Hard to find but worth it
8 Charoen Muang Soi 1, Phrae T: (054) 511 372
Tucked away down an alley off Charoen Muang Road is the three-storey, Lanna-style Bua-Khao Hotel set in a spectacular old teak mansion just back from a quiet lane in the heart of the city.
Though lacking a garden, the location is convenient and it is peaceful enough. The rooms are small but cosy, and while nowhere near as ornate as the exterior of the building, they are comfortable and agreeably decorated. We did find the singles decidedly on the small size, but good-sized twin or double rooms are only 100 baht more, plus they have even larger rooms on offer for 600 baht. The beds are rather hard (as is the standard in Thailand) and the bathrooms a bit on the small side but it's all clean and well maintained. TV, fridge, air-con and WiFi are included, making Bua-Khao an excellent all-round deal. A small seating and cafe area is downstairs so you can mingle with your fellow guests but the icing on the cake for us was the exceptionally friendly and helpful old lady who runs the place. (Having embarrassingly broken down in her carpark, she grabbed our motorbike and, saying ‘Follow me!’, pushed it all the way down the road to the repair shop.) Bua-Khao is in a good location, it's comfortable, offers value for money and you get taken care of by your Thai grandmother. What more can you ask for?
By Mark Ord
Last updated on 24th February, 2016.