Chiang Mai is very well served by many chain hotels, boutique hotels, resorts, guest houses and serviced apartments. On the other hand, Chiang Mai does not have great public transport. This means that the general location of your accommodation is really quite important. The top three districts you should consider for accommodation in Chiang Mai are:
- Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
- Chiang Mai Old City
- Nimman District
Chiang Mai Night Bazaar
The night bazaar district is where international hotels first appeared in Chiang Mai in the mid to late 80s. The main street is Changklan road which runs parallel to the Mae Ping river which is a walk-able distance of about 500 meters away. Also within walking distance is Chiang Mai’s Chinatown – Warorot markets are located here and worth a visit. The main attraction of this area is that market stalls line the street every night, and as a hive of commercial activity there are plenty of restaurants, bars, live music venues, and people. This area is a little quiet in the morning, but that makes traffic conditions good for tour pickups.
The Old City is technically within walking distance from the night bazaar, but the closest wall is just over a kilometer to walk, and then you will want to walk inside the city, and then you will need to get back to your hotel. This means that most people will take a tuk-tuk or red car and then burn up all their walking energy inside the old city itself.
Chiang Mai Night Bazaar – 4 Star Hotels
The Mövenpick Suriwongse is an old favorite of ours, and with major renovations now completed it returns to being our top pick for 2018. The Suriwongse is a 4 star hotel in absolutely prime position in the night bazaar district.
The Dusit Princess is a 4 star hotel in the heart of the night bazaar, and has been a very popular hotel with our customers in recent years. Artful use of mirrors in the photo below makes the lobby look larger than it really is, but it is still a great value hotel with an awesome location.
The Empress Hotel is another popular 4 star option. It is located just around the corner from the night bazaar – easily walkable (10 minutes).
Chiang Mai Night Bazaar – 5 Star Hotels
Le Meridien is at the epi-center of the night bazaar. If you want to walk straight out of your hotel into the night markets, restaurants and live music venues then this is the ideal location.
The Shangri-La Hotel is a short walk to the night bazaar (10 minutes), but is ideal for relaxing by the pool after a full day of activity.
Chiang Mai Night Bazaar – Boutique Hotels
Yaang Come Village is a family-run boutique hotel. It is an oasis of tranquility just a short walk (5 minutes) from the night bazaar. There are not a lot of good boutique options in the night bazaar district, so this is a welcome alternative if you do not want to stay in a large hotel.
Chiang Mai Old City
We do not have specific recommendations for staying in the old city. There are many good boutique hotels, so we recommend you do some price comparisons and take advantage of the competition for your stay. There are no large hotels within the old city walls due to local building restrictions.
There are many temples to visit in the old city, our top recommendations are to visit Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Phra Singh. Both of these temple compounds charge a small entrance fee, but they are welcoming towards visitors and are definitely worth visiting. While you do not have the nightly market stalls of the night bazaar, there are plenty of restaurants and specialty shops throughout the old city. If you are staying over a weekend there is a weekly market / walking street on Sunday evening. This has everything you will see at the night bazaar (that area is a little quieter on Sundays), plus you will see more original and artistic wares for sale at the Sunday markets.
Chiang Mai Nimman District
Centered on Nimmanahaeminda (pronounced nim-mun-hay-min) road, this is not really within waking distance of any cultural or historic sights but is interesting in its own right. This district is west of the old city, near Chiang Mai university and on the way to the foot of Doi Suthep. Once a sleepy suburb of Chiang Mai, there has been massive commercial development in the last 15 years. This area is etremely popular with long-term visitors from other countries, so you will see a lot of co-working spaces, vegan eateries and many specialty shops catering to the fashion sense and dietary habits of foreigners.
The Nimman district has many serviced apartments (monthly lease), some large hotels, and a lot of good boutique hotels to choose from.
U Nimman Hotel is a new 5-star hotel within the vibrant Nimman district and adjacent to the One Nimman complex and Maya shopping mall.
Chiang Mai Accommodation – Tips & Suggestions
At Olsen Tours, we have contracts with some local and inter-provincial hotels, but not all. To get the best deals, we recommend you use online booking portals to find and compare deals for your particular dates. If you have a short-list of hotels we suggest you google the hotel’s own website to compare rates with what you are seeing on booking.com or other aggregators. Of course if you want us to phone the hotels directly and see what is on offer, we are always happy to help with that.
Before you finalize your hotel booking, we recommend that you contact us regarding your sightseeing or golfing needs and confirm that the availability of these options aligns with your accommodation dates. This is especially important if your hotel booking is not 100% refundable on cancellation.
Whether you book directly online or arrange accommodation through us, our guides are happy to inspect your room with you on check-in. If you have any concerns with your room, we are happy to resolve any problems with the hotel for you.