Ibrik Resort by the River

Bangkok, Thailand Book from

Reviewed by Peter Myers
Tucked away in Bangkok's most Bohemian quarter and as close to the Chao Phraya river as can be, a small gem of a guesthouse beckons
On the banks of the olde-worlde Thonburi side of Bangkok, Ibrik Resort by the River is not an easy hotel to find. It's tucked between a cosy cafe (once a theatre), and a townhouse which we initially thought was the hotel. But, once you've found the small white gate, darted down the narrow path into a little garden and entered the demure café-cum-lobby, you realise that you’ve stumbled upon a rather special, idiosyncratic hidey-home in Bangkok’s most Bohemian spot.

One of the first boutique properties to open in Bangkok in 2004, this petite gem - white, clean-lined and filled with dappled light and breeze - is a triumph of understatement: polished concrete floors, contemporary bathrooms and grandma’s attic furniture. Only 3 guestrooms means privacy and quiet, and the staff are incredibly polite and helpful. This little spot is like a home away from home in sprawling, bustling Bangkok, and a welcome respite at the end of a long day of sightseeing.


  • Ibrik is hard to fault for its charm - it's a haven for the weary tourist, and the lazy river becomes a moat keeping the chaos of the metropolis at bay
  • Walk a few steps and you enter a zero-tourist-in-sight market; this is the real Bangkok
  • Taking river transport rather than taxis is a great way to get around the city (though water taxis stop around 9pm)
  • The staff are friendly and helpful (though their English can be limited)
  • The breakfast is excellent, with great Italian coffee from a serious espresso machine


  • Apart from breakfast and coffee, there are no in-house dining options (however, there are good restaurants nearby)
  • It’s pretty quiet around here at night, so if you’re a nightlife person you should be prepared to hire a car
  • The noise coming off the river can be just as effective as an alarm clock
  • In the rainy season (July-October) the boat trip across the river becomes less romantic
  • The place is difficult for taxi drivers to find; be sure to print out Thai directions from the website beforehand, or ask the hotel to organise a driver

Best time to go

Bangkok can get very wet from July to October. Although the heat is on all year round, March to May is the hottest time to be in the city, and November to February the coolest.

Our top tips

If you're traveling with family or friends you can rent out all 3 rooms and have a private home for your stay. If you fancy a massage, Wat Pho is the place to go, as Thailand’s premier massage school and clinic is located there. The ferry landing just across the river is a great place for delicious, cheap eating at one of the many food stands or pavement restaurants; we had a meal of chicken with saffron rice, sautéed eggplant and Thai iced teas

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
City Style
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Guesthouse
  • 3
  • Breakfast (+ walk to off-site restaurants)
  • Children not allowed
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room: moonlight-room


There are only 3 rooms here, all are small but surprisingly well-appointed for such a low-key joint. They're decorated slightly differently, but all have charm and light. Find rickety, ebony-legged 4-poster beds decorated with crisp Jim Thompson linens, Thai silk cushions, teak wardrobes, small fridges/minibars, and small TVs with cable access.

The ground-floor River Room has twin beds despite being the largest room. You can stand on your tiny, sunny, private terrace which actually projects over the water and watch people messing about in boats. By night, open the heavy green curtains and marvel at the lights that illuminate the Grand Palace directly opposite, and Wat Arun, a small distance downstream.

The first-floor Moonlight Room has views over the garden. It has a large terrace and less noise from the river, as well as a double bed and a private outdoor shower. Next door, also with a double bed and private terrace, is the river-view Sunshine Room, detached from the river only by height.

Through white sliding wooden doors, the bathrooms are thoughtfully decorated with a pastoral ambience. In the River Room is a deep, Japanese barrel-style bath with excellent water pressure in the shower attachment. The upstairs rooms have showers only. All bathrooms feature exclusive-to-Ibrik shampoo and conditioner.

On our first visit we preferred the River Room because of its proximity to the water and its bathtub; during our second stay the Sunshine Room caught our eye due to its river views and direct access to the rooftop terrace, where you can tuck into an al fresco breakfast or sip a glass of wine in the evening. However, whichever room you choose, you'll be greeted by cool, calm interiors and simple, stylish design.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Coffee tea making
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet


Food service is limited to breakfast (included in the room rate) and a small counter offering cakes, pastries and a selection of beverages.

Upon check-in, you'll be asked to fill out a form to select your breakfast for the next morning (fresh fruits, sausage/ham, eggs, toast, fruit juices, coffee or tea) which can be taken in bed, on your balcony (our recommendation), in the café area or on the rooftop terrace (accessible to all guests via a house entrance at the top of the stairs). The coffee is especially delicious, made strong Italian-style, and the fresh fruit plate is a delight.

Happily, Ibrik sits next to Supatra River House, one of the best Thai restaurants in the city. There are also tonnes of other restaurants and eateries a short stroll away.

Features include:

  • Basic café
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurants nearby


  • A market takes up the narrow alleyways close to the guesthouse, and a couple of hours can easily be filled discovering the quirky knick-knacks on sale here. The brave can try out some of the sweet Thai desserts and oily savoury snacks on offer. Shoes, dresses, t-shirts etc. are also available
  • Wat Rakang Boat Pier is a few steps away. Take a public water taxi into town along the Chao Phraya river, or rent a longtail boat and whiz along this sensation-filled aquatic artery which bisects the city. A canal tour of Thonburi gives you a different glimpse into this ‘Venice of the East’, while a cruise down Khlong Saen Seb will take you to Jim Thompson’s fascinating home-museum
  • Backpacker-ville, Khao San Road, is a taxi ride away, or a couple of stops on the water taxi. This is the area to buy tacky clothing, fake CDs/DVDs, fraudulent degree certificates and press passes, and to drink until you drop. Or, more sensibly, to feast on a diverse array of cuisines, from Israeli to Indian to Thai to fast-food
  • Wat Arun, Wat Pho, the Temple of Dawn, the Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha are all in the near vicinity, an easy one- or 2-stop water taxi ride away

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping / markets
  • Traditional cultures


This isn't a suitable place for children due to its location close to the river.

Kid Friendly:

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