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An occasionally belligerent mother of four and an autism parent / advocate who believes that traveling, good food and good company are vital to keep one sane. I've worked as a news writer/newscaster, a quality systems auditor, a ISO9001 consultant, an FM radio DJ, a Filipino tutor, TOEFL reviewer and have gone into the food industry both as an entrepreneur and as a mommy chef, giving a sponsored demo on healthy cooking in a mall and on local TV. My favorite job however, is being a mom and a wife.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Living Like A Prince Even ON a BUDGET (The Prince Palace Hotel Bangkok Review)


Arriving at almost midnight, the only thing I wanted to do upon landing in Bangkok was to check in our hotel, have a quick soak in a tub and head off to bed. Easy to say if the Suvarnabhumi Airport were near enough, which of course, it wasn't. We had to content ourselves with the AC of the cab for the next 45 minutes.

the wholesale shopping center, BoBae Towers and from the 11th to 32nd floor, one of the towers of the hotel.
This here is the front of Prince Palace
As soon as the hotel was in sight, the cab driver pointed us to our destination which was still a block away. No grand fountain/garden/long driveway to greet you hello, just a decent facade of 3 32-floor towers with a giant image of a prince on it's main tower.

the lobby at the 11th floor
Entering the hotel, a small lobby and small counter was the first thing we saw, as well as a sign saying, "Check in at 11th floor". Getting into one of the 4 elevators, together with the bellboy and all our luggage,  we saw a huge hotel lobby (clearly the real one) in front of us. Checking in was a breeze, and after a couple of directions from the receptionists and a maintenance dude (the hotel is quite huge, with it's 3 main towers and a ten floor wholesale shopping complex attached to it, one could really get lost in the connecting floors without proper directions) we headed off to the next building which housed our home for the next 4 nights.

the staff was pretty efficient at checking us in and bringing our luggage. I mean, who wants to be stressed in the wee hours of the morning right?
For the about 55 USD , or around 2300 PHP, without breakfast though. A breakfast buffet would be an additional 300 PHP to the room per day for two. If you didn't book it in Agoda, it's an additional 200 BAHT/person. As good a deal as that may be, we wanted to be adventurous and try out the local cuisine. The hotel itself has six restaurants, there are various street food a block from the hotel, a 7-11 near that area, as well as a fruit market too. Bo Bae tower houses it's own food court at the 6th floor too with various delicious food selections at real cheap prices. (a full meal can cost as low as 60 baht)

We were uber pleased with the room. The carpet and furniture may have been slightly worn, but nonetheless, the space was bigger than most one bedroom condominiums. Check it out:
a kitchenette is the 1st thing you see when you enter the suite. as with most hotels, coffee and tea sets as well as bottled mineral water are replenished daily. there's also an electric kettle and fridge for those mornings when you want to fix your own breakfast
a dining table for two right beside the living room. the window opens up to showcase a nice skyline, a view of the pool below and a bit further, the canal where the water taxis are

MAX calling dibs on his play area for the duration of our stay

a king size bed was more than enough for the 3 of us! No lumpy pillows and cushions. Sheets and  pillow cases were changed daily (entire suite was cleaned daily too)

left door leads to the living room, right door leads to the bathroom. Internet cables are on the desk. Quite expensive though at 100 baht for 10 minutes

basic toilet facilities, hair dryer's available too. toiletries are replenished if they're not placed on the counter (soaps, shampoo, lotion and bath foam together with a shower cap, cotton buds, and a toothbrush/toothpaste set are provided) Towels are replaced daily whether you hang them or not. 

tub's standard size, hot water's available 24/7 too
The location is also quite ideal. Clothing stalls and shops surround the hotel, as well as the fact that it's attached to a wholesale shopping center. Food and basic necessities, as noted above, will definitely not be a problem. For those who would want to go to The Grand Palace and Siam Discovery, it's just a ten minute cab ride away (around 45-60 baht). 

A water taxi that goes to the ff. route is a 3 minute walk from the hotel's main entrance:
 - BTS Skytrain(Rachathewi station) 5 mins. (Taxi Boat) 
- MBK/Siam Square 5 mins. (Taxi Boat) 
- Pratunam (Platinum/Central World) 10 mins. (Taxi Boat) 
- Golden Mount 5 mins. (Taxi Boat) 

from the hotel ground floor, turn right and walk straight if you'd want to go to the water taxi stop.
fare is around 9-10 baht/person. Best tip ever: sit in the middle of the seats when riding the boat. You're less likely to get splashed on by stinky canal water
I must say that using the water taxi could be quite an adventure. Getting on and off it is quite fast paced. Have folks from the hotel front desk, write your destination in Thai. A travel agency is also available til 10 pm at the hotel's ground floor. We got a good deal for our Samphran Elephant grounds and Crocodile Farm/ Rose Garden and Nakhon Pathom excursion.

Here are more pics of and around the hotel :
the poolside bar. You may think it's too hot for  a swim, but the pool of tower a has a strategic landscaping of it's own to ensure that you'll  be roasted by the sun only if you want to

tower A, the floor above leads to tower B where the spa, fitness center and bigger pool is at

one of the many Jacuzzis in the place.


the aquarium by the pool of tower A

you get 2 of these daily. with the heat, we ended up buying water by the gallon at the nearby 7-11



the hotel's in house travel agency brings you to and from your destination in cars like these (Camry)
food from the food court at the 6th floor of the  Bo Bae Towers (Tom Yum, Pad Thai, Fried chicken and fried rice)
SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO GET THERE:
a. from the main lobby at the 11th floor of tower A (where you check in), use the elevators there to go down to the 7th floor.
b. go one floor down the fire escape stairs and exit to the left where you'll find clothing/accessory stores
c. turn right till you see the Bo Bae Towers office, then go left and walk straight to you see the stairs leading to the ATMs.
d. climb up, and turn left till you see the food court coupon counter. Most stalls accept only coupons. Buy however much you think you'll be needing. If you don't get to use up your coupons at the food stalls, don't save them for another day. have them reimbursed at the counter where you got them within the day. They change coupon colors daily.
It may seem far, but seriously, it takes less than 5 minutes to get there. To go back to the hotel, go back where you came from. to SHOP, go down the escalator near the ATMs leading to the food court.
shopping for MAX's shoes was insane! So many  to choose from at low prices! Ended up with sandals, loafers and  clog type sandals all under 500 baht!
if you see this temple a stone's throw from the hotel, you're heading to the  path of nourishment. from here, go straight  til the end if the block for some decent street food. On the right, at the end of the street is the 7-11.


TMW enjoying the suite living
As mediocre as we are, this was one of the best vacations we've ever had! Much had to be attributed to the good night's rest we received every night by staying in this hotel, and how refreshed we were the next day as we head off to see the sights. The fabulous food we had given our close proximity to it, as well as the hotel being a great starting point to all our adventures as it gave us easy access to all our travelling and daily needs. Value for your money too!!!Can't think of another place I would want to come back to (both the country and the hotel!). For inquiries, check out their website: Prince Palace Hotel

By the way, for those who have flights waaay after check out (ours was at 11 pm) you can ask for a half day rate (good for 6 hours) after the late check out time of 1 pm. We paid around 1200 baht for this. That'll give you time to do last minute shopping at Bo Bae, take a nap and freshen up before you drive off to the airport to check in.

From TMW, may all your wanderings be better than ours!!!

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