Where to Stay in Chiang Mai

The eternal question: Where to stay in Chiang Mai? There are three places  in Chiang Mai that I recommend without hesitation.

Serviced Apartments? It’s hard to beat Smith Residence. Nice big rooms, perfectly serviced, smart, helpful, English-speaking staff who will arrange anything, answer calls for you..and very reasonable rates: 3rd Floor suites are 8,000  and Mountain View Suites 20,000 Baht/month. 37-39 Nantharam Rd., Tumbon Haiya, Amphoe Mueang, CM 50200

Kiree Thara Resort is 10 minutes from my home (which is 10 minutes from the city), at the foot of Mt. Suthep on a narrow country road. It’s rural and scenic but in the middle of town! Prices start at $60. GPS: 18.835153, 98.953823.

Kate’s Place. Kate is a yoga buddy, a young Brit who lets people use her nice condo on the canal when she’s out of town–so you have the place to yourself without those awkward moments of bumping into someone when you’re trying to find the bathroom at night! You can make reservations on AirBnB here. If you want to check the condo neighborhood, here’s her GPS: 18.802792,98.960273.

Here’s her home made tour:

Grand Napat.

The Grand Napat is completely commercial. Handy to town. Recently built, with big grounds. Nice staff. No frills. A safe, affordable location with handy shops and stalls. GPS. 18.805376, 98.996128.

And three conventional, but good, places to stay in Chiang Mai:

Take a look at our favorite, the Bodhi Serene. When prosperous-looking people ask me where to stay in Chiang Mai I tell them it’s the best balance of luxury, cost, facilities, staff, location and price in Chiang Mai – which is why we always recommend it. Rooms start around $70 and they’re all good.  The Bodhi Serene is luxury on a  budget at around $75–$150. GPS: 18.786538, 98.990233

Here’s a recent Tripadvisor review:

Great hotel, definite value for money, friendly staff and a great location. Reviewed May 5, 2013.

I must admit I always feel apprehensive when booking hotels without personal recommendations but I found trip advisor to be spot on with this one. As I read in a review recently, the hotel isn’t anything to write home about from the outside street, but once you walk inside you forget you’re even in a town as the hotel is beautiful, tranquil and quiet. It’s situated ideally close to major temples, markets and with plenty of food and drink nearby. Staff are wonderful and can help book tours, transport etc and are helpful rather than pushy like other tour providers. We booked a standard room and found it spacious with a king sized bed, balcony overlooking the garden and there was a shower and large bathtub in the room. Our stay included breakfast and there were a large variety of options available. There are several common areas (pool, garden, breakfast area and library) and these are all kept clean, tidy and quiet also. Can’t recommend The Bodhi Serene enough.

Next in the value list is The Empress Hotel, starting around $45. The second, The Empress, is remarkable value for money, at around $45–$90. GPS: 18.775707, 98.999284

Here’s a recent Tripadvisor review:

Very nice hotel with good service. Reviewed May 30, 2013

We were a group of 3 families with young children who travelled to Chiang Mai in April 2013 during Songkarn festival holidays. We booked this hotel on internet and actually were a little circumspect of what we are going to get when we arrive. All our worries were put to rest when we arrived at this hotel. The location is good being centrally located in Chiang Mai with quick and easy access to night bazar. Breakfast is nice and has a lot of choices. Rooms are big, spacious and clean. Staff is courteous and service provided is also good. Overall, The Empress is an excellent value for money.

And finally, the value leader, WangBurupa Grand Hotel, inside the Old City Walls is where to stay in Chiang Mai if you’re watching your budget. Rooms start around $30–$50 and they’re all good, too. All of these prices, of course, depend on the season and how far in advance you book. GPS: 18.783980, 98.992719.

Here’s a recent Tripadvisor review:

Nice hotel in the old city.  Reviewed May 23, 2013

We stayed three days in this nice, quite hotel. Nicely decorated rooms, dark wood furniture and crispy clean white bedding. Good water pressure, bathrooms are huge and clean. We enjoyed having early breakfast (they start at 6 AM!) and the variety of typical American breakfast foods and Thai foods. Coffee is good. We did not use the pool but it looked clean and big. The staff were helpful and always welcoming. You can walk to many temples and Night Bazaar from the hotel. Also, do go to the Sunday Market – it is a much better experience than Night Bazaar. The Wang Burupa is unusually good value.

Here’s a (silent) tour of the Wang Burupa:

Note: I book all our hotels stays through Agoda because they buy half the hotel rooms in Asia for cash in advance, then re-sell them online at a deep discount. Their website also allows you to filter the hotels displayed according to all kinds of personal preferences. Here’s the map:

 

Comments

  1. I lived in Thailand for many years. Originally I went there from California representing The Foundation For Making A Difference which was established in Los Angeles, California. We did quite a few projects there, but it was the goal for our foundation to serve in Thailand.. When I am able to return to return to Thailand, I will share newsletters and a pictorial booklet that shows some of the projects that we accomplished in the village. I personally feel that my work in Thailand has been the most meaningful in my life.. In Texas and California I was a secondary school teacher. I also taught at CMU.. From the village I took 16 kids to receive an education in Chaingmai. Some even have a Masters Degree.. I have
    tried to get back to Thailand about every two years to visit my two adopted daughters, my grandchildren, and the village. Looking forward to :hearing from you!- I miss my family and friends in Thailand so very much. So much that I believe that I would like to spend the
    rest of my life there! Looking forward to hearing from you !!!

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