Loy La Long, Bangkok, Thailand ****

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.

The green sign under neath the electricity meters is actually a sign that you're getting close. It's way easier to find if you get there by boat.

First walk through the temple, then look for the little green sign. OK? Then proceed into the alley, yes? See the other sign? Good. You’re there.

Loy La Long displays an unorthodox take on the front desk/reception area.

Dear guests, welcome to Loy La Long. Not your ordinary hotel and not your ordinary front desk/reception area.

Blue room on the 2nd floor. River view, bathtub and private balcony.

The blue room, sometimes referred to as room #5. Comes with your own, private balcony. Recommended.

Double room, river view it says. Double room with magnificent river view, it should say!

Wanna stay on the 1st floor in a corner room with a river view? Boy, have we got the room for you! This is the black room, also known as room # 2.

How can you not be fascinated by a little tin jar with the Snake Brand logo?

Fancy that! Shower gel and hot weather talc in the orange room’s bathroom. And honestly, how can you not be fascinated by the little tin jar with the Snake Brand-logo?

There's a little table and there's a rocking chair and there's a flower-pot. What else do you need?

A rocking chair. A deck. A tiny table. A flower-pot. A river view of the Chao Phraya. Why complicate things? What more do you need? I mean, honestly?

If you exit the hammock on the wrong side, you will soon have to start swimming.

See the two hammocks? That’s the most unique feature of Loy La Long.

Saravuth is smart: He left the advertising business to open Loy La Long.

Saravuth, the owner is on duty. And he’s one friendly dude who left the advertising industry to open Loy La Long. I’ve been in the advertising business for two decades now and, Saravuth, I’m jealous.

Building looks about 100 years old. Building celebrates is 30th (or so) birthday.

Look over there! An old teak house! Looks like it’s 100 years old! It’s only about 30, though!

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

+6689-133-1131 (Mobile)
+6689-454-1414 (Mobile)

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