Flashpacker standards, budget rates
A central but quiet location, helpful staff and tastefully decorated rooms at astonishingly low prices makes Awana our top choice in the niche between budget and flashpacker in Chiang Mai.
It’s not easy to find, down a narrow alley off already narrow Ratchadamnoen Soi 1. Soi 1 is the first turning on the right you’ll come across if heading down the Old City’s main drag from Tha Pae Gate. If you reach Vieng Mantra’s wide wooden frontage, then you’ve gone too far. Double back and take the narrow entrance immediately before, which will lead you into Awana’s small garden and cafe, which backs onto reception.
The alley is well-lit and full of pot plants (check out the vertical bromeliad garden on the main wall as you arrive), and the four-storey hotel building comes in a fetching pastel turquoise. The hotel makes good use of very limited space and a small covered pool has been slotted in next to their cafe.
Rooms are immaculately turned out, with good quality furniture and tasteful decor mixing polished concrete and brightly painted panels with a few northern Thai twists. Rooms come with ensuite bathrooms, air-con, cable TV, fridge and safety deposit box. When we enquired about the price we assumed we’d misheard and the rate was 1,600 baht rather than the actual 600 baht they said. Indeed, these rooms wouldn’t be out of place in a mid-range boutique hotel.
Some even come with balconies for an extra 100 baht and another big plus is only minimal supplements for high season. Breakfast isn’t included—not surprising at these prices—but there is a cafe and of course a host of other choices within a short walk. The pool isn’t huge but it is a welcome addition and a pleasant rooftop seating area has drinks available.
Awana House is less than a minute on foot from Tha Pae Gate and Ratchadamnoen Walking Street and just five minutes from Wat Phra Singh. As it is tucked down the alley, it ought to be quiet come the evening. Overall very difficult to find fault with Awana—this is an excellent address!
Address: 7 Ratchadamnoen Soi 1, Tha Pae Gate, Sri Phum
T: (053) 419 005; (081) 960 7511; (086) 470 0511;
Coordinates (for GPS): 98º59'32.63" E, 18º47'19.14" N
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Room rates: Under 600B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Dbl fan share bathroom||400 baht||495 baht|
|Dbl air-con private bathroom|
Add 100 baht for a balcony
|600 baht||650 baht|
|800 baht||995 baht|
|Triple air-con private bathroom||800 baht||1,240 baht|
Based in Chiang Mai, Mark Ord has been travelling Southeast Asia for over two decades and first crossed paths with Travelfish on Ko Lipe in the early 1990s.
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