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“A true gem!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Old Capital Bike Inn

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Old Capital Bike Inn
Ranked #1 of 606 Bangkok B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Washington, D.C.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A true gem!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2007

I first discovered Old Bangkok Inn in February of 2006. I'd read an article about the inn in a magazine on my flight from Koh Samui, so when I landed in Bangkok I called and booked the Jasmine room. I enjoyed my stay so much that recently went back to Thailand and stayed there again.

When you arrive at Old Bangkok Inn, you will receive a warm welcome and a cool glass of tea. After filling out a form indicating your breakfast preference (a much better option than the standard buffet breakfast), you are shown to your room.

I have only stayed in the Jasmine and the newly added Rose room, so I cannot speak for the others. The rooms look exactly as they do in the pictures on the website. Both are nicely appointed and like all of the other rooms, they each have a free, high-speed internet connection AND a computer!

In the morning when you come down for breakfast, food is brought to your table as soon as you take a seat. A word of caution: On my first morning at the inn, I made the "mistake" of eating all of the food placed on the table. The following morning I had what seemed like twice as much food! It was like I was at my grandmother's house and she was worried that I wasn't getting enough to eat. In fact, staying at the Old Bangkok Inn is like staying with family -- the ones you actually like. It is small, comfortable and everyone is exceedingly friendly and helpful. If you need a recommendation for a restaurant, activity or if you just need a taxi, Nantiya, her son Jirayu (Joey) and her staff are ready to help. They will even write out directions in Thai for you to give to your taxi driver. When you return to your room at the end of the day, there is even a hand-written note along with a "pillow gift".

Staying at the Old Bangkok Inn was definitely the highlight of both of my trips to Thailand and I look forward to staying with them again in the future.

  • Liked — The increadibly friendly/helpful/thoughful staff
  • Disliked — Taxi drivers sometimes had trouble finding it (be sure to get a card with direction from the inn)
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank SpenserDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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489 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Massachusetts
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 1, 2007

The OBI was probably the best hotel/inn we have ever stayed in, in terms of how it affected our experience of Bangkok. Besides the charm, the aesthetic appeal, the location, and the fabulous breakfasts, the absolute best thing about the OBI is the people who own it and work there. From the very beginning, making the
reservations on line, to asking questions over email before our arrival, to our introduction to the owners and the staff when we arrived, to the help we got in navigating such a huge and overwhelming city, the OBI is really number one in our book. Even after doing thorough research on Bangkok and having a pretty clear idea of what we would do there, when we arrived and really saw how
difficult a city it is to navigate as a foriegner, the best thing we did was to ask the staff for help.
Our first day, we went to the recommended easy to find sites and our second and third days we used the recommended guides. One was a student guide who took us around the city on fo!
ot and various public transportation and the other was a taxi driver named Chia who drove us to all the sites outside the city. These two days and the two people we spent those days with, gave us a great foundation for the rest of our stay. And each time we needed help in any way from the staff at the OBI, they were there to advise, suggest, recommend or help us make arrangements. The rooms
are small but delightfully Thai and the atmosphere and friendliness of the staff and guests just could not be better. I have no problem recommending the OBI with the highest ratings to any traveler who is interested in experiencing the city, the people and all the wonders of Bangkok. If you're looking for a luxury hotel to lay around in, and relax and hide from the hustle and bustle, this is not the place. If you're looking for a real Thai experience and you want to learn about the city and the people and the culture, than this is the place. My best advise....don't miss Chode Chitri...it!
is the best food we have ever eaten and you will not believe how cheap it is. We went twice and if we had more time we would
have gone again. In fact the OBI and Chode Chitri would be reason enough to travel to the other side of the world again! Enjoy - I know you will!

Sharon and Steve from Boston

  • Liked — The owners
  • Disliked — Smallish Rooms
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank Proboscus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 7, 2007

My sister and I stayed here for a few days and thoroughly enjoyed our stay! The kind, genuine staff were a pleasure to deal with, the traditional architecture and furnishings were a nice change from the usual 'souless' generic hotels and the delicious breakfasts and iced coffees in the little cafe were divine. The rooms were clean, filled with character and were definitely big enough for both of us.

Beautiful natural scented toiletries in the bathroom, computer with free internet in each room, DVD and access to DVD library, and of course, Nantiya the gracious host willing to go to the extra mile to make your stay pleasurable. Do not hesitate to stay here if you value genuine warm hospitality over sterilised monstrous sky scraper chain hotels.

You will not find better hospitality in the modern world!

  • Liked — The hospitality
  • Stayed March 2006, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank Jo_au
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam
Level Contributor
30 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 22, 2007

I would not recommend this hotel. We didn't feel comfortable in this hotel and the price is too high for the things the hotel offers.

Pro's:
- The location: located in the old city centre, close to Grand Palace, Ko San Road, etc. (not good for the shopping malls, if that is what you like)
- The warmth and kindness of the staff
- The design of the rooms and lobby
- The breakfast
- The internet acces in the room (including computer)

Con's:
- Dangerous stairs in some rooms
- very dark, because of dark painting on the walls and no proper lighting
- small rooms (suitcases in the rooms hardly fit, you will have to jump over them)
- no place to hang out some clothings (yes 2 soft wooden hangers that crack under the weight of two jackets)
- noise from the street in some rooms
- not good positioned airconditioning in one room we stayed in
- The price is very high for the comfort given
- No space to put you toiletry next to the sink.
- The sounds of talking of other clients is loudly heard.

Our travel agent had booked us in the Jasmine room. I was astonished to enter a little space, no natural light with a tiny desk, two closets and an entrance to a small but ok bathroom.

A small and steep staircase went up. My mother (67) was quite scared going down on the stairs, and I can feel with that. With sock, or slippery shoes on you will have to pay extra attention. There was a cosy looking room with windows, but very low ceiling. The double bed was a matrass on the floor.

The closets turned out to be hardly usable since there were only 2 hangers and not many places to hang other stuff. Also placing stuff was impossible because one closet contained the locker, but no shelfs. Two suitcases was a problem, we had to place one under the staircase.

We asked for another room and we were offered the Rice room. This is the only proper room in the hotel, to my opinion. This room, the only one with twin beds, has a little bit more space for your suitcases. Still closetspace is bad, but the natural light in the room was nice. No proper lights for reading a book in bed, but a lot of atmosphere.

I was offered a look in the other rooms. The Orchid rooms are bigger, but also have a dangerous staircase. Besides, they are located at the front of the building and the noise of the trafic was obvious. Of course the trafic is minimal at night, but the day starts early for Thai people!

The Lemongrass Room has it's own courtyard which is very small and has hardly any sunlight, because the walls around it are fairly high. The chairs in it are corroded. The room is the smallest of all, so no place for two suitcases.

The Lotus Room is a family room, a large room downstairs, no natural light, double matrass on the floor, staircase up to a room with two beds. The bathroom is half outdoors, an outdoor bath, indoor toilet and sink.

After our trip to Angkor Wat and the beach we returned to Bangkok and to this hotel. We were offered the Rose room. This room you enter on the first floor. No natural light. Dark purple walls, dark floor, bad lighting, metal roses, it seemed gothic . A steep (again) staircase leads down to the bathroom on the groundfloor. Many muskito's entered the room, because we kept a light on at night. Again an outdoor bath, semi outdoor shower and a indoor.

The airconditioning is not positioned properly. The ceiling at the end of the room close to the bed is very low, and so is the aircon. You have to put it on, otherwise it is humid and hot, but turning it on puts you in a cold breeze in bed. Even selecting a high temperature and lowest possible fanspeed, the draft was easily causes a cold.

Because we got a bad case of foodpoisening, we had a horrible night in this room. The lack of comfort was too much and we went to another hotel.

I have to say that there are pleasant sides to this hotel, but when a friend asked me who I would recommend to stay there, I couldn't think of someone. Young people can find the same comfort for 25% of the price around the Ko San Road area. And for the same price there are so many hotel, which are also personal and well designed. There is not enough space for children, dangerous staircases for seniors.....

In this hotel you pay for the design, the personal touch and the fact that it is on the Condé Nast Traveller Hotlist. Yes, it is a one of a kind, but way to expensive for what Bangkok has to offer.

  • Liked — The location and the staff
  • Disliked — the lack of comfort in the rooms
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
40 Thank calijn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
theOBI, Owner at Old Capital Bike Inn, responded to this review, February 1, 2007
We thank this guest for her comments about our Inn, especially her praise of our service and location. However, we would like to respond to her comments about the design and comfort of our rooms.

1. As this guest had booked our Inn through an agent, we feel that she may not have received full information about our Inn prior to her arrival. In the future, we shall make sure all our agents better help clarify the unique type of accomodation that we are.

What this guest may not have realized is that we are not a standard hotel with the typical room layout. Some of our rooms incorporate unique designs such as, lofts, stairs, outdoor showers to replicate tranditional Thai architecture. If the guest would have informed us beforehand about her 67 year old mother's health condition, we would have found a room which would have better suited her.

2. Nevertheless, we did try our best to fulfill the needs of this guest by helping her change rooms three times (eventhough we were at full occupancy at the time), helped her find alternative accomodation and helped her mother find a hospital to treat her ailment - which understandably did not help make her stay with us anymore enjoyable.

3. As we recognize that our Inn is not for everybody, especially those accustomed to ubiquitous chain hotels. We do our best to provide as much information as possible on our website concerning our rooms. i.e. Our website has 360 degree virtual tours of all our rooms, as well as ample pictures, written descriptions and even room sizes!

4. Our philosophy is we want to provide our guests with an 'authentic and unique' living experience while in Bangkok, and with this comes the risk that some guests may feel uncomfortable when they do not step into a standard squared-shape hotel room. Some may find our concept to break from the cookie cutter mold unnerving, we are confident that many more will find it refreshing and exciting.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level Contributor
15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 228 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 16, 2007

I’m not sure if most of the reviews here were ghost written. My stay at OBI was anything but great. I was supposed to stay for two nights at OBI, but checked out after one night for the following reasons:

The Jasmine Loft Suite (Room 106) I stayed in is not at all luxurious! It is small (I wonder why it was called a suite?), dark, dusty and musty-smelling. The hardwood floors had footprints, the mosquito net looked dirty and stained, and the ceilings and corners had cobwebs (maybe the ceilings were too high for cleaning staff to reach?). I started to squeeze the moment I walked into the room! When I told the staff that the room was dusty, she just shrugged, albeit apologetically. But she was nice to put an air purifier in my room so I could sleep easier at night.

The bathroom is tiny and had a bad smell like rotten flowers. The ceramic basin is nice, but the shower is not! The shower floor looked like it was being repaired with ugly black masking tape haphazardly pasted around the corners and there was no hot water! Here’s a useful tip: Wait for the shower to run at least one minute before jumping in… The water is brown, but it gets clear after a while. Also bring your own toiletries unless you don’t mind diluted shower gels.

The free Internet in the room was cranky. Sometimes there was a connection, sometimes there was none!

Last, but not least, there are lots of mosquitoes and they are everywhere! The room opposite mine requested for their room to be sprayed. So did I! I really hate mosquitoes and because of this and the above, I decided to move out pronto!!!

To be fair there are a few nice things about OBI:

The décor is quite nice. Very eclectic with a few interesting art pieces and furniture.

The breakfast is definitely the highlight of my stay. Presentation was good and so was the taste. Pity about the mosquitoes flying around the breakfast room!

Nantiya, one of OBI’s owners, is a sweet lady who made me feel very welcome. In fact, she’s the best thing about OBI. It’s a shame I can’t say the same for some of her staff who did not bother to help me with my bags when I checked out. They just stood and watched while I carried my bags to the front door. To add insult to injury, nobody opened the door for me!

That said, here is my overall view of OBI: Although it was featured in Conde Nast Hot List for 2006, it’s in my Cold List for 2007! For the same price or less, you can get much more comfortable accommodation (with hot shower!) at Holiday Inn Bangkok.

  • Liked — Nantiya, the owner.
  • Disliked — The location - far from Siam Square, but near to historic sites, taxi drivers tend to get lost! I also dislike the dust and mosquitoes - it made my stay very uncomfortable.
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
26 Thank limchih
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
theOBI, Management Representative at Old Capital Bike Inn, responded to this review, March 25, 2007
We thank this guest for his comments, and would like to respond accordingly.

As the owners of this historical building which we have carefully and lovingly restored, there is no way that we would allow our establishment to deteriorate to the extent claimed by this former guest. If even half of these claims were true, we would have already been closed down by Bangkok City’s Sanitation Department – let alone have received the recognition from the likes of Conde Nast and TIME magazine as well as the dozens of guests who have loved the Old Bangkok Inn and have left positive reviews on tripadvisor.

Moreover, we find it “interesting” that most of the points made by this guest are not shared by other reviewers (even the negative reviewers!) Which leaves us to conclude that this guests' observations are greatly exaggerated.

Nevertheless, we shall try to address this guest's points one by one:

1. Mosquitoes: Mosquitoes can and do enter the rooms if guests leave the windows and doors open for long periods. In this case we can either spray the room with insect repellents or the greener alternative is we can place electric mosquito traps in your room upon request.

2. Cleanliness: The rooms at the Old Bangkok Inn are meticulously cleaned by two house maids and then re-checked by the manager. However, it should be noted that unlike other establishments we use ALOT of dark hard wood in our architecture, design and flooring which (unlike carpets) increases the visibility of dust and other particles.

3. Hot water: Problems with our solar hot water system can be solved with a flick of a switch, but guests need to tell us so we can help them solve the problem. Note: Since Feb 2007 - this problem has been solved as we have installed a secondary heating system.

4. Flower smell: Most of our guests appreciate fresh flowers in the room. If guests prefer that we do not place flowers in the rooms they can be removed upon request.

5. Room size: We do our best to provide as much information as possible on our website concerning our rooms. i.e. Our website has 360 degree virtual tours of all our rooms, as well as ample pictures, written descriptions and even room sizes!

Our only regret is the guest did not inform us about these problems during his stay, therefore we were unable to respond to his concern during his stay with us so we could have made his stay more enjoyable.

Thank you
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HK
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2007

A small group of us recently stayed at the OBI (we booked the Lotus suite and the Rice Room). The Lotus Suite is wonderful: it has individual, beautiful decor and it even boasts a romantically set outdoor bath to wash away the Bangkok grime. The Rice Room is tastefully decorated- the only small issues are that the 2 beds cannot be pushed together if you are a couple and the water temperature in the shower isn't consistent. That aside, this guest house is highly recommended: from the lovely breakfast in the morning to the helpfulness of the owner, Nantiya and her son, Joey. Their willingness to recommend places to go, assist in making reservations and generally go out of their way to accomodate our requests is a real example of how warm hospitality can make a stay memorable. Will definitely stay there again during our next visit to BKK.

  • Liked — Helfulness of the owner, charming decor
  • Disliked — Inconsistent water temperature in shower
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank HkSusieQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampstead, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
37 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 11, 2006

My husband and I, along with another couple recently had the pleasure of staying at the OBI. The inn is incredibly charming. The details that Nantiya (the proprietess) has put into the place are really quite impressive. There are floating lotus flowers in your room, hand made soaps in the showers, refreshing chilled tea served when you arrive, etc... The breakfast is wonderful, and includes some of the locally grown fresh fruits which we really enjoyed. The staff is very helpful. One of the things we liked was the book of restaurant reviews they keep. Rather than just telling you a restaurant to go to, they tell you a few names and hand you a book of reviews their guests have written on the various places so that you can make a well informed choice. They also booked a cooking class for us at the Baipai cooking school. It was a fantastic day! We'd all highly recommend it. Baipai has a website linked to the OBI's site.

There were a couple of slight issues, none of which really impacted our stay there but they are worth noting. The beds redefine the word "firm". If you are used to a pillow top Serta, you're going to find your bed a bit challenging. Also, we stayed in the Orchid Room (it was beautiful), and the steps which lead up to the bedroom are more like a ladder. They're steep. If you've had a couple of drinks, lets just say it's not advised to try to get back down to the bathroom during the night. Last thing, if you book the Rice room just note that it has 2 twin beds which cannot be pushed together. Our friends ended up sleeping separately while we were there.

I'd consider the few issues listed above as not a big deal, but they are the reason I wnet with 4 starts rather than 5. I'd still highly recommend staying here.

  • Liked — The location, staff, and decor
  • Disliked — The beds
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank rlg1977
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Old Capital Bike Inn

Property: Old Capital Bike Inn
Address: 607 Pra Sumen Road | Pra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand (Formerly Old Bangkok Inn)
Location: Thailand > Bangkok > Banglamphu
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 606 B&Bs / Inns in Bangkok
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Old Capital Bike Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Formerly known as the award-winning Old Bangkok Inn, which was recommended by Conde Nast, The New York Times and TIME magazine, Old Capital Bike Inn is a boutique 10-room heritage bike inn set in Bangkok's yesteryears. Owned and operated by the same family of Old Bangkok Inn, we are located a stone's throw from Bangkok's major historical landmarks. What's new is we now offer free rentals of our fleet of restored vintage bikes as well as free night bike tours for our guests. We are a green and socially conscious establishment. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Old Bangkok Hotel Bangkok

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