After spending 3 blissful, uneventful days on the beach in Phuket, I was ready for some action in Chiang Mai. Lucky me, H and a few others from Doolay Hostel booked seats on my flight and after a much shorter trip to the airport (still about 40 minutes, but this time from the comfort of our own van cab). Check-in with Air Asia was a breeze, and 2 hours later we were in Chiang Mai!
The city itself is fairly compact with a variety of activities outside the formal city parameters. I was invited to stay at the Ibis Styles which is outside the old city walls and only 10 minutes by taxi (and 200 Thai Baht/ $7.50 Canadian) from the airport. It felt nice to be in a city again, and it felt even nicer to be in a proper hotel. I was also happy to stay in 100% non-smoking facilities, as guests had taken certain liberties on our patio in Phuket.
When I walked into the room I couldn’t believe the value! I could have done cartwheels in the room it was so big! On ibis.com this property has rooms advertised starting at KRW 34, 803 per night! That’s only about $40 Canadian, or 1,080 Thai Baht. My room came furnished with:
- a plush, comfortable King bed
- a 32″ LCD flatscreen TV
- all the standard amenities like a hairdryer, toiletries, kettle, coffee and tea, and a safety deposit box in the changing area (which had plenty of hangers on the clothing rack).
- The mini fridge came with complimentary bottled water, too, although considering the number of drinking bans we came across while in Thailand it would have been nice to have had some beer or wine available in the room.
- There is a pool, however since the hotel itself is fairly new it was under construction throughout our stay.
There’s a free, massive breakfast buffet each morning from 6:30 AM – 10:30 AM (11 AM on weekends) with tons of Western options and a few Thai dishes. I find that Korean buffets tend to be a little stingy on vegetables, so I was happily surprised by the fresh salads and the DIY salad bar. The Thai dishes also included a variety of grilled vegetables so between that and my daily made-to-order omelette, my tummy was happy and I was ready to start the day right! There is a lunch buffet offered from 11:30 AM – 2 PM for 179 Thai Baht ($6.72 Canadian). My days were pretty packed so I ate on the road and didn’t get to experience the lunch buffet. At night, happy hour meant cocktails or beers were 2 for the price of 1 (180 Thai Baht), and they offer a diverse menu of Thai and Western food. We particularly enjoyed the downstairs patio with brightly-coloured, plastic chairs which matched the decor of the exterior of the hotel. Heading down for a convenient pre-dinner drink was a great way to relax after the activities of the day, and gear up for wherever the night would take us.
The Ibis Styles Chiang Mai was conveniently located close to the famous temple, Wat Chedi Luang. From there we took a quick tuk-tuk to the huge Chiang Mai Night Market. There are several bars on the strip walking from the hotel to the Maya Shopping Centre (a large mall with a big food court, several athletic shops, some spas, a fancy movie theatre, a gym, an English book store, and 3 rooftop bars), too. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly, comfortable and convenient hotel experience in a city close to great nightlife, check out the Ibis Styles Chiang Mai!
Ibis Styles Chiang Mai, Thailand is located at:
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