So what is the best hotel in Chiang Mai? It really depends on what you are looking for. Nestled in the mountains of Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has ancient temples, a thriving arts seen, a laid-back vibe, and a climate that’s relatively cool and dry. Regarding accommodation, Chiang Mai hotels run from inexpensive guest houses to luxurious 5-star resorts to meditative mountain retreats.
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Chiang Mai 101
Chiang Mai was the imperial capital of the Lanna Kingdom (1250 to 1860), and it has a distinct personality that is different from other parts of Thailand, which includes geography, climate, and culture.
The city is located in a valley surrounded by mountains. As a result, the climate is cooler and drier than most other parts of Thailand.
Chliang Mai has numerous temples and museums. There is also a thriving arts scene with art galleries, trendy boutiques, and quirky cafes.
Chiang Mai Accommodation Options
Most of the Chiang Mai hotels are located in the middle of town near the popular night bazaar.
But there are also some luxurious retreats nestled among the nearby mountains that surround Chiang Mai.
If you’re planning a visit to Chiang Mai, you should therefore carefully consider whether you want to stay in a hotel or resort in Chiang Mai itself or in a retreat situated in the surrounding mountains.
However, if you have enough time, why not do both, spending a few days in the city and a few days in the nearby mountains?
In the Heart of Chiang Mai
The following Chiang Mai hotels and resorts are located in the heart of the city.
All of these hotels have at least one food and beverage outlet, but most of them have two, three, or four. Most of them have outdoor swimming pools and fitness centres.
A few of these hotels have full-service spas and other facilitates.
Anantara Chiang Mai Resort
Situated along the shores of the Mae Ping River in the heart of Chiang Mai, this luxurious Chiang Mai hotel has 52 rooms and 32 suites.
One of the best luxury hotels in Chiang Mai, the 5 star hotel has three food an beverage outlets, a 34-metre outdoor swimming pool overlooking the river, a full-service spa, and a fitness centre.
Thai cooking, kickboxing, and massage lessons are offered. There are river cruises at sunset.
- Best for well-healed travelers wanting a full service resort in the heart of the Chiang Mai.
- Anantara Chiang Mai Resort – 123-123/1 Charoen Prathet Road, Changklan, Muang, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
DusitD2 Chiang Mai
Located in the heart of Chiang Mai, this budget Chiang Mai hotel has 131 rooms and suites, a café, a bar, a full-service spa, a well-equipped health club, and an outdoor swimming pool.
- Best for budget-minded travelers wanting a full-service hotel at the centre of Chiang Mai.
- DusitD2 Chiang Mai – 100 Chang Klan Road, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand.
Dusit Princess Chiang Mai
Located in the centre of Chiang Mai, this lovely Chiang Mai hotel has 198 rooms and suites, three food and beverage outlets, and an outdoor swimming pool.
- Best for value-conscious travelers wanting to kick back and relax in the heart of Chiang Mai.
- Dusit Princess Chiang Mai – 112 Chang Klan Road, Amphur Muang, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
- Hotel Website
Holiday Inn Chiang Mai
Located on the banks of the Ping River, the Holiday Inn Chiang Mai has three food and beverage outlets, nightly entertainment, an outdoor swimming pool, and a fitness room.
- Best for budget-minded travelers wanting a hotel with live entertainment in the evening.
- Holiday Inn Chiangmai – 318/1 Chiang Mai Lamphun Road, Tumbol Wat Kate, Amphur Muang, Chiangmai, Thailand.
- Hotel Website
ibis Styles Chiang Mai
Located a five-minute walk from Chiang Mai University, this budget hotel in Chiang Mai has 198 rooms, including five family rooms. It has one food and beverage outlet.
- Best for budget-minded travelers wanting to be located near Chiang Mai University.
- ibis Styles Chiang Mai – 7/9 Moo 1, Kanklong, Cholprathan Road, Changpuak Muang, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
- Hotel Website
Mercure Chiang Mai
Located in the Sri Poom Maung district, this budget hotel in Chiang Mai has 159 rooms, one food and beverage outlet, and an outdoor swimming pool. And there is a supermarket and a bank next door.
- Best for budget-minded travelers wanting a supermarket nearby.
- Mercure Chiang Mai – 183 Champuak Road. Chiang Mai. Thailand.
- Hotel Website
Le Meridien Chiang Mai
Situated in the heart of Chiang Mai’s bustling night bazaar, Le Meridien Chiang Mai is one of the best luxury hotels in Chiang Mai. It has four food and beverage outlets, a full-service spa, an outdoor swimming pool, and a fitness room,
- Best for travelers wanting to stay at a luxury hotel that is in the heart of all the action.
- Le Meridien Chiang Mai -108 Chang Klan Road, Tambol Chang Klan, Amphur Muang, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
- Hotel Website
Mövenpick Suriwongse Hotel Chiang Mai
Located near the Night Bazaar, the Chiang Mai hotel has four food and beverage outlets, a rooftop swimming pool, and a fitness centre.
- Best for value-minded travelers wanting to stay at one of the best luxury hotels in Chiang Mai.
- Mövenpick Suriwongse Hotel Chiang Mai – 110 Changklan Road, Muang Chiang Mai 5100, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
- Hotel Website
In the Surrounding Mountains
For a more laid-back and restful experience, you might rather book a hotel room in one of many many hotels and resorts tucked away in the mountainous region surrounding Chiang Mai.
Veranda High Resort MGallery
This 69-room mountain retreat has two restaurants and a bar, a full-service spa, a fitness centre, and an infinity swimming pool. It is located 15 kilometres from Chiang Mai International Airport..
- Best for ecotourists wanting a resort located close to the city.
- Veranda High Resort MGallery – 192 Moo 2, Banpong Hangdong, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
- Hotel Website
Best Time to Book Chiang Mai Hotel Rooms
When is the best time to visit Chiang Mai? It depends on a variety of factors, and weather and your budget are two of your most important considerations.
In terms of weather, the best time to visit Chiang Mai is between November and February.
The average daily high in the city is a comfortable 25 degrees Centigrade, or 77 degrees Fahrenheit, and the average low is a chilly 15 degrees Centigrade, or 59 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you plan on staying at the hotel or a resort in the mountains surrounding Chiang Mai, however, keep in mind that the temperatures will be considerably lower, and it sometimes does reach freezing in the wee hours.
Because of the pleasant weather and numerous holidays this time of year, it can be difficult to score a discounted hotel room during this period.
Hotels and resorts will also tend to fill up for Loi Krathong, which falls in November, as well as Christmas, New Year, and the Chiang Mai Flower Festival, which falls in February.
Chinese New Year is another issue. It can fall any time between 21 January and 28 February.
If you plan on visiting during this festive period, make sure to book hotel rooms early – and don’t count on discounts.
March, April, and May are the hottest months of the year, with temperatures soaring to as high as 40 degrees Centigrade, or 104 degrees Fahrenheit, in April and May.
As a result, you might want to spend the middle of the day in the comfort of your air-conditioned hotel room!
You might also want to make sure that your hotel has indoor food and beverage outlets that are air-conditioned!
Because of the heat, March, April, and May are the slowest period for tourism in Chiang Mai (except for Songkan, a.k.a. the Water Festival, which falls in mid-April).
For this reason, if you can deal with the heat, this is when resorts and hotels at Chiang Mai are most likely to drop room rates to fill their hotel rooms.
June through October is the monsoon season in Chiang Mai, and this is when the most rain falls.
The number of tourists tends to remain flat during this period, so your chances of scoring an attractive discount on the price of a hotel in Chiang Mai are also high..
Burning Season Advisory
Farmers in Northern Thailand burn leftover crops between February through mid-April, and this can seriously affect air quality.
People suffering from asthma and other repertory ailments might want to avoid booking Chiang Mai hotels during this period.
How to Get to Chiang Mai from Bangkok
Chiang Mai is 700 kilometres or 435 miles north of Bangkok, and the drive takes between nine and 12 hours. Both public and private bus companies ply the route.
Trains are a second option, and there are six trips each way per day. While trains take a bit longer – between 12 and 15 hours – they are popular because they are cheap and the scenery along the way is breathtaking.
How to Get to Chiang Mai from Overseas
Chiang Mai International Airport is served by several domestic airlines.
Qatar Airways is one of several foreign airlines serving the airport. It flies non-stop to its hub in Doha, where there are on-line connections to cities throughout Africa, the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East.
If you are traveling to a Chiang Mai hotel from an overseas travel destination, you have three options.
First, you can fly into another Thai airport (most likely one of Bangkok’s two international airports) and take a connecting flight to Chiang Mai International Airport.
Second, you can fly into another one of Thailand’s other airports and continue to Chiang Mai by bus or train.
Third, you can fly directly to Chiang Mai International from the following foreign travel destinations: China, Korea, Hong Kong, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Qatar, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
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How to Get to Your Hotel from Chiang Mai Airport
Chiang Mai International Airport is a 15 to 20-minute drive from most hotels in the city of Chiang Mai.
You can get to your Chiang Mai hotel by taxi, limousine, bus, tuk-tuk, or rental car.
Some hotels will arrange a free transfer to and from the airport.
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