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progol May 9th, 2013 04:02 AM

Chiang Rai hotel location
I'm really struggling to figure out where to stay in Chiang Rai. My impression is that in most places in the downtown area are not considered very nice and the more highly recommended places are a bit further out of town, requiring taxi or tuk-tuk to go back and forth. I'm almost ready to make a reservation but I'm having a hard time deciding.

I've identified 2 places that get good reviews that are in the lower-mid price range: Baan Soontree and Baan Nattawadee. I get the impression that Soontree is closer to the downtown, but other than it has a pleasant pool and cute bungalows, I don't get a feeling about the place. I like the more personal aspect of Nattawadee, but it's further away from town. My big fear is feeling "stuck" and not being able to get into town when we want. We'll be there at the end of January, so I don't think the pool will be that important for us.

I'd like to keep the cost under $100 and be in a place that has pleasant & comfortable ambience. Convenience is important, too, but I'll weight this with the other factors. The more personal touch - warm proprietors, welcoming staff - is also a quality I'd like to have.

Any feedback or recommendations? I'm really overwhelmed here. The good news - I've already booked the popular guide Jermsak, so I'm confident I'll be having a great time, no matter where I stay!

Thanks for your help, as always!

Hanuman May 9th, 2013 04:47 AM

If you want a view and don't care about the distant to or from town then I suggest Phu Chaisai Mountain Resort. About 30 - 45 minutes from the centre of Chiang Rai and in the winter time it's quite wonderful but a bit rustic.

However, if you want to be in town with lots of choices for dining etc. then the Le Meridien is quite good.

All should be around the $100 mark.

inquest May 9th, 2013 04:53 AM

Try The Legend,Chiang Mai, a good property,Lanna style.Though I was there for only one night,quite liked it.

Did check the home page of Nattawadee,dosen't look too convincing.The owner claims he's the 'cooker' and unable to serve up dishes as he's got a little girl to look after and the restaurant is closed.I'm impressed with his candidness.Suggest you check on such 'hotels' before you land up ruining your holiday.

crellston May 9th, 2013 04:58 AM

We stayed at Le Meridien and enjoyed it. As Hanuman says very close to lots of choices for restaurants which was important for us. It is a chain hotel though and may not be the type of place you are seeking.

dgunbug May 9th, 2013 05:19 AM

We stayed a bit outside of town and the place was lovely. I'm afraid I don't recall which hotel, but I do remember that getting a tuk tuk was not a problem. We didn't really care for Chiang rai itself, but the weekend market (don't recall if it was Saturday or Sunday) was one of the most amazing markets and the crowd was unbelievable - not to be missed. You are very fortunate to have booked with jermsak. He was busy when we were there, but we used his friend tony who he had trained and who was marvelous. Tony had been his driver in prior years. Have a great trip.

Hanuman May 9th, 2013 05:44 AM

Here's another place that is around 15 - 20 minutes outside of town:

progol May 9th, 2013 07:49 AM

Thanks, everyone! I'll look at the recommendations. Meridian is over my budget, Legend is teetering on the high end of what I'm willing to spend.

Just to be clear, I'm not sure that I want to be too far from town. It's just that the 2 properties I've read about and were well-regarded are a bit out of town. Nattawadee gets a lot of good reports on TA because of the warm welcome. They used to provide dinner but stopped. Breakfast, of course, is provided. Ido like this property for its more personal welcome, something I think can add to the stay. The question I have is how difficult is it really to go back and forth.

But pampering and elegance tempts me, too, and Legend is just doable. I need to look at it more carefully.

Thanks! I appreciate the recommendations and feedback a lot!

progol May 9th, 2013 12:37 PM

I just looked through your trip report, and see that you stayed at Legend. They have a bit of a promo, so I can get it at a moderate rate by reserving in advance -- just about $100/day. It looks lovely, and I may spring for it, even though I really meant to stay in a modestly-priced place! i just can't seem to do it, though, and I'm giving in to temptation! Oh, the attractions of living the more indulged life!

dgunbug May 9th, 2013 12:41 PM

FYI - while legend was a bit out of town, it wasn't too far. I don't think you'd go wrong with it.

progol May 9th, 2013 01:56 PM

My initial impression was really good, but the more I read, I'm less impressed. They charge for wifi in the rooms. This may be something that many mid-higher end places do, but it really irks me. They also charge for the shuttle back and forth to town - not sure what the price is, but reading on TA, it sounds as if it's higher than a taxi. I made a reservation but I may change it - there's something about that nickel and diming that I find distasteful. Still thinking about it, but have less enthusiasm than I did earlier.

Thanks for the help everyone!

dgunbug May 9th, 2013 02:24 PM

Perhaps jermsak can give you a recommendation .

progol May 9th, 2013 02:35 PM

I think I will stick to my original plan of going with Baan Nattawadee or Baan Soontree. I lean toward the first, because of the homey atmosphere that the proprietors offer. My overall feeling that I get from pretty much everyone is that it's not a big deal to get back and forth with a taxi or tuk-tuk, which is really my concern.

inquest May 10th, 2013 03:21 AM

I got an offer for a golf package from Amarin Resort in Chiang Rai. Offers valid till 31st Oct.Though its been in my inbox for over a month,I had'nt botherd checking it out.After replying to your post,I went thru it and it seemed great. 9000bht for a 3D/2N which includes stay and 2 rounds of golf.Now I'm drumming up support with my golfing buddies,wondering if we could do Hua Hin and Chiang Rai for a week in Aug or Sept.Well that apart,my trip may or may not happen.You could have a look at it.No idea where in Chiang Mai this resort exists.Someone here can help you.In the meanwhile here is the link if it could be of help.

inquest May 10th, 2013 04:06 AM

Sorry,typo,Chiang Rai not Mai.

Hanuman May 10th, 2013 06:46 AM

As a fellow golfer make sure that you can get a rain-check for August and/or September.

progol May 10th, 2013 12:32 PM

Thanks inquest, golf's not my thing, tho I appreciate the suggestion!

Thanks all for your help!

virginiafish May 10th, 2013 08:57 PM

We stayed at Baan Soontree and found it convenient and lovely. It was an easy taxi or yuk-tuk ride into town. The pool was welcome in Nov. and breakfasts were good and they accommodated our requests. We were a party of 4 and had two different types of rooms-one with twin beds, which was a typical room. Ours had a sitting area and the room with a queen bed. Both rooms had porches.

inquest May 10th, 2013 10:27 PM

Thx for the suggestion Hanuman.I did have my doubts about the weather.Plans still in the anvil.We are flexible.could think of Nov or Dec also.Will have a lot of questions on courses in thailand for you in the future.
My apologies for steering off topic progol. Have a great time.

progol May 11th, 2013 03:19 AM

Thanks Virginiafish, I'm glad you chimed in. I remembered that you were in Baan Soontree and your comments are very appreciated.

inquest, no problem! Keeps the post more active that way!

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