Accommodation across all budgets can be found all over Chiang Mai, but the majority of travellers -- and especially backpackers -- still opt to stay in the Old City, which is bordered on four sides by ancient moats. To make your browsing more manageable, we've sectioned this square-shaped block of town into four sections: Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest. The rest of Chiang Mai has been divided into South, North, East and West, plus the Riverside district. Scroll down for more details on all of these areas.
This section stretches from the banks of the Ping river, through the night bazaar area and the maze of narrow alleys off to the east of Tha Pae. There are still a lot fewer accommodation sites than on the inside of the moat so the sois retain a more local Thai feel. There are some excellent choices in every range to be found in this district, but it is getting very popular so rooms can be hard to come by during busy periods, though plenty of new places are currently under construction.
Baan Orapin is a delightful find which sits on the east side of the Ping River within easy walking distance of the riverside bars. The tasteful, spacious and spotless rooms are furnished with firm yet highly romantic four-poster beds, cable tv, fridge and air-con throughout. The bathrooms are absolutely immaculate. All this set in a lovely miniature garden. Towards the rear of the compound is the... Read our full review of Baan Orapin.
Eastern Chiang Mai was a happy hunting ground for us and another of its great deals is Huan Phing Phu Boutique Guesthouse. It's an old teak house that has been done up and opened about a year or so ago, we're sure they'll do very well. Care and effort obviously went into a small but lovely garden sitting area and immaculate rooms. There's a large balcony with cushions and the 11 individually... Read our full review of Huan Phing Phu Boutique Guesthouse.
We don't really want to say too much about this new spot since they don't have too many rooms and we wouldn't want it to be full up every time we try and book a room there for visiting friends. Top Garden is well situated down a quiet yet central soi. It makes great use of its little available space, with a pleasant sitting area and beautifully decorated rooms at more than reasonable rates.... Read our full review of Top Garden Boutique.
We almost missed Baan Pim, which is tucked away down a quiet soi with a modest entrance, but we are glad we didn't. It plays host to some of the best rooms we've seen for its price range: they're large and well kept and come with en suite hot water bathrooms — even the fan rooms are nicely decorated. Friendly service and despite a small sitting area inside and a single table in the tiny garden... Read our full review of Baan Pim.
A long-standing favourite of ours in Chiang Mai’s mid-range accommodation category is the excellent Chiang Mai Thai House (see here for our budget pick). Location’s one of the strong points of Thai House, which falls somewhere in the range between upmarket guesthouse and boutique hotel. Situated on Tha Pae Road, Soi 5, it’s about a two-minute walk from Tha Pae Gate, the centre of Chiang... Read our full review of Chiang Mai Thai House.
Manathai Village was our clear favourite in this area in the upmarket range and indeed this was one of the best looking hotels in the four-star-ish bracket that we found in any part of Chiang Mai. It's not large but is very well laid out, with lots of pools, stepping stones, lush vegetation and enticing sitting areas in their swimming pool, garden and bar area — it was good to see those... Read our full review of Manathai Village.
Right beside a temple, Manee Guesthouse is a lovely clean building with simple but large rooms and a selection of amenities, all set in the well-located Moon Muang Rd area of Chiang Mai. Run by a friendly young woman who speaks good English, rooms can be either air-con or fan-cooled, with telephone, ADSL internet, fridge and TV with English-language channels, or they have a cheaper fan room with... Read our full review of Manee Guesthouse.
Pao Come Guesthouse is a good deal in Chiang Mai's crowded backpacker scene. The small and friendly spot has rooms that probably work out at least 100 baht cheaper than similar standard ones inside the moat. Rooms are simple but clean and even the cheapest come with hot shower. It's in a quiet but central location, just a few metres down the lane from the unmissable Pagoda Inn. All rooms are... Read our full review of Pao Come Guest House.
It would be an understatement to describe Chiang Mai’s Rainforest Boutique Hotel as tucked away and low-key, since in the 12 years we’ve been in town we’d never heard of it until some friends recently stayed there. They gave it excellent reports so we checked it out: it’s a lovely spot and we strongly recommend it if you’re seeking a hotel in the midrange and you don’t mind adding a... Read our full review of Rainforest Boutique Hotel.
One of our favourites in any part of town at the higher end, Yang Come is set well off the road in a spacious and lush garden filled with plenty of mature trees. Decor is Lanna style but tastefully restrained. Yang Come is also set down an alley to the side of Whole Earth restaurant, a very tranquil location yet only a minute's walk from the night bazaar. Rooms are also very pleasantly decorated... Read our full review of Yang Come Village.
Built in 2001, but recently fully redecorated, Amora Hotel is a stone's throw from Tha Phae Gate area yet offers stunning mountain views over Doi Suthep by virtue of its 14 floors. Overall, it's a good three-star-ish, midrange hotel. Rooms are airy, comfortable and well appointed with both the superior and deluxe ones fitted out with cable TV, air-con, safe, fridge and internet. (The deluxe rooms... Read our full review of Amora Hotel.
Just off the moat road down another quiet Chiang Mai lane, the very affordable and good value Chiangmai Inn is housed in a modern white building and is a bit of a haven. It's nicely laidout and rooms are agreeably decorated, all coming with showers. It boasts a good location, spacious common areas and helpful staff — be warned that we've heard they may be pushy... Read our full review of Chiangmai Inn Guesthouse.
Huen Panicha is located down a quiet soi off busy Loi Kroh and near the night bazaar. A small, cosy little guesthouse with a family feel to it, it's a pleasant old but well-maintained house that's well decorated and boasts spotless little rooms coming in air-con and fan-cooled flavours. There's a nice communal area in which you may feel like you're sitting in someone's living room and the owners... Read our full review of Huen Panicha.
The good old Imperial is our pick among the selection of large chain hotels situated in this part of town due mainly to the fact that, despite it being a large concrete block like all the others, it does manage to fit in a very welcome garden and outdoor pool area. Otherwise the smart lobby and equally smart rooms are standard four-star-ish fare, coming with the usual service and facilities.... Read our full review of Imperial Mae Ping.
Easy to miss and well tucked away, Karinthip Village is a large resort once you do find it. Much of the space is taken up by a large pool surrounded by lush, well-maintained gardens. Even the car park is spacious, and features a 700-year-old 'magic' well; the restaurant is a big one and reception is very roomy too. Quite how they found so much space down these tiny lanes is a mystery. On arrival... Read our full review of Karinthip Village.
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... Read our full review of Nice Mum Lodge.
Raming Lodge Hotel has one entrance on busy Loi Kroh and another on the quiet soi behind, so it can appear to be either a tranquil or hectic spot depending upon which direction you approach it from. It's a large, pleasantly decorated hotel popular with both independent travellers and tour groups. They have added a swimming pool though it's across the road next to the car park, which is slightly... Read our full review of Raming Lodge.
For the price, the Tha Pae Place Hotel is a pretty good deal if you're after a standard midrange hotel within easy walking distance of Chiang Mai's central attractions. The hotel is clean and has well-kept rooms, all with air-con, TV and hot shower, and a pleasant Thai-style decor. There's a spa and restaurant just off the quaint lobby, though no pool. Published rates include breakfast though we... Read our full review of Tha Pae Place Hotel.
The very popular long-running Galare boasts a great riverside location. Galare might lack the swimming pool of their more prestigious neighbour, Riverside, but they are welcoming and friendly, which is more than we can say for the latter. A simple cafe and small garden faces the Ping and the location, at the end of a small lane, is a very quiet one. Rooms aren't really anything special but are... Read our full review of Galare Guest House.
East of Phrapokklao Road and north of Ratchadamnoen is Chiang Mai's traditional tourist accommodation heartland, the Tha Pae area and the maze of narrow alleys or sois off Moonmuang Road, behind Somphet market. Formerly this area was almost uniquely populated with low budget guesthouses but now you'll find a wider range through to flashpacker and up to a couple of midrange Lanna-style spots, some of which are excellent choices. Some of the longstanding and better known spots can get very busy in high season and some clearly appear to rest on their laurels somewhat. Yes, there are some great deals but be warned service may not always be the most welcoming in Chiang Mai here.
Tamarind Village is a very popular downtown boutique hotel located on Ratchadamnoen — the Sunday Walking Street -- in the heart of the Old City. The Lanna style whitewashed buildings set around a 320-year-old tamarind tree are sited well off the road, so they're quiet and very tastefully laid out with a lovely pool and restaurant area. Service is helpful and friendly and their restaurant is... Read our full review of Tamarind Village Hotel.
There are plenty of options in this small soi situated immediately behind the M Hotel at Tha Pae Gate and this flashpacker place was one of our clear favourites. Another pastel green building — the colour seems unusually popular in Chiang Mai — it's situated just down a narrow alley leading off the soi itself. There are only 18 rooms so this is one of the smaller guesthouses, but they still... Read our full review of Awana House.
Continue down the busy section on Soi 5 until the guesthouses start to thin out and you'll find bright red painted French/Thai owned Rama set in an immaculate little garden. Rooms are also immaculate and to be honest we thought we'd misheard the rates when we checked the rooms out. Even the cheapest rooms come with not only a hot water bathroom but a very nicely decorated one at that. It's a... Read our full review of Rama Guesthouse.
The well maintained and popular Sri Pat is certainly one of the best midrange options in this part of town. A new, but tastefully designed building houses clean and well-decorated rooms featuring all the facilities you'd expect from a midrange guesthouse such as air-con, telephone, fridge, cable TV and hair dryer. Bathrooms are small and green, with the hot shower separated from the rest of the... Read our full review of Sri Pat Guesthouse.
A large midrange Lanna-style resort squeezed into a traditional backpacker area, don't be put off by the upmarket exterior of Vieng Mantra. The well designed spot offers such excellent rooms at excellent prices that it's enough to make even the tightest budget traveller splurge. Spotless new rooms surround a great pool, small garden and teak-decorated lobby and restaurant area.... Read our full review of Vieng Mantra.
This is the former Monti Hotel — a longstanding operation — and is situated right opposite Tha Pae Gate, on the corner of Ratchadamnoen and Moonmuang Roads. The Monti was okay but they've made a fine job of doing up this relatively large but low-key site. The hotel is best described as functional: there's no pool, the lobby is small, there's no sitting area and the décor is simple. But rooms... Read our full review of Hotel M.
Jonadda Guest House is another spot down bustling little soi 2 in the northeast corner of Chiang Mai. This Aussie/Thai-run guesthouse is well located with friendly staff and offers simple but immaculate rooms for very reasonable prices. It has a good restaurant too and all in all it's an excellent choice in its range. All rooms come with ensuite hot shower and... Read our full review of Jonadda Guest House.
This one's been around for over 20 years now so they must be doing something right and indeed there's now a Yourhouse 2 and 3 down the same soi. #1 is in the original old teak house and has the fan/shared bathroom rooms, #2 is a newer block with air-con hot shower rooms and the four-storey #3 houses the deluxe rooms with bathtubs, air-con and balconies. That should give you enough choice. It's... Read our full review of Yourhouse Guesthouse.
There's one guesthouse after another down this soi near Somphet market but Libra was one that caught our eye. It has a well organised, agreeable sitting area and cafe and good room rates for simple but comfortable rooms. (It's been going since '87, so they ought to be well organised by now!) It's also one of the most popular down here so during high season it may be tricky getting a room but then... Read our full review of Libra Guesthouse.
West of Phrapokklao and north of Ratchadamnoen, this is a generally quiet part of central Chiang Mai. It's mostly residential but also has some good accommodation choices and is only a short walk from the action.
Ah — a new midrange place that isn't done out in Lanna style! We're actually not quite sure what style it is but it looks good. There's a nicely restored old wooden house painted a bright pastel green contrasting with a new concrete but tastefully decorated block across the garden. Also in the garden is a decent sized pool, though it lacks a bit of shade. Rooms are well appointed, with WiFi,... Read our full review of The Twenty Lodge.
We almost missed this midrange option since it's in a part of town we thought devoid of hotels, but we're glad we found it. Their brochure claims it's modern and decorative, convenient and luxurious… and surprisingly inexpensive, and after a look around we are inclined to agree. De Lanna has a great garden, large pool and very smart rooms coming with WiFi, flat-screen TV, tea and coffee, and... Read our full review of De Lanna Boutique Hotel.
In the late 90s brother and sister pair Deng and Noi decided to convert their 50-year-old Chiang Mai family home into a charming guesthouse, complete with hardwood floors, impeccable rooms, a teak gazebo, and a Thai-style open kitchen equipped with any appliance your heart could desire. Welcome to Tiptop Thai Guesthouse. Simple, yet classy. There’s been much discussion in recent weeks about... Read our full review of Tiptop Thai House.
Baan Lansa boasts old-style, wooden chalets in a garden, a guesthouse formula that you don't see around much anymore in downtown Chiang Mai — we're not sure how long it'll be before someone buys the land, a job lot of reconditioned teak and some whitewash and builds a Lanna-style boutique resort there. But for now it's worth considering for its quaintness, with a great central location nearly... Read our full review of Baan Lansa.
Set right in the northwestern corner of the old city, Red Hibiscus has well maintained, standard size rooms, all kitted out with air-con, Thai TV, fridge and hot showers. There's a tour desk, car and motorbike hire and a small terrace out front. The location is a bit out of the way, though it is a fairly quiet one and Red Hibiscus does like to promote itself as a family guesthouse. In short, it... Read our full review of The Red Hibiscus.
The maze of sois between Prapokklao and the moat and up to Ratchadamnoen on the north side is now almost as busy as the Somphet district and has plenty of bars and restaurants as well as a wide range of accommodation in all categories.
Actually run by the people who set up Julie GH, this is a relatively new addition in the increasingly busy south end of Ratchapakinai Road and a very welcome one at that. Diva is pleasantly decorated, has a great little cafe/common area and friendly, helpful service. They've made a big effort to brighten up some fairly small and simple rooms and on the whole been very successful. It does look... Read our full review of Diva Guesthouse.
A lot of new accommodation has sprung up in this part of town including several of the flashy Lanna style places — think lots of wood, white walls and plenty of objets d'art scattered around — and this is definitely one of the best of the bunch. But while it's one of the best of this category it still has some of the most reasonable low season prices. (High season rates are high though!)... Read our full review of Bodhi Serene.
The archetypal guesthouse! If you looked up Thailand/backpacker/guesthouse in Wikipedia you'd probably see a photo of Julie GH, and if you wondered what Khao San looked like 20 years ago, check this place out. Tucked away off the southern end of Phrapokklao Road, Julie Guesthouse has a pleasant garden/sitting area with a pool table and plenty of space to relax -- the garden area also acts as a... Read our full review of Julie Guest House.
Pha Tai's success has led to a series of upgrades and extensions and indeed ongoing work will take the room total up to 48. They've kept some of their older rooms as budget options, so they now cover all bases between backpacker and midrange. The hotel is well laid out, with a clever use of limited space and it manages to have a cosy feel to it. It's located near the southern end of Ratchapakinai... Read our full review of Pha-Tai House.
All in 1 is one of our clear favourites among the clutch of guesthouses along Moonmuang Soi 1 and 2, with a particularly nice café/garden/sitting area out front facing the quiet soi, which serves breakfasts, drinks and good coffees. Their 22 rooms are simple but clean and all have ensuite bathrooms and come with free WiFi. They provide the usual tour info and also have their own attached massage... Read our full review of All in 1 Guesthouse.
This is the first women-only guesthouse we've come across in Chiang Mai and maybe they've spotted a gap in the market; the owner says the reasoning is mostly to do with shared bathrooms. It's an interesting and nicely restored art nouveau 1950s period house with a small but very nice sitting area plus excellent coffee shop and bakery. Rooms are simple but spotless and comfortable. Two rooms have... Read our full review of Baan Nud-Kun.
The street in front of Chiang Mai Boutique House isn't quite the quiet lane they make it out to be but apart from that this new entry in the Chiang Mai accommodation charts is spot on! Spanking new, spotless rooms look out over a small pool with a pleasant eating/drinking area off to the side. It's kind of halfway between an upmarket guesthouse and a hotel — and its low season rates are... Read our full review of Chiang Mai Boutique House.
Smile House boasts a good central but tranquil location down a quiet soi just off Moonmuang Road. It has clean rooms and a lovely garden area with a swimming pool, so it's a great deal with rooms starting at only 300 baht. Rooms are simple and some are even poolside, though those may get a bit noisy at times. Staff are efficient and friendly, drinks and snacks are available in the garden and... Read our full review of Smile House Boutique.
With its rasta-themed shopfront and laidback attitude, Giant Guesthouse has long been a home away from home for many a traveller seeking a cheap place to stay with a welcoming, communal vibe in a good Chiang Mai location. Instant welcome to the communal kitchen. At 180 baht a night for a room shared between two people, there’s nothing special to these small, basic lodgings, save their... Read our full review of Giant House.
Possibly the most famous guesthouse in town, this large, longstanding guesthouse is an okay choice for families or travellers willing to pay a little more for some minimal creature comforts. Rooms here are nothing special though — they're a tad uncared for -- and some of the bathrooms are pretty grimy. They are however a decent size and have quite a few extras like telephones and cable TV.... Read our full review of Top North Guest House.
This large, centrally-located hotel has a range of rooms, all with private bathrooms. The rooms are clean and the staff are courteous though there has been no effort at all made to decorate or make the rooms anything other than basic, despite the presence of some extra amenities such as a telephone and television with English programming. The large pool is a big plus although it loses the sun... Read our full review of Top North Hotel.
Here we're including the area west of Prapokklao and south of Ratchadamnoen, which is slightly busier than the northwest but still a largely residential and fairly quiet neighbourhood. There are increasing numbers of hotels and guesthouses here though, with some good choices in all categories and ever more expected to appear.
It took us a while to decipher the arty writing on the board outside 3 Sis Vacation Lodge. 3 Sis Vacation Lodge — ex the 3 Sis (as in 3 sisters) Bed and Breakfast — used to be a cosy operation but is now a large site occupying a chunk of Soi 8 Phrapokklao Rd and Soi 1, and it's moved up from flashpacker to midrange in category. Rooms are plush and nicely decorated, with an airy common area on... Read our full review of 3 Sis Vacation Lodge.
Don’t let the somewhat austere frontage of Seven Suns Residence put you off; the interior is cosy and welcoming and this recent addition to Chiang Mai’s midrange options, though still a work in progress, is already a commendable one. Formerly the Seven Suns Guesthouse, the place has received a complete facelift from new Lao-US owners, your friendly hosts Lester and Sanh. The Seven Suns... Read our full review of Seven Suns Residence.
Having plumped for Chiang Mai Blue House as our Chiang Mai budget recommendation and suggested Chiang Mai Thai House as a mid-range fave, we’ll round out this mini-series with our top pick in the upmarket category. If any of our visiting rellies or friends don’t mind splashing the cash a bit then The Rim Resort is certainly a direction we point them in — not that this relatively new... Read our full review of The Rim Resort.
Deejai Backpackers is slightly out of the way, within the old town though not in the regular guesthouse area, but it's well worth seeking out and has a good location nonetheless. Located in Upper Ratchamanka, not far before hitting the moat on the west side of the city, it's a nice, peaceful, mainly residential area with light traffic. The guesthouse is set off the road slightly too in a pleasant... Read our full review of Deejai Backpackers.
If you’re looking to avoid the Thailand backpacker party scene – the part full of too many buckets and memories meant to last a lifetime but that can’t be recalled the next morning — look no further than More Relax Guest House, tucked away in one of the many winding sois off of Rachamanka Street in the old city. So close to everything in town, yet feels blissfully far away. As you walk... Read our full review of More Relax Guest House.
Parasol Inn doesn't look much from outside and you could almost miss the small entrance but it holds a few surprises inside. Firstly, though the street level reception is pretty tiny, the inside is quite large, comprising of three floors spreading out above the adjacent restaurant and shops. Secondly they have really gone to town on the decor and thirdly — it's actually very nice. Plus it's one... Read our full review of Parasol Inn.
Green Tulip is green… yellow, orange, red and every other colour you might think of, but at least they've made an effort with the decoration and the place is bright, if not to everyone's taste. The rooms also are nice and bright, clean and recently decorated. Low season rates are good and the location's not too bad, being a 10-minute walk from Tha Pae. In fact most rooms are an okay deal with... Read our full review of Green Tulip House.
South of the moat, towards the eastern south-facing Chiang Mai Gate (Haiya district), is not a traditional tourist accommodation area but there are a few spots worth mentioning and the area just across from the Gate with the Wualai Saturday walking market is certainly upcoming with new cafes, bars and restaurants opening. Off Suriwong Road and close to the moat is another mazy area of cute narrow sois with a few guesthouse options. All in all this is not a bad, non-touristy part of town to stay in and it\'s still within walking district of most of the action anyway. Expect more guesthouses to spring up in this part of town.
This is one of the best looking spots we've visited in any district of Chiang Mai, a bit tucked away down Wualai — Saturday walking street — but well worth the effort to find. Wualai Road access is next to their coffee shop and easy to miss, while the main entrance is tucked down a small soi at the rear. The hotel is still only around a five-minute walk to Chiang Mai Gate though, so it's not... Read our full review of Tri Yaan Na Ros.
Thannatee Boutique Hotel is one of the most interesting new spots we’ve looked at in a while in Chiang Mai city, or anywhere else for that matter. It boasts an excellent location and highly imaginative decor, and though firmly in the upper midrange, it’s good value for money and, we reckon, well worth a splash out. Thanatee Boutique Hotel Thannatee doesn’t look anything special from the... Read our full review of Thannatee Boutique Hotel.
A popular midrange hotel, the Chiang Mai Gate manages to give a small and friendly impression despite having more than 120 rooms. It is slightly out of the way but a two-minute tuk tuk ride or 10-minute walk brings you to Tha Pae. There's a decent pool, good restaurant and great-looking rooms, all of which come with standard midrange facilities, though it is worth pointing out we failed to see... Read our full review of Chiang Mai Gate Hotel.
This is the Suan Dok side of Chiang Mai, encompassing Suthep district lying between the old city and Doi Suthep itself.
Artel is an “upcycled” hotel, making use of discarded windows and veranda columns to create a creative, special space; if you’re looking for a different place to stay in Chiang Mai, it’s an excellent midrange choice and well located smack dab in the centre of hip Nimman. Not your typical guesthouse facade. The first hint that Artel is quite unlike any other guesthouse or even five-star... Read our full review of Artel Nimman Hotel.
Some way out of the centre — down a winding wooded lane at the foot of Doi Suthep — so we can only guess that the excellent rates Ayatana offer are to compensate for tuk tuk fees getting in and out of town since for what you get it's simply a great deal. (They do offer free shuttle services to the night bazaar and walking street areas.) Rooms are large, well appointed and airy; the lobby's... Read our full review of Ayatana Resort.
We’ve covered eateries in Chiang Mai’s chic Nimmanhemin district so now it’s time for a few suggestions on places to stay in this upcoming area of town. Our first pick: cute, garden-set Bunthomstan Guesthouse, which offers tasteful rooms at a reasonable price. Nice door — where’s the wall? We’ve heard that a boutique hotel is supposed to be one where each room is individually... Read our full review of Bunthomstan Guesthouse.
Chiang Mai Orchid is a large, modern, standard Thai hotel located next to Central department store on the road leading up to the zoo and Doi Suthep. It compares favourably with the selection of similar large hotels by the night market and is far more centrally located than the alternative Thai chain hotels scattered around the city circular road. It does possess all the facilities of a large... Read our full review of Chiang Mai Orchid.
Lanna-style boutique hotels have flooded the sois of Chiang Mai in recent years, and even though HeyHa555 Dormtel aims for just the opposite aesthetic, its owners offer up Thai hospitality at its Lanna best. Located just south of Chiang Mai Rajabhat University, guests at HeyHa are a short motorbike drive from the old city and have access to non-touristy, Thai student life at its best; 30 baht... Read our full review of HeyHa555 Dormtel.