In a city like Bangkok, full of high rise buildings and roads streaming with scooters it can be difficult to find an open sky and a bit of quiet. Luckily, the Bangkok Tree House exists.
Located in the Green Lung of Bangkok, a surprisingly large lung-shaped green island formed by a bend in the Chao Phraya river, the Bangkok Tree House is a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Here, the skies are wide, the nights are black and silence is in abundance. The hotel sits on the banks of the river, much of it built on stilts above the water, so there aren’t many neighbours around.
We arrived at the Tree House by taxi without having properly read the instructions about how to get there. Driving down a narrow road that turned in to a grass-covered path, ending in a pedestrian-only bridge, we weren’t sure we’d come to the right place. After asking the driver to wait a moment for us in case we needed to turn back, we realised that we would have to walk the last 300 meters to the hotel along a series of raised walkways above a swamp.
Note to self: next time, read the directions properly!
Nonetheless, it was an adventure, and a pleasant one as it made us realise just how disconnected this place was from the rest of the city.
Next time, I would take the route we used to leave to arrive: take the MRT to Bang Na, then take a taxi to Bang Na Pier, which should cost around 50฿. From there, ask to be taken across the river to the hotel’s own pier for 30฿ per person.
We had one of the Tree Top Nest rooms, which is spread over three floors. The entrance, from the main walkway leading from reception where you find the toilet (with glass floor so that you could see the tide come and go below you), sink, fridge, storage and outdoor shower. Upstairs is the bedroom, with an incredible comfortable and spacious bed, quiet and efficient air conditioner and outdoor seating area.
On top of the nest is a rooftop lounge area with 360 views over the river and surrounding area, a perfect place for watching the sunset.
We were asked upon check in to choose our breakfast, which is served in the outside seating area close to the reception. The vegan options were easy to pick out and it consisted of tea or coffee, fruit juice, toast and jam, a fruit platter and vegetable and tofu soup.
The setting was also a lovely place to wake up in, with the river close by and a few boats floating by. Little aspects of the design of the hotel stood out and gave us a smile there too.
What we loved
There were many things to love about the Bangkok Tree House, but it was some of the little extras that most impressed us. Things like having fresh coconuts cut open and ready to drink waiting in our room when we arrived, free fruit ice cream (essentially sorbet, so vegan) to help yourself to whenever from the communal bar area (as well as the more common free drinking water and tea and coffee).
Another highlight was being offered a free boat trip on our first night to see fireflies living in a swamp area just downstream. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures as we were told that camera flash would distress them. Also, it was so dark we wouldn’t have caught much anyway, but gliding silently through the water and seeing them flittering around in the bushes, backlit by a starry sky was quite a magical experience.
All the basic things in the room were spot on too. The bed was wonderfully comfortable, and the room quiet, the shower was powerful and the temperature responsive. The slippers, dressing gowns and giant fluffy towels didn’t hurt either.
What could be improved
One thing I found a little bothersome upon checking in was how many questions we were asked: what do you want for breakfast? Will you be eating dinner here? Do you want to take the free boat trip to see the fireflies? When are you checking out tomorrow? While of course I understand these are all necessary things to ask, the fact they were all presented at once before even taking my backpack off was a little overwhelming. Perhaps it was just down to the fact that we’d arrived by overnight train from Chaing Mai that morning and hadn’t slept very well, but maybe it would have been nice to just be asked the basics for checking in and kept the rest for later.
We did in fact eat dinner at their restaurant, and while we found the food quite good, the portions were small and it was quite expensive for what it was. Unfortunately, we also found the menu somewhat misleading with what it showed as vegan, since the vegan section showed all kinds of fish dishes. I suspect this was a translation error in the English menu, and once we explained to the staff what we did and didn’t want to eat, something was arranged without much fuss.
Some minor inconveniences that we found were that there were no hooks to hang clothes or towels in the room (something which is unfortunately very common in hotels of all kinds) and that the wifi was a little sketchy in our room and we would sometimes loose connection. Something slightly more problematic were the stairs which were relatively difficult to get up and down. For someone with any kind of mobility issue, they could be extremely challenging, but even for us, they felt a little precarious at times.
The whole experience of staying at the Bangkok Tree House was most definitely a positive one, and we would be happy to stay there again, not least because it serves as a wonderfully calm escape from the rest of Bangkok. Despite our minor niggles, the staff were very accommodating and were available when we needed them without being overbearing.
- Address: 60 Moo1 Soi Bua Phueng Pattana, Greater Bangkok, 10130, Thailand
- Amenities: wifi, breakfast, free bicycle rental, free drinking water and tea and coffee, free mobile phone rental, complimentary nighttime firefly boat tour, in-room fridge, air conditioning.
- Price: 3,900฿ (€100) to 9590฿ (€245) per night depending on time of year, kind of room, maximum occupancy of the room and whether or not there are discounts for online bookings. There are also various other discounts available, such as for staying four or more consecutive nights, for arriving by bicycle and for Thai residents. Book a room.
- Foursquare; Facebook; website
Many thanks to the Bangkok Tree House team, who kindly provided us with a complimentary night. They did not request a favourable review and our opinions are, and always will be, our own.