Bangkok Tree House Hotel: A Green Oasis Inside The City
We began our first trip to Bangkok with a night at the Bangkok Tree House Hotel, an environmentally friendly, uniquely designed hotel in a quiet section of the city. We weren’t exactly sure what to expect when we arrived, but it turned out to be a wonderful experience.
The mission of this small hotel is to allow guests the opportunity to connect with nature and provide an escape from the bustling heart of the city. However, this hotel goes far beyond ambient bird sounds and picture windows. One room option even includes an open-air bedroom, which is essentially a raised bamboo platform above the tops of the surrounding palm trees.
The owners say they hope the hotel serves as an inspiration for people who visit and locals to adopt a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Even though the hotel is small, it has a huge impact on the local community. The staff all live within a short distance, ingredients are locally sourced and for every guest that makes a reservation, the Tree House removes one kilo of trash from the river.
Location and Grounds
The outdoor grounds are beautiful and a raised platform (the entire structure is built on stilts above the swampy shores of the river) winds around living walls occassionally broken up by huge mirrors.
The hotel is only accessible by foot or boat. Our taxi from Don Mueang airport dropped us off at the ferry station and we continued with our luggage down a concrete path. The ride took about an hour and cost about 350 baht. You can also take a taxi to the ferry and ride it across the river, or hire a rocket boat to take you right up to the hotel (this is how we left in the morning).
To get to the hotel, we walked about 200 meters past homes, over water, through a small farm, and then we ran into our first wildlife in the city: a Water Monitor (basically a small Komodo dragon). He was sitting on the path and calmly sauntered out of our way when we came into view. He was about three feet long and made us feel like we really were in a remote jungle.
When we found the hotel, we were cheerily greeted with a selection of floral teas and then shown to our room. On the way, we passed a large chalkboard with a hand-drawn map of the area and a fridge stocked with free homemade ice cream and ice cold water.
Bikes are free to use and we highly recommend taking them out for a ride. Watch out for other bikers, scooters and people on the path and go slowly around the corners. We rode the bikes from the ferry station out to the main road, turned right and found a few small markets and a convenience store. If you are craving a snack during the day, check out the street food by the ferry or down the road a ways – the locals were all very nice and everything we tried was great.
Bangkok Tree House has three room options. The Family Nest with three separate levels, the “View With A Room” and the Treetop Nests where we stayed. All rooms include a rooftop deck with a hammock, private outdoor showers and a king sized bed.
The outdoor shower was huge and had two separate shower heads. It should be noted that the wall separating the shower from the first floor is completely glass and the toilet is only semi-private, so this accommodation is probably best for couples.
Another interesting feature was the steep, staggered staircase leading up to the bedroom. It took a few minutes to get used to, but added a lot of interest to the decor. The rooftop deck was the best part of the room. It was cool enough at night with the breeze coming off the river for us to enjoy a movie on our laptop on the big, comfy hammock.
The restaurant at Bangkok Tree House is situated right on the river and, like the rooms, has three levels. Looking across the river you can see an oil refinery lit up all night, but as you turn around everything is green. Huge ships pass by on the busy waterway, but it was still pretty quiet and we enjoyed a peaceful meal.
The food was delicious and the menu was different from anything we have had in Thailand so far. We had fried fish with a mango sweet sour sauce and a shrimp and lemongrass appetizer. Our favorite dish was the vegan “grandma’s larb cake” which is fried balls of spicy tofu, ground rice and mushrooms. Ingredients are locally sourced or grown on the property and the kitchen is run on solar and wind power.
We had a terrific experience overall. When we first arrived I thought there might not be enough to do to warrant staying more than one night, but the bikes are a perfect way to get around and explore. The hotel will arrange boat tours or batik classes for you, and on the weekends, the local floating market is a popular destination. Just going on a walk through the surrounding neighborhoods was great fun. We saw so many strange birds, plants and animals and got to explore a part of Bangkok that most people never see.
- Our taxi driver stopped a few times to ask for directions when we were close and everyone he asked knew exactly where the Bangkok Tree House was. However, we had some initial confusion (since we don’t know the city at all) so get the directions in Thai on their website.
- This hotel is not suitable for anyone who will have trouble walking up and down steep steps.
- Close to nature means close to nature! Be prepared to see a few of those big lizards and know that you will be able to see the trees while you shower (which is awesome).
- If you can’t make it to the Tree House for a night, visit the restaurant for lunch or dinner
- Read more about the Tree House’s green efforts and make a reservation on their website.
Poplar Travels was a guest of Bangkok Tree House Hotel. Our opinion is always our own.