Memorable Journey – The Memory at On On Hotel
After our stay at Patong Beach we moved to Old Phuket Town in Thailand. When I booked the room on AirBnB (yes booking rooms on AirBnB can be a hit or a miss!), didn’t even know why we were actually going to Old Phuket town. As the saying goes ‘it was a dart thrown in the dark.’ As soon as we reached The Memory at On On Hotel, we were extremely happy that it had landed on the perfect target. You won’t find too many tourists around Old Phuket town which was a bit surprising to me.
The grand entrance to the hotel.
This post is just going to be dedicated to The Memory at On On Hotel that we stayed in for 6 nights. Yes, 6 whole nights at a quaint boutique hotel and not a day were we bored. As soon as we got off from the taxi, I was left speechless as the boutique hotel is so different from places we’ve stayed in during our travels. The first thing that attracted me was the grand piano bang at the entrance. On entering the place, you’ll find many antiques right from old typewriter to crockery. This place is not just a hotel but a museum cum hotel.
A bit of History about The Memory at On On Hotel
A young Chinese lad, Yoktiew Saepae leaves his village Unsee in Hokkian Region of China, sails on a Chinese Junk to Singapore in the year 1898. Life in Singapore does not offer much to this young lad and in 1901 he decides to move to Phuket, Thailand where opportunities were a plenty. 1912 Yoktiew Saepae gets married and also opens a shop Bahn Jin Tai on Thalang Road selling mining equipment. In 1927 Yoktiew built the first hotel in Phuket and called it Un Un Hotel. Many visitors arrived from different countries due to thriving business in Phuket and the hotel was named On On, easier for both Thai and English to pronounce the name. By 1927 there were other hotels around On On so it became the first place to offer accommodation on a monthly basis to the locals. In 1982 the grandson of Yoktiew renovated the hotel to suit modern needs but maintained the old world charm. In 2000 it became famous because of the movie ‘The Beach.’ In 2012 The Memory took over the management of On On Hotel. It made further renovations making it more comfortable, attractive and modern and yet retaining the Sino Portuguese style architecture. It also made it into a part museum to showcase the history of Phuket and its people.
The reception area
Stairs on either side of the reception lead to the rooms
On your way to the room stop to admire the old clocks and pictures of old Phuket.
want to carry your lunch in any of these old tiffin boxes?
who knows how to use this antique weighing scales?
Aren’t these old baskets so pretty?
anyone for tea or coffee?
Our Room for the next six days. Its easy to find Thememory on AirBnB or book directly.
This Hotel is famous as many of the scenes of Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie “The Beach” were shot at this hotel. The character Richard which he played stayed in this hotel. Ummm do you think it was Room 204? We asked the staff and wouldn’t tell us!
A super comfortable bed, old world decor with lacy curtains and lampshades with lime green bolsters to add subtle colour.
I wonder how many travelers of yonder years might have sat on these chairs.
A day bed to laze on. It was my work station.
Though refurbished, this hotel has tried to keep the ‘old look’ features everywhere.
The old rustic wall background adds to the old feel.
The quaint little balcony was private and a good place to work and get a bit of the sun.
Find aromatic toiletries in an old old wooden box. Its like finding treasure. The scent in the products was lemongrass. Very refreshing.
The room is equipped with a mini fridge. The host had left some cans of soft drinks, beer and bars of chocolate which were not charged at all. Empty water bottles were replaced everyday.
Nope this is not where you store your valuables, though it must have been used many years ago. Each room has a safety box.
Hot Water, Sweet Rose tea, Chrysanthemum Tea available 24/7. Fill your cups to your heart’s content. However, beware the teas are quite sweet.
Munch on some traditional Thai Cookies whenever you feel peckish. Some of the Thai Cookies I tried out and loved them were:
- Prik – pepper cookies
- Tao For like mini, really mini buns
- Nha Teak – Thai Tea Cookies
- Mua Liao – cookies rolled in sesame seeds
- Pineapple Jam Crackers
If you want to experience the old Phuket town then TheMemory’s place is the best. Its cozy, comfortable and clean with the rustic old Sino Portuguese feel. The authentic wooden floors to all the decor is old and well maintained. What we loved about it was there were free cold welcome drinks and water along with a bar of chocolate waiting for us. Its such a good feeling and we felt immediately at home. We didn’t want to leave the room at all. The bed was very comfortable. Information about surrounding area and what we can do in Phuket was readily available in the room. Tea, coffee were available in the room but since the kettle was not working we didn’t mind walking down the corridor to get our hot beverages whenever we wanted them. Toiletries like shampoo, shower gel, soap, cotton buds, shower caps are all available and replaced when they get over and I must say the smelt heavenly of lemongrass. Experience a bit of history in style. I highly recommend this place. We truly cannot put our wonderful experience into a few words. You’ve got to experience to understand what I’m really raving about.
In conclusion, Asian countries certainly leave no stone unturned where hospitality is concerned. The Memory On On Hotel was in every respect a very comfortable with pleasant and helpful staff. I highly recommend this hotel to you. The owner of the room at The Memory At On On Hotel is truly blessed to own a piece of history.
- Before you book a room at this historic hotel, check out the type of rooms available on their website.
- You’ll find interesting places to visit around the hotel, get the staff to guide you.
- The hotel has no restaurant but we found plenty of cafes around to have our meals right from breakfast to dinner.
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Disclaimer: I’ve not been paid by The Memory at On On Hotel or AirBnB for this review. The article is entirely based on my experience and stay at the hotel.