Not easily forgotten
2/3 7 Rajchiangsaen Rd, Soi 2, Tambon Haiya, Chiang Mai T: (053) 274 4500, (053) 274 600, (080) 044 8900
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.
Thannatee doesn’t look anything special from the outside, though there is an attractive preponderance of vegetation, and the cave-like entrance does give a clue as to what the interior holds. Now the interior decor’s unusual — even wacky — and it’s not going to be to everyone’s taste, but we enjoyed it. Imagine a hotel designed by someone who creates film sets for fantasy movies. The lobby is like a grotto and the cosy, adjacent bar-restaurant area done out in dark wood looks almost like a tavern you’d expect to find in Rivendale or Diagonal Alley.
The pathway leading off to the rooms and pool area then takes you through rocky grottoes, past miniature waterfalls and over stepping stones across koi carp ponds lined with lush gardens (wheely suitcases are redundant here).
Lots of dark (obviously recycled) teak is used throughout, and various objet d’arts are scattered here and there; the ‘ye olde’ feel is juxtaposed with lots of contemporary polished concrete walls, again which adds to the eclectic feel.
Efforts too have gone into the rooms, with recessed lighting, more Lanna-style fittings and some attractive touches such as old brass fans. All rooms are air-con, with coffee- and tea-making facilities, WiFi, cable TV and rates include breakfast, airport transfers and a shuttle service to the night bazaar. Standard and superior rooms are both large and have similar facilities, though superior has an added jacuzzi. Standards are 2,300 baht during low season and 2,900 during high, while superiors are 3,200 and 3,600, for two people. (Note since they were newly opened, they didn’t seem sure when low and high season rates would change.)
The small restaurant offered a limited choice of Thai and North Thai dishes plus a few Western options, at reasonable rates of 80 to 150 baht. Staff were very helpful — they did only open three months back! The pool is a decent size with a good sitting area.
Finally the location, on the south side of town down a quiet lane, but only a few minutes’ walk from the moat, is a big plus.
The only problem we can perhaps foresee is that this kind of decor requires a lot of maintenance. We’re not sure what the place will look like two years down the line, but for now it’s great and one thing’s for sure: you won’t forget staying here.
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By Mark Ord
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.