Phra-Nakorn Norn-Len Hotel
Travel Blogs from Bangkok
Day 7: 1st June
Crossing a further 4 time zones saw us arrive in Singapore at 00:30 UK time, free Wifi, so time to update blogs and upload photos! Changi airport is so chilled out it's untrue with little gardens and prayer areas. Our connecting flight to Bangkok left at the right time, and got us here at around noon, local time. Three …
We are here, and we are safe. But before that, thirty hours or more of sleepless cramped traveling. The only goofy white kids with backpacks in a sea of tiny Asian bodies. Poor Brian crammed into an airline seat that was literally made for people half his size for 16 hours. 16 hours defined only by a continuous chorus of high sharp Chinese …
Not even 24 hours into our dreamy Thai holiday and we had a fight. It all started rather well, with a non-eventful flight into Bangkok (the best kind as far as I'm concerned). Upon arrival we caught a taxi to our hotel, thinking this would be the quickest and easiest method. Maybe, maybe not. Driving through the city in the semi-suicidal style …
... 619;ะสานม ิตร วิทยา# 85;ร,ผู้ป ระสาน$ 27;ลักสู& #3605;ร,งาน$ 04;้านอื& #3656;น ๆที่เ# 85;ี่ยวข& #3657;องกัũ 0;โครงก ...
... war ratze. Hihi. Jimbo hat dies garnicht ausgenutzt. Wirklich nicht. Wirklich. Also wirklich jetzt.
Los gings auf die KAO SAN LOOOOOT (Khao San Road). Nach einigen Happy Hours Pit stop bei McD, wo Jimbo David Hasselhoff beim Burgeressen Konkurrenz gemacht hat. Ein wahrer Knigge Kenner, der Gute. Danach reichte unsere Energie gerade noch, um die nächste Massas anzusteuern. Piepenhoe nutzte die Zeit, in der ihre Füße von kleinen Thai Händen massakriert wurden um ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Phra-Nakorn Norn-Len Hotel Bangkok
Un petit paradis dans bangkok
Cet hôtel est une pure merveille. Nous y sommes restés 3 nuits en Août.
Super accueil, déco sympa, plein de petites attentions du staff, super musique, super petit dej, zen +++. Rose la propriétaire est adorable.
Un havre de Paix au milieu d'une ville chaotique
Bangkok est une ville qui ne laisse pas indifférent. Une ville extrême, spirituelle, lumineuse, poluée et chaotique. Au milieu de cette ville, dans le vieux Bangkok, moitié Bo-Bo, moitié délabré, nous avons découvert cet hôtel unique en son genre. Tenu par quelques jeunes thaïlandais baba cool, ce havre de paix est atypique en tout point. La nourriture? Au petit déjeuner, chaque matin, un nouveau repas composé avec finesse et rafinement est proposé. C'est une surprise à chaque fois. L'Accueil? Rose, la propriétaire de ces lieux nous a accueilli et nous a fait découvrir généreusement, sans rien demander des pans inconnus de la ville. La Propreté et le Standing? Evidemment, tout baba cool qui se respecte ne doit pas s'attendre à avoir la télé ou la chaine hi-fi dans sa chambre. D'ailleurs, dans la pièce principale de l'hotel, il est écrit "Turn off the TV, Turn on your life", par contre, tout est très propre et soigné, comme souvent, d'ailleurs, en Thaïlande. La décoration? Si vous aimé la peinture murale, la brocante et tout le toutim, vous serez servis. Rose a entièrement décoré ce lieu de meubles et de plantes de toutes sortes. Pour finir, je dirais que globalement, cet hôtel que j'ai quitté avec un pincement au coeur et un mot signé par chacun des hôtes de ce lieu est habité par un soupçon de Zen et un bras de générosité et même... d'amour. Hotel fortement conseillé pour les couples en quête de romantisme.
The most relaxed of all 'central' Bangkok locations
I liked most of all the attitude of staff at the hotel. They were keen to help without seeming overbearing, (I arrived past 10 at night with a belly full of nothing and they were happy to rustle up a divine sandwich despite the cafe being closed) and when I asked for information on getting around Bangkok, they were only too happy to assist.
My experience was of course added to by the hotel's ambience which was, in spite of the pace of a main road situated 200 metres away, fantastically relaxed and quiet. Once in my room, I loved the copper old style wide shower head, which dropped water directly from above; the beautifully restored wooden furniture; and the paraphernalia from Thailand's past (30+years old) which adorned walls everywhere. The people that started the hotel apparently hunted for much of the latter at a place called the 'flashlight market' in Bangkok, where customers browse after dark with a single light.
It's an incidental yet important point that the hotel has been started by young asians who are up against pretty stiff competition from behemoth hotel chains. I suppose the enjoyment at Phranakorn comes from the fact that the owners have juxtaposed their hotel against this competition by personalising it.
I will be going back again!!
By the way:I write central with inverted commas only because Bangkok, like many other large capital cities has several centres. The hotel has a good claim to be located in the original centre of old Bangkok.
Lush Garden, Arty Rooms, Organic Food & Friendly Staff
Phranakorn Nornlen Hotel is an incredibly charming boutique hotel nestled in old Bangkok. The concept of this hotel is somewhat unique being run by environmentally aware young Asians. For example, an unusual objective of the hotel is to connect with the near-by urban community. This is achieved by having local vendors as suppliers and by directing guests with maps and directions to appreciate the local restaurants, shops and street vendors. One reviewer in fact called the hotel, 'anti-hotel', in the sense that it is not trying to maximize its profits at the expense of neighbors. Rather this hotel's goal is to try to induce their guests to slow down and appreciate the natural rhythm of life!
The hotel location is off a quiet soi (small alley) that is a little tricky to find, across from a small elementary school. Once your taxi has deposited you at your destination, you enter through a typical Thai double wood gate into a lush garden. Birds and trickling water are the pleasant sounds that meet your ears, as the Bangkok traffic fades from memory. Walking across the bricked path, ducking the overhanging vines, you reach the reception area, which is pleasantly air conditioned. Staff are eager to serve you and take you to your room. The hotel strives to be personable, greeting you with smiles and ready to assist you throughout your stay.
Walking down the wide halls of what formally was a 1940's Chinese hotel, the length of the halls are decorated with old-world advertising signs and telephone wires to take you back in time. Entering your room door through antique double Thai wood door, you will find each room uniquely decorated with
hand-painted flowers, vines of ivy and turn of the century household items like tea kettles and radios. The feeling of the room is bright and cheerful. Colored glass filters in light from the balcony which overlooks garden greenery. A big double painted wooden bed holds a firm Thai-style mattress and pillows covered with Thai fabrics. Painted recycled wood shelves run the length of the wall for stashing your gear. Each room has a quirky CD player for listening to Green Music or your own tunes. Colored glass votive lights and an electrical incense burner are the little touches to help you relax. There is no TV (in tune with the hotels concept), but there is a telephone for room service and outside calls. The bathroom is a quiet, dark respite with natural stone walls and a large shower head with hot and cold water. Most rooms are provided with both air conditioning and an old fashioned ceiling fan. Ground floor rooms have a small garden and second floor rooms have a balcony. Some rooms have a view of a giant sitting gold Buddha located in a nearby wat (temple).
Only breakfast is currently being served at the hotel to fit with the concept of sharing with the community - lunch and dinner should be eaten outside in the neighborhood which is a food lovers paradise. Breakfast is a set menu (included in the price of the room) and is mainly vegetarian. This meal is not your typical one egg sunny side up with white bread repast. Rather it is a lovingly prepared full course breakfast that is delightful even if you are not vegetarian. The kitchen uses organic seasonal ingredients from local farmers. On the day we stayed there, we had kao dtohm, boiled brown rice soup and mushrooms served with numerous healthy side dishes including toasted black and white sesame seeds, tiny fried salted fishes, boiled lotus seeds, cilantro, scallions, basil and pickled radish artfully presented. Organic guava juice and fresh espresso coffee were the beverages for the day. The concept is slow food, to protect the environment and your good health.
The common courtyard area is a pleasant space for hanging out. A little sala decorated with paintings by local artists offers board games, PC computers (free for your use) and cable TV. This is a great area if you are traveling with children. There is also WI-Fi, which I was also able to access in my second floor room. Thai crafts, fabrics and handmade items are on display and for sale in Thai-style wood and glass cabinets. This garden area is very large and unexpected in the crush of modern day Bangkok. After a hectic day of sight seeing and shopping you will be very happy to return to this tranquil escape.
The location is a 20 minutes walk from Khao San Road and conveniently located for key tourist attractions such as the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and China Town. The boat taxi is just 5 minutes walk down a relatively quiet street and can connect with the Skytrain. This would be a lovely honeymoon hotel for couples who appreciate old world ideas and want to see the real Bangkok.
This is a smoke-free hotel. Two gorgeous resident parrots are the hotel's mascots riding on the staffs shoulders who seem to appreciate this rule. In fact they now have a new baby parrot just 2 months old!
Nicest place we have ever stayed
Firstly let me clarify; no one put me up to writing this review and I have no comercial or family/friend link to the hotel whatsoever! Now that's out of the way I'll give you four reasons why it's the nicest place we have ever stayed:
1) LOCATION. Bangkok is an overwhelming big hectic city like New York or London but more so. The vast majoirty of the hotels are located in a downtown area with high rise buildings and lots of traffic and lots of tourists. In other words you could be in any major city if you stay in this area (mostly around Sukumvit or further down town). Phranakorn-Nornlen is in the north of the city where the buildings are lower rise, the population is mostly local and the polution and traffic is less bad. The hotel is about a 15 minute walk north of the very busy very backpackerish Ko-San Road which means that despite being away from the usual tourist trail you are still very conveniently located for all the historical monuments and temples. The area immediately around the hotel is packed with amazing street food stands and there is a road called Pra-Athit about 10 minutes away with many great resteraunts if you don't want to eat on the street. (Roti-Mataba in particular!) However, we ate street food twice a day for 7 days in Bangkok and didn't have so much of a hint of a bad stomach not to mention its dirt cheap and it tastes superb! Phranakorn Nornlen is located on a quiet side turning off a busier road. It's easy to get a Tuk Tuk or taxi and the river ferry service runs from Thiwet PIer about 5 minutes walk from the guesthouse. This is an awesome way to travel around Bangkok and costs pennies. If you stay in the wrong area of Bangkok you could easily end up disliking your stay by getting exhausted and irritated with the pace of life. But get the location of your hotel right and it's a fantastic city, and you can't get any righter than where PN is situated.
2) STAFF. Phranakorn-Nornlen is managed by its owner who lavishes the hotel with so much attention that there are superb detailed touches that you just don't find in a chain hotel. For example, each evening in your room you get a tray of fresh tea and a note, lit candles in your room or an oil burner. She is a keen gardener and it shows: there are scores of healthy tropical plants all over the place: each room has plants on the balcony and the garden room downstairs where breakfast is eaten is packed with so many plants you could be in a butterfly garden. The employed staff are all young and incredibly friendly and courteous and they leave the impression that one only gets when they really enjoy their job. Between them their English language skills are excellent: better than in some of the five star places we visited on the same trip.
3) AMENITIES/BUILDING: The owner of the hotel has taken a very basic shell of a building and created a very intimate, relaxed and stylish guesthouse. Its been very nicely done. The best way I can describe it like a cross between an artists retreat, your favourite aunts house and a hip hotel. (Odd description I know, but stay there and you'll see what I mean.) It really is the perfect environment in which to unwind after a day in the city. There are murals on the walls, painted birdcages, plants everywhere and two small tame parrots in the garden. What more do you want!!!
4) FOOD: I am not a vegetarian but my girlfriend is. I am always slightly sceptical of places that only serve vegetarian food and often with good reason. Not here: Every day you get a freshly cooked delicious meal for Breakfast. The standard of food served for Breakfast is way beyond what is normally found in a hotel. I don't want to spoil it for you by going into excessive detail but if you love food, you'll have a great experience eating breakfast here, I assure you.
After all that praise I would offer one miniscule word of caution: if you are someone who needs everything done immediately and really values a full hotel style concierge service then the guesthouse might not be your cup of tea. It is a professional but informal place that is a world away from big hotels.
Well there you go; if that doesn't get you interested I don't know what will!
¡Un tesoro escondido!
Personal increíblemente atento que se desvive para hacer que este lugar sea como un segundo hogar. Todo está muy bien pensado y pintado para crear un ambiente que sólo creía posible en los cuentos de hadas-este es un hotel muy especial. ¡El desayuno era sencillo, delicioso y orgánico!
Relajación en Bangkok antes de continuar con el viaje
Era la primera vez que nos alojábamos en este magnífico hotel. Cuando bajamos del avión en Bangkok, cogimos un taxi que nos llevó directamente hasta el hotel y después de un largo vuelo es agradable refrescarse. Este lugar te transporta lejos de la vida bulliciosa de Bangkok y te ofrece una buena comida (orgánica) y bebida además de un personal amable. Aquí puedes recuperar las fuerzas para continuar tu viaje. Se encuentra en el casco antiguo de Bangkok, en Chinatown. Las habitaciones están muy limpias, su decoración es bonita y cuando vuelves después de un día en la ciudad, te encuentras tu habitación limpia y una buena taza de té junto a la cama, con unas románticas velas e incienso alrededor. ¡Así me gusta volver a casa! El cuarto de baño tiene una ducha limpia y bonita para eliminar toda la suciedad acumulada en la ciudad de Bankok. En su bonito jardín hay una atractiva fuente que también está circundada con incienso lo que te hace sentir la auténtica Asia. En suma, nos lo pasamos muy bien en este lugar y desde luego que se lo recomendamos a todo los que vayan a Bangkok y quieran descansar un par de días antes de continuar viajando, para ver más de Tailandia. Estamos seguros que volveremos. Dirk y Sasja, Ámsterdam, Holanda.
A hidden treasure!
Incredibly helpful staff go out of their way to make this place seem like a home away from home. Every furnishing and beautifully painted feature is carefully thought out creating a ambience that I only thought possible in fairytales - this is a very special hotel. Breakfast was simple, delicious and organic!
Ein versteckter Schatz!
Unglaublich hilfsbereites Personal überbietet sich selbst, um das Hotel zu einem zweiten Zuhause zu machen. Die ganze Einrichtung und die hübsch gestrichenen Elemente wurden mit Sorgfalt gestaltet, um eine Atmosphäre zu schaffen, die ich nur im Märchen für möglich hielt - es ist ein ganz besonderes Hotel.
Das Frühstück war einfach, lecker und mit Speisen aus ökologischem Anbau!
Relaxing in Bangkok before further travelling
This was our first time in this magnificent hotel. When we came of the plane in Bankok, we took a taxi directly to this hotel and after a long flight it's good to chill. This place takes you away from the busy life of Bangkok city and with its good (organic!) food and drinks and friendly staff you can gather strenght for further travelling. It's situated in the old center of Bankok, Chinatown.
The rooms are very clean, nice decorations (!) and when you come back after a day in the city, you find you room all cleaned and a nice pot of tea on the side of your bed, with aromatic candles and inscence around.
That's my way of coming home!
The bathroom has a very nice and clean shower to wash off all Bangkok city dirt. In the beautiful garden there is a nice fountain also surrounded by inscence wich gives you the feeling you're really in Asia! All in all we had a great time in this place and will certainly recommend this to anyone who comes to Bangkok and wants to lay low for a couple of days before travelling further, to see more of Thailand. We will come back for sure!
Dirk & Sasja