fully enjoy all our facilities.

Warmest greetings,
The Praya Palazzo team!

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Reviewed January 23, 2013

We had an Amazing experience, very different feel to the standard BAngkok hotels. A historic building worthy of restoration situated on the calm side and end of Bangkok's Chaopraya River... A perfect escape from the usual hustle and bustle of the downtown or sukhumvit area. I guess suitable more for those looking for something unique, relaxing, close to the old city, grand palace and Wat Po.

What did we love? staff were great, Hung was a highlight very warm, outgoing and helpful! Food was exceptional, a little pricy compared to outside restaurants but similar to other hotels, definately worth it! Rooms had a lot of character adding to the feeling of living in an old restored mansion on the banks of the river....very cool :)

Worth mentioning and not to be missed is a klong tour on a local long tail boat....to see the contrasts, greenery and river lifestyle of the old Bangkok. We finished it with a trip to the Grand Palace, Wat Po and came back to the same area again the next day to visit Wat Arun.

All up a different side of Bangkok that we will revisit again , thanks for the wonderful stay :)

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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25  Thank Lostinasia123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prayapalazzo, General Manager at Praya Palazzo, responded to this reviewResponded January 27, 2013

Dear Lostinasia123,
Warmest greetings from Praya Palazzo and thank you very much for sharing your experiences and observations.

Hang has been smiling all day when we shared your feedback and our chef and kitchen team were also very delighted to hear that you enjoyed the food.

Thank you for describing in detail the experience and feeling you had with us and you touched on a very important point which indeed is very often forgotten; the local klong tour on a long tail boat. Catching one is very easy from our property as they are parked only a few meters away at Phra Arthit Pier and if you are clear enough to explain your expectations or destination(s) the prices and the trip are certainly worth it. Sometimes it is soo much nicer to go 100% local and explore Bangkok for what it really is as you pointed out.
From our experience, most long tail boats around our area are charging fair prices and take guests out to their actual destination. Rarely we hear about complaints. Especially when going off the beaten track really gives a nice experience and you will have an opportunity to sample some local snacks and see some tourist free areas.

Thank you for mentioning this and for sharing all your compliments. We are very excited that you will be back and we will explore more local trips for you to venture on.

Warmest regards from our entire team!

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Reviewed January 23, 2013 via mobile

Praya Palazzo was a really comfortable base for our days in Bangkok. We stayed for four nights. As a contrast to the hot, hectic city life, we appreciated the nice pool garden and quiet athmosphere. It's really quite unique for this city.

The room we stayed in (suite) was not extremely fancy and sparkling, but classic, clean, cosy and comfortable. I felt at home there. Noise free, nice colours, high ceilings and good beds. After walking or taxiing around in the city, we were always so tired and heavy coming back, so the free shuttle boat felt like a rescue service and after 1,5 hour in our room or in/by the pool, we always felt better and ready to go out again for dinner.

The food and drinks there were really good! A bit pricey, we caught ourselves thinking, but 9 euros for a huge and yummy duck curry served between the river and a beautifully lit pool.. It's really nothing to whine about for a european. ;) I still reminisce about the taste...

At first, coming from island bungalows, we didn't immediately relax in this hotel, with the attentive service and classic surroundings, but it didn't take long to realise that we could easily be ourselves and enjoy the facilities.

The location is perhaps not the most ideal if you want to hang out in the Sukhumvit area all the time, but I would recommend this beautiful hotel for travellers who feel the need to really recharge their batteries in between exploring this chaotic city. We might sound like an elderly couple, but we are in our twenties and still... :)

And before leaving for Norway on a night flight, they let us keep the room until we left at 9 pm... Nice and smooth!

  • Stayed: January 2013
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22  Thank RG_PV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prayapalazzo, General Manager at Praya Palazzo, responded to this reviewResponded January 27, 2013

Dear RG_PV,
Warmest greetings from Praya Palazzo and thank you very much for your kind review. We are really happy to read that you had a great time and enjoyed yourselves.

Thank you for recognising our attentive service and our classic surroundings. It is indeed a strange experience for guests when they first arrive because most guests are used to local or resort architecture and facilities whilst in our case you enter what once was an Italian style palace. This gives very much a European "colonial" (without the negative aspects of course) feel which is quite rare in Thailand although much more common in neighbouring countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos or Myanmar where European influence in architecture has been far greater. However, this is what most guest like about our little hideaway. It gives a different feeling and often feels "majestic".
Of course we try hard to maintain a strong Thai touch in our service approach, menus and of course the history as our residence was build during the Siam era and we are located in the old part of Bangkok!

You made an interesting point about our menu prices and as you rightly pointed out, it is not overly expensive when comparing to Europe (or other hotels) but then again quite a lot more then local-local restaurant prices. This is largely due to the massive cost of maintaining a 100 year old mansion which requires a huge investment to upkeep and of course, as we are on the other-side of the river, we have an additional cost of maintaining three boats with full crew to ensure 24 hour boat service is available. These are very high hidden costs and most of our competition or local eateries wont have these expenses, hence they could offer a much better price point (or at least they should).
We are quite comfortable with our pricing although we keep a watchful eye to ensure great value for money by working very hard to ensure that our food is really delicious. As you may know, we have collected century old recipes from the National Library and we have re-introduced some of the Thai cuisine which has sadly been lost.
We have also been advised by the Master Chef at the Palace (Achaan Phen Phun) and her team to ensure we are truly authentic and stick to tradition.

Guests seeking to explore the Sukhumvit, Silom or Sathorn parts of Bangkok frequently may indeed find our location inconvenient as it involves a boat ride (or several) and a taxi ride, but with Bangkok's notorious traffic, this could be a real adventure.
However, guests seeking the main attractions of vibrant Bangkok like the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Po, the National Museum, China Town or the Throne Hall will find our location ideal as it is a very short ride or boat ride away. For a night cap Khao Sarn road could be a nice alternative to other night venues in Bangkok but Phra Artit road itself is a great favourite for those who love to explore local places. There are many great little eateries and bars around the area and it has a great atmosphere especially after 21h00 with live music and lots of local crowds.

Those seeking a more quiet time, nice and intimate dinner or drinks of course will feel at home at our residence as it is designed to be a hideaway.

Again, many thanks for your great review and for sharing your experiences and we hope to welcome you back again sometime soon.

Warmest regards from our entire team.

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Reviewed January 21, 2013

We read about the Palazzo in our guidebook & were determined to visit for lunch. Our resolve wavered in the face of almost universal ignorance as to its location, but following a series of miss-steps, we were finally collected by Palazzo staff & ferried across to the property. (Memo to selves: never travel again without a working cell phone.) The hotel restaurant was as calm and relaxing as advertised; partly because we were the only diners, but partly too because of the gracious atmosphere and harmonious decor. For some reason it's always disappointing to be the only people in the dining room, but this was our sole disappointment during the meal. The food was lovely, especially my partner's main course, which was one of several dishes cooked according to a traditional Thai recipe. As our meal neared its end, we were approached by the charming hostess/manager, who subsequently gave us a full tour of the hotel & an engaging history of its transformation from broken down colonial ruin to charismatic boutique hotel. As the latter, clearly, it wouldn't be for everyone. You have to call the hotel shuttle boat service to ferry you across the river, & the amenities are less spectacular than those available in the many faceless chain hotels that blight the Bangkok skyline. But most of us don't travel to Thailand in the hope of finding everything the way it would be back home. It can't be easy to preserve a place like the Praya Palazzo in the face of regular floods & cheap chain alternatives, but it is certainly worthwhile.

Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
21  Thank johnny-XRay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prayapalazzo, General Manager at Praya Palazzo, responded to this reviewResponded January 27, 2013

Dear Johnny-XRay,
Thank you very much for your kind and encouraging words and for sharing your experiences with us here at Praya Palazzo.

You raised a very good observation which is our hotel location. As we are only accessible by boat, guests would require to arrive at one of the piers, in your case Phra Arthit Pier. You are totally correct that it is very hard to find and that we are lacking a sign there. Rest assured that we are fully aware of this and we are working hard to acquire a site on Phra Arthit Road itself which can be used for a guest "drop-off" and lounge space so it is much easier to find us and then have a seat whilst luggage is handled and the boat transfer organised.
Although we have been trying to get this space for several months, we have yet to receive the final approval so we keep our fingers crossed that in the first quarter of this year we can have a little lounge and welcome point at Phra Artit road itself which will make it a lot easier for our guests to find us and transfer to our property.

Thank you for your compliments on our food and our residence. We have shared this with our team to their delight and they feel even more excited to introduce new menu items and new drinks too.

Its great to see that one of our team members showed you around as we are very proud of our mansion and we always love to share this with our guests. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about our residence's history.

You are also correct about our amenities, we are working hard to introduce a new range of amenities to continue to improve the in and out of room experience. For example we are expecting to introduce fantastic coffee machines in our deluxe rooms and suites with a range of Single Origin's Coffees, something which is quite a nice touch. This also includes a premium gourmet tea range and facilities, both of which are included in the room price.

Thank you again for staying with us and we hope to welcome you back again and introduce to you new small little touches as we continue to grow.

Warmest regards from our entire team and wish you lots of great travels ahead!

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Additional Information about Praya Palazzo

Address: 757 / 1 Somdej Prapinklao Soi 2, Bangkok 10700, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Bangkok
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#78 Romantic Hotel in Bangkok
#201 Luxury Hotel in Bangkok
Price Range: $98 - $201 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Praya Palazzo 4.5*
Number of rooms: 17
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

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