Q: What is it? A: A wooden house with a wooden deck overlooking Bangkok’s Chao Phraya river. Inside the wooden house there are seven rooms and an amazingly helpful staff; quite the opposite of the Mandarin Oriental, and in many respects quite the same.
Much better than advertising.
Honestly, no advertising will do it justice. Which in this case should not be taken as an insult. Saravuth, one of the owners of Loy La Long, used to be in advertising. He left the business to turn a concept into reality and a dream concept it is: A teak house, located in the Patumkongka Rachaworawiharn temple area, so close to the river that you may have to swim if you exit one of the hammocks on the wrong side. Staying here means that you will always note what’s happening on the Chao Phraya; long-tail boats, express commuter boats, barges being towed upstream and an occasional monitor lizard swimming by…
A hotel that almost floats on the river.
It’s not a huge place. Seven rooms on two floors. Both floors have their own deck. The upper comes with a rocking chair outside. The lower has two hammocks suspended where the wood meets the water. I’m not sure which department Saravuth worked in at Ogilvy & Mather in Bangkok, but everything looks like an Art Director’s dream; as there have been several stylists at work. Little funky interior twists are everywhere – like the jar of hot weather talc in the bathroom, bearing the Snake Brand logo.
Ask for green, black, orange or blue.
Those are the colors of the rooms that comes with a river view. Green is a suite. Blue comes with its own private balcony. I realize that I’ve already used the word river more than half a dozen times in this review, but Loy La Long and the river are like Amos and Andy, Chip and Dale, or Dupond and Dupont… It’s actually so affected by the river that you can’t put your shoes just anywhere. Parts of the building may be flooded at times. Only weeks before the hotel was about to open its doors, the Chao Phraya river decided to remind the owners just where they were at. The hotel appeared in news segments, reporters wading in water.
I’d call it a hotel.
I’m not sure it should be called a hotel. It has no business center, the front desk doubles as bar and kitchen and you can’t tell your limo driver to stop outside. Some say it’s a guesthouse. Others call it a B&B. I’d just say it’s a quite unique hotel experience. The staff and the location is why you should come here and, oh… while we’re at it: The place won’t break your bank. Any drawbacks? Not really. Bathrooms aren’t dreams of marble. The place gets fully booked rather quickly. And before having a few drinks, make sure to write down the name Patumkongka Rachaworawiharn. The name of that gosh darn temple is hard enough to pronounce, even when you’re 100 percent sober…
Loy La Long Hotel
1620/2 Song Wat Road
(inside Patumkongka Rachaworawiharn Temple)
Sampanthawong, Bangkok, 10100