A riverside hotel amidst lush greenery, excellent bicycle paths, small Thai villages and great bird watching spots. We never expected to find such a hotel in smoggy smelly Bangkok until we discovered the Bangkok Tree House Hotel: an eco-friendly, artistic boutique hotel located at Bang Krachao peninsula in the mighty Chao Praya River. The peninsula is situated in the ‘Green lung of Bangkok’ and only a 5-minute ferry hop away from Bangkok’s business district and the BTS Banga Skytrain Station.
A warm welcome at the Bangkok Tree House Hotel
After the river cross by a small wooden boat we were greeted by the hotel manager Mr. Hemwun who kindly offered us a welcome tea in their charming riverside cafe. The cafe had both an open air lounge with low tables and bean bags and a dining area with a ceiling covered with locally sourced bamboo. In the evening some Bangkokians als make the river cross to relax at the inviting cafe. After the refreshing tea Mr. Hemwun showed us to our ‘nests’, first leading us on the hotels’ high wooden paths past the hotel kitchen (with a communal fridge filled with free homemade icecream!) and a small library.
The hotel ‘nests’ have wooden details on the outer wall giving them their beautiful natural look. Mr. Hemwun explained that for every new guest, trash is removed from the Chao Praya river. Some of this trash is then used for the outer walls of the bungalows. Also, the hotel is carbon-neutral, has energy efficiënt lighting, fresh organic slow-cooked food and herbal products.
The ‘cozy nests’ of the eco-friendly hotel
The first thing we noticed when entering our bungalow were the big iron ant artworks on the walls. They look quite real, so at night -when you’re half asleep- try to remember that they are fake. At the ground level a large bathroom was located with a broad basin, an open-air rain shower and a toilet with a see-through floor. Continuiing on the playful stairs we reached the bedroom, which was separated from the stairs by a glass door with the words ‘Every wall is a door’. In the bedroom there was a comfortable low double bed, a desk with a computer with internet and airconditioning. Connected to the bedroom was a balcony from which a ladder led us to the rooftop terrace with sunbeds and amazing views of the surroundings.
on foot (there is a map in the hotel), do a cooking class, make daytrips to the Bangkok sights or enjoy an evening firefly tour
A bit more on the surroundings. The hotel is located on the Bang Krachao peninsula. Bang Krachao -partly governement owned and protected and partly private owned- is a unique, undiscovered green gem in Bangkok. A few thousand people live on the island and they are spread out over six local communities. On the island a dozen small temples can be found, as well as the Bang Namphueng Floating Market (weekends only).
The last few years cycling has become quite popular amongst the middle- and upper class Bangkokians and slowly Bang Krachao is becoming known for its excellent cycling possibilities. Besides cycling tours you can also easily explore the surroundings on foot (there is a map in the hotel), do a cooking class, make daytrips to the Bangkok sights or enjoy an evening firefly tour
What we loved about this eco-friendly Bangkok hotel
– the natural river breeze (there is only airconditioning in the bedrooms)
– friendly, welcoming and knowledgeable staff
– clean, modern and beautifully decorated rooms with an eye for detail
– the eco-friendly and personal character
– the peaceful setting
– the 24/7 free homemade icecream (!)
Points of improvement
– the hotel docks were comprised of separate wooden rafts that were quite unstable and therefore at the moment not suitable for the elderly (however, this will probably be improved in the future).
– better light in the bathroom
– information in the rooms/reception on the different activity possibilities (e.g. maybe the hotel can suggest some walking routes).
Note that while we were there, parts of the hotel was still under construction including a much promising natural pool free of chlorine and other chemicals.
In the end…
The hotel is obviously meant for those that are looking for a quiet, slow-paced getaway, and is less suitable for people that have a busy Bangkok sightseeing schedule or would like to enjoy the Bangkok nightlife. However, if you are a lover of nature and are looking for a unique, quiet and eco-friendly stay in a beautiful green oasis in Bangkok we would highly recommend the Bangkok Tree House Hotel. Near the communal fridge is a giant wall painting with ‘Earth without art is just eh’ capturing the essence of the hotel: great architectural design + love for mother earth.
The Bangkok Tree House
Phone: +66 82 995-1150 (Hotel & Restaurant bookings)
Bunch of Backpackers’ stay at the Tree House Hotel Bangkok was part of a Tourism Authority Thailand (TAT) sponsored trip: The Thailand ‘Muay Thai’ Academy trip. Even though I was asked to write articles about this trip, all opinions and views expressed in this review article are my own.