Cross River Kwai Resort Kanchanaburi: An Ultimate Relaxation Destination

Cross River Kwai Hotel Kanchanaburi is in a serene and peaceful location, surrounded by lush greenery and the beautiful 180 degree views of the Khwae Noi River. We were lucky enough to spend two days there on our last trip to Kanchanaburi Province and share our thoughts, so you can decide if it’s right for you.

On our recent visit, we discovered why the locals love to spend weekends here and why Kanchanaburi is the third most visited province in Thailand.

We knew Kanchanaburi for its World War II history, including the Bridge on the River Kwai and the Death Railway. What we were not aware of and what most international visitors have not heard about is Kanchanaburi’s natural beauty.

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From multi level waterfalls, pristine national parks and cave temples, there is plenty to keep you busy. However, I think it may be the vast range of interesting river front accommodation that draws repeat visitors. 

Erawan Falls Kanchanaburi
The Erawan National Park is an hour from Kanchanaburi

You can read all about how we got to Kanchanaburi or check out our day by day itinerary here, so let’s go look at why we think Cross River Kwai Resort makes a great base for your visit. 

Cross River Kwai Resort Location

The Cross River Kwai Resort is 12km from Kanchanaburi Train Station and city centre. If you are not arriving by car, I would suggest you book a hotel pick up or take a taxi to the resort. There is a public bus, but it stops 10 minutes’ walk away.

The resort is 12km from Kanchanaburi Station

At first I wondered if the location would be a hassle however, I really wanted to stay in a floating cabin and most of these types of accommodation are a lot further from the town centre. 

This contemporary hotel sits on the banks of the Kwai Noi river surrounded by bushland. There is not a lot nearby, however, that is part of what makes this place special. It’s serene and the perfect contrast to a busy few days in Bangkok.

A peaceful escape in Kanchanaburi

There are a couple of local cafes with a few minutes’ drive if you fancy exploring a little. If you don’t have a car and are trying to keep costs down, it might be worth hiring a local driver for a couple of day tours. The hotel can also do this for you. 

While the Cross River Kwai Hotel is not located close to the war sites in Kanchanaburi, its serene location is the perfect place to return to at the end of each day. 

First Impressions

As we arrived at the hotel, we discovered a minimalist design with an industrial touch. The reception area was open to the elements and you could see the river to your left. 

Cross River Kwai Kanchanaburi entry
Cross River Kwai Resort

The staff came to the car to greet us at the car and helped with our bags. We arrived quite early but they were very welcoming and set us up in the “library”, a co-working type space that overlooked the restaurant.

Our refreshing welcome drink

They served us a cool drink while they checked in us and worked out when our room would be available. Check in time is 3pm, so if you are coming from Bangkok by train, arrange for a driver to pick you up and show you some sites in town before you head out to the resort. 

The Accommodation

There is a room to suit everyone here and all of them overlook the picturesque riverfront. From the entry level XFloat Cabins to the 5 star Falling Waters Villas, that have all the bells and whistles.

The rooftop view of the Kwai Noi from the Luxe cabins
The rooftop view from the Luxe cabins

In what turned out to be a stroke of luck there was some electrical work being done in the area by the local authorities and there was no power available in the floating cabins until that evening so we were offered a free upgraded to a villa where the power was working perfecting. 

They offered to show us to the cabins and the villas, so we could decide if we were happy to change. My initial disappointment at not staying in a floating cabin did not last long. From what we have seen, any of the offerings here are great. 

XFloat Cabins 

We were first drawn to Cross River Kwai by the XFloat Luxe Cabins with the personal kayak and outdoor sitting area.

Cross River Kwai Lux cabin
Cross River Kwai Lux cabins come with a personal kayak

Lots of the floating cabins in Kanchanaburi are rustic with limited facilities and a lack of creature comforts. The floating cabins at Cross River Kwai are certainly not that – they offer a level of luxury that puts them above any others we could find in our search. 

Bed in Lux cabin Cross River Kwai Resort
Lux cabin Cross River Kwai Resort

There was a king bed, a large TV and a sitting area. We appreciated the nook to store your bags out of the way. 

The biggest surprise was the size and quality of the bathroom. Hugh bathtub with separate shower and toilet area. 

Lux cabin bathroom at Cross River Kwai
The bathroom in the Lux cabin

We loved the rooftop area where you can lie at night and stare up at the stars. We would have been thrilled to stay here! 

The XFloat Cabins have the rooftop deck, a small balcony and a similar layout to the lux option but don’t have the private outdoor deck and kayak.

The villas are at the other end of the resort, so we wandered over past the pool access rooms known as Poolxide cabins or Poolxide suites that allow you to walk straight from your room to the infinity pool and basic cabins that sit beyond them.

Falling Waters Villa 

As we approach the villa, the exterior with its concrete and iron industrial design gives no idea of the luxury that awaits inside. The minute we walk in, you can see how much thought has gone into the design and styling of this space. From the small room with shoe storage by the front door 

Falling Villa exterior

Spread over three floors, the spacious villa had everything you need for a very comfortable getaway, with beautiful views in every direction.

The ground floor featured a kitchen, large living room and the star of the show, the indoor/outdoor swimming pool complete with sparkling chandelier. If a pool chandelier does not spell luxe, I am not sure what does! 

Falling Waters Villa Pool
A chandelier above an indoor pool is now on my next home wish list!

Outside the pool was the “falling water” which flowed from the top floor down a wall into the pool. A deck off the lounge room looked out over the river and provided outdoor access to the pool. 

Up a few stairs was a concrete bath overlooking the pool and living room. 

Bath tub Cross River Kwai Falling Water Villa
A warm bubble bath is a great way to end a day of sightseeing

The next level led to a large bathroom and a separate dressing room area. Finally, a few more stairs led to the large lux bedroom with high end towels and linens. 

Bedroom Falling water Villa
The decor added some fun with graphic posters featuring cheeky slogans. 

Plans to head out and explore Kanchanaburi that afternoon quickly disappeared as we decided there was no way we were leaving the resort. 

The tech in the apartment was top-notch too, with Bluetooth speakers in both the living and bedroom areas. What a stroke of luck this turned out to be. The pool villa was the perfect blend of beauty and comfort and was the nicest villa we have stayed at in Asia. 

Onsite Dining – Bridge Bar & Bistro

Traditional Thai hospitality is in evidence when we arrived for our first afternoon tea at the hotel. After being welcomed and offered our choice of seating, the friendly staff patiently explain the afternoon tea deal to me. It’s a nice touch that is included in our room rate – not entirely sure if it is for all bookings, but we were happy for a sugar hit after a busy morning. 

Cross River Kwai Bridge Bistro

The restaurant, Bridge Bar & Bistro is a communal space for guests to use any time of day (7am-10pm). With several seating styles, you can relax with a coffee or cocktail, or order something to eat whenever hunger strikes. 

The extensive menu features both Thai and international cuisine, using fresh and locally sourced ingredients. From a pad Thai to a beef burger or one of their Italian specialties, there is plenty to choose from. There were also lots of gluten-free and 8 vegan options, although sadly I didn’t see any vegan desserts. 

Pad Kra Pow Bridge Bistro Kanchanaburi
Pad Krapow

The coffee is particularly good, and there is an interesting range of teas and non-alcoholic drinks too. If you have a sweet tooth, you will also be very happy with the dessert options!

The bistro offers air-conditioned indoor dining or a lovely deck area overlooking the river if you prefer to dine outdoors. We loved that they offer all day breakfast, which is my favourite meal of the day, and being able to eat later really suited us. 

Our room service dinner

We ordered room service for dinner as we were enjoying our space so much. Guests in the villas can order a floating breakfast – we didn’t notice this until it was too late, but it looked grand.

What activities are available at Cross River Kwai Hotel Kanchanaburi?

Most of the action at the resort revolves around the river. There is free kayaking and paddle boarding if you want to enjoy time on the river. 

Grab one of the free kayaks or paddle boards and make your way over to the fish farm opposite, or glide through the water at sunrise for a very special start to the day.

Cross River Kwai grounds
Swim, paddle or just chill with a book by the riverbank

The lovely infinity pool sits overlooking the river, and we felt there were plenty of sun loungers for the number of guests. Perfect for relaxing or reading by the waterfront.

The infinity pool was lovely even under the cover of clouds

There are bicycles for guest use if you are fit enough to make the ride into town in the warm temperatures. We decided we weren’t, but other guests we met had enjoyed riding to nearby cafes and exploring up river. 

You may wonder if there is enough to do here being so far from the centre of town, but that sense of peace is part of the magic, and there is plenty to do if you want to.

If you don’t have your own car or tours already arranged, the team at reception can arrange tours or transfers to town. 

If you fancy a bit of pampering, then there is a spa onsite offering massage, facials, body scrubs and more. 

We were really pleased to see such a large commitment to sustainability. The hotel has implemented a number of eco-friendly practices, such as using solar power and rainwater harvesting, to reduce its environmental impact.

Overall, we encourage you to stay a little longer in Kanchanaburi, there is so much to see in the province. Cross River Kwai Hotel Kanchanaburi offers a unique and comfortable base in a beautiful location with modern amenities, a strong commitment to sustainability, and buckets of traditional Thai hospitality. It is the perfect place to rest and relax after a day of exploring the war sites in Kanchanaburi.

You will find Cross River Kwai at 138, 4 Nong Ya Soi 5 Ban Wanglan, Nong Ya, Mueang Kanchanaburi District, Kanchanaburi 71000

About the author: Paula Morgan first visited Thailand in 1999 and has been returning regularly ever since. This year she has spent 3 months discovering what’s new. She loves exploring its less visited spots, not just the iconic landmarks and historic temples, but the hidden alleys, family run cafes and food stalls and the small communities in the islands of the south and the lush forests and mountains of Thailand’s north.