We stayed at the Navalai for about a week. Our first 2 nights were in a larger room facing the river. The room was spacious and clean. Beds were very hard as they are in Asia, but they were comfortable enough to sleep on. There was a window between the shower and the rest of the room, it had a curtain, but it was controlled by whoever was outside of the bathroom (so if your roomie is a bit of a perve then you may have an Issue lol). The view was nice, however we were only on the second floor up so the bottom half of our view was the veranda top leading out most of the way to the river. From about 7am (give or take) the boats would come and collect passengers from the hotel. We couldn't hear the boats from inside, but the guys on the boat would communicate with the driver by blowing whistles. This continues throughout the day, they thin out and finally stop when it get dark. This didn't bother us, but it may some people. sitting on the veranda was very hot, with no airflow, this is because it is a bit sheltered, but may depend on the season and of course the direction of the wind, the time we experienced out there though was not great for us. We would not recommend this room, it was not good value for money, higher floors may be better however.
Our next 5 nights were in a smaller room on the 5th floor off to the side overlooking the monastery. By day the room was very quiet, the boat whistles could only be heard very faintly. The room while smaller, we actually thought was nicer. There was no window into the bathroom and it felt a better set up. At night the bar across the street was playing music and singing quite loudly. We enjoyed sitting on the balcony and having a drink while watching out to the part of the street we could see. There waz also good air flow on the balcony. Lying in bed we could still hear the road sounds, but again this didn't bother us. We estimate they play loud music until around 2am, but it was different on weekends and may depend on the season/amount of customers In The bar. There is a large generator that sounds like it comes from above at the pool that starts up at 4;30am every morning that woke my partner up ever morning. We had friends staying on the opposite side of he building and they said their room looked out the "nothing" but they said it was quite, this may be a preferred option for light sleepers.
Showers in both rooms were either cold or hot, not warm. It was hard to find a good balance. But the pressure we found was good.
The hotel is above a 7/11 and an ATM which was convenient. It is also about a 10 minute walk to Khao San Road, great for market shopping, drinking and food.
Tuk Tuks and taxis are always out the front. Make sure taxis put their meter on, we were told that most local places only cost about 50baht for locals, so upwards from this you are getting ripped off- mind you, 150-300 baht is still cheap and we still paid it.
Laundry: Walk out the front of the hotel and cross the road, walk to the right and take the second street on the left (from memory. It looks like a little market lane way) about half way down on the right hand side is a laundry that does 1kg for 25baht ($0.75AUD) very cheap! Although laundry in the hotel is still a reasonable price. At the end of this lane way is more markets too.
Airconditioning worked well, although can take about 2 minutes to kick in. We got a second key card so that we could both come and go from the room. Wifi was very good, you ask for Internet downstairs daily. If you have more than one device, ask for more Internet passwords.
Lift was quick between floors. Hotel was decorated nicely with paintings.
Roof top pool had a great view and a bar upstairs. Nice set up.
The boats that are out the front daily are tour boats, we got a long tail boat tour that we enjoyed.
Tuk tuk ride is about 20 mins to MBK for some shopping in a centre.
Restaurant food was nice, there was the option for Thai and western food. We recommend spring rolls with plum sauce, basil chicken, and chicken with cashews. The pad Thai was a bit flavorless though. Cocktails were reasonable approx 180 to 220 baht ($4-7AUD). Meals and drinks were available until 11:30pm and there was no additional charge for room service either. Breakfast had a great buffet selection ranging from cereal, toast, eggs, bacon, and then a different moderate sized selection that changed each day e.g. Green curry, spaghetti bol, etc. Egg whites were always underdone, Both in fried and scrambled but Very enjoyable breakfast.
Staffing was a bit mixed with level of friendliness. The security out the front were lovely, when we came back a week later to visit a friend, they recognized us and welcomed us back. When walking out of hotel towards the restaurant there is a guy with a radio that sits there, not sure on his role, but very friendly and smiley.
Staff on the desk on arrival were friendly, but we're not the same each day. There were a few rude ones, I was greated with "what do you want" at one point. Breakfast staff are lovely. Dinner staff were a bit mixed, we had a great cocktail maker, but wait staff were not great. The manager always looked stressed and never smiled and borderlined on rude sometimes. Staff that took orders and cleared plates were not overly friendly either. They are not attentive to tables, food is reasonably fast to come out but you need to get the attention of staff to order which took a while some nights..
Overall we enjoyed our stay and would stay there again if we wanted a river view. however you can get better value for money away from the river.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Navalai offers a hip design, unlike any other city hotel. You can find this extraordinary experience of Oriental Chic Boutique and be inspired by historical and social context of hotel location. 74 unique and stylish rooms are decorated in four different themes: Artist; Thai-lifestyle; Colonial-influenced; and Rattanakosin heritage. This uniquely designed hotel is the ideal place for honeymooners and travelers who look for a unique life style. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Navalai River Hotel Bangkok
- Navalai River Bangkok