Baan Pra Nond
Finding a Local Hideaway in the overcrowded metropolis of Bangkok is a nice challenge. For this city (population almost 9 million) is for the main part dominated by large hotels, hardly suitable for the Local Hideaways concept. But I found a lovely charming Bed & Breakfast, with only 8 rooms, located centrally in the city. A B&B that is perfect for Local Hideaways, as becomes clear from owner Tasma’s inspired story.
Every day, on her way to work, Tasma would pass by her grandfather’s derelict house. As time went by, she longed to turn her life around and came up with the idea of fixing up the old building and turning it into a Bed & Breakfast. The 70 year old, Thai Colonial style house had been standing empty for quite some time already, but it used to belong to her grandfather, who was a Supreme Court justice. It was an expansive house with standing, surrounded by fruit orchards and canals. Over the years, Bangkok modernized and expanded and the fruit orchards and canals had to make way for roads and buildings, but the house stood firm. It took Tasma all her powers of persuasion to convince her mother and aunt to invest in the building, allowing her and her husband Jason to refurbish and realise her dream….but she succeeded! After extensive renovations Baan Pra Nond (Meaning: House of the high ranking judge Nondthapany – abbr. Nond) opened its doors.
The Bed & Breakfast is tucked away somewhat, and the taxi driver has a hard time finding it, but the directions in Thai offer the solution. He drops me off in front of a beautiful yellow colonial-style building and when I ring the bell I feel as though I am visiting friends instead of checking into a hotel. Janya welcomes me warmly and tells me all about Baan Pra Nond’s central location. The BTS Skyetrain stop (the most practical means of transportation in the city as, particularly during rush hour, there is no getting through the crowded streets) is a mere five minute walk away, and the Sathorn Pier at the Chao Phraya river, where you can take a taxi boat to the old part of Bangkok is also within walking distance. And then it is time for me to check out the rest of the B&B, and I am impressed with the lovely and charming colonial atmosphere and the comfortable rooms. You can choose between a Standard Room (4): the smallest rooms, a Deluxe Room (3): a bit larger, with bathrooms that are a bit more modern and with their own private balcony; and a Grande Deluxe Room (1): the largest room with a large private balcony. The B&B also features a small courtyard with swimming pool, where you can relax after a day in the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. Please note that you’re in an extremely busy city with traffic rushing by 24-7, nights as well, but earplugs are provided in the rooms.
Baan Pra Nond is an elegant and cosy retreat in fascinating Bangkok, and the personality and atmosphere of this B&B add to the local feeling, something you won’t easily find in one of the larger hotels. In addition, Baan Pra Nond is affordable and offers good quality service.
It is wonderful to see how Tasma was able to keep her grandfather’s house in the family… meanwhile he’s keeping an eye on the place because his portrait was given a prominent place in the living room!