This is an upmarket backpackers guesthouse popular with all ages. We paid £13 a night for a double room with aircon, ensuite, TV, fridge, free wifi and a small balcony with views towards the mountains behind. The house has character with murals on the walls and quirky decor. Our room was very spacious and homely. The bathroom was wetroom style and fairly dated and well-used but clean with a good hot shower. It is in a very central location but set back from the busy street so feels like a welcome retreat. There is also a huge roof terrace with sunloungers and a four poster bed where you can chill out. Staff are friendly and helpful and don’t push tours and trips but do offer both. They also own a massage shop across the road which is very cheap and a really relaxing environment with experienced trained masseuses. I paid 150 Baht (£3) for a head, shoulders, neck and back massage but was given this pyjama outfit to wear and had my whole body worked on for a full hour and came out floating on air! The room rate doesn’t include breakfast but there is a café next to a small swimming pool on the ground floor. Thai food was good and better value and taste than the Western menu. We actually went just along the road to another café for breakfast run by a lovely tiny lady called Eing who makes the most amazing banana pancakes!
7 Ratchadamnoen Road, Lane 1, Thapae Gate, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Gade, who runs the place, is so welcoming. The rooms are large and right in the heart of the old city, on Rachamakka Road. You really feel as if you become part of Gade's family. Service a bit slow for the cafe, but if you're not in a hurry, it's worth stopping to try her homemade smoothies, and don't forget to ask why she calls her place "Elliebum".
Beautifully designed hotel in the city centre. Stayed there earlier this year - it's designed along the lines of a monastery and is a peaceful and stylish hotel to be in. Great pool, interesting library, lovely rooms and lots of open spaces for sitting around, lounging. It's quite small, about 20 rooms or something so is very quiet and calm.
If you are looking for clean no frills accomodation in Chaing Mai 'Nice Appartments' will be a good choice. Ms Chon is an easy going landlady who will provide clean rooms at a very affordable price, throwing in free tea and Thai bananas for a good meassure.
She will also allow you to leave your bags when you go off on a trek, even if it is a three day trek, and will put away your valuable possesions on a security lock. She will make you sign several forms for that and seal your possesions, but I felt better for that.
There is a 1AM curfew, so if you are here partying this may not be your place
Off the main road just by the main gat
15 Soi 1 Ratchadamnem Road
This is the first pub to open its doors in Chiang Mai and was voted one of the best bars in the world. It is an olde worlde English pub in the true tradition. Has a great selection of food and drinks including roast dinners on Sundays.
It recently had a makeover and extended the bar and the restaurant but has kept its old charm. There is also an outside area where you can sit and enjoy the tranquility of a tropical garden. And now has new bungalows added for those wishing to linger a while. A must to visit when in Chiang Mai.
Conde Nast have named their "best new hotels in the World for 2006" (May 2006 - US Edition). Fortunately, for those of us who don't have 800USD to blow on a hotel room, CN were sweet enough to include a few recommendations that may just be within our reach, including D2 Hotel and The Chedi in Chiang Mai.
D2 Hotel: 100 Chang Klan Road, Amphur Muang, Chiang Mai;
tel: +66 (0) 5328 3177;
The Chedi: 123 Charoenprathet Road, T. Changklan A. Maung, Chiang Mai;
tel: (66) 53 253 333;
Browse the full list at www.concierge.com/bestof/hotlist/2006/asia
The rooms at the Panda Guesthouse are small cabins with comfy beds, lined with wicker panels. Nothing extravagant but clean and comfy - exactly to suit backpacking needs. It's a family run place, with a small restaurant serving cheap and tasty food - standard Thai/western dishes and the usual yummy breakfasts of fresh fruit, banana pancakes and so on. In the evening after the restaurant has closed and the family have gone home for the night they leave the lights on in the seating area so guests can stay up to read and talk as long as they like. Its also right inside the walls of the old town, where everybody wants to stay in Chiang Mai.
After a few days stay we went on a rafting tour. At the end of the tour I realised I was missing a pouch in which I had been keeping my cash and tickets. At some point I had left the pouch in my room, when we returned to Panda hostel the manager returned the pouch to me, unopened. Typical of this lovely, honest and friendly guesthouse.
130/1 Rachamanka Rd, Chiang Mai
All but a luxury hotel for all but a backpacker's price. The Lai Thai has a great location, minutes from the night market; the air-con rooms are clean and beautifully decorated with teak and bamboo; there's even a swimming pool.
If you're still not satisfied, the hotel has its own foot masseur and fortune teller too. Doubles from 600 Baht (about £8)
111/4-5 Kotchasarn Road, Tel: +66 5327 1725 or 5320 6438
This is fantastic! Little huts (some on stilts) just outside the centre. Trees and plants are totally overgrown so you feel like you're in the jungle. A great breakfast is included in the very cheap price and the nice guy who runs it will help you book treks and elephant rides. It's a complete gem.
3 Soi 4, Ratchadamnoen Rd, Chiang Mai (most taxi/tuk tuk drivers will know it well when you get in at the station or the airport);
tel: (053) 278 140;
What's great about the Tamarind Village is its lack of tack. Low-rise, with only 40 rooms set among gardens, and a small pool, this hotel has a relaxed and intimate vibe. Rooms are simple, and perhaps don't have all the trimmings that you might get in the Hilton, but the interiors are tastefully understated and the overall design seems to have a calming effect, which is something to be cherished in the heat and bustle of Chiang Mai. Staff are great too, as are the breakfasts.
50/1 Rajdamnoen Road, Sri Phom, Muang, Chiangmai 50200;
tel: 0 5341 8896 9
The You Sabai is a guesthouse located in the heart of Chiang Mai. It has 8 comfortable, clean and affordable guesthouse rooms (150 – 250 Baht per night), a charming outdoor restaurant that serves up healthy authentic Thai dishes and western breakfast favourites, and assists with a wide variety of traveller arrangements.
Visitors staying at the You Sabai guesthouse can avail of free use of an open space to practice Thai massage, yoga, or to meditate in privacy.
I kept going back to the same Guest House in Chiang Mai because the people that owned it were really friendly, honest and fun. Now I am lucky enough to be good friends with them. And I wish to tell anyone that is going to Chiang Mai that they should call in and see for themselves.
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org