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“Phranakorn Norlen is great”

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Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel
Ranked #4 of 867 Hotels in Bangkok
Certificate of Excellence
NC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Phranakorn Norlen is great”
Reviewed July 15, 2008

I'm an American who grew up in Thailand, so I was looking for a really authentic experience for my family. The Phranakorn was it. It's small and quaint, nothing like the big fancy hotels in the tourist district. But it's real.

I loved the smell of teak, the open shower, the paintings of mango trees on the walls.

We are going back this year, and we can't wait to stay at the Phranakorn again.

  • Liked — peaceful
  • Disliked — hard bed
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank D-Merryman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2008

What can I say that has not been said about this amazing little gem of a hotel? The Phranakorn Nornlen is an oasis of calm and relaxation in a very big and busy city and I strongly recommend it.

If you want the comfort of a big hotel, don’t go for this and book something near the massive shopping centres near Siam Square. However, if you want to see the ‘real Bangkok’, be closer to the river and a short taxi or tuk-tuk ride to the main temples and Grand Palace, and stay in a relaxing atmosphere, go for this hotel.

We arrived late at night and the area seems a bit dodgy at night. Our taxi driver even had to call the hotel to get directions. When you arrive, and open the gate to the garden, your fears disappear. The friendly and young staff are very helpful and welcoming. You are immediately touched by the quirkiness of the place and the artistic thoughts that went into putting it together.

The breakfasts are excellent, with most products sourced from local markets. The hotel is even planning a roof-top organic farm for their meals. The dining area, almost all open to the lush garden, is peaceful and nicely decorated with kitschy images of Thai advertising, objects and design from the 1940s and 50s. The garden also opens to a room where you can use computers to access internet and have a massage. At 300 Thai baht, it is a very good price. In a bigger hotel, you would pay much more.

The rooms are basic but nicely decorated and the beds are firm and comfortable in traditional Thai manner. The storage is basic but we felt that was not a problem. The en-suite bathroom is basic and could do with having some shelves for products, but it is still nice. The hotel does not have a pool and nowhere will you find a television. This is a place for relaxation that is most welcome in such a busy city.

Bangkok may not be everyone’s cup of tea, with its massive population sprawl, constant smells, noise and pollution, animals everywhere (thousands of dogs, cats, birds and even toads seem to co-exist peacefully everywhere) but its Buddhist traditions, appreciation for the royal family, and beautiful temples clash with a vibrant youth culture and fashion, and sophisticated malls and skyscrapers making it a unique place.

You will be constantly hassled by tuk-tuk drivers and NEVER believe them when they say the Grand Palace is closed (because it’s either for Thais only or there is a special occasion, etc) and they offer to drive you to other places instead. This is usually a way to drive you to a temple where a nice ‘stranger’ (arranged with your driver) will try to promote a tailor or a shop. This is impressively organised on the streets of the city and not forceful; however, if you bear this in mind this is a very cheap way to see the city and visit the major temples. When faced with the moment of sell in a shop, just say no and walk away and back to the tuk-tuk. Your driver may loose his commission, but he will be fine. We managed to see five temples in two and half hours while our tuk-tuk driver waited for us outside and paid just 40 baht for both of us, which is something like 60 or 70 pence (GBP) for two people, cheaper than getting taxis!

The Grand Palace is a must see, as well as the Reclined Buddha nearby, both reasonably close to the hotel. The Phranakorn Nornlen is very well located for these sights and you can take a river boat (from or to Thewet, 5 minutes walk from the hotel) or a taxi for very little money. Another nice thing to do is to have a dinner on a boat on the river Chao Prayah. These usually include good food and entertainment, such as live music and dancers.

As a gay man, I also did not have any problems whatsoever in staying here with my same-sex partner and being given a double bed, something that still sometimes raises a few eyebrows in some hotels or guest houses. Staff were very efficient and friendly and made us feel welcome all the time.

I really recommend this little hotel. It does not offer all the luxuries you probably expect but once you stay, you really feel this is a 5-star experience!

  • Liked — The decor and calm of the place
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank jplondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 5, 2008

Brilliant

Off the beaten track but, near the river for quick transport

This is a place full of character and unique charm. A million miles away from faceless corporate hotels. The primary reason for this hotel seems to be to entertain guests - rather than make money. Free internet access, something the much expensive hotals we stayed in later on in our trip, was indicative of the attitude and focus given to the customer

Don't stay if your idea of luxery is small packets of soap in the shower and watching CNN in your hotel. Do if you want an adventure.

If we ever visit Thailand again we will make this our first stop

  • Liked — Quirky decor
  • Disliked — N/A
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank pecanface
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
denver, co, us
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 4, 2008

We stayed for 3 nights in June 2008 at Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel in Bangkok for part of our honey moon trip and loved it, hope you will too. Have absolutely nothing bad to say about the people or the place. From BKK airport to the hotel should cost you 300 baht, tips and toll included.

The all vegie free breakfast that is included was good. Staff were nice and friendly. Place was very clean and quiet with AC and hot water. Buy the maps they have in the lobby, they're quite creative and helpful. Oh and bring bug spray. You will need it if you plan to hang out in their lobby because there have tons of plants and trees and other stuff that just breeds mosquitoes. But no bug problems in the room. You should also know that this hotel is tugged away in a quiet neighborhood and so you'll need to take a taxi a lot. But still worth the hassel. [----] sex tourists are not welcome here which is always a plus for my husband and I (since I am Asian and my husband is Caucasian, you can guess what kinda issue I was dealing with in Thailand)

By the way, we also stayed at the Princess Hotel by MBK (the mall) and that was nice too. If you are only in Bangkok for a few days and want to go to the weekend market, book here because you can walk 5 min. to the sky train and take it straight to the market instead of having to haggle with the taxi driver to take you there and back (tuff part is coming back cuz they know you're desparately needing to get out of the heat, which means they will not take you or take you but no meter)

  • Liked — Cleanliness
  • Disliked — Location
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank AsianJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 21, 2008

This place is amazing, for the same price as some of the awful rooms on Koh san road you can stay in a beautiful friendly guest house.
The rooms are clean and quirky, the bathrooms really cool too.

The garden is beautiful too and you dont feel like your in Bangkok, its like being on one of the islands.

I have been to Bangkok four times now and this is by far the best place i have stayed.

  • Liked — The staff
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank bexbn1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
France
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 12, 2008

We stayed four nights in the Phranakorn hotel and we just loved it. We both think it was the best hotel of our holiday in Thailande.
It is a beautiful hotel, very well decorated, very quiet (that is enjoyable in Bangkok!). Breakfasts are delicious and people were so kind! So do not hesitate!

Pierre and Caroline

  • Liked — nice people
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank carobm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toronto
Level 4 Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed June 11, 2008

What a piece of heaven! I loved, loved and loved this place. After reading the reviews on Trip Advisor I booked through the hotel website for 3 nights. Travelling as a single female for my first time to Thailand I was a bit nervous about my hotel choice. Once I got to the Phranakorn-Nornlen all doubts I had just disappeared immediately. The staff had been kind enough to email me a map in thai that I gave to my taxi driver once I arrived into Bangkok very late at night. It was after midnight when I got the the hotel and the staff immediately took my bag to my room and gave me a cold drink, it hit the spot. I was a little overcome by the humidity in Thailand.
I got to my room and there was a pot of tea on the bed and a beautiful thai cd playing. The room was so cute with beautiful handpainted flowers on the wall, lots of candles in the room and bright cushions on the bed. The bed was very firm but I slept like a baby for the next 3 nights on that mattress. Breakfasts were so much fun, each day you had a unique selection of fruit, juices, coffee or tea, eggs or pancakes. Each morning was different. I couldn't wait to see what "todays" breakfast would be. The staff always greeted you with a smile and they were so helpful to answer any questions you might have. One night one of the staff took us up to the rooftop to see the new organic garden that was being constructed and just to let us sit up there and enjoy the stunning view of the city.
There was little room outside that had computers that were always free to use and if you weren't using the internet you could sign up for a thai massage for 300 baht for one hour. Even the massage staff were kind and friendly.
I really enjoyed coming back to the hotel after my hectic days in busy bangkok. As soon as I walked through the front gate I felt like I had entered a quiet little oasis and suddenly I didn't feel like I was in the city. I could sit outside surrounded in green plants, drink a cold drink and listen to the sound of the water fountain running while talking to the many other guests that were just relaxing the same way I was.
Like everyone else I have to say if you are a 5 star hotel person then this place will not be for you. This place is like staying at a quiet little cottage way out of the city (even though it's quite well located) There is a 7/11 right up the street and there is a ton of street food vendors in the area as well. Each night (the hotel doesn't serve dinners) we happily made our way up the street to sample the local fare and for really cheap!
I would stay there again in a second and for longer than 3 nights next time. I was really sad to leave this place.

  • Liked — The beautiful rooms and overal ambience
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank julestoronto
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
#104 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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