The Nana Hotel in Bangkok is arguably one of the most talked about hotels in Bangkok. The major draw to this hotel is obviously nearby Nana Entertainment Plaza, which is a 4 story den of sex and booze, and the parking lot outside of the Nana hotel which is full of freelance prostitutes. There is so many mixed reviews about this place that it almost makes it impossible for anyone to decide whether to stay or not in this hotel. But most will agree, Nana Hotel is one of the most well known guest friendly hotel in Bangkok. This means registered guest do not have to pay an additional fee or joiner fee for bringing in unregistered guest for an overnight stay.
How do I know this? After living and working in Bangkok for over five years I have become the unofficial tour guide for friends and friends of friends and so on. All of them eventually ask me “Is the Nana Hotel a good place to stay in?”.
And my honest answer at the time was “I don’t know, I live in an apartment.” Since I knew I was going to get asked that particular question time and time again I decided to follow along my friends (or guinea pigs) and see personally how the hotel looks from the inside out.
The Nana Hotel is located on Sukhumvit Soi 4, in a mixed commercial zone that doubles as red-light district. Scores of freelance prostitutes congregate in the surrounding areas especially outside of Nana Hotel’s parking lot. This is definitely not a place to bring your family especially kids and grandparents. However, I do see them often, mostly Europeans who are not so uptight about such spectacles. You can easily access the Sky Train at Nana BTS station with a 5 minute walk. The Sky Train will easily take you to the other attractions in Bangkok.
Now, I’m not sure when the hotel was built exactly, but it’s safe to say the 1970’s is the first thing that comes to mind. The lobby is usually filled with backpacker types, young guys looking to sow their oats and a smattering of older folks looking for company that they otherwise never find back home. Once I’ve seen a group of Australians wearing rugby uniforms. Are they actual athletes is a whole different subject. Obviously a far cry from the days the hotel was first opened. I’ve read previous reviews about reception staff being rude and obnoxious to guests who are checking in.
After living in Bangkok for awhile I know the reason why. Thai society follows a strict social order and is very class based. The better you look and present yourself, the more respect you get. So if you’re checking in dressed like you’re heading straight for the pool, forget about that much talked about gracious and beautiful Thai smile. I’m not saying you have to dress like your heading to an important business meeting. A nice clean button shirt, pressed pants and clean shoes and you’ll see your respect meter shoot up. You’ll even get a better chance of scoring an upgrade or a room in excellent condition. By the way, this is true in any hotel in Asia, actually most likely everywhere.
It works time and time again whenever my friends check in. They don’t always get a room upgrade, but they get rooms where they’ve never had to ask for a room change or find questionable carpet stains.
The rooms here are the absolute bare basics. After-all the Nana Hotel is considered in the budget category. A bed, color television with international channels, mini fridge and a decently clean bathroom is what you get for around 1400 THB including taxes and a free buffet breakfast. A free daily newspaper is a nice added touch. Housekeeping did there job quite well, or as best as they can, after all they have to clean up after piss drunk guests half the time.
The Nana Hotel doesn’t offer much in terms of facilities for guest use, just an adequate pool on the fourth floor and free Wi-Fi in the lobby. In the lobby is also where you can find Angel’s Nana Disco, a frequent freelance hangout. And since ladies enter for free you’re going to find a lot there. Definitely worth a visit.
My final word here is the Nana Hotel in Bangkok is a good choice for you if you want to mess around and have fun. But I wouldn’t recommend staying here throughout your entire trip. It’s best to stay there for 3 nights, enjoy the nightlife, and shift over to another hotel in a more quiet area. It’s what I suggest to friends who come visit me in Bangkok as the unofficial tour guide.