A difficult hotel to rate - it's not really what you'd call average, but neither is it very good. The main selling point is that it hasn't been renovated since the 1950s, so it's like stepping back in time. This has its good and bad points. The public areas are a treat, but our room was like a concrete bunker, with little ornamentation, and the beds have no blankets. They're not really necessary in Bangkok's climate, but it felt a little Spartan. The pool is great - not too many budget hotels in Bangkok have anything like this, and it didn't matter too much that some of the tiles were chipped and there was algae growing on the bottom - the water was clear and reasonably clean, apart from a few leaves from the wilderness-like garden.
The restaurant was again a blast from the past, and had an extensive menu with many vegetarian options, which our travelling companions appreciated, but several of the meals we had were distinctly ordinary - well below the standard we found almost everywhere in this foodie paradise of a country. Other negatives were the 600-metre walk to the train station (there are taxis along the street, but they laughed when I asked them if they were metered), and the obsession with sex tourists. Everywhere you go in the Atlanta - and even on the menu and hotel stationery - are signs saying "Sex Tourists Not Welcome". True, there are some dodgy places not far away, but we didn't see any obvious sign of them, and this seemed like overkill. On our return to Bangkok we stayed in another place not far away, which was perfectly respectable without all the signage. We got the feeling that the place is coasting on its former glory, established under its founder, Dr Max Henn, who died 10 years ago at the age of 94. As budget hotels in Bangkok go, it's something out of the ordinary, but could be better.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The historic Atlanta Hotel in Bangkok is, literally, untouched by modern pop culture. Walking into The Atlanta is like walking into another world, a long lost world. Most of what a guest sees and hears is old and classic - and authentic. ***The Atlanta Hotel in Bangkok, founded in 1952, features many superlatives, notably, the most photographed and oldest unaltered hotel lobby in Thailand, the first hotel swimming (diving) pool in Thailand, the largest selection of Thai vegetarian dishes in the world, a unique jungle-like garden right in the middle of Bangkok. The western menu features dishes made in the 1950s style - dishes that were on the original menu of The Atlanta, and prepared in the same way. ***The historic Atlanta Hotel in Bangkok has strict policies: sex-tourists, drug users, trouble-makers, and undomesticated people are not welcome. Any of these found on the premises are dealt with summarily. Because of these strict policies, The Atlanta Hotel has many detractors or even enemies. The Atlanta Hotel upholds its principles and policies without compromise. As of 1st September 2013, smoking will no longer be permitted anywhere on the premises. ***The Atlanta Hotel is also home to destitute cats and terrapins. Injured and abandoned cats seem to find their way to The Atlanta. Many are rescued from elsewhere. There are at the time of writing 36 cats. Some live in an enclosure on one side of the garden; others live in the staff section of the hotel. The terrapins are all rescued and saved from loss of habitat. There are at the time of writing 27 terrapins. They live well in and around the pond of the jungle-like garden of The Atlanta. Two staff are employed full-time to look after the animals, and visiting vets often volunteer their services, which The Atlanta welcomes. There is a celebrated drawing by a regular guest of The Atlanta of the lobby featuring cats lying on the round sofa. The caption reads (in Italian), "Cats, the real guests of The Atlanta." Guests of The Atlanta are typically animal lovers. *** The Atlanta, being at the bottom of a lane, has no passing trade. All our guests are either regulars or friends of regulars. The Atlanta has many returning guests who have been coming to The Atlanta since the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and, of course, much later. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Atlanta Hotel Bangkok
- Atlanta Bangkok