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Best hotels and location??

Virginia Beach...
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Best hotels and location??

Sorry to ask - but I have been looking at a lot of hotels online for our first visit to Thailand and to Chiang Mai for a week from Nov 11-18 and are really lost. We are an acitve couple both 60 yrs old with our adult daughter in her mid-twenties. It would be nice to get one room that would sleep the 3 of us - but that seems unlikely.

We want to be close to the major sightseeing sights and of course see the night markets. So is the old town where I want to be?? Air conditioning is important - no mosquitos and a clean room. Breakfast included would be nice. I am basically a budget traveler - esp if we have to get two rooms.

Please suggest some hotels, B&Bs to consider - or at least which part of town?

Also, given we are planning 7 nights in Chiang Mai - should we go to Chiang Rai for one or two nights?

Thanks for your help!

Joyce

Brisbane, Australia
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for Chiang Mai
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1. Re: Best hotels and location??

Hi Joyce,

The first thing to get your head around is that Chiang Mai is not a big place. It is not hard to get from one area to another and doesn't take long. You are not going to make a wrong choice but I can see why you are confused, there are just so many different options. Chiang Mai has many wonderful B&Bs and guest houses.

You will find accommodation in Chiang Mai is very good value, so even for a budget traveller you will find you will be able to get something really nice.

One thing to keep in mind is that not many of the guest houses in the old city have swimming pools. Some have arrangements with nearby hotels to use their pool - so you need to decide if you want somewhere with a pool or not.

It's hard to tell what you mean by budget - for about $50US a night you can get something really nice in CM. If you go down to $30US you will still find some good options but generally if you can go to around $50 you will get better options.

The most popular areas to stay that are easily accessible are the old city, the night bazaar area and the riverside area.

There are good options in all three and they are all only 5 - 10mins apart by tuk tuk and walkable when it isn't too hot.

In the old city someone mentioned Parasol Inn - it is currently going for around $30US a night on agoda.com and looks like an excellent option in that price range. The 3 Sis Bed and Breakfast is always popular. Vieng Mantra and Baan Kliang Wiang are well worth a look. Also - Pak Chiang Mai consistently wins awards and is very beautiful.

In the night bazaar area you will find more highrise options - Raming Lodge is in between the old city and the night bazaar and is a good choice. Rimping Village is also lovely. High rise - Centara Duangtawan Hotel, Imperial Mae Ping and Royal Princess all go for around $50US a night.

Over on the river side we love the Baan Orapin which has superior king rooms in their front wing for around $60US a night.

All of these hotels should be able to offer you a third bed in the room but their will be an extra charge for that person.

As far as Chiang Rai goes, it is well worth an overnight trip. See FAQ on the right on how to get to CR by bus - it is about 300B on the Green VIP Bus and takes under three hours.

You might like to look at the Chiang Rai forum - there is a top 30 things to do in CR on that forum under the FAQ. This will help you decide if you think it is worth going up for two days, one night.

We are staying at Baan Soontree in Chiang Rai in a few weeks - Baan Natawadee is also very popular.

Caroline.

Edited: 18 March 2012, 01:39
Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Best hotels and location??

You can't go wrong with the Baan Orapin - have a look at http://www.baanorapin.com/. It is situated in what we consider to be the best area of Chiang Mai - that is along the river. You'll find plenty of lovely places to eat, drink and browse along here, and it's not far from the night bazaar and old city. Walking is possible or you can get a tuk-tuk. I'd stay here rather than inside the old city.

The Baan Orapin has lovely old teak buildings set in serene gardens, beautiful rooms, includes a wonderful breakfast and the people are pleasant. It is reasonably priced too - although you mention budget travel - we pay about $70 per room at that time of year (although yuo'd pay a bit wextra for a third person). We have in an earlier trip shared a room with our daughter - it was easily able to accommodate the three of us.

Enjoy the planning!

Harbin, China
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for Kanchanaburi
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3. Re: Best hotels and location??

Hi,

I stayed at the Riverside Guest House a few months ago and paid 1,000 baht for one of their deluxe rooms which was spotlessly clean. Breakfast is also part of the deal. The guest house is about a 10 min walk from the night bazaar. I am sure your wish to have an extra bed in the room can be arranged.

Perth, Australia
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4. Re: Best hotels and location??

My vote goes to the Centara. Best location. Great breakfasts. So close to the night market.

We stayed at the Centara and then 2 nights in the old city. I know a lot of people like this area, but we did not enjoy our stay in the old city. Would have preferred to stay longer at Centara and explore the old city during the day.

Seattle, Washington
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5. Re: Best hotels and location??

I agree with Caroline in that there seems to be a big difference between the budget $30 a night place like I may choose vs. the nicer "by the river" $50 a night places. I'm just being cheap this trip but was the post just after you asking about the Parasol Inn. But yes, at that price it does not have a pool etc.

I might be placing too much value on the TA ranking of 34/315 for B&B's.

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g293917-d637154…

What I can't decide is it better to be "inside the walls" or just outside...since I've never been there myself (been to BKK, Pattaya, Phuket in 2009). Cheers!

Edited: 21 March 2012, 03:02
Brisbane, Australia
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for Chiang Mai
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6. Re: Best hotels and location??

supernova - I think the Parasol Inn is good value at $30 a night because it is usually around $50. The location is great and it seems really nice. The area inside the old city is nice and on Sunday night its in the midst of the Walking Street Market. There are lots of little bars, coffee shops and cafes around. There is not a huge difference between staying inside or just outside the old city. The atmosphere around the night bazaar is quite different. A huge amount of activity at night - more highrise, take aways etc.

You won't make a wrong decision.

I do think there is something to be said for having a pool or at least access to a pool mid year. It is really hot and even if you are not a 'sit around the pool' person, it is great to have somewhere to cool off and have a drink after being out and about.

Caroline.

Seattle, Washington
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7. Re: Best hotels and location??

Thanks Caroline, the pool part I will need figure out then. I grew up around one so it' nice like you say to have access to one. I did get a response from the Parasol attached below. Not certain if that's a "yes" or "no" but think it's "yes" : - )

"Dear Craig

Greeting from Parasol Inn hotel, Chiang Mai.

Sorry for our late reply.

We are do not have any contact with other hotel for using the pool but we can suggest for somewhere you can use it.

We are located at the city center, you can walk to visit or use the pool at another hotel near by. Anyway, we are attach our hotel map with this e-mail may be you can manage your trip.

More information please do not hesitate to contact us."

Best Regards,

Natcha

Reservation Team

Parasol Inn Hotel

Tel: +66 53 814011-4

Fax: +66 53 814015

E-mail : info@parasolinn.com

www.parasolinn.com

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Chiang Mai
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8. Re: Best hotels and location??

Craig - I think this is saying they do not have an arrangement with a hotel where their guests can use another pool free of charge... however, they do have other hotels nearby who will let you use their pool for a fee (and they can tell you which ones these are).

That's the way I read it ..

Caroline.

Seattle, Washington
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51 posts
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9. Re: Best hotels and location??

Thanks Caroline and I believe you are correct. If I decided to buck up and go the more Hotel route this place (Raming) gets pretty decent reviews as well but I'm still leaning more boutique "ish" with the Parosol. Cheers.

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g293917-d603013…

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Chiang Mai
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10,096 posts
46 reviews
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10. Re: Best hotels and location??

Raming Lodge is a very popular hotel and a good choice. It is not far outside the old city and towards the night bazaar. There are a number of girly bars nearby - but not really like a red light strip.

Caroline.