Chiang Dao is one of the most popular of Chiang Mai’s provincial destinations, so a god and wide selection of accommodation is on offer. Most of the best options are out near or past the famous caves, though the Chiang Dao Inn provides a good in-town alternative. Between the town centre and bypass are a couple of resorts amid farmland on the edge of town about which we’re in two minds. They don’t have either the advantage of being in town or being close to the main sites and some involve hikes down dirt tracks, which you wouldn’t want to do at night. They do however offer serious peace and calm.
The big star of the local guesthouse scene is of course the famous Nest -- now with Nest 2 -- a longstanding, popular and well organised resort. Always in favour of supporting the underdog, we’ll point out that some of the less well known alternatives are very good too. The oldest Chiang Dao guesthouse, Malee’s Nature Lovers, is still going strong and there are a few new entries that look good. We’ve always liked Hobby Huts, just off to the right as you leave town towards the cave, but which was unfortunately closed at the time of our low season visit, as was newish The Cave, out near Nest 2 and Chiang Dao Huts. Those are two others to be taken into consideration. The most popular spots, for instance Malee’s and Nest 1, can get very busy during high season -- it is highly advisable to book in advance.
Finally, the huge old Chiang Dao Hills Resort is now sadly derelict -- the strange, Gothic-looking, manor house is now even more photogenic than it was before. It lies around 30 kilometres north of town on Route 107 and if you ask the caretakers nicely – and maybe slip them a note – they’ll let you look around and grab some photos of Chiang Dao’s own Hammer House of Horror!
This tiny ‘resort’ has a mere four rooms - three air-con, one fan -- and our only fear is that with so few rooms, at these rates and with a restaurant only open during high season, how are they going to stay in business? While it’s here, the excellent spacious rooms are lovingly decorated and well appointed with air-con, hot shower, WiFi, minibar, cable TV and French doors opening onto a... Read our full review of Good Tree Art .
Chiang Dao Nest has a bunch of well-designed and -maintained wood and bamboo chalets set in a lovely sprawling garden amid a stand of huge trees, a couple of kilometres past the entrance to Chiang Dao Cave. The chalets are simply yet tastefully decorated and come with en-suite hot water bathrooms and generously sized terraces. They are all fan-cooled -- you really don’t need air-con up here.... Read our full review of Chiang Dao Nest.
Malee's Nature Lovers Bungalows has been going for 20 years now, so it's the longest standing of the Chiang Dao resorts. Never fear though, as the rooms have fortunately seen regular upgrades and makeovers. This very friendly spot has a range of options to suit most budgets, with all the bungalows located in a pleasant and lush garden setting. The bungalows are well maintained with either wood or... Read our full review of Malee's Nature Lovers Bungalows.
One of the few standard hotel-style accommodation choices in Chiang Dao, and conveniently sited in the middle of town, longstanding Chiang Dao Inn isn’t a bad choice. Reception and the lobby are located in an old teak building on the main street but rooms are in a more modern, pale pink concrete block behind. (Points for not demolishing the old wooden house when they built the new hotel!) Rooms... Read our full review of Chiang Dao Inn Hotel.
According to Nest’s website, “Nest 2 is slowly developing an identity and clientele of its own...”, though we can’t help thinking it would be speeded up if they let their second resort, which they are at pains to point out is not an overflow for their main resort, have their own business cards, contact details and even website. Anyway ,Nest 2 is located a short distance back down the same... Read our full review of Chiang Dao Nest 2 .
Out between the highway and the main road, on a dirt road leading off Soi 25, low-key Nature Home Guesthouse has something of a mom and pop homestay-ish vibe to it. Chalets, either air-con or fan, are set in a lovely orchard-like garden-- the owners are happy to let you pick whatever happens to be in season at the time. The rooms themselves are quite cosy, with reasonably sized beds and a... Read our full review of Nature Home Guesthouse.
There are plenty of places to chill in this guesthouse just down the road from the cave. Chiang Dao Huts consists of just that: several bungalows scattered about a garden, with a cute coffee shop and restaurant by the front entrance. While the bungalows with shared bathrooms are sufficient, the huts with private bathroom are a significant step up, though the bathrooms themselves are nothing to... Read our full review of Chiang Dao Hut Resort.