Comfortable midranger with great views
With a location right on the riverbank in the centre of town and a clever design, there’s a guaranteed Mekong view from any room at the NamKhong Riverside. The view obviously gets better as you go up the hotel’s five floors, but each room has its own small balcony to enjoy the vista it does get. The hotel is built into the side of the river bank itself so, as you enter from the main street, reception is actually on the third floor.
Rooms are simply but pleasantly decorated with a few Lanna touches and come with everything you’d expect for the 1,000 baht tag: air-con, cable TV, hot showers, minibar, tea and coffee and WiFi.
A restaurant on the third floor has equally excellent views over the river and the room price includes a good buffet breakfast with plenty of Western and Thai options. It’s worth getting up early to grab a riverside table and get the bonus of stupendous river views while you’re sipping your locally brewed coffee. The lunch and dinner menu has several Western offerings and the usual Thai standards but do bear in mind that while they can’t really go wrong with the eggs and toast for brekkie we’re not convinced by their spaghetti bolognaise for dinner. Thai dishes are very good, albeit slightly on the expensive side at 100 to 150 baht for most dishes.
The downside of the hotel’s Fueng Fah (bougainvillea) restaurant however is the rather annoying live music. We’re sure the musician is probably a jolly nice chap and only plays what the boss asks him to play, and we wouldn’t want to be too harsh, but to call it supermarket muzak would be doing a disservice to most supermarkets. (Our local supermarket in Chiang Mai was playing Mahler’s 5 the other day.) Late afternoon or early evening, before the music starts, is a great time to sit and have a cold drink, after which you can move to one of the cheaper neighbouring spots or stay there, pay a bit extra and pray for a power cut.
Another disadvantage of this otherwise excellent establishment is that being a good deal, and with a fine location, it does get very popular and weekends and public holidays it’s often full with Thai tourists as well as foreign visitors — do book in advance to make sure you get a room.
Namkhong riverside has a convenient location along the central stretch of Sai Klang Road in the middle of town.
By Mark Ord
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.
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