Upon setting foot at The Duenshine Resort, my initial impression was, WTF? Someone embellished online. Although technically within Kanchanaburi City limits, the hotel was by no means anywhere near what I would call city life and comparing the reality of the aesthetics with what was viewed online…..perhaps the photos were either over a decade old, or someone was either a great photographer or pretty swift with Photoshop. The main reason I stayed by the time I got there was, I was exhausted and just wanted a bed.
That being said, I stayed four days/three nights and completely enjoyed it in that tumbleweed (very quiet and nearly empty), laid back, away from everything cottage sort of way.
Despite reserving a raft house on the River Kwaii, we were given a hotel-type building room. I didn’t argue, because the staff was kind enough to move my reservation one day forward, at no extra cost, after being informed that I couldn’t physically make the reservation date due to missing the last bus out there (Tak-Nakhon Sawan-Suphanburi-Kanchanaburi). The room itself…Construction in Thailand isn’t as exact as in other countries I’m used to, most notably Canada and the U.S.. As a result, as a building ages it often gives the appearance of being older than it is. It’s also more difficult to clean and looks dirtier – this can be applied to our room at the Duenshine. Not bad, but it definitely looks better in photos than it feels.
The Hotel Grounds
Stunning in that natural as opposed to over-groomed, sterile typical resort type way. I loved exploring the depths of the grounds – the river, the flowers, the trees, listening to the birds, watching the butterflies, the huge courtyard, hanging by the pool. My impression was that local Thais hold small events there, be it a party or a school field trip, which I personally liked. It added warmth to what could feel like emptiness.
The food at The Duenshine was lacking as was the cleanliness of the eating area. Dirty tablecloths, dirty plates, dirty glasses and curdled milk in the morning. My recommendation is to chance it (the first day was fine) and if the food doesn’t work for you, take a short walk outside the grounds and investigate the many roadside Thai restaurants littered along the main stretch.
The hotel offers a local minivan service to Bangkok (130 km away). They pick you up. 200 Baht.
Would I Go Back?
Sure, but only if I could find it at a great price online. I wouldn’t recommend paying full-price.
Been here? Let us know what you think if you have!
For more Thailand hotel reviews, travel information and tips, check out Backpacking Thailand, my free Thailand resource.
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