Category: Hotels

An honest hotel review!

November 5, 2016 Alok 1 comment

It all started with a forward email I received on 8th May 2005. Those were the times when Facebook and Orkut were not around. In fact we never heard of the term Social Networking. Gmail was quite new in India and the best part of it was that Gmail allowed upto 10 MB of attachments. This started a new revolution of social sharing in those days – “Unseen Paradise” was in from of “Email Forwards.” It was one of those viral email forwards that swept me completely. Hence I made a note to of this place in my list of “Must go places before I die.”

I started looking out for this place almost 10 years after I received that email. The email said,“The Unseen Paradise on Kerala-Karnataka Border”.  First of all I started looking out for places in Karnataka and Kerala. There was no trace of any such property or resort. After some Google image search and trying out different search keywords like floating resort, tropical floating hotel etc. I finally found this place on tripadvisor. I was so glad that this Paradise actually existed!

It is the Float House on River Kwai in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. This beautiful place is hidden inside the Sai Yok National Park on Kwai river.

Mesmerizing in its distinctive boutique style, The FloatHouse River Kwai is one of the best floating resort of the world. The FloatHouse River Kwai Resort is a fancy boutique hideaway that can be found in very few places in the world. Most noteworthy is that the only way to reach the resort is by boat as it actually floats on a flowing river surrounded by thick green jungle. This makes it a true Unseen Paradise

Each luxurious and spacious floating villa is totally private and rich in custom tailored-made teakwood furniture with thatched roofing. The design is delightfully impressive with exotic decorations including natural materials and ropes. The design concept for the resort is known as “Contemporary Boutique Folk Style,” for a smooth blend of local artistic traditions with the natural environment, yet different from anywhere else in its characteristic rope designs that convey an oriental air.

Float house,Unseen Paradise
Unseen Paradise

GETTING THERE

It takes a 2.5-hour drive from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi Town, from where you drive for about another 40 minutes towards Saiyok district where you will reach the RESOTEL Pier, next to Highway 323. The property can only be reached via the river. During the short ride (about 7 minutes) on a local long-tailed boat from the RESOTEL Pier to The FloatHouse River Kwai you will witness beautiful greenery surrounding the historic river. It seems like you are in the world of Narnia. If you are lucky then you can witness some wildlife on the way.

Unseen Paradise
Photo Courtesy – The FloatHouse River Kwai Resort – Official Website

It will cost close to 5000 bhat for a local transfer from Suvarnabhumi Airport to the Pier by road. Cheaper alternative is by train, there are 2 train departures from Bangkok to Sai oak.

Morning Train – Departs from Thonburi station at 07:50, arrives at Kanchanaburi at 10:25, River Kwai Bridge at 10:42, and Nam Tok at 12:35.

Afternoon Train – Departs from 13:55, arrives at Kanchanaburi at 16:24, River Kwai Bridge at 16:33, and Nam Tok at 18:30.
Get off at Namtok Railway Station at the end of the route and rent a local mini truck to Resotel pier

For more details of trains refer to www.railway.co.th

Unseen Paradise

When we reach the resotel we were really awestruck. The place was truly magical. Its actually a secret hideaway from the rest of the world, a place to completely switch off from mundane life.

Unseen Paradise

River Kwai Jungle Rafts Resort offers a unique accommodation experience right on the flowing Kwai Noi River. All floating rooms are tucked into a floating bamboo lodge moored along the historical River Kwai Noi surrounded by lush green mountains and jungle. At the floatel, the historic River Kwai Noi flows underneath your bed. The walls are weaved from local bamboo decorated with wooden furniture reflecting Mon living style. Each is appointed with en-suite private bathroom, balcony and a hammock. Rest. Sleep. Experience.

Unseen Paradise

Due to the ecology conservation concept, the entire floatel does NOT use electricity but rather utilizes traditional kerosene lamps at night maintaining a true eco hideaway in nature. That’s why I call it a true hideaway – No electricity – No Internet – No Bullshit.

Already curious enough to reach here? Check out our awesome  Route Planner Now!

Unseen Paradise

These lights glowing the night bring the romantic atmosphere throughout the resort. This tropical outpost affords plenty of activities, from to riding a friendly elephant through a Mon traditional village and temples, to enjoying cultural Mon folk dances every evening, to water sports like popular ‘river jump’. Lifejackets are provided in each guest room. You can simply jump from one end of the floating hotel and float along down the river and climb up at other end.

Unseen Paradise

There are no rules and plan for a leisure traveller, therefore the Resotel offer many options to someone who just wants to chill out and have fun. Do let me know if you have been to this place or if you are adding it to your “Must Visit Places List”!!

​To plan your next trip to this magical place, fill your dates below...


November 4, 2016 Alok No comments exist

We have conducted team building workshops all over India for FOCUS Adventure. This has given us first-hand experience of which are the ideal properties to conduct such offsite programs for our clients.

There are a few distinct criteria that make one hotel or resort, more “Team Offsite” friendly than another. In our opinion these are the key factors:

1. Good outdoor spaces

2. Large banquet room

3. Good Audio Visual systems

4. Support from hotel staff

5. Ease of accessibility and in-house recreational options

6. Finally, An X Factor (something that makes a location very endearing… purely our opinion)

Often, we get requests from our clients asking us for our recommendation. So, here it is – the hotel/resort locations that we would recommend basis our own experience & the different factors stated above. This is not in any particular order – just the Top 5.

The Zuri White Sands Goa Resort & Casino

is one location where we now have a history of multiple great team outbound experiences. It faces the beautiful Varca beach, which is one of the most beautiful beaches of Goa with white sand and a captivating view. The resort has a lot of outdoor areas to conduct Team Building activities, has big conference rooms and offers fantastic service to corporate clients. The hotel staff is extremely responsive to any requests regarding the conference and activities. Ideal for teams’ up to around 100 participants.

The Oberoi Udaivilas

is by far the most luxurious hotel we have ever done a workshop in. No wonder then that this property gets rated year after year as the No.1 hotel in the list of luxury hotels in India. This is one of those hotels where you feel pampered at every moment. Everything related to this hotel is royal. Great room & suites, awesome conference room, superb service and probably the best SPA service. The property is very suitably located in the lake city of Udaipur and gives multiple options for activities including a royal river lake tour on a boat. Ideal for a team of up to 75 participants. And a must for those teams who want to pamper themselves with a treat of luxury.​

Taj Exotica Goa

on the Benaulim beach of Goa is a lush green property that makes you feel you have come to some tropical rain forest at times. Rooms are made in the form of a villa. Especially the rooms facing the sea have a fantastic view. They have a decent conference room and facilities for an offsite. What keeps us surprised every time is the ultra-caring and very proactive hospitality of the staff. The resort has so much to offer that you don’t feel like going out to any other place in Goa. Ideal for a team of up to 100 participants. Another great place to get your team to feel pampered and loved.

Oberoi Wildflower Hall

can make you spellbound with its serene beauty; it’s a hidden paradise in the Himalayas. Far away from the hustle bustle of Shimla. This property sits peacefully on mountain top in Mashorba. The hotel offers a beautiful and adventurous natural forest trail where you want to get lost for some time – away from the noise of this world.

They smaller conference rooms, which makes it ideal for smaller group offsite. The Hotel staff is very cooperative and understands the requirement of an offsite. Ideal for a team of up to 25 participants. If your team loves mountains and wants to get to an offsite with a difference, this is a place to be.

The Zuri Kumarakom

is a fantastic option if you want your offsite in the “God’s own country”. Facing the beautiful backwaters of Vembanad Lake. The resort has limited outdoor area – however, the lake at the center of the resort lends itself very nicely to treasure hunt kind of activities that are spread around the lake. Again, this is another property where the service levels are commendably high. The hotel offers many leisure options, including a large swimming pool with water–spouting elephant sculptures and a luxury spa with Ayurvedic treatments.Ideal for a team of up to 50 participants.

These properties have delighted the teams at an offsite in many ways. Do share your view and experience if you have stayed in these properties. Also, share the name of a hotel or resort you feel should be a part of this list.

Note: This blog was originally posted by me in FOCUS Adventure India blog 3 years back. 5 Best Luxury Hotels for Team Building