I decided to stay at Varada based on the reviews on Tripadvisor.
First the good things:
The owner Varada is beyond helpful and knows Chiang Mai very well. She and her husband are always trying as much as possible to make their guests feel comfortable. I needed dishes, Varada brought some for me. I asked for a kettle, Varada brought a kettle to my room. No extra cost for these.
The room and the whole building is clean, very clean. I saw once the staff cleaning the tiles with a teeth brush. Everything is new and very well maintained.
The place is extremely safe. The is a security guard at night and at day time only people with key card can enter the building. I never worried about my stuff and nothing happened.
The furnitures in the room were good and new, comfortable bed, new fridge, microwave, a desk, 2 chairs, TV table, closet, and a night table with a lamp. Basically we had everything we needed. The bathroom was spacious with a seperate shower (no floor flood!), and the shower had a great water pressure.
If you stay 1 month, the room cost 4500 Baht/month (~100EUR) - definitely a great value.
The internet was good, fast and reliable. It's not free though, it cost 400 Baht extra (per month).
Location is fine, near the moat and 5 min walk to a shopping mall.
Now the not so good things.
The rooms were very cheap but come with a lot of extra costs, such as...
- Room cleaning cost 200 Baht every time and there is no way to say you don't need that or clean the room yourself. If you stay longer, Varada insists that her staff is cleaning your room every week and will charge you for it. So if you stay a month, consider another 800 Baht for cleaning.
- Bed sheet rental cost 500 Baht. Consider bringing your own.
- Even though I don't watch TV and actually the TV program was completely shut down for the last week because of the government, everyone has to pay 100 Baht for the TV per month.
- Electricity is 10 Baht per unit, that rate is quite high. The government rate is only 5 Baht and most other serviced apartments charge around 7 Baht. Maybe something to consider if you use a lot A/C.
There is a construction opposite of the building. For the complete time of our stay we woke up from the noise in the morning. Make sure to get a room on the backside, if the construction is still going on. There is also a bar next door which can be quite noisy, I would recommend not to stay at the site that faces the bar.
The rooms are very small. We had 2 single beds in the room, put together since we're a couple and it took a lot of space (2x2meter) - I wish we just had a queen size bed (140x200) and more space in the room. When my partner sat at the chair next to the desk, I would have jump over the bed to reach the bathroom as there was no space to pass.
The rooms are also quite dark, because the furnitures are black. We used the light all day as there is not much natural light coming from the balcony. We barely used the balcony as there was no table or anything outside, it was just occupied by the A/C. Basically the balcony is only for hanging clothes and not really inviting to sit and read a book there. The rooms are super clean, but not very cozy or giving any homey feeling.
Would I stay here again? Probably not, because the rooms were quite small for 2 people and definitely too dark for my taste. I really need bright and spacious rooms to feel comfortable for a long-term stay.
Would I recommend Varada to my friends? Yes! Definitely. Because I still think the place offers a great value for the price and because it's super clean and very safe. The owner makes a difference and she's really taking care of her guests.
Thanks for the hospitality, Ms. Varada.
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