This is the fourth edition of an ongoing series of reviews on properties (budget hotels and hostels) we’re staying at during our travels in Asia, as part of our partnership with HostelBookers.com.
Our first stop in Thailand, during our journey through Southeast Asia, was Chiang Mai, in the northern reaches of the country. We’ve heard so many people sing praises of this city that we had to experience it for ourselves. Despite being the second biggest city in Thailand, Chiang Mai surprisingly harbors a medium-sized downtown area, that’s pleasantly laid out and perfect to explore on foot. Within its city walls, there is a perfect combination of laid back cafes, centuries-old temples, cute cocktail cars and affordable hotels. At the same time, it also provides mod cons like ubiquitous WiFi and international cuisine. It’s no wonder many digital nomads like to make this their temporary home.
Our stay in Chiang Mai gave us the opportunity to meet some fellow travel bloggers and also some good friends we hadn’t seen for a while. It also allowed us to slow down our pace, relax, and catch up on some work while exploring the many secrets that the city had to offer. Thankfully, we found a comfortable base to do just that.
Chang Puak Hotel is a traditional Thai hotel with modern facilities and styles. It features a quiet, garden setting with a peaceful atmosphere, providing a respite from the bustling traffic. Stepping foot into the hotel, we immediately left the bustle of Chang Puak Road behind and into a calm, relaxing ambiance. The lobby, designed with teak wood and traditional Thai furnishing, was a grand entrance; while soothing music played in the background. Around the reception was an open-air dining/breakfast area lined with white Victorian outdoor chairs and beautiful red hibiscus and birds of paradise.
Despite its quiet location, the hotel is situated several blocks north to the wall of the ancient town. To get into the city center, we either had to walk 20 minutes or take a tuktuk. But after visiting our friends who stayed in a hotel within the city walls, we were relieved that we’d chosen to stay outside the downtown area and in this quiet and comforting spot.
The staff at Chang Puak were extremely friendly and helpful, they had no problem with us getting our mail delivered there before we arrived (it was there where we got the first printed copies of our magazine!) and they even helped us pay the delivery fee in advance.
There was also a small travel agent at the entrance of the hotel where a friendly guide would help arrange everything we would need for our stay, from day trips (like elephant riding or white water rafting) to bus tickets and scooter rental (the most convenient mode of transportation around the city). We found the prices reasonable, but if you have time and a tight budget, it’s always a good idea to ask around in the town center where there are plenty of tour offices to choose from.
Our room at was clean and spacious, featuring a pretty four poster, pastel-colored cushions, a comfortable desk to work on, wooden carved doors, and windows that look out to the swimming pool. There was also a cushy daybed that made lounging around especially comfortable and also made a second work station for us. The whole room had a vintage marine feel to it, with framed seashells and posters adding to the ambiance. From the second floor, our view was also fantastic, overlooking the pool and surrounding houses. We were lucky to get one of the newly renovated rooms, that looked much better than those shown on the hotel website. There was also free high-speed internet with WiFi access, which made our stay all the more productive.
If I had to choose a favorite part of the hotel, it would definitely be the swimming-pool. Set around the center of the property and fringed by beautiful palm trees and birds of paradise, this beautifully designed area was the perfect place to relax and enjoy ourselves after a day of working and exploring. We wouldn’t have been able to relax and get so much work done in Chiang Mai without this comfortable abode. The next time we return to Chiang Mai, we’ll definitely be staying here again. And maybe then, we’ll stay just a bit longer…
Prices for Chang Puak Hotel start from approximately US$22 a night, with rooms ranging from twin/double to triple rooms.
Disclaimer: Our stay was made possible by hostelbookers and Chang Puak Hotel, but all opinions are our own.