For anyone coming to Chiang Mai and staying for a month or so, it is wiser to get into a Serviced Apartment instead of a hotel. The Serviced Apartment becomes more like a temporary home away from the maddening tourist crowds where you are able to relax during your stay. Fortunately, Chiang Mai has lots of Serviced Apartment Guest Houses, and the pricing is extremely competitive. You can easily stay in a quality apartment in Chiang Mai for much less than you could rent anything almost anywhere in the USA.
One such place that I recently stayed at is the Thai Lanna Resort, about 12 kms (6 mi.) south of central Chiang Mai in the Hang Dong district, ten minutes away from the Chiang Mai Airport, and I give it a thumbs up recommendation. This resort was recently built by a Brit expat and his Thai wife, Anthony and Panida. Anthony is also an English language teacher at one Chiang Mai’s prestigious private schools. Anthony is a well educated published author that has traveled and stayed in much of the world, and is a good resource of information for potential expats. His lovely wife, Panida is a wealth of good local information and on Thai culture. She also happens to be a great cook of both Thai and Western dishes. This team is very helpful in getting the most out of a long term stay in Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand.
It has always been my recommendation for those considering retirement or long term residence in Chiang Mai to come to the area and immerse oneself as much as possible in how life is living in this city. This guesthouse is an ideal venue for that. Or for those on a temporary business or educational assignment in Northern Thailand — perhaps a buying trip for importers of Thai products — a serviced apartment guest house is definitely the way to go. The Thai Lanna Resort Guest House happens to be located very close to the major wholesale buying areas of Northern Thailand, such as Baan Tawai (for more info on Baan Tawai, take a look at this earlier story about this market).
Many longer term Serviced Apartment Guest Houses, like the Thai Lanna Resort, are located right in the residential areas where expats are living, so that after a period of time you will get a complete understanding of how everyday living would be for a Chiang Mai expat. And it is very affordable. A luxury room at this guest house is less than USD $3.50 per day (no, that’s not a misprint).
The Thai Lanna Resort Guesthouse is brand new, and each room is in perfect condition with AC, private bath, Wifi, cable large screen TV, fridge, security and parking. The community the guest house is in has a swimming pool and gardens. The guesthouse takes care of housekeeping, and can arrange for transportation and tours, car or motorbike rentals or just about any other particular need you might have during your stay. If you are in Chiang Mai to investigate finding your own apartment or house rental, you are within the best part of the city to find it, with gated communities all around the area of this guesthouse. The owners can suggest to you the best real estate people to help you in your home search.
Complete information and reservations can be made on their website at www.thailannaresort.com. If you mention that you learned about the resort from my blog, the first two nights are on me (be sure to let me know you have made reservations so I can credit your stay at the guest house).
The Thai Lanna Resort has several styles of rooms available. I stayed in the Presidential Suite with a full American kitchen, and if you plan on buying some of the local food in the Thai markets, I recommend this room:
The Presidential Suite – Large suite with full kitchen, dining area, large TV, Wifi, etc., etc. – basic accommodations 7000Baht per month (about USD $241).
A Luxury Room – Large room with private bath, fridge, large TV, etc. – basic accommodation 3000Baht per month (about USD $103).
They also have available a two bedroom “Maisonette Suite” (two levels) and a studio apartment. These are the basic rental prices, and you can add services to this as you need them, such as a full English breakfast (which is big enough to keep you going most of the day, in typical English style). You can have mail service and assistance with almost any special needs as it comes up.
One caveat that should be mentioned: guest houses like the Thai Lanna Resort have a very limited number of rooms, so it would be important to make your reservations and have a deposit made as soon as possible to hold the room. They can easily sell out.
Staying at a serviced apartment guest house like the Thai Lanna Resort is certainly the best way to stay in Chiang Mai for a longer period. It is going to save you a lot of money and give you the real Chiang Mai living experience.