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“Peaceful Place to Stay” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel

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Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel
Ranked #5 of 849 Hotels in Bangkok
Certificate of Excellence
Newcastle, England
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Peaceful Place to Stay”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 21, 2008

We stayed here for 4 nights at the end of Feb 08.
The hotel was in a great location, near enough to get the river boats at Thewet pier (10 min walk). You can get to the Grand palace via the river boats and also to the sky train which takes about 30 min on the boat but only cost 15 baht each.
It is only a 15 min walk to Khao San Road in what seemed a safe enough area. Regarding busy roads to cross on the way to Khao San Road, this is to be expected in Bangkok.

The room was small but comfitable, the air con and fan were a really bonus due humidity at night.
The breakfast were unique but were very enjoyable.
The whole place had a very relaxing atmosphere and the staff were very polite and helpful.
The free internet was a bonus.

Tip: Print off location map from hotel website, as this will help the taxi's at the airport to find it.

We have stayed in other hotels in bangkok in the past, since staying here we would now not consider anywhere else.

  • Liked — The unique setting
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank andyrooh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,259 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 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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Tel Aviv
Level Contributor
90 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 6, 2008

First, I would like to comment about the few negative reviews this hotel received:

My fiance' and I are nothing but spoiled customers, we have the financial means to support our desires, we flew business class to Bangkok. and most of the hotels we have been to in Thailand were 5* resorts to which we paid well over $200 a night

The reason I say all that is in order to ensure that other readers will know that we are, by all means - NOT backpackers.

Phranakorn Norlen hotel is one of the most unique hotels we have EVER been to.

True - this is NOT a 5* hotel, but it was never meant to be one. If we have to choose between a 5* hotel to Phranakorn Norlen our choice would be VERY easy.

The hotel is decorated with a splendid vintage touch without feeling old, the hallway looks like an old Thai steet. The attention to details is simply mind-boggling. The breakfast was FANTASTIC, I never believed I could eat RICE for breakfast, it was simply FANTASTIC.

The staff is incredible, we had the misfortune of spending ONLY 1 night at this wonderful hotel.

When we left the hotel to the taxi they ordered for us - one of the front desk staff rushed and brought us 2 bottles of cold mineral water.

The bed is indeed hard, this is the Thai style and I didn't like it at all, however - I had the best sleep at this hard bed, apparently hard mattress should be more healthy...

Boutique hotel is the best description this hotel, if you are looking for a great, clean and unique place with great staff - this is the place for you.

B.t.w - if you want the taxi drivers to have an easy time getting there - just print the hotel's map from their website, it worth it!

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank GilbsonLP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 5, 2008

This small “boutique” hotel is currently ranked 4th of 357 hotels on trip advisor and was where we stayed on our recent trip to Bangkok (February 2008).

We loved some features of this hotel but also found a few things very inconvenient - so much so that we ended up deciding not to come back on our return trip to Bangkok. This review is meant as much for fellow travellers as it is for the hotel.

The +’s:

Quaint little hotel with a lot of character; rooms are artsy-fartsy and cosy, painted in warm colours (they even have multi-coloured candles in the room which makes for romantic lighting). Matresses are hard and were just perfect for us. Note however that the pictures on the site give the appearance that the rooms are bigger and more modern than they actually are - they are actually a bit on the small side (more on this later) and rustic (some could say worn). Given the rooms alone, the hotel is overpriced at $60/night. The public areas of the hotel however are superb; the breakfast area overlooks a fantastic courtyard with large trees and flowering bushes as well as a gazebo which includes a little meditation/yoga area as well as a section for free-internet access. There’s a little cafe, a reading area with guides and books, and the reception area. It’s all beautiful and a relaxing spot to have breakfast or read or to laze around.

Service is great; the girls who work the reception desk are very friendly. Tea is brought to the rooms every day.

The vegetarian breakfast is fantastic. Coffee superb. Everything coming out of that kitchen was healthy and tasted great.

The hotel is in a quiet residential area and is about a 10 minute walk from the Tha Thewet river express pier. A good base for exploring Old Bangkok. Note however that the river express boats stop at 7pm, after which the location becomes a disadvantage…There’s a 7-eleven (with an ATM) a 2 minute walk from the hotel which comes in handy.

The -’s;

There’s no storage space in the rooms, we didn’t unpack during our 3 days there; there’s nowhere to hang up or put stuff. Kept our things in the backpack and took out as needed - not the end of the world for us but travellers coming with a lot of bags or with higher expectations would be disappointed. As I said, rooms more rustic and small than expected (needless to say no tv, coffee machine etc that you expect in a fancy hotel - but that we knew coming in).

Location: hotel is hard to find for taxi drivers, even with the map supplied by the hotel (make sure you always keep one on you because no taxi driver will recognize the name of the hotel much less its location). Coming from the airport the driver passed by the hotel twice before I spotted the hotel sign. I would really suggest that the hotel enlarge the sign to make it clearer. The other problem with the location is that it’s not really close to any restaurant or entertainment districts - it’s a handy location during the day but at night it becomes a problem because you have to take a tuk tuk or taxi to get anywhere.

The biggest problem for us: “We serve organic breakfast only, lunch and dinner should be eaten outside for the concept of sharing to the community”. Most people visiting Bangkok spend the day walking and travelling around. Bangkok is a grueling city: hot and polluted. Getting places always seems to take longer than planned because of the crazy traffic. Most travellers are also recently off the plane and fatigued; at the end of a long day of travelling around the city you want to get back to the hotel, take a shower, change, and get something to eat either in the hotel or nearby. We just wanted a snack, anything, but the only recommendation from the girl at reception was the 7-eleven which had pre-packed frozen sandwiches. A food stall on the nearby main road had very limited choice. In the 3 evenings at the hotel we twice ended up eating chips and cookies bought at 7-eleven; the other evening we took the taxi to nearby Khao San Road (which is ok during the day but not advisable at night unless you’re in your early 20’s). We found a Subway and brought the submarines back to the hotel.

This hotel has been described as an “oasis”. In many ways it is, but it would have been so much more of an oasis if we could just have stayed in after a long, tiring day and just have had something to eat in the lovely dining area. This altruistic concept of not serving meals because of “the concept of sharing with the community” also upsets me - reminds me of a gorgeous, eco-friendly, very expensive place we went to in Colombia where all was fantastic until they purposely turned off the electricity at midnight (we woke up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat, realizing the fan had gone off - turns out their eco-friendly policy was to turn the power off, never mind that the temperature was still in the mid 30’s at night or that there were no windows…just stupid). In the case of the Phranakorn Nornlen, they have a wonderful kitchen and a gorgeous eating area, why not take advantage? Serving supper (just something light would do) would have been wonderful for us and would also be a source of additional revenue for them. Instead we had to take a tuk-tuk or taxi to go eat elsewhere. Evening meals, after a long day out in Bangkok, became a source of stress. It upsets me because it is something that seems so logical - something as simple as a meal ended up as a constant problem which, compounded by the hotel’s location, ruined our otherwise perfect stay.

3/5 for me, but I'd give it a 4 and would definately stay again if they served dinner on site.

Stayed February 2008
Helpful?
11 Thank bbqboyMontreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport Beach, California
Level Contributor
93 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 178 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 4, 2008

I do not understand why people like this place. We got in very late from the airport. The taxi could not find the place. We get there and wonder what we have gotten ourselves into ? Check in staff was great. They took us to our room and I walk in and say no way. The lady said not your style ? Yep thats right. The place is a hippie joint. We try to get another place but the internet was so bad I could not find anything. We stayed the night. The bed was like sleeping on the floor. It rained all night and the open window style let all the noise in. Not a lot of sleep going on after a 30 hr flight.

The food was bad, the area sucked. Staff was nice everything else was bad. I wish I would have read my review before I went there. I do not understand why people like this place ? Cost is not that great aswell ?? Got the Holiday In on Priceline for $70 a night. Much better value.

Stayed February 2008
Helpful?
22 Thank Andrew B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newburyport, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2008

Ok, so I am very late at writing this review but the point is I'm writing one. My husband and I stayed here in the begining of our trip from Oct 23-26 and then again at the closing in Nov. 6-9.

Phranakorn Nornlen Hotel is amazing. So serene. It's located right within the neighborhood so well that our taxi driver didn't know where it was and then drove right by it. Being outside the touristic zone and living within the community, we were able to see how the Thai people spend their days and nights. This also forced us to eat and experiment with traditional Thai food. At night, in the neighborhood, it's a whole other world with the night restaurants opening up. Not only was the food good but inexpensive. We paid much less for our meals here than if we were to stay in the touristic area. And eating in the touristic areas we noticed a HUGE difference in prices and quality of food. The hotel was perfect for us.

We are independent budget travellers so a hotel/B&B that has character, clean, hospitable hosts/employees, good location and cheap (less than $100/night) is what we look for when we visit a place. It really was a safe haven for when we came home from touring Bangkok. Bangkok can be a little crazy and noisy but surprisingly, we couldn't hear anything aside from the birds and the hot wind. The decor blended the old with the new and it has a somewhat of a rustic feel. Great attention to detail was made. Every room is hand painted, the furnishings are minimal but comfortable and some of the materials were made from recycled material, I believe. The bed was firm but very comfortable and the best bed I slept on while in Thailand.

Our hosts were fantastic, they always had a smile on their faces and they went well out of their way to make us comfortable as possible. When my mosquito repellent was no match for the mosquitos, they gave me some of their nicely scented mosquito repellent that worked beautifully against the mosquitos. And when we arrived back from a full day of touring suffering from extreme jet lag and exhaustion, too tired to even walk down the street for food, I was treated to some banana pancakes for dinner and this was after the kitchen closed. Breakfast consisted of organic vegetarian Thai breakfast. And tea everynight.
When it was time to go, we were truly sad to leave. We felt like we were leaving our family.

The only complaint we had which is very minor is that we opt for the airport pick up. Received the confirmation via email but when we arrived at the airport no pickup awaited. I'm not certain as to what happened but it didn't pose a problem. We took a taxi and was there in no time. We were told that I hadn't sent all the necessary information for the airport pickup. Even though before we left the US everything was confirmed. Later, I looked into all transpired connections I had sent and I had indeed supplied the requested info. Again, it wasn't a big deal, we arrived safely and we had a plan B as always.
If we go back to Bangkok , we will definately stay here again.

  • Liked — Everything!!
  • Disliked — There wan't anything I didn't like
  • Stayed October 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?
Thank lacole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Illinois
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2008

This is a charming, quirky little place with a great staff. The personality of this hotel will stay with you long after you have returned from your trip. The air conditioner and fan in the room were excellent! We slept well at night and had a delicious, if unusual, breakfast.
Take the advice of the helpful staff and use the water taxis to get around Bangkok.

  • Liked — This place had lots of character.
  • Stayed February 2008, 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
Helpful?
Thank Fixerchao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ladysmith, BC
Level Contributor
76 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2008

Hi,
The Phranakorn-Norlen is a hotel in Thewet. It's a short walk to the river and ferry. A newcomer can easily reach the hotel by taxi from the airport in the 350 to 400 baht range or you can choose a personal driver arranged through the hotel for 900 - 950 baht. This might be a good choice if it's your first time to Bangkok and you want to acclimitize to traveling and a new place.
You first enter the hotel from a small soi opposite an elementary school. Once inside the wooden gates a small garden greets you. Pass through and head to the office. The hotel is decorated to look like the streets of Bangkok. In many ways the place seems like a 60's retreat with old-fashioned bookcases, objects, and painted walls. This part of the hotel creates an environment of serenity. This is important when you return from the hustle-bustle of cars, tuk tuks and motorcycles screaming along the streets.
The people running the hotel are genuine and warm. They answered all our questions, drew maps, gave important advice and often awarded us with a smile.
As many journals mention the beds are typical Thai-hard. You need to book into a high end hotel to get an expensive mattress. Our shower worked reasonably well. It flooded or didn't drain well. This was a minor problem. The location is fine. It's a short walk to Khao San Road but you have to cross a couple of quite busy streets. It only costs us 33 cents each to reach the Grand Palace by ferry.
The price is a debatable point. We were looking for a quiet sleep. This was worth the 60 dollars. The rooms needed better facilities for clothes. We enjoyed our stay!

Stayed January 2008
Helpful?
Thank ezkayaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel

Property: Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel
Address: 46 Thewet Soi 1, Krungkaseam Rd. | Bangkhunprom, Phranakorn, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Bangkok > Banglamphu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Bangkok
#11 Romantic Hotel in Bangkok
#105 Business Hotel in Bangkok
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 31
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

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