Bored of staying in the usual bricks and mortar built hotels? Would you like to be lulled to sleep by the sounds of a river beneath you? Fancy having your own pontoon with a swing chair and deckchairs? Well look no further than The Floathouse on the River Kwai. An actual floating hotel in a stunning setting, what could get better than this? I LOVED this hotel so much, I longed for it the moment I spotted it in my Lonely Planet magazine! And oh my god it lived up to every image I had conjured up and blew them out of the water – literally! You simply MUST STAY HERE!!!
I have to point out it isn’t actually on the River Kwai, that is simply the famous incorrect name for what is actually the River Noi. During the war, prisoners kept hearing the word ‘Kwai’ and wrongly assumed that was the name of the river. However kwai actually means river. So technically people are saying river river!
Your First Glimmer…..
Obviously in order to reach the floating hotel you will need to access it by boat. You are collected from a pier further up the river, maybe 20 minutes or so. This is what your first view of the hotel will be like as it emerges from around the bend. Stunning isn’t it!
The Reception Area
The longtail boat you have arrived in will pull up at the reception building where you are checked in. Each wooden building is built upon its own floating pontoon so they are attached to each other but move independently. The water also flows quite fast and was much noisier than I thought it would be. All adds to the atmosphere!
The Connecting Corridors
As I have just mentioned each ‘building’ is built upon its own pontoons and you get from one to the other via the lush wooden walkways built all the way along the rear of the buildings. Flower baskets line the way and you bounce up and down as you walk along.
The photos do the talking……………
The Decking Area
Like What You See – Check Out The Prices!
Once again the restaurant is on its own pontoon where a buffet breakfast is served each morning. The dinners in the evening were delicious and it was quite something to be eating on an actual river, hearing it rush by underneath while you sip your wine. We never eat lunch here as we were out and about however I imagine the quality would be just as good. There was also an opportunity to go on an evening trip to a local village, however, nothing was tearing me away from my pontoon!
Activities at the Floathouse
What is there to do if you find yourself back at the hotel early? Well there are several things you can do. You can grab a life jacket and float down the river (the current is less around the corner). You can hire a raft and get punted along and spot some wildlife.
Or…you can take a short trek up the bank at the rear and visit the nearby Lawa Cave! Very dark and full of bats, I did not read the warning board before entering thank goodness! It was very safe I can assure you, and the restaurants vegetable garden is also viewable on your way there and back.
For more information on what to do in the area read my blog all about Kanchanaburi. This area is famous for the bridge over the River Kwai, Hellfire Pass and much more. Visit the Floathouse website for more details.
What Other Accommodation Is Available?
Well, plenty! If a floating hotel doesn’t appeal there are so many more to choose from. Take a look at the most popular below.