The Phranakorn Nornlen Hotel is a very unique hotel being run by environmentaly aware young Asians in chaotic, crazy Bangkok. One of the unusual objectives of this small hotel is to connect with the near-by urban community, 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 an 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 guest to slow down and appreciate the natural rythmn of life, even when surrounded by the urban madness.
The hotel location north of the Kao San Road area in Bangkok, is off a quiet soi (small alley) that can be tricky to locate. Once the taxi has finally found your destination, you will be greeted by a typical Thai double wooden gated door which enters into a lush garden. The sounds of tweeting birds and trickling water meet your ears, as the Bangkok traffic fades from memory. Walk across the bricked path and duck the overhanging vines to reach the reception area, which is pleasantly air conditioned. Staff are eager to meet you, with the hotel striving to be personable, greeting you with smiles and ready to assist throughout your entire stay.
Walk down the wide halls of what formally was a 1940’s Chinese hotel and be sure to appreciate the halls which are decorated with colorful full wall murals, old-world advertising signs and telephone wires. Enter your room door through antique double Thai wooden door, to find each room uniquely decorated with hand-painted flowers, ivys 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 more garden greenery. A big double painted wooden bed holds a (very) firm Thai-style mattress and pillows covered with traditional 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 house supplied Green Music or your own tunes. 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 eco-friendly ceiling fan. Ground floor rooms have a small garden and second floor rooms are provided with a balcony.
The rooftop garden, which many visitors overlook, is on the 4th floor, and has a wondeful view of a giant sitting golden Buddha located in a nearby wat (temple). If you walk towards the far end of this large roof you will find the hotel’s organic urban garden, where many of the fresh herbs and some vegetables for the kitchen are grown. It is a very ambitous undertaking!
This is a smoke-free hotel, which is appreciated by two gorgeous resident parrots who are the hotel’s mascots!