Chotika River Front Hotel, Samut Songkram

Originally I went to Samut Sakhon to photograph the boat yards and while I completed that objective I was so taken with the hotel my traveling companion selected I decided to push it to the front of the queue.  We’ll get to the boat yard pictures soon, promise..

Samut Sakhon is roughly 60 kilometers from Bangkok and very close to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market I featured some weeks back.  It’s halfway between Bangkok and Hua Hin, right off Rama II (Highway 35), and its full of hidden treasures including an active small town, its own floating market, and kilometers upon kilometers of klongs and rivers to explore.

The Chotika River Front Hotel appears to be built around a lumber mill.  In fact, there is a lumber mill located right in the middle of the hotel area that’s still active as I can attest after being awaked by the high speed motors and screech of a large wood planer.  Perhaps they had so much extra lumber sitting around unsold they decided to put it to good use and build a nice hotel?  Great idea if they did!

Chotika River Front Hotel

There are numerous small gazebos and porches overhanging the river.  The mood set by the river, lights, natural wood.. its all very inviting and relaxing.  Btw -  the rates are very reasonable and run from baht 1200 to baht 3500 depending mostly on the location of the room to the view.

Chotika River Front Hotel

There are many wooden walkways over the river.  You must walk on them to get to your room, the restaurant, and lobby.

Chotika River Front Hotel

Inside the main mill area you’ll find areas both clean and organized, and like the picture above a total mess!  The mill building is huge and the scent of freshly cut woods is very alluring.  As a hobbyist workworker who had a shop in Oregon I’m familiar with mills and the smells of Douglas Fir, Oak, Cedar, Cotton Wood, Maple, and the rest of our local woods.. but here the teak and rosewood seems to have very little scent in comparison.

Chotika River Front Hotel

Above you can see one of the room structures where we stayed.  There are two floors, the upper floor of course has a better view, but the lower floor helps you avoid the common small Thai staircases which often don’t bode well for westerners toting large bags.

Chotika River Front Hotel

I’m more than a bit embarrassed.  I was up late processing the days images and when 0600 rolled around I was still fast asleep.  My traveling companion looked out the door and woke me by saying “you should see the light, it’s beautiful, come take some pictures!”  I groaned and moaned and finally put the camera in Program mode and told her she could take pictures but I was going to finish this great dream I was having.

Later that evening I couldn’t believe the images she took!  Being an artist herself she must have a natural eye and indeed the light was fantastic!  I love her work!

Chotika River Front Hotel

She did it again!  The morning light was beautiful and gives the image a three dimensional look you couldn’t pay for.  The wood really looks good when lit with soft morning light.

Chotika River Front Hotel

Okay, to be fair I’m showing one more of her images.  This is where you can eat breakfast and watch the river life float by at the same time.  Remember guys, don’t loan your camera to a woman unless you’re prepared to be humbled..

Chotika River Front Hotel

Outside our room was a lovely patio area with cushioned chairs, fans, and a wide open feeling.  This was a very quiet and peaceful place from the time we arrived in the late afternoon, until about 0800 when the mill opened up.

Chotika River Front Hotel

You can see how we walked to our room, along the wooden walkway, past the mill structure, and to the room structure where our room was located.  This is only a very small part of the total hotel complex.

Chotika River Front Hotel

This is a big staging area for the prepared lumber.  It’s located directly at the waters edge so the lumber can be loaded in the boats and taken to wherever lumber is taken these days.

This was a very different hotel experience than you normally experience in Thailand.  It’s been a long time since I’ve stayed at a place so inviting, relaxing, and beautiful.. the lumber mill really made the spot because I love such places!  I’ll be doing another outing just on the mill later on.  If you ever want to get outside of Bangkok for a few days and experience a unique hotel and really nice people, give the Chotika River Front Hotel in Samut Songkram a try.