Its name may be a mouthful, but this designer hotel in Kanchanaburi, Thailand will leave you speechless. inchantreedoopool is conveniently located a short walk away from the city’s most famous landmarks, the JEATH War Museum and River Kwai Bridge popularized by the French historical fiction novel adapted into an Oscar-winning Hollywood movie. The passion project of its architect owner, this 18-room boutique hotel showcases a minimalist “contemporary-vintage” design that exudes rustic warmth with its use of unfinished concrete, brick, and, most ingeniously, bamboo. In a city known for its harrowing legacies of war, inchantreedoopool makes a standout contrast with its stylish tranquility.
The boutique hotel has 18 rooms designed with understated elegance. Rooms come with either double and twin beds, and are awash in natural light during the day and warmly lit with incandescent lamps at night. A balcony and floor-to-ceiling glass windows offers full views of the surrounding treetops, distant mountains, and dramatic skies when the sun sets. The bathroom is also roomy with a glass-walled shower – a feature that would surely excite honeymooners and romantic couples.
The “doopool” in inchantreedoopool may not exactly refer to its infinity swimming pool, but actually is a Thai word for “view” (if I understood the receptionist’s explanation correctly). Its rooftop location affords guests with panoramic views of the laid-back town and faraway mountains of the river valley. Meanwhile, inchan tree refers to an native tree which the owner loves (which unfortunately isn’t found in or around the hotel). Don’t be surprised that the pool water tastes salty though! The pool features a high-tech saltwater pool system that’s gentler to skin and swimwear.
All rooms come with an affordable minibar (only THB 20 for chips, and THB 60 for beer!) and plated breakfast served at the ground-floor dining area. Guests has a choice of three breakfast styles: Pinto, Asian and Western. I went with the Pinto-style breakfast recommended by the receptionist, since it’s the hotel’s signature Thai breakfast, consisting of fried pork, omelet, and clear soup with tofu and minced pork, served in an old-school metal lunchbox.
The hotel cafe, designed like a retro mom-and-pop store, serves hot and cold beverages. Unfortunately, the hotel doesn’t serve lunch and dinner, but there a number of restaurants a few minutes walk from the property.
Accommodation at inchantreedoopool starts at THB 2,000 (PHP 3,300) for a double or twin room, with extra bed for THB 500 (PHP 820), from Sunday to Thursday. From Friday to Saturday, the rate is THB 2,500 (PHP 4,100), and holidays for THB 2,800 (PHP 4,600) – with extra bed for THB 700 (PHP 1,100).
How to Get There
AirAsia now flies between Manila and Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport. The old train from Bangkok’s Thonburi Railway Station departs twice daily at 7:50 AM and 1:55 PM to the River Kwai Bridge Station (after Kanchanaburi Railway Station), 10 minutes walk away from inchantreedoopool (800 meters). Alternatively, one can take a bus or van from Mo Chit Bus Terminal to Kanchanaburi Bus Station, and transfer by taxi (THB 100) or public songthaew (THB 10; Alight at the corner of India Road along Sangchuto Road) to the hotel.
Travel tip: taxi transfers in Kanchanaburi often charge a fixed rate of THB 100. A far cheaper option to get around is to walk to the city’s main drag, Sangchuto Rd, and hail a passing songthaew (passenger pick-up truck) for only THB 10 per person. They ply between the bus station, railway station, and junction to the River Kwai Bridge, passing by right along two other top attractions: Death Railway Museum and Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.
Address: 1/9 India Rd, Tambon Ban Tai, Chang Wat Kanchanaburi, Thailand
Contact Numbers: +66 936286633 or +66 852227588
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/inchantreedoopool