The pseudo Lanna-style Ben Guesthouse has an impressive exterior and a clean, well cared for interior and, despite a somewhat eccentric location, represents very good all round value for money.
The high point is their splendid garden and recently added pool, giving the place an upmarket resort feel while charging only upper backpacker, or lower flashpacker, rates.
Forming a U-shape around the garden are three buildings housing the various rooms; an old teak building adjacent to, and above, reception has the fan rooms and a couple of larger, two storey buildings, either side of the entrance – one brick, one teak – contain the air-con options. Interiors are simply decorated with varnished wood panelling and clean and comfortable. All air-con rooms have private bathrooms while fan come with or without and free WiFi is available throughout. Each room in the two newer, air-con blocks has a table and chairs outside.
Ben’s location is not a strong point, with their estimated walking time from the centre of 15 minutes somewhat questionable, especially with a backpack. Furthermore it isn’t particularly easy to find being located down a series of suburban back streets. A tuk-tuk to the bus station will set you back 60 baht or taxi to the airport 200 and they’ll happily arrange transport for you.
As per usual the guesthouse can arrange tours, tickets and trekking trips and also offer bicycles and motorbikes for rent for 100 and 300 baht a day respectively. Prices are very reasonable for what you get and there’s only a small high season supplement charged between November and February. Note we were informed that fan shared and private bathrooms are the same price which is slightly odd but we guess it’s first come first served for the en-suite ones? 500 baht in high season for a fan room with shared bathroom sounds a bit steep to us but the air-con rooms are a good deal.
By Mark Ord
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.