My partner and I stayed at Early Bird for six nights over the Songkran period, and found it a very comfortable hideaway amidst the heat and madness of the festive season.
Location: The B&B is located in the Old City, across from the Wat Chedi Luang in a small soi alongside the 3Sis guesthouse. Taxi to the B&B from Chiang Mai Airport is 120 Baht (Flat fare; just approach the taxi desk at the airport). Getting around on a daily basis was easy, and we were never more than 10-15 mins' walk away from the Ta Pae and Chiang Mai gates, and 5 mins' walk to the night markets and food stalls. Tuk tuks and songthaews (pick-up taxis) can be flagged from the main road just outside, or you can ask the staff to arrange one for you.
Rooms: We stayed in a double room on the top floor (Level 3). Each of the rooms were given bird names and decorated accordingly, which is a nice and quirky touch. Our room was very clean and all the fittings worked well even though some parts of the walls and floors looked a little worn for a five-month old establishment (We learned later from the owner that her family had owned this property for some time and that she had only recently converted it into her own B&B. It was still a work-in-progress, and she and her small group of staff were working out the kinks).
Being on the top floor helped keep the noise levels down - generated mostly by guests chatting with the staff, or watching TV in the common hall. The walls are thin, and we're light sleepers, but we managed a good rest as all of the guests generally made an effort to keep noise at the minimum.
Service: We found the staff always ready to help us with our queries, and they also went out of the way to make food and activity suggestions based on our preferences, and to chat with us about our travels. No matter how busy, they were always warm and sincere, and looking for ways to make our stay comfortable.
Food: The daily breakfast can be ordered the afternoon before. Options are: American breakfast (eggs, bacon and sausages with toast), muesli and yoghurt option, or Thai breakfast (noodles or rice in broth, or chicken rice bought from a nearby street stall). There's always fresh local fruits to go along, as well as coconut juice, coffee or tea. Choice is limited BUT everything is tasty and servings are ample.
While they do ask you for your preferred timing, table service might be a little slow especially when many guests decide to eat at the same time. That's because they have limited hands in the kitchen and they do make the extra effort in their serving presentation, as well as ensuring everything is hot and fresh. If you have a tour or pick-up scheduled for the morning, best to emphasise this to the staff the night before. They might offer to make you a take-away sandwich instead so you needn't rush through your breakfast.
Other stuff we found useful:
- Free WiFi and ample sockets for our chargers
- A great collection of DVDs to borrow and watch in our room
- There's no mini fridge in the room, but you can request to use the ones downstairs if you need to chill your drinks. There are also drinks for sale at reasonable prices.
- The room didn't have a wardrobe, and not enough hooks to air out our clothes, so we asked for more hangers and hung them from the curtain rails
- There's a pick-up/drop off laundry service for 50 baht per kilo. Ours was done and delivered in 4 hours. Alternatively, there are lots of laundry shops around the corner and in town that will wash and dry for 30 baht per kilo
- Huen Pen Restuarant on Ratchmanka Road was recommended to us by the staff. A great place for authentic Northern Thai food. Walkable from the B&B, and relatively inexpensive.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Early Bird is located within the heart of the old city with many of the beautiful temples and historical sites that Chiang Mai is renowned for just a short stroll from the front door. You will also find a large selection of restaurants and cafes located within easy waking distance from Early Bird. ... more less
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