Chiang Mai is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to immerse themselves in Northern Thailand. A popular destination among backpackers, there are ample choices for affordable accommodations. For couples looking for a deal on a private room, the Tree Boutique Hotel might be an option, but our experience there ultimately leads us to not strongly recommend it. Read on to find out why.
Tree Boutique Hotel, Chiang Mai
From $28/nt plus Airbnb fees, 1 bedroom, sleeps up to 4
Let me be clear: this hotel is a great value, especially if you do have a group of 4 and are looking to trim costs as much as possible. For our booking, we ended up paying $46/nt after Airbnb fees and the cleaning fee, which is very reasonable. But when compared to our last Airbnb stay in Ubud, Bali that we also paid $46/nt for, this stay ended up being a disappointment.
After booking the room we received instructions on how to check in, which involved retrieving keys from an envelope in the mailbox at the property. However when we arrived there was no such envelope waiting for us. Fortunately, another guest saw us looking a little lost and directed to an office two buildings down for check in. Apparently since it was Songkran the onsite office was closed. But we would have been stuck not knowing what to do had another guest not helped us out.
After checking in with the office we were told the room wasn’t quite ready and that they needed five more minutes to finish cleaning. Five minutes turned into well over an hour. To make matters worse when I commented on this in my post-trip review, the owner replied that we had checked in at 1pm and check in wasn’t until 2pm, which is why we had to wait. Well, that wasn’t true since our flight didn’t even land in Chiang Mai until 2pm! By the time we got to the hotel for check in it was well after 3pm.
Eventually the room was ready, so overall just a minor inconvenience, but the combination of the keys not being where we were told they would be along with the lengthy wait didn’t make for a very good start to the stay.
The second disappointment came from the room itself. The pictures on the Airbnb listing show a quite nice room and property, leading to the expectation that we were getting quite the steal for $46 a night. Of course, the reality was a little different. By no means a bad room, especially for the price, it didn’t quite live up the expectation set by the pictures. It was very drab and spartan overall, compared to the listing’s pictures. Compare our pics to the listing pics to see for yourself.
The room itself was a mini-apartment, with living space, a kitchen, bathroom with walk in shower, and bedroom. The living room had a TV, which we didn’t use, and there were AC units in the living room as well as the bedroom, which was nice. Although the listing says it sleeps four, there is only one bed and a very small sleeper sofa which would only be suitable for one person or small children.
The kitchen was cramped, but good enough to make a few small meals, although we didn’t exercise this option with the abundant and cheap street food options available to us. The shower had a gas heater which worked well.
The bed was a little on the firm side, but there was a mattress topper in the closet if you needed more padding. There was a lot of closet and drawer space which is welcome for longer trips when you want to put your clothes away and not just live out of your suitcase.
The wifi worked decently in the late evenings and mornings, but we found it mostly unreliable during the day.
The pool and patio area, on the other hand, did live up to the expectations set by the listing. It was a nice area to escape the midday heat. There was also a small weight room and free bicycles that could be checked out to explore the city.
Tree Boutique Hotel sits outside the central walled-in area of Chiang Mai, but is a quick 10 minute songthaew or tuk tuk ride to the city center. A songthaew should run between 30 to 50 baht per person to get to the Night Bazaar, while a tuk tuk will run about 100 baht (for all passengers). The hotel staff provided us with some slips of paper to show drivers with directions back to the hotel in Thai, which was thoughtful and made made getting around very easy.
In spite of the check in gripes and the disappointment of the room relative to expectations, the Tree Boutique hotel still ended up being an affordable and convenient stay. Don’t let my quibbles stop you from trying this if it caught your eye when searching for an Airbnb in Chiang Mai. I could have overcome either of the problems, but the combination of both just set a tone that made this stay less enjoyable than it could have been. Even still, it was a good value, but there are many other affordable Airbnbs to consider as well.
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