I absolutely loved my stay at the Tanyong Hotel (and in Narathiwat, in general), principally because the hospitality was gracious, open, generous, and warm. While the Tanyong Hotel isn’t the lap of luxury - nothing in Narathiwat is - the room was comfortable and the bed provided a comfortable night’s rest. Breakfast is included, and as a vegetarian, the staff went out of its way to ensure that I was comfortably taken care of, without the nuisance of animal stocks, fleshes, or stocks. In increasingly rare fashion, it seemed to give them great pleasure to see that I appreciated the results of their efforts.
There are a few examples of how far above and beyond the staff at the Tanyong Hotel went in order to accommodate me. For one, in Narathiwat, transportation options are limited. I had wanted to go to the largest Golden Buddha at Wat Khao Kong about 10km south of town, but there were no buses, taxis, or motorbikes for rent. So, the manager just gave me her motorbike. She filled it with gas, photocopied all of her papers and insurance, wrote a note to the police should, for any reason, I be stopped, and refused any payment for her good-will. The following day, when I left, I needed to get to the bus station, but again there was no transportation. She dispatched her security officer to take me on his bike to the station, again, for no money. As I mentioned above, I am a strict vegetarian. There was an excellent Pad Thai maker in a local restaurant, but he had no vegetables. So, one day I went to the market, bought the vegetables I wanted in my Pad Thai (mushrooms, hot chili peppers, onions, spinach, Napa cabbage) and asked the kitchen staff to wash my vegetables and cut them for me. It took a while, but they finally understood that I wasn’t asking so that they would prepare these vegetables for me; I was asking for them to prepare these vegetables for someone else on the outside to cook them. Incredibly, they not only obliged, but they presented my vegetables on a platter, plastic wrapped, and ready for cooking when I came back a few hours later. The leftovers were made for me the following morning for breakfast.
The room had quirks, but I didn’t mind them. The toilet was low to the ground. The hot water was sparse at night if I took a shower after a later-afternoon run. There were no electrical outlets in the bathroom. But none of those issues was a big deal. The kindness, warmth, and heart-felt generosity of the people at the Tanyong and in Narathiwat was well-worth the stay. Cheaper rates were to be found online, so when I extended my stay, I showed the cheaper rate to the manager, who gladly charged me that lower price, so that they would not have to pay a commission to the booking site.
I didn’t see the inside of any other hotels in Narathiwat. I passed the Imperial several times, which was another hotel continually referenced on TripAvisor and other online booking sites. Ratings aside, I cannot imagine having a more positive, warm, and exceptional experience than the one I had at the Tanyong. I would return without hesitation, and give this unique and lovely place my unreserved recommendation.