I decided to stay at Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel rather than a western-style hotel to get more of a feel of the "real" Bangkok. Unfortunately, the trade-off was a lack of nearby dining (street food predominates in this area, but I didn't think I could eat street food without a stomach reaction, however the nearby restaurants were awful), and local transportation problems (as the hotel itself admits, taxis cannot find this place; they offer a map which did not seem to help the taxi drivers at all, and several refused to take me back to the hotel). The rooftop dining room pictured in some of the photos here was not open. The hotel offered breakfast and dinner in the street-floor lobby; it was of mediocre quality.
The room itself was fine; be prepared for a shower that is part of the bathroom, and to be REQUIRED to take off your shoes before entering the room. The staff was responsive to requests but not always available, especially the young lady taking meal orders. (I came down for breakfast at the opening time one morning to find a closed sign on the counter that remained there for the next 10 minutes. I supposed this is part of the promoted 'slow living' and I just don't have the patience, I expect breakfast to be available when posted).
The lobby area with cushions and fans appeared to be a lovely way to spend the hot afternoons, but unfortunately I never got a chance to use them, they were monopolized by several young families and couples. The hotel promotes a real Thai garden, and I guess this is what they call a garden, but most plantings were outside the hotel boundaries.
I had expected that a hotel of this nature would also have friendly people staying there and a friendly staff, but the general air was of coldness. None of the workshops promoted on the website were offered during the three days I stayed here.