- Picturesque riverside location
- Visit the bridge over the River Kwai
- Relatively cool climate in mountainous area
- Particularly relaxed pace of life
Located on the outskirts of Kanchanaburi in western Thailand is the Royal River Kwai Resort & Spa. Named after the river by which it lies, this fairly large resort has a decidedly tropical feel, with an abundance of lush vegetation and the design of its buildings inspired by the Indonesian island of Bali. It’s set in a particularly mountainous area and has a pleasantly cool climate compared to elsewhere in Thailand.
The accommodation consists of 66 superior rooms and junior suites, along with eight private houses. All types of accommodation offer generous amounts of space, as well as pleasant views of the hotel’s picturesque gardens - some even have views of the river as well. Amenities common to all accommodation options include air conditioning, cable TV and a minibar. The superior rooms have either a shower or a bathtub, while the junior suites and private houses offer both. All rooms have a warm, cosy feel and are handsomely furnished throughout. The private houses are recommended for larger groups and families, as they come with between three and five bedrooms.
The hotel has two dining venues: the Royal Restaurant and Chomwana Terrace. The former is open for three meals a day and offers both indoor and outdoor seating, with its menu featuring international food and local delicacies. The latter is a riverside dinner-only option boasting scenic views. Other facilities include a large swimming pool and the Rantee Spa, which offers a broad selection of indulgent treatments and massages.
Despite the breathtakingly beautiful surroundings, the area’s history is quite dark – one key attraction is undoubtedly the bridge over the River Kwai, a railway bridge built by the Japanese during WWII as part of a railway stretching from Thailand to Burma. The harsh conditions and difficult terrain resulted in the deaths of several thousand Prisoners of War and the two cemeteries and museum that pay homage to those who lost their lives here are well worth a visit. The centre of Kanchanaburi is quite modern with plenty of shops and places to eat and drink; it’s a lot more laidback than Bangkok and serves as a gateway to many of the country’s top national parks.
Children are welcome to stay at the Royal River Kwai Resort & Spa, with cribs and extra beds available on request. While there are no designated child activities on site, families are of course free to make use of the pool and there is plenty for them to do in the surrounding area.
- Safari tents in lovely rural setting
- Close to two national parks
- Mountain biking, canoeing, bamboo rafting
- Elephant trekking, cultural visits
The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.
Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)
Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!
Woan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019
Driver-guide: Very punctual, except for pick up for airport when he was delayed by >30 mins due to road closures. Vehicle very clean and well maintained- plenty of water and supplies of clothing for religious sites, tissues, postcards etc. Very good at understanding what level of conversation we wanted. Happy to stop for paracetamol, supermarket etc. Took us to signal box at railway since we were early (which was very interesting)
The Walawwa: Lovely place to arrive at and get a bit of rest. Great pool, lovely rooms and food etc. Peaceful oasis so close to town.
Wilpattu Camp: Wonderful food- really enjoyed trying lots of new things in excellent surroundings.Felt like the place had not been visited much recently (which I don’t think it had due to the terrorist attacks) so our safari guide had been brought up from another park and did not know the park too well- it worked out well though and we saw all the animals we hoped to see so no complaints on that front. We did feel that we should have been told about extra things we could have done- when we commented on the great food on final day we were told that they could have done a cookery demo for us, but it was too late at that point. It worked well for us but clients should probably know that they are likely to have multiple wildlife in their tents (eg frogs)- didn’t bother us at all, but others it might do. We were given a questionnaire to fill in at the end whilst all the staff were standing around, which wasn’t ideal as you felt a bit of pressure! Felt really well looked after here!
Water Gardens Sigiriya: Beautiful suites with plunge pools- quiet and peaceful with lovely big swimming pool. Food good
Jungle Beach: Beautiful location on beach. Rooms good. Food a bit limited I would have liked a bit more variety ideally.
Camellia House: Lovely location- beautiful views. Food OK but service below average- our food orders were wrong a couple of times and even pre-ordered food was delayed. Tea factory tour was only an hour and that was the main reason to be here. It was interesting but quite brief seeing it was the main attraction according to our itinerary. Also, we were taken there in a minibus which didn’t have seatbelts on all seats and was quite smelly- not up to the standard of the usual transportation. Rooms were described as having panoramic views- one did have amazing views but the other one definitely didn’t.
Galle Face: Lovely old hotel- but it did have some problems (leaking ceiling and ‘smuts’ coming out of air conditioning.) Weather very bad (spectacular storms). It was a shame the street food tour couldn’t take place but totally understandable given the weather, however we enjoyed our dinner here and free drinks/canopes!). Good choice at breakfast.
Pippa R reviewing Sri Lanka Highlights - Classic on 30 September 2019
Once again you organised a really good holiday for us.
If there was one criticism it was that there were too many flights. I don’t know whether you could do Bangkok first, Chiang Mai, then fly down South?
Your drivers and Guides - all really good. The variety of transport on the tours in Bangkok and Chiang Mai; we all loved.
Tamarind Village - Our room was a bit of a squeeze, with the 3 of us and 3 big suitcases.
Lisu Lodge- I enjoyed our time here. Going forward I would suggest only 1 night or they need to have some more activities. I liked how we ate on the floor, the food was really good. Staff very friendly. We liked the cycling, tea plantation, trekking and white water rafting.
Riva Surya- good location.
Elephant Hills- we loved looking after the elephants, the lake was also a really good experience. The guides were informative and looked after us well. The resort locations and tents were perfect.
Santiburi - amazing; we upgraded to a beach bungalow which was fantastic. The hotel is in a stunning location, the facilities and the service was impeccable. Sam has some private Thai boxing lessons, which he loved. We had cookery lessons and used the paddle boards. A perfect end to quite a busy holiday.
Natasha L reviewing Thailand Family Adventure on 24 September 2019