Up and coming
3 Loi Kroh Soi 2, Chiang Mai T: (089) 446 4576, (083) 2904 4111
The Nice Mum Lodge opened its doors in Chiang Mai around a year ago and though we had been somewhat put off by the slightly twee name, we checked it out it proves to be quite a worthwhile flashpacker choice for the city. The lodge is run by an elderly and very friendly Thai couple, so we guess that’s where the ‘nice mum’ comes in. One of the hotel’s best advantages is its location down quiet Soi 2 off Loi Kroh Road so while it’s very central, it’s still a quiet spot.
It’s a little spartan, likely due to its relative newness, and it’s actually so tidy it’s almost too tidy, with not a cup or an ashtray out of place. A year or two more should improve things on this front as it gets a more lived-in feel to it. Still, we shouldn’t criticise cleanliness — and the downstairs sitting area, reception, corridors, rooms and bathrooms are all absolutely spotless.
There’s no restaurant or bar service — but Nice Mum is located in one of the city’s busiest bar and eatery districts, Loi Kroh, and you are welcome to bring your purchases in. Tea and coffee is served for breakfast and available free throughout the day. WiFi is also accessible in all the rooms and sitting area.
Rooms, like the sitting area, are airy and spacious and continue the spotless, albeit slightly spartan style. Walls, tiles and bed linen are all white with pleasant teak furniture, cable TV and large fridges (no minibar but you can fill them up yourselves from the 7-eleven) provided. The wooden beds are also agreeably large for a change and superior rooms come with great little balconies.
The rooms are fine and as more guests arrive and cash enters the owners will be able to invest in decorations and upgrading services. It’s not the cheapest option and indeed for decor and atmosphere better options are around in this range; but if location and newness are high on your list of priorities, this is worth a look in. Nice Mum’s, being new and not well publicised, plus with 61 rooms, has the advantage for now of unlikely being full if you need to find somewhere at short notice during high season. If you’ve left things late, turned up without a booking or your first choices are all full — then Nice Mum Lodge makes an excellent plan B.
Prices are the same year round: 800 baht for small rooms with double or twin beds (a very good deal for this standard during high season,) 1,500 baht for a superior room, which is huge and has a balcony and 1, 100 baht for a standard double, which is also a large room. Finally there are also interconnecting family rooms where a double and a twin go for a combined price of 2,400 baht. Long-term rentals can also be arranged. Bicycle and motorbike hire can be arranged and the hotel is only five minutes’ walk from the night bazaar and Tha Pae Gate.
We’ll leave you with the house rules… not too sure about the lady charge but we didn’t see anything dodgy going on:
By Mark Ord
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.