A unique place in Thailand for a three-day weekend or mini vacation is Chiang Saen, a small district near Chiang Rai in the north of the country. Located in the Golden Triangle where Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet, Chiang Saen is famous as one of the world’s biggest opium-producing regions. Surprisingly though, Chiang Saen is a trendy, cool and safe place for a holiday – whether you’re single or with your family – and particularly if you love to be one with nature. It’s also home to a superb budget hotel, the De River Boutique Hotel, where Thai friends and I recently stayed. De River Boutique Hotel, is a phenomenal independent budget boutique hotel located on the banks of the world-famous Mekhong River and surrounded by some of the prettiest countryside in the world.
Location of De River Boutique Hotel – You couldn’t get a lovelier hotel location in Thailand if you built it yourself. Right on the mighty River Khong, or Mae Khong as it’s usually known, the De River Boutique Hotel is surrounded by fields, mountains and of course the massive river and has gorgeous views no matter which direction you look. If you’re looking for a quiet, restful place to stay with comfortable accommodation and some darned decent facilities, this hotel is perfect.
Rooms at De River Boutique Hotel – Guest rooms at the hotel, for the budget price, are truly not to be believed. On arrival in our room, the first thing my Thai friend and I noticed was the traditional Thai décor. The room was light and beautifully decorated with hand-carved furniture (the bed headboard was stunning with traditional Thai dancers carved into it), crisp white sheets and the traditional silk bed runner, usually seen in more upscale hotels. Each room also has hardwood floors.
Our room had a spacious en suite bath with a large shower, satellite flat screen TV, and a refrigerator. We were also given two complimentary bottles of spring water each morning. Our room, with its private balcony, overlooked the mountains; such an impressive sight to wake up to every day. Our friends’ room looked out over the Mekhong River where early in the morning you could watch the locals fishing or swimming in the river, and there’s nothing more authentic Thai than that.
Facilities at the De River BoutiqueHotel – The De River Boutique Hotel’s facilities are excellent for a budget hotel. Only a small hotel, with18 rooms, it offers some facilities even the more expensive hotels in the area often don’t.
The hotel restaurant, Café De River serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with a wonderful selection of Thai and Chinese-style dishes cooked to order while you wait. You know the food is delicious as I’m not a huge Thai food fan, but I couldn’t get enough of the dishes served here. There’s also a karaoke room, which being with a large Thai group, we took advantage of in the evenings (Thais love their karaoke!), and bicycle rental if you want to tour around the area yourself.
The hotel has a small spa area, where you can get a traditional Thai massage, something I had on both days we stayed there as, with such inexpensive prices, there was no way I could pass it up.
For families with little kids, you’ll enjoy the small children’s playground on the hotel grounds as, because the area is so quiet and safe, you can happily leave your kids to have fun with little worry. Just make sure they don’t go near the river, as the current can be strong.
If you’ll be in the northern Thailand area of Chiang Saen, around a 30 minute drive from Chiang Rai, or are just looking for a delightfully quiet and peaceful place to stay, the De River Boutique Hotel won’t disappoint. The air is clean, the staff is lovely and with current rates beginning at only 1,450 baht ($46) for a double room overlooking the Mekhong River, the price is right too.
You’ll find the De River Boutique Hotel at 455 Moo 1, T. Wiang, A.Chiang Saen, 57150 Chiang Saen (Chiang Rai).
De River Boutique Hotel and Resort