It is somewhat difficult to find something original to say about this place in that most of the points have been picked up in previous reviews. Xanadu was the first stop on a three destination 10 day whistle-stop tour of Thailand and in terms of luxury was streets behind anywhere else we stayed at. So why then, was it our collective-favourite place?
It is very honest. What you see is what you get. There are about 10 bungalows, simply and cleanly kitted out; some with a fridge and some with a TV and DVD player. A number of the bungalows have adjoining bedrooms. Everything is totally unpretentious.
The grounds are well looked after and the pool very inviting. There is an abundance of wildlife, including chickens that roost overnight in one of the trees (the “Chicken Tree”). Ironically, we had come expecting mosquitoes and brought the appropriate measures. Of the places we stayed at, this was the one location where they weren’t around and the Deet stayed firmly in the cases.
At the bottom of the property lies the River Kwai and according to Dennis, one of the owners, does not suffer from houseboats travelling up and down the river broadcasting drunken Chinese Karaoke as other reaches do, because his neighbours number Bangkok’s police chief and high-ranking government and military officials, whose taste in music is (thankfully) more sophisticated.
The other two key benefits are the owners; Dennis, who has spent a lot of time in various parts of Thailand and settled here, because it was his favourite. He seems to be able to fix and organise virtually any requirement – he organised transport to and from Bangkok for us, elephant riding, Death Railway, waterfall climbing, longboat rides and a number of other things, which we managed to cram into the space of under two days. This in itself is a good reason to pick Xanadu if Kanchanaburi is your destination.
Nee, his wife and the other owner, and her cooking have already been commented on and we would totally concur. All ingredients are fresh and some are grown on-site. What you get is good honest and very tasty homemade Thai food. One of the things that endeared us was to be given little extra snacks on the side – one breakfast she appeared with a plate of banana leaf wrapped sticky rice parcels and another day produced a fresh cocoanut that had been cut down a few minutes earlier.
Prices are very reasonable, certainly for Westerners, although I do understand the comment made in a previous posting that the food is expensive for a Thai. Most mains (bearing in mind these are not small portioned jobs) come in at around 150 Baht, which translates to around £3 each.
For us, Xanadu fulfilled our needs – a good base to explore the area, which was comfortable, clean and well-provisioned and if time had allowed, we would have liked to have stayed just a little bit longer.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A beautiful family owned resort on the banks of the famed river Kwai. With a large swimming/spa pool with adjoining bar and restaurant this is the perfect place to relax or as a base to explore the stunning local scenery. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Xanadu 2008 Hotel Kanchanaburi