When Maesai Guesthouse opened its doors here some 30 years ago, Mae Sai was a remote, muddy, off-the-wall destination for a few adventurous backpackers. Nowadays there’s still nothing new on the guesthouse scene, but several large hotels line the main street, though these mostly cater to cross-border traders and Chinese tourists. Unless you fancy chilling out at funky Maesai Guesthouse, there aren't too many reasons to overnight here. Route 1 will in an hour have you back in Chiang Rai, with its wide range of accommodation, or heading an hour east will see you in picturesque Chiang Saen. If you do need to stay here though, here's the best of the bunch.
The old Maesai Guesthouse, along with such standards as Mae Salong’s Shin Sane and the Chiang Saen Guesthouse is a classic of the Chiang Rai loop and it’s good to see this, friendly, family-run establishment still going after some 30 years. Yes, the location is slightly awkward, with a kilometre walk down a dark lane to get there, but the riverbank situation and tranquil garden makes it... Read our full review of Maesai Guesthouse.
S-House is a three-storey pastel orange block smack bang in the middle of the market, and accessed from the riverside road, Sailomjoy. The ground floor has fan-cooled rooms and the upper two offer air-con rooms. Not surprisingly, the ground floor has a view of the market building opposite while the top floor shows more of the town. The upper two floors also have balconies while the ground floor... Read our full review of S-House.
The modern Wang Thong towers over the centre of Mae Sai from its position just east of the main road, close to the bridge, and offers 150 or so rooms of standard hotel quality spread across some eight storeys. While they are somewhat devoid of local colour, they are comfortable and well appointed with TV, fridge, WiFi and large bathroom with hot shower. All rooms also come with balconies, some of... Read our full review of Wang Thong Hotel Maesai.
The smart and freshly painted mauve and white exterior of the Maesai Complex, with pot plants and credit card stickers, is somewhat deceptive and rooms, though adequate, are a bit on the tired side. Mind you from the exterior, it also looks pricey but it isn’t. The reception area, which includes some communal seating, has a modern and clean look. Rooms are affordable, with some looking back... Read our full review of Maesai Complex Hotel.
This somewhat rundown old Chinese hotel/backpacker hostel has nothing to do with the more famous hotel and guesthouse of the same name in Chiang Mai -- though given their location, the name may be a more accurate description in this case. It’s right on the main street of Mae Sai just before the bridge on the left, so it's very convenient. When it comes to the rooms, we’d give them a 4/10 for... Read our full review of Top North Hotel Maesai.