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“Coming back to focal local each evening was like nothing short of coming home” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Focal Local Bed and Breakfast

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Focal Local Bed and Breakfast
Ranked #3 of 606 Bangkok B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Coming back to focal local each evening was like nothing short of coming home”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 May 2012

Focal Local fills an important niche in places to stay: it allows you to escape the sterility and impersonal experience of hotels and brings the comfort, service, and sense of familiarity of bed & breakfasts without the premium. And really, after our days slogging through 35 degree heat in Bangkok, coming back to Focal Local each evening was like nothing short of coming home.

Let me get one thing out of the way. You can book this place just for Karan, Focal Local's owner, manager, host, and resident breakfast chef. Karan has tremendous insight into attractions, transport, safety, and other logistical issues you'd encounter in Bangkok. He would inquire about our plans and offer up recommendations where helpful. He was prompt in e-mail and phone communication, and we even called him from a taxi when needing directions to a church we were visiting. Even Karan's father would check in on us and share his tips on getting around the city. This kind of service is not widely available in places to stay, yet is of tremendous value--for if you're on limited time in Bangkok, making decisions on your own can be costly.

The place itself is located in the south-west part of the city, in an area well outside backpacker and touristy haunts and red light districts. It is, however, still abuzz with the scooters, bright lights, and street food that lend Bangkok its enthusiastic character. Stroll down to the boulevard at sunrise and see street vendors rolling in to set up shop, and before long you're surrounded with local fruit, steaming cakes, and viands spicy, sweet, and savory and whose names you've never heard before and may never be able to remember. Further down the street is a sweeping view of the main river of the Chao Phraya (within walking distance, but far enough for tuk tuk), which can be enjoyed by candlelit dinner at the open-air, modern, and well-served Princess Terrace restaurant (get there early).

Inside Focal Local, the rooms sport a fun decor. The beds are plush and the rooms cool perfectly in the air conditioning. What struck me was the ubiquitous, sweet scent of pandan in the rooms and how spotlessly clean, white, and well-lit everything was. There are reviews of scooters outside awakening guests at night, but I personally didn't notice; I'd be too spent from the day's activities not to be passed out. (By the way, Karan can remove the pandan scent if it's not your thing.)

One consideration from other reviews is the overall location of Focal Local. I did find that at night, I may have had to hail two or three taxis before one would take me back; however, I didn't feel inconvenienced, let alone feel it necessary to move to Siam Square or Khao San Road. Bangkok, particularly with the effiicent BTS railway, is very easy to get around. The only critique I can think of is that the plants in front of the inn can obstruct the view of oncoming traffic, so they can be a slight hazard when crossing the street. Of course though, this isn't a dealbreaker.

But at Focal Local's rates, this is an incredible value.

Congratulations to you, your family, and staff on getting number one!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank WorldWideWes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Focal-Local, Manager at Focal Local Bed and Breakfast, responded to this review, 21 May 2012
Thank you so much for your review. We really appreciate acommodating you and your lovely family. You're always welcome at our little B&B for your next visit....Take a good care :)
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425 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    360
    58
    5
    1
    1
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (77)
Date | Rating
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 May 2012

Focal Local may not be big in stature or right on the water but offers much more! This quaint B & B is located in a true Bangkok neighborhood where you get to be a part of everyday life, if not sometimes hectic life. But that's a part of the feel that owner/manager Karan & his wonderful staff are are hoping you're looking for.

I can not say enough good things about Karan, starting with a freshly cooked breakfast that is not only delicious but educational, I now know how to serve Mangosteen fruit, to the brown bag breakfast left for our 4:00am departure. From the beginning, Karan returned my emails immediately, always politely responding to my many question. Once at Focal Local he was always available to answer questions, give advice or directions or help book tickets for tours or events.

Focal Local sits off a main road on a little soi (alley) & is a cute, colorful, building. The color doesn't stop on the outside, each room has a unique theme. We stayed in Siamese room which boasts a king bed, plenty of space & a lovely bathroom. It is on the alley side & therefore a bit noisy, bring earplugs if you're a light sleeper or ask for one of the back rooms. Likewise, two of the rooms are on the first floor off the lobby & I'm guessing could be a bit noisy as well. Our room had a frig & two bottles of water are left each day & there is ac which is important for relief in this hot, muggy weather. Pick up from the airport was part of our package, confirm this option with Karan.

It's a 10 min ride by Tuk Tuk to the riverboat taxi or sky train & Karan will pay for one of those rides per day, which is typically 40 baht. Tuk Tuk drivers will always ask for 100+ but stick to your price because the next eager driver is close by.

The neighborhood is filled with local street food vendors or food counters if your adventurous & wanting to experience true Thai fare. There are plenty of good massage parlors as well but don't expect a Thai massage to be relaxing, it can be a bit painful working out muscles strained from a day of trekking around Bangkok.

Focal Local is the perfect escape from the touristy, homogenized hotels. The room rates are fantastic and the environment is friendly & warm, rather like staying with good friends than strangers.

FYI-As with most older buildings the plumbing can't handle TP so you must put it in a bucket that's emptied each day & to conserve energy the air is turned off each time you leave. Most Tuk Tuk drivers don't know the destination even when shown on the map in Thai so don't be surprised if they stop to ask a friend, better yet have Karan write it out.

Room Tip: Front rooms can be noisy
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank trvlmuse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Focal-Local, Manager at Focal Local Bed and Breakfast, responded to this review, 18 May 2012
Thank you so much for choosing Focal Local and for your time writing a review for us with attention in all details. This is not just useful for Focal Local to retain and develop our place, but it will definitely gives the pictures to other travellers. It's our pleasure having you stay with us...Kob Kun Krub :)
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Jihlava, Czech Republic
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 May 2012

Very good servis. The owner Karan very readily helped as with trip and travel in Bangkok. The stay in this hotel included one time day tuk tuk free to the skytrain or the ferry. The rooms were clean and nice but smaller.Breakfast was thai - very delisious. We could leave our luggage in hotel reception till night.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Karel P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Focal-Local, Manager at Focal Local Bed and Breakfast, responded to this review, 10 May 2012
Thank you so much. We really appreciate being a part of your memorable holiday in Thailand....Kob Kun Krub :)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Penang
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 May 2012

This was our first trip to bangkok, so me and hubby wanted a place to crash mainly after our daily shopping and tour adventures. After much research on the net, we finally booked ourselves in to Focal Local for a 5 day stay.

The location of the place itself is a bit far off from the sky train station if you want to walk. We didn't though it was very hot! We walked out to get some dinner during the first nite and was drenched in sweat! So usually, we will take the free tuk-tuk to-and-fro the sky train station (bout 2-3 minutes), then take the sky train (bout 10-15 minutes) to the main shopping area. Very convenient!

What proved the clincher for me when I booked this place was the many comments from past visitors about Karan. Pleased to say that we were not disappointed! Karan and crew proved to be what everybody over here has commented - very helpful and friendly. We got most of our info through him.

The whole place is tastefully decorated and lastly, Karan, we're missing your breakfast!!! :(

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DianaQuah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Focal-Local, Manager at Focal Local Bed and Breakfast, responded to this review, 10 May 2012
Thank you very much for staying with us and for your review. Hope we'll have a chance to serve you again next time. All the best :)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
krimpen aan de IJssel
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 May 2012

We spent two days end of february in this family runned gusthouse. The rooms are very tastfully decorated, everything is well maintained, bathroom is luxurious and a great shower!!
Karan makes every morning a special dish for breakfast. They give you every day a free ride by tuktuk to the skytrain or to the ferry. They are very helpful. When we were staying in FL we were expecting a parcel from Malasia, but it didnot arrive. Last week Karan sent me a mail that my parcel has arrived, so he will send it now to Holland. The neighbourhood is typically Thai, good and cheap manicure,pedicure and hairdressing, as well as massage very nearby, all for Thai prices!!! There is also a small nightmarket nearby. We were very happy that we have choosen Focal Local.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Wilvaassen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Focal-Local, Manager at Focal Local Bed and Breakfast, responded to this review, 9 May 2012
Thank you very much for your review. We'll look forward to seeing you again. And your parcel will be on its way soon :)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Focal Local Bed and Breakfast

Property: Focal Local Bed and Breakfast
Address: 289 Soi Charoennakorn 28 | Charoennakorn Road, Klongsan, Bangkok 10600, Thailand
Phone Number:
Region: Thailand > Bangkok
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 606 B&Bs / Inns in Bangkok
Price range (per night): $68 - $73
Hotel Class:2 star — Focal Local Bed and Breakfast 2*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Focal Local is a boutique Bed and Breakfast located on Thonburi district in historic downtown Bangkok. Formerly known as the old capital of Thailand, Thonburi district offers the perfect getaway from busy city life without compromising on transport. The ideal location to visit a local touch of Bangkok, with local temples, daily markets and local food stalls. Focal Local is just 5 minutes away from the BTS sky train station and Chao Phraya River by Tuk Tuk [Thai Motor Tricycle Taxi]. Our different themed rooms are designed to match the diverse tastes of all our guests. In addition, the authentic Thai or Western complimentary breakfast is served upon guest's preference. We offer guests extra services including in-room WiFi, Internet corner, and free shuttle Tuk Tuk to BTS sky train or the pier. We can also assist you booking some tours in and outside Bangkok. We look forward to making your stay enjoyable. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Focal Local b&b
Focal Local Hotel Bangkok

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