Chiang Mai is blessed with a huge number of amazing places to stay, both in the city and further afield in the mountains, to suit pretty much all budgets and travel styles. Of course what makes a great hotel is very subjective (it’s impossible not to be!) and below is our list of some of the best and most interesting places to stay to suit all different styles and budgets.
A quick note on how to find the best rates for hotels in Chiang Mai? Accommodation is always very competitive in Chiang Mai and there are always different offers and deals to be had. When you’re searching one of the best places to start is www.agoda.com , pretty much the best accommodation website for any hotels in Thailand, but don’t forget that the first price you see on the website doesn’t include compulsory taxes. And don’t forget to also check out the hotels own website for any early bird offers etc that they might be offering.
Chiang Mai City and surrounding area
5 star – worth it for a splurge / as a treat
Chiang Mai has some superb hotels in the 4 and 5 star range combining a great sense of the city and Northern Thailand with amazing service and amenities. Here are our favourite 4:
A note on prices – as you’d expect during the pandemic most places to stay are offering huge discounts. The prices we’ve listed are the ‘standard’ rates but shop around and you could well find an incredible bargain.
Perhaps the single most luxurious place to stay anywhere in Chiang Mai, Howie’s Homestay is one of the most beautiful houses anywhere in the province and it’s all yours (and your family and friends) if you choose to stay here. Located in Mae Rim it’s surrounded by acres of stunning gardens with fantastic views of the mountains from pretty much anywhere in the ‘Homestay’. All meals are included – and spectacular – and if you’re looking for somewhere really special to enjoy then Howie’s Homestay has to be up there with the very best places to stay anywhere in Thailand, not just Chiang Mai. The prices aren’t cheap but Howie’s Homestay provides a once in a lifetime sort of experience!
- Prices from 35,000 THB / night for 2 people, all inclusive
Located In the Wat Ket area of the city – close to the river and surrounded by atmospheric streets, cool galleries and coffee shops – 137 Pillars House is simply stunning. The central feature is a beautiful old house dating back to the 1800’s and lovingly restored to create the dining room and bar areas of the hotel. The rooms are sumptuous, the atmosphere elegant and if you’re looking for a 5 star hotel experience in the city then 137 Pillars has to be at or near the top of your list.
- Prices from 14,000THB / night
Not quite in the same super luxury 5* bracket as the previous two recommendations but Na Nirand is a delightful small hotel that gives 5* service at a really good price. Located right on the river running through the city and with a stunning ancient tree making a real focal point for the resort, Na Nirand has a relaxed and very friendly vibe to it. The staff are always fantastic – friendly rather than obsequious – the food is top notch and there’s a great rooftop cocktail bar to get your evening started (or ended!). Definitely worth considering for your next trip to Chiang Mai
- Prices from around 4,000THB / night
Our final selection in the 4-5* category is the Tamarind Village. Located right in the heart of the old town making it the perfect base for exploring the streets and Temples all around you, The Tamarind Village is a stunning small resort built in the Lanna style. With a great sense of history combined with very comfortable rooms and top notch service, this is a fantastic option for anyone wanting to be in the city. Very popular with discerning travellers – we’ve even seen Eric Cantona here with his family before
- Prices from around 4,000THB / night
Mid Range – great value, great service and leaving you lots of money to get out and experience Chiang Mai – our favourite 3 choices
There is a huge choice in this price range in Chiang Mai and, to be honest, loads of places worth having a look at making our top 3 very difficult to choose. However, we’ve gone with places that we’ve had great experiences at, our travellers have loved and that all offer something a little special!
We should probably have put the Rati Lanna into the 5 star category (it would sit in there quite comfortably!) and it’s definitely at the top end of the mid-range hotels in the City. Located right on the river on with a huge swimming pool this larger hotel really does deliver. It’s family owned and superbly run with some of the friendliest staff you’ll come across anywhere in Thailand. The rooms are large and done in a Lanna style and all have fantastic terraces to relax on. The pool is superb, the spa fantastic (and unlike many hotels reasonably priced) and the riverside dining is excellent. A great choice for families and anyone looking to unwind and relax on arrival in Chiang Mai.
- Prices from 3,500THB / night
Located on a tiny street in the heart of the Old City, Away Thapae resort is perfectly located for exploring the Old City and it’s Temples. Relatively newly renovated with very comfortable rooms, this is a vegan resort so the perfect choice for people looking for plant based meals. An interesting place to stay, very well run and a great location.
- Prices from 1,700THB / night
Another superb option in the heart of the old city. Created in a Lanna style giving a great sense of Norhern Thailand with a lovely pool and great dining area this is a superb choice offering great value in the very heart of the city.
- Prices from 1,400THB / night
Budget and Hostels
Pre-pandemic Chiang Mai was full of wonderful, small budget hotels and hostels. From homestays with just a couple of rooms to laid back guest houses every corner seemed to have a couple of superb options. However, the pandemic and closure of Thailand’s borders have really hit this segment very hard and many of our old favourites are currently closed and are not sure if and when they will be able to re-open.
Once travel is back to some sort of normal in Thailand we’ll update this list again with our favourite budget accommodation in the city
OUTSIDE THE CITY
Great places to stay aren’t limited to the city and nearby locations and no visit to Chiang Mai is complete without spending time exploring the mountains and villages that make up the vast majority of the province. Whatever you do, don’t limit yourself to just staying in the city and have a look at a few of our recommendations for cool places to stay for a real Chiang Mai experience.
An incredible small resort perched on a hill top overlooking a small Karen Hill tribe village. Very pleasant rooms, incredible views, delicious food and a group of 5 elephants who wander around the resort as it’s also their home. You can just relax and take in the views or the resort can organise super hikes and treks and all sorts of adventure activities for you. Only around 1.5 hours from the city, the Chai Lai Orchid feels like you’re in another world and is well worth a night or two soaking up the atmosphere of the ‘real’ Chiang Mai. And to make things even better the whole raison d’etre of the resort is to provide and support the training and education of vulnerable women from marginalised communities throughout the mountains meaning not only do you get an amazing experience but by the very act of staying here you directly help others.
Prices from 2,000THB / night
Mon Jam is a mountain top community around 90 minutes drive from Chiang Mai city which has spectacular views, cool mountain air and a real sense of adventure. Over the past few years a huge number of campsites have set up around the mountain giving you a very different way to experience the mountains and community. The vast majority of people staying here are Thai travellers – and it’s get incredibly busy in the winter so book well in advance – and the tradition is to eat Moo Gratha (Thai BBQ) with your friends in front of your tent (most of the tents have great wooden platforms specifically for this) whilst enjoying several cool beers. This isn’t ‘wild’ camping and isn’t somewhere to go for peace and solitude (at least not in the winter) but is great fun and a fantastic way to be part of how Thai’s enjoy exploring their country. And you’re almost certain to be invited to join your neighbours for a few drinks as the evening wears on.
There are a huge number of different campsites and the vast majority only advertise through Facebook or Line (similar to WhatsApp and the main messaging service in Thailand)
Here’s one option to get your search started for a Mon Cham camping experience https://www.facebook.com/Phudoihomestay/ with prices starting from around 1,400THB per night
Mae Khlang Luang is a stunning small Karen village located pretty much half way up Thailand’s highest mountain, Doi Inthanon. Surrounded by mountains and forest and with rice fields laid out in front this really does tick all the boxes for a relaxing evening or two soaking up the atmosphere of the mountains of Chiang Mai. You can explore the village as it rises up the hills – there are some super traditional coffee shops – or head off on treks with the local hiking experts. Alternatively relax, take in the views and enjoy the fantastic food on offer. This isn’t somewhere for people who need the airs and graces of The Four Seasons, but for anyone looking for superb Northern Thailand hospitality, wonderful views and an authentic Thailand experience, a stay in Mae Khlang Luang certainly hits the spot. There are a number of places to stay in the village – and our favourite is Mae Khlang Luang View – and you can get in touch with them by calling +66 (0)86 189 4075.
Prices vary depending on the time of year but you can usually get a large room with two huge beds for around 1,500THB / night
Mae Khampong is a stunning village high up in the forested mountains in the Mae On district, around a 90 minute drive from Chiang Mai city. A very popular place to visit at weekends but there are also a number of great homestays in the village so you can get a real sense of what life is like in the forest. The village is very photogenic, there are some great coffee shops, you can trek all around (but be prepared, the hills are very steep) and this is a perfect place to get a sense of nature and of rural mountain Thailand. Don’t expect luxury but do expect a very authentic Chiang Mai experience
Prices vary hugely in Mae Khampong but expect to pay anywhere from 500 – 1,500THB per room
And a couple of other recommendations
Of course there are hundreds of other amazing places to stay all over Chiang Mai province, from campsites in National Parks to guest houses and 3 or 4 star mountain hideaways. A couple of other notable recommendations:
Hmong Hill Tribe Lodge – only around 45 minutes from the city set just off a winding back road heading up into the mountains. Great rooms, a swimming pool and a fantastic place to learn about the Hmong people
Chiang Dao Nest – Chiang Dao is around 90 minutes from Chiang Mai city and a lovely area nestled at the base of Thailand’s highest mountains. Spectacular views, a huge range of activities and a restaurant serving up awesome food. Well worth considering
Have you stayed anywhere spectacular in Chiang Mai? Then get in touch and let us know your favourite hideways in this magical part of the world.
Keen to learn more about Chiang Mai? Have a look at all our travel articles on Chiang Mai covering everything you need to know and more about the gateway to Northern Thailand
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