Yesterday, I went to the Khao San Road/Grand Palace area to pick up a friend who was staying for a couple of weeks at the Royal Princess Larn Luang Hotel.
The Royal Princess Larn Luang Hotel is popular with travelers who enjoy staying in the Rattanakosin area, the historic area of Bangkok, as it’s inexpensive but still a lovely hotel. The friend I picked up stayed there for two weeks, and enjoyed every minute of her stay. After my in-depth tour of the hotel, I can see why.
Location of the Royal Princess Larn Luang Hotel – The Royal Princess Larn Luang Hotel is located just a few minutes walk from Khao San Road, and close to the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew. It’s within walking distance of many of Bangkok’s popular tourist attractions and the hotel also runs a free shuttle bus that will take you to the closest sky train station, slap bang in the middle of Bangkok.
You can also walk to Hua Lamphong train station and underground station and, from here, can easily get all over the city.
Rooms at Royal Princess Larn Luang Hotel – When I arrived at the hotel, as a travel writer, the first thing I wanted to do was see my friend’s room. She’d booked a Superior Double room, which was spacious and had a large double bed, instead of the usual two singles.
The room itself was lovely. Recently taken over by the Dusit chain of hotels, according to the staff, the Royal Princess Larn Luang Hotel had some minor renovations done and more are in the works. My friend’s room was decorated in contemporary Thai style, comfortable but with clean lines and not too much fussy detail. The room had a large en suite bathroom with both a bath tub and separate shower (unusual in Bangkok), which was spotlessly clean.
She had a coffee maker, a flat screen TV with a number of satellite stations, a small mini bar and a little safe. Her room rate included breakfast and, as breakfast offered a buffet with a large number of food choices and also a good American-style breakfast, she was very happy with the food.
The Royal Princess Larn Luang Hotel also has many dining choices, if you don’t want to head out to one of the local restaurants. We ate dinner one night in the Japanese restaurant, Mikado, and while the prices were of course higher than comparable Japanese restaurants in Bangkok, the food was delicious (particularly the sushi) and the service lovely.
The hotel staff too carries customer service to high levels. Everything my friend asked for arrived in her room within just a few minutes, extra towels were no problem and, when I spoke to reception about restaurant choices in the neighborhood, the reception staff gave us some excellent options with even better directions how to get there.
Rates at Royal Princess Larn Luang Hotel – Rates change throughout the year with, obviously, high-season being higher than low-season. As January is right in the middle of high season in Thailand (it’s the coolest time of the year), my friend paid a slightly higher rate than if she’d been staying in July or August. But, as she said and I agreed, for the standard of accommodation and service, the price is extremely inexpensive.
Room rates for a Superior room were $65 a night. She stayed for 13 nights and thought the total cost was a very good deal. Be warned though, she booked on the hotel booking site, Bookingbuddy.com, which is cheaper than if you book a room at the Royal Princess Larn Luang Hotel directly through their website.
Negatives to Royal Princess Larn Luang Hotel – My friend is an avid internet user, so was slightly upset that the hotel had internet access but charged a ridiculously expensive fee for it. 250 baht ($8.35) an hour, is five times the normal Bangkok rate and, if you spend a lot of time online like she does, it’s just not doable, as it would have added over $30 a day to her room rate.
For this reason alone, she said she wouldn’t stay at the hotel again, as it meant her having to find an internet cafe when she could have been relaxing with her laptop in the comfort of her room. As many other hotels in Bangkok offer free or inexpensive internet to all their guests she decided, on her next visit, she’d stay at one that did.
A pity the hotel sees fit to be greedy with its charge for the internet. Like me, affordable or free internet access in a hotel is a ‘deal breaker’ with my friend so, as much as she loved the Royal Princess Larn Luang Hotel for every other reason, for that reason alone the hotel lost a possible repeat customer. The management of the hotel should take note.