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  1. #1
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    Pantawee Hotel, Nong Khai

    I have paid for accommodation in the Pantawee Hotel. It's the only way they work, pay in advance and no refunds for cancellations. I have searched the Web and found wildly differing reviews. Some say it's great value for money, others say it's a madhouse/knocking shop. Does anybody here have any experience of it, please ?

    I'll report back on how I found it after, and if, I return from it

  2. #2
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    I stayed there a couple of years ago. The standard of accommodation is clean/comfortable and internet availability is good if my memory serves me.

    Didn't strike me as a madhouse although i suspect, like anywhere, if you have large groups of young people using the accommodation then things can get a wee bit lively. Quiet when i was there.

    Think i paid somewhere in the region of 800-1000 baht per night. It's not far from the Mekong frontage where there are some nice restaurants. The hotel itself has a varied menu and very good tourist information.

    They also have their own private parking at the side of the hotel although this is restricted to around 20 vehicles.

    Have to mention that there was a karaoke bar in the same soi which was blasting out music and this combined with vocals sadly lacking even semi-professional standards was the only downside.

    Hope you enjoy your stay

  3. #3
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    Thanks for your reassuring reply. Advance payment for hotels is something I do not ordinarily go along with but, on this occasion, I had no alternative. The best recommended guest house, Mutmee, does not allow reservations and I had to be sure that we had a place to stay. We'll be there at Loy Krathong and there was a chance that hotels would be full.

    I'm looking forward to Nong Khai and Vientiane.

  4. #4
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    ^Have fun and look forward to your report.

  5. #5
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    nice small hotel central in Vientiane is Chanthapanya hotel
    Chanthapanya Hotel Vientiane, Laos

    stayed in Lane Xang hotel first night - was very jaded



  6. #6
    Thailand Expat Finney64's Avatar
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    Pantawee's ok , clean , good wi-fi , will get you a dial-up if you need it (girl not slow internet) . Loy kratong's pretty manic in NK so I reckon you made the right move pre-booking there.

  7. #7
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    ^ Thanks. Having lived in Pattaya I was under the impression that all other places were without the obvious sex scene but, having read many blogs, I have come to the conclusion that all the towns and cities are the same. Certainly, Pattaya must lead the field in this but it does seem that the "pleasures of the flesh" are freely available everywhere.

    I was concerned about the Pantawee because it appeared to be something of a knocking shop. Not that it bothers me but I'll have the in-laws in tow and "wall to wall ladies" may not be what they are looking for. I am glad that you have confirmed that it is clean and comfortable.

    I will be spending a few days in Kranuan. It seems that this town is becoming more popular with ex-pats. Almost certainly, there are bargirls/brothels here too. I am a reasonably well educated man and hope that I am of above average intelligence. Nevertheless, there has been a naivety about me all my life in that I rarely fail to appreciate the true nature of my surroundings.

    I once visited a bar in Texas and when I told the reception staff at my hotel where I had been drinking they were shocked that I hadn't been beaten up and robbed. They wouldn't have gone anywhere near the place but I was quite happy sitting at the bar there. On reflection, the guys there did look a bit like pirates and Mexican bandits that we see in movies but they were fine with me. In my youth I found myself in a bar in my hometown that was full of beautiful girls. It's only when one of them threatened to throw me through the f***ing window that I realised I was in a lesbian bar. Another time I was sitting in a bar in the Pigalle, and really quite pissed, when it dawned on me that the ordinary tourists had gone and I was the focal point in an extraordinary and specialised gay bar. I am not homophobic, just didn't realise that I was somewhere which might not have been suitable for me. This sort of thing has followed me all my life.

    I imagine I am going to have some adventures on my travels especially in view of the fact that the wife will have buggered off with her family and gone shopping.

    My first point of call after checking into my hotel in Soi 11 will be Cheap Charlie's just down the road. Have to stay sober to meet her folks as they arrive that evening and then .............................

  8. #8
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    The last time I went to Panthawee was four years ago. At that time, I didn't need to book a room. I remember it as being decent enough and easy to get to the bridge to cross the next day into Laos.

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    Stayed at Panthawee about a year ago. I rented the "penthouse" for a couple of nights. Large room with your own roof terrace including a Jacuzzi. Don´t remember price but not expensive I think. Also liked the swimingpool and the good service.

  10. #10
    Member BenBenBaa's Avatar
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    I stayed there for three nights a couple of years ago. The Regular room was clean but a bit depressing with the tiny TV and old furniture (the desk looked like it was nicked from a local school) so before staying a night I upgraded to the penthouse, which was 1800 baht back then. Very nice modern room, laptop supplied, spa on the deck outside, but having to climb four flights of stairs does take the shine off a penthouse.
    Did you just make that up?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by can123 View Post
    I have paid for accommodation in the Pantawee Hotel. It's the only way they work, pay in advance and no refunds for cancellations. I have searched the Web and found wildly differing reviews. Some say it's great value for money, others say it's a madhouse/knocking shop. Does anybody here have any experience of it, please ?

    I'll report back on how I found it after, and if, I return from it
    avoid it like the plaque .
    two tier prices , farang pay extra .
    and the kartoy boss , makes me want too puke .

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bart View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by can123 View Post
    I have paid for accommodation in the Pantawee Hotel. It's the only way they work, pay in advance and no refunds for cancellations. I have searched the Web and found wildly differing reviews. Some say it's great value for money, others say it's a madhouse/knocking shop. Does anybody here have any experience of it, please ?

    I'll report back on how I found it after, and if, I return from it
    avoid it like the plaque .
    two tier prices , farang pay extra .
    and the kartoy boss , makes me want too puke .

    And, there was me planning to give her some English lessons

  13. #13
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    I just stayed a night at the Suan Sawan resort (www.suansawanresort.com) which is some 100 m further away from Nong Khai than Pantawee hotel.
    It was 1.000 baht for one night in a nice, small bungalow with A/C. It was OK, but not something I thought fantastic. I will post some photos once I get them compressed small enough to upload to TD..
    We walked down to the river by the pantawee hotel, and the hotel there looked rather boring (only looked from the outside). It was in the off-season I guess (end of rain season) and the river was high, so no boats or anything on the beach, perhaps that is why pantawee looked deserted.
    Just my 2 cents

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bart View Post

    avoid it like the plaque .
    two tier prices , farang pay extra .
    and the kartoy boss , makes me want too puke .
    It was spotlessly clean, the staff were very helpful, and the owner was clearly totally in charge and paid attention to detail. The restaurant food was excellent and was a fair price. There was no dual pricing system.

    The hotel has attractive gardens and the rooms are recently decorated. The bathroom equipment worked perfectly and there was always lots of hot water. The computer in the room worked well but had Linux as an operating system. This restricted the use to email and letter writing, etc. and there was no way online games could be played.

    Sports TV was available for those who like their European football, as I do, and the drinks prices were reasonable.

    I have to say that this was one of the best hotels I have ever stayed in and I thoroughly recommend it to all.

    The only downside was a very poor breakfast with little choice. Before leaving, I expressed my views on the hotel to the reception staff - excellent, apart from breakfast. I doubt that these views will be passed on to the owner.

    A very, very good hotel and a pleasant surprise !

  15. #15
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    ^ Glad that you enjoyed your stay, Can123. It seems it hasn't changed much in the past couple of years. Thanks for the review, as i am in the area early next month i may decide to stay one night. Cheers

  16. #16
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    i had the misfortune to stay in this madhouse earlier this week.

    arriving in town late in the evening and finding normal hotels full (there was a big fair in town and lots of visitors) we were directed to the pantawee.

    the central location is good, you can walk around the town easily from there.

    we were charged 1000b/night for what was basically a low guest house standard of room. tiled floor, old unmatched furniture and a smelly fridge. there was a desktop with patchy internet in the room and an ancient tv.

    the computer would not boot up, staff were summoned and a replacement computer brought in from another room.

    during the first night the air-con broke down, so the next morning we were moved to another room ..... the room where our broken computer had been installed, staff were summoned and another computer found.

    then we found ourselves locked out of the room, the lock was broken. staff were summoned and they forced a window to gain entry and told us not to lock the window in case the lock got stuck again.

    the buffet breakfast was so so, but they did have some excellent wholewheat bread.

    the next day one of our group went for an advertised 2 hour foot massage for 400b, the hotel has a massage facility. after 90 minutes the massage ended. she mentioned this to the manager who laughed in her face and said 2 hours means "about 2 hours" not necessarily 2 hours and as 90 minutes is "about 2 hours" there was nothing she could do about it. our friend asked if two and a half hours is also about 2 hours and she received a torrent of abuse from the manager. " the massage girl works hard for her money, you should be more considerate of her, i'll give you a 20 baht discount if that will make you happy" and walked off. the manager is an ageing katoey who has seen better days, as evidenced by the blown up photos of miss katoey 1980 plastered all over the place, who does not know how to deal with her guests.
    the staff there however are very helpful and friendly.

    a few of the other guests there have seen better days too, early mornings looked like a vagrants convention, with unshaven chain smoking old geezers polishing off cans of chang for breakfast whilst their thai wives silently downed noodles and coffee.

    nong khai itself has lost a lot of the charm that previously made it such a characterful destination, german bakeries and danish coffee shops host grim faced grizzled old daytime drinkers. happiness seems to be in short supply amongst the farang community there.

    good food to be had at the riverside restaurants and there is an interesting buddha park just ouside town with a large sculpture garden, and the decaying remains of the founder ( a bisexual man who repented the errors of his ways and built the place) are on display in a glass case in a museum there.

    there is also a large "indochina market" by the river, but the tat they sell is all available in bangkok at cheaper prices.

    if youre driving around that area, the road (211) west along the mekhong to chiang khan makes a great dive with some interesting stopping places and viewpoints along the almost dried up mekhong river. dont miss kaeng khut khu, down a small road about 10km before chiang khan.

    ...... but as for the pantawee, avoid it like the plague, its like fawlty towers without the humour.

  17. #17
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    I couldn't find fault with the place, Breakfast was lousy but other food was excellent. Spotlessly clean room in which all facilities worked perfectly. Plenty of hot water and a power shower.

    I must be more of a vagrant than I thought I was. It was really very, very good, and one of the best hotels I have stayed in in Thailand.

  18. #18
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    and one of the best hotels I have stayed in in Thailand.
    then you must be pitching your standards very low.

    its a poorly run and ill maintained sleazy dump with an ill mannered manager.

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat Gallowspole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile
    happiness seems to be in short supply amongst the farang community there.
    You were at the wrong end of town. Hit the other end and meet the lads at Beer Belly Billy's, The Jungle, or New York Bistro. Very good company and laughs - if you're miserable, you'll be ignored or have the piss taken out of you. Peter (Beer Belly Billy's) has a 3pm to 5.30 happy hour when large Leo is 50B. He also has an all day special on the Archa - 3 for 100B. The clientèle are generally Brits, Aussies, Kiwis, and a few yanks; the scandahooligan pissheads don't frequent the east end of town. The bars do, however, generally close quite early as it is a quiet area.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile View Post
    and one of the best hotels I have stayed in in Thailand.
    then you must be pitching your standards very low.

    its a poorly run and ill maintained sleazy dump with an ill mannered manager.
    I saw nothing sleazy. Did you ? Were you looking for sleaze in particular ? I was just a normal tourist and found the hotel to be excellent. Others should be happy to go there and find out for themselves. When we have a few more opinions, the truth will be evident.

    My experience is that managers of hotels tend to react to the expressed attitudes of the guests. The staff were great and the owner was "on the ball" ensuring that the hotel was run properly. I recommend the hotel wholeheartedly.

  21. #21
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    the place is more a guest house than a hotel. if i was backpacking on a budget then the facilities might be considered acceptable, the place reminded me of the cheap scruffy poorly run guest houses i stayed in when i backpacked round india in the eighties. it promises a lot but delivers little.

    the manager was a disgrace, smiles and charm until challenged about a genuine grievance then she lets fly with sneering abuse before walking off.

    did i see anything sleazy? well yes. a man with a hacking cough in his underpants sitting in the corridor outside his room at 7.00 am drinking beer and smoking. not the sleaziest thing in the world, but i dont need to be confronted with such sights and smells first thing in the morning.
    2 or 3 of the other guests really did look and behave like vagrants

    in the evening a tuk tuk with 2 local guys and two hookers pulls up in front of the hotel , the girls get out and are introduced to a guest sitting in the lobby, again, not the most terrible thing in the world, but it gives an idea of the sort of place it is.

    one of the breakfast crew morosely picking her spots in full view of everybody. not nice from a food handler.

    the state of our room, the old furniture, the faulty air con, the broken computer, the stinking fridge and the broken door lock are not the things i expect from a 1000baht room in upcountry thailand. we stayed in other hotels on our trip and for 1000b we always had decent accommodation in proper hotels.

    the kind of stuff we encountered there might be acceptable in a 500b a night backstreet hotel of which there are many in thailand but not in a 1000b hotel.

    with other better places available in nong khai, this place should only be considered as a last resort.

    if you are an ageing active alcoholic in a vest with tuberculosis and then you'll fit right in. home from home. enjoy.

  22. #22
    Newbie michaleo's Avatar
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    I slept one day in Pantawee Hotel in February 2011 but I didn't like it at all.
    It costed 900 Baht.



    The house looks oldfashionned, the room was narrow, the TV certainly 20 years old and the computer didn't have the usual programs, only a hotelprogram that I were not able to use.

    The furniture was very used, the staff was nice but not really interested.

    After I looked for another hotel and found the White Inn, that is much more modern and the rooms look good, costs 800 Baht one night.

  23. #23
    Member cdnski12's Avatar
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    I stayed there in 2011 for 2 nights. It was around 1000Thb/nt. It was OK. A typical 3 star Thai Hotel. Don't use their very old computers. I tried to transfer my Photos to a memory stick and lost 200 photos. Didn't realize I should have taken the Memory card out of the camera and taken it to a decent computer shop to recover the photos.

  24. #24
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    When we have a few more opinions, the truth will be evident.
    well, the verdict seems to be that it is, as i said earlier, a decrepit dosshouse in desperate need of some improvement.

  25. #25
    Member cdnski12's Avatar
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    A sort of "Faulty Towers" indeed describes the Pantawee. That being said; I stayed there in 2010 & 2011. Didn't have any complaints; other than the crappy Computer in the room; which trashed some of my photo's on a memory stick. I didn't know it had a Linux Operating System. The description of the "Grizzled" Ex-Pats sipping Chang Beers for breakfast is indeed correct. Still; I like that size of city of about 500K. Just right for Thailand.

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