Why you’ll want to stay at Pak Chiang Mai in Thailand

We have lived, and traveled, on four continents and have not found it difficult to find great little hotels; in fact, we’ve been extremely happy with most of the hotels we’ve stayed in our time overseas.  Our criteria are fairly straightforward; we look for a centrally located room with a good bed and a private washroom and we can be flexible about the washroom.  Our budget when traveling in Europe was about 100 Euros per night and a bit more in cities such as Paris, London and Venice.  In Asia, we’ve been looking for a room rate under 70 Canadian dollars. We no longer stay at hostels.

Last week DP and I traveled to Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand; we were joined by three close friends from university. Early in the fall, when I was beginning to think about the question of accommodations in Chiang Mai, a friend and work colleague who was also traveling to Chiang Mai for Christmas used our daily staff e-mail bulletin as a way to gather information about the city. Many teachers responded with recommendations and advice which she generously shared with us; among these suggestions was mention of a little boutique hotel called Pak Chiang Mai.

Seven reasons to stay at Pak Chiang Mai:

1. Location

The city of Chiang Mai, an hour’s flight from Bangkok, is located on the Ping river in northern Thailand. Pak Chiang Mai is located withing the former walls of the old city which was founded in 1296.  The original plan for the city called for a square surrounded by walls and moats with four gates, each one facing one of the cardinal directions.  People would enter Chiang Mai after crossing the moats on bamboo bridges which could be withdrawn at night.  For us, Chiang Mai was such a lovely change of pace from the noise and pace of Bangkok and the Old City is even more tranquil that the newer parts of the city.

2. The breakfast

The breakfast at Pak Chiang Mai, which is included in the room rate, is a thing of beauty. Those breakfasts were so wonderful that they deserve their own post. First, we were delighted to hear that we could eat our breakfast at any time of the day.  Each breakfast began with juice and water and coffee or tea.  Then you then are given a choice of oatcakes (pancakes), muesli with yogurt, poached eggs, falafel or fried rice.  If you thought you were finished breakfast… oh no.  Next comes a small plate of seasonal fruit and a lovely sweet treat. DP and I also ate several meals at the restaurant and can recommend their excellent appetizers: chicken satay, spring rolls, and golden bags.

3. Lovely shaded spaces to sit and rest

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4. The beautiful aesthetic evident in every corner of Pak Chiang Mai

5. Comfortable rooms
Our rooms were decorated simply and were very comfortable, as were the beds.  The owners have provided far more amenities than one normally finds at this price point including a hair dryer stashed away inside the small wooden desk in each room. Shampoo, conditioner and shower gel were provided in the shower.

6. The lovely and impeccable service
Before we went to bed each night, a tray with herbal tea, cups and an electric kettle was delivered to our room. Each question we asked or request we made with the staff at the front desk was met with a smile and a helpful response.

7. Opportunity for a massage at the hotel
Neither of us had a massage but our friends used the service and seemed happy with their foot and Thai Massages.

We stayed at Pak Chiang Mai for five nights and the bill for the entire stay in our Deluxe room was just under 10,000 Baht or 300 USD. This comes to 60 USD per night and was a great value for this lovely little oasis in Chiang Mai. It’s much more than just a place to stay.

Website: http://www.pakchiangmai.com

E-mail: info@pakchiangmai.com

Address : Pak Chiang Mai
39/5 Phra Pok Klao 2 Road
Phra Singha, Muang
Chiang Mai
Thailand 50200
Telephone: (+66)53.814.733
Fax: (+66)53.814.734

** Please note that, in January of 2010, Pak Chiang Mai was voted the number one “B&B and Inn in Asia” by Trip Advisor users.

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