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“Royal Residence - Totally special place to stay”

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Chakrabongse Villas
Ranked #92 of 1,283 Specialty Lodging in Bangkok
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 13, 2011

Chakrabongse used to have no sign on the gate - it was very hard to find. I noticed on my second visit here that they now have a sign - things are changing!

There's a lot of history to Chakrabongse which you'll find on their website. The story is fascinating in itself.

Chakrabongse is unique in Bangkok - a royal residence just a short distance from the Grand Palace and overlooking the Chao Praya River. I would describe it as like staying in a rich relations' private house - it's quite unlike staying in a hotel. Staying here is an experience in itself - so different to a hotel stay.

They've added some new rooms in the past year or so. The rooms in the main building are small (in fact very small - 12 square m) - so bear that in mind if you need space. In my opinion though, these rooms are OK and offer a more cost effective way to stay in this great little boutique hotel. 12 square metres is half the size of a small hotel room - so bear that in mind though!

For better rooms, go for one of the villas. The Chinese Suite is especially large and ideal for families - it features some great antique furniture.

Love the RIver View Suite - what a great terrace to relax on and watch river life go by. I really like the Thai House as well - it's got bags of character.

The pool is a good size - if there's only a couple of people in the hotel, it's like having your own private pool.

Then of course, there's the restaurant overlooking the river. What a romantic place for dinner. Food is excellent - it's not cheap, but for a romantic dinner it's hard to beat in Bangkok.

For anyone looking for a special place to stay in Bangkok, Chakrabongse is a wonderful choice but bear in mind that it's not a hotel in the traditional sense.

Room Tip: Chinese Suite - great for Families, River Suite for river views, Thai House for character - the room...
  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank JasmineHolidays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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81 - 87 of 136 reviews

Reviewed August 1, 2011

We stayed two nights here in late july 2011. It's a really special place with tons of character but it's not for everyone. It's not a full service hotel, the river view room has little configuration quirks (like the two big steps down from the bedroom into the bathroom and the steep shallow steps that you walk up to get to the room) . None of the quirks are bad, they add to the charm but this isn't the peninsula (and i didn't want it to be) The location is great to see Wat Pho, and Wat phra kaeo. You are steps away from those sites AND you are right on the River. In the other direction there is the flower market and great street food. You also are within walking distance to nice little places to eat like Coconut Palm and Chote Chitr. The staff can't be more friendly and helpful in whatever you need. We stayed in the River View room. Great room with a private deck that overlooks the river and a nice little sitting room. AC, wireless internet and a firm but comfortable bed. The room was very clean, as it should be for the price. Expensive, yes but I felt i got my money's worth.
The only reason i don't think it's for everyone is that there is no spa, no fitness center and the restaurant on site is not always open. Don't come here if you are looking for that type of place. There are only 7 rooms in the place so you can't expect a chief to be at your service at all hours. You are not going to get room service when you want. Breakfast was included and good but if you sleep in you can not just walk down to the buffet and get something. I also think the River View room is a few notches above the other rooms. The other rooms don't have river front views with the private deck so some of the magic might not be there. Still we loved every second we were there.

Room Tip: splurge for the river room for a real treat
  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Dion S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2011

We spent a most enjoyable three nights in the Riverview villa. Some highlights:
1. Our lodging included an enclosed veranda, a sitting room with desk, bedroom, kitchenette, bathroom. The veranda proved to be an ideal place to relax and watch the monsoon thunderstorms. In fact, it is hard to not to be pretty laid back as soon as you set foot on the premises, in contrast to the other high end hotels we stayed at in Bali and Phuket. A tasty breakfast is included, served outdoors on a covered deck overlooking the water.
2. Sensational location in old Bangkok overlooking the Choa Praya, with view of Wat Arun across the river. A short walk to Chinatown and the Royal Palace, and convenient to water transport.
3. A very nice, mostly deserted, swimming pool set in a tranquil tropical garden.
4. Attentive, friendly staff full of good advice about what to do in the city.
5. There's no restaurant on the premises, but that is basically a non-issue since there are about 10,000 eateries within walking distance.

Room Tip: The Chinese villa is larger (and more expensive), but does not have direct access to the river decks...
  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank NinthCircle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2011

Amidst the crowds and chaos of bustling Bangkok lies this gem of a hotel. Situated by the Chao Praya river, The Chakrabongse Villas has one of the best views of Wat Arun. I chose this hotel based on recommendations from several guide books plus the location was an ideal jump off point to all the main tourist attractions of Bangkok namely Wat Arun, Wat Po and the Grand Palace. Unfortunately we only stayed in Bangkok overnight so we were pressed for time in terms of maximizing our trip to the Old City. The great thing about this place is that it is a 5 minute walk to pretty much all the major tourist attractions which made it ideal for us to pick this place. Alongside the gorgeous setting and rich history of the place, the staff was incredibly helpful and downright amazing. They made sure that we were comfortable and even suggested a few restaurants nearby for us to eat in - the Coconut Palm was great - good food and real value for money. The room was spacious and nice ( we had the Garden Suite). Wish we could've stayed longer here. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank divasoria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2011

We came to Chakrabongse for the last two days after our super relaxing holiday on Koh Kood - adjusting to Bangkok would be hard but this little extra treat made it a super end to a great holiday.

Its a stunning location on the edge of the river, with beautifully kept gardens and viewing platforms from which you can see the temples and buildings of Bangkok. We stayed in the Garden Villa, the cheapest option but still pricey for us, so not as architecturally stunning as the others perhaps but spacious, well kept and nice touches including fresh flowers, robes etc. Breakfast delicious taken once on our table outside on our patio area, second day in the stunning sala hovering on the edge of the river bank.

The first day was grey and over shadowed but at night the villas really came into their own, and in the morning you wake up to sounds of bird song and water lapping, maybe one of the maids quietly preparing breakfast. Deeply wonderful - especially in the heart of Bangkok!

We just had breakfast so can't comment on the food overall, but this was delicious, fresh coffee, fruit and poached eggs and a paper. The first night. inspired by the location we took the villa water taxi over to a restaurant on the river beginning with S recommended by the General Manager. Although location was great the food was expensive and dire - a real disappointment. So next day we trawled street food places using this link http://importfood.com/saochingcha_guide.html - fantastic. Find the sticky rice emporium - a real treasure!

In fact there are lots of great places to eat near the villas and you are in the old town set alongside the flower market and great monuments.

The General Manager was great - really helpful (apart from the restaurant recommendation but it was a unique view and maybe he hasn't eaten there) and I would totally recommend staying as a memorable alternative to the big hotels and great starting point for exploring Bangkok city temples, food, markets hi and low life.

Its not super trendy or for flanneurs but slightly old school charming with visual comforts. There's a large, very clean, deep pool and a day bed platform overlooking the river - made the two days in Bangkok feel like a whole week in itself.

Room Tip: Do your own restaurant research
  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank rk303
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2011

Chakrabongse Villas is the best hotel in Bangkok! We could not be more pleased and impressed with our experience at this hotel. We traveled to Thailand for our honeymoon, and Chakrabongse Villas was our hotel choice for our Bangkok stay, and we cannot say enough about this facility. The highlights:

1. The management - in one word: WOW. The management is so warm and gracious. We felt like family. They were very responsive during the reservation process and easily accessible via email. We didn't land in Bangkok until almost midnight, so by the time we arrived at the hotel, it was after 1:00 am, and they were there waiting for us with a smile as if it were 1:00 in the afternoon!

2. The staff - again, WOW. They treated us like family, too. Breakfast is included with the reservation, which was served every morning in the lanai overlooking the river. The service was very personal. The staff were very helpful and happy to provide information, make any calls for us, etc.

3. The location - perfect! The hotel is right on the river, directly across from Wat Arun. Wat Arun is your view every morning for breakfast! The hotel also has its own longboat, and they were happy to take us anywhere we needed to go on the river (we usually went to the central pier to then catch the skytrain...this eliminated us taking the public ferry and making several stops along the way.)

4. The rooms - this hotel is a former royal residence of the prince, so there is the main house and several smaller houses (7 villas in all, I believe). We stayed in the Thai house, which was downright precious. Because of the traditional Thai house style, the vents at the top of the building meant that we could hear traffic/river barge noise begin around 7am. This was fine for us because we are up early anyway, but want to make that known in case it's a consideration for you.

5. The location - perfect! The Grand Palace and Wat Pho are 5 minutes down the street. The pier for the public boat taxi (Tha Tien) is a 5 minute walk (if the hotel's longboat is unavailable, which it was always available during our stay). The closest sky train stop is at the central pier - not really walkable, but quick by river boat or taxi.

6. Price - the rate was extremely reasonable. Breakfast is included in the rate, and the food is excellent.

7. The grounds - since this was a former residence, the property is enclosed behind a wall (front/street side), and the river is on the back side. The grounds are so tranquil and peaceful, with beautiful gardens and outdoor seating areas. For a city as manic as Bangkok, it was nice to come back to a serene and quiet place away from the street activity. It was a nice change from the big hotels.

We recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a small, quiet, well located hotel. We would absolutely stay here again.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank R2inMpls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 26, 2010

I couldn't recommend this place more. It's right on the river, walking distance to the major temples, and superb helpful service. We were here on a business trip with sometime for leisure. They arranged their long-tailed boat for us to ride through the small canals, Arun temple, the Royal Barges, and dropped us off for shopping at River City. In the evening they made us a private dinner for us and our colleagues overlooking the glistening ChaoPhraya with party boats passing, and temples in our gaze. It's utterly impressive and cozy all at once.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled on business
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2  Thank YesPeaceNow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chakrabongse Villas

Address: 396 Maharaj Road | Tatien, behind Wat Pho and near the Grand Palace, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Bangkok > Banglamphu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #92 of 1,283 Specialty Lodging in Bangkok
Price Range: $143 - $779 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Chakrabongse Villas 5*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bangkok's best kept secret ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chakrabongse Villas Hotel Bangkok

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