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“An oasis of calm, cheerful hospitality” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Secret Garden Chiang Mai

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Secret Garden Chiang Mai
54/1 Moo 5 , T. Mae Khue | Doisaket, 2.5 km from Borsang, Doi Saket 50220, Thailand   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 5 hotels in Doi Saket
Australia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“An oasis of calm, cheerful hospitality”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2012

My wife and I stayed for 6 nights at the Secret Garden in May 2012 after a hectic week as Rotary convention goers in Bangkok spending hours on buses and interacting with thousands of fellow Rotarians. We had read the TripAdvisor reviews of the Secret Garden, and were looking forward to meeting Peter and Pai and having a little "down time."

We agree with all the positive reviews! Peter, Pai, and Isabel couldn't have been more helpful. Peter and Pai provided transport to/from the airport and into the village of Bo Sang, where we caught the local transport into Chiang Mai itself. After being an "international tourist" in Bangkok, it was great to act like a local in Chiang Mai catching the same "bus" with local residents. We especially looked forward to the excellent Thai meals Pai and her team prepared each night. Although the weather was hot during the day, by evening the temperature cooled a bit and the open-air dining room encircling a tree enabled all of the guests to talk to each other and to Peter & Pai about the day's activities.

Peter was a terrific "trip advisor" himself, recommending activities and alerting us to the advantages and disadvantages of various alternatives. The highlight of our adventures was a visit to the Baan Chang Elephant Camp, which Peter recommended. There are several other elephant camps in the Chiang Mai area, but this one provided just what we wanted. Thanks, Peter!

We stayed in the Raintree bungalow, which had plenty of room including a lounge room and kitchenette, only a few steps from the dining area. The grounds of the Secret Garden provide a lush tropical paradise enclosed by the bungalows. Compared to the constant traffic noise of Bangkok's hotel room, the sounds of geckos, birds, and dogs in the neighbourhood were a welcome relief. It is amazing to think that 25 years ago, the area was a rice paddy. Through Peter's artistic touch, the Secret Garden is now full of mature trees, ponds, bridges, orchids, birds, and a wide variety of works of art.

My only complaint to Peter and Pai is that their prices are too low! We would be paying at least twice as much for the level of service, food, and accommodation if it were closer to Chiang Mai. However, the real value is to be outside the city, yet only 25 minutes from the airport. Raise your prices, Peter!

My only suggestion is for Peter and Pai to be a little more disciplined in serving your guests. Currently they drop everything when someone calls for a ride into Bo Sang or back to Secret Garden. I'm sure almost all guests would be happy with an hourly service instead. (Bo Sang just needs a coffee shop with air conditioning for visitors to wait in!)

We look forward to a return visit in a cooler season so that we can enjoy the scenery more. Temperatures were in the mid-thirties (Celsius - mid-90's Farenheit), which limited our movements around the area.

Peter and Pai are taking a much needed break for a few weeks, but we strongly recommend Secret Garden to all those who want a friendly place to live while in Chiang Mai. It is truly an oasis of calm!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
secretpit, Owner at Secret Garden Chiang Mai, responded to this review, June 2, 2012
Dear David & Margaret ,
What a wonderful , detailed review ! You really took a lot of time to write about us .
I really hope we will meet again some day , maybe in the cool season , as you mentioned .
Next Friday I will undergo knee surgery here in Barcelona...wish me luck .
I'm really thinking about your suggestions , but there is no decent , AC place in Bo Sang where our guests could wait . Anyhow , the Bo Sang pick ups and drop offs are not really difficult .
Hopefully we will have a new driver in August ( as you know our old driver had to leave Chiang Mai in a hurry just before you came to our place )
Regards from Pai and Isabel
Peter
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1,218 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (130)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Brisbane,Australia
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2012

Wonderful home share experience,Peter, Pia and Isobel immediately make you feel at home and the accommodation is like a home away from home.Evening meals cooked by Pia and her staff are great and help to establish a rapport and camaraderie with them and the other guests.The grounds are indeed a secret garden and new discoveries are every where.Peter supplies his guests with a mobile phone and local sim card so help should it be needed is always there.
Breakfast is simple but nourishing and plentiful.Pia is generous in sharing her recipes of the Thai meals she provides for those that like to cook.Great experience, hope to return.

Room Tip: From what I could see all bungalows are fine.We stayed at Bird of Paradise.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
secretpit, Owner at Secret Garden Chiang Mai, responded to this review, June 2, 2012
Dear John ,
Thanks for not keeping it a secret and reviewing our place on tripadvisor !
After the last guest left on the 16th of May our garden seemed without life. We are recharging our batteries in Spain right now, enjoying the art of doing absolutely nothing, except of course for the emails. We are looking forward to the new season, and hope to get lovely people like you!
Cheers
Peter ,
Pai and Isabel
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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2012

Simply awesome guesthouse! we were picked up from the airport and dropped off at the train station, rented a scooter to buzz into town and stayed in the most amazingly beautiful bungalow! slightly disappointing shower in hibiscus but that really was a minor grumble! Peter and Pai spend a great deal of time and effort making this the best experience, brilliant home cooked thai food and lovely chats over a beer make this truly special, The garden is an absolute must destination in Chiang Mai, go before you cant get a room!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
secretpit, Owner at Secret Garden Chiang Mai, responded to this review, June 2, 2012
Dear Henry ,
Thanks a lot for not forgetting about us ! We are happy you enjoyed your stay at our Secret Garden .
By now we are in our house in Spain , just enjoying life ! In case you should ever come back to Chiang Mai drop by and have a glass of wine with us .
Lots of sunshine from Catalunya ,
Peter , Pai and Isabel
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Wagga Wagga, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2012

The best time in this secret place in Chiang Mai. Secret Garden and our hosts Pai, Peter and Isabel plus their great staff is a must stay for anyone looking for peace in the bustle and hustle of Chiang Mai.

Secret Garden is well hidden in a small village called Bo Sang about 12kilometres outside of the centre of Chiang Mai. Easy to get to hard to find and that is how we liked it. We stayed in the Mandalay the original home of Peter and Pai.

We had been in Bangkok for the Rotary Convention and Peter met us at the airport and took us to his Secret Garden. We had the best stay here for 5 nights and met some like minded people and enjoyed their company and conversations at breakfast and dinner. It is that sort of place.

The food was plentiful and excellent with a buffet every night that changed daily. Love original Thai food cooked by the Thais. Our bed was king size comfortable and or room was large with own kitchen lounge and verandah.

Both Peter and Pai advised us on where to go and what to see and do invaluable advice for a large city like Chiang Mai. We were there towards the start of the low season hot and humid but even then we did not require the air conditioning. In fact we were amongst the last intake before the family has a break during the low season.

To wake up in the middle of a rice paddy in a village like Bo Sang was the best experience. To learn about Northern Thailand form Pai and Peter and Pai was born here was a big bonus for us and to be treated like family was exceptional.

We will be back God willing one day.

Room Tip: Pick the Mandalay
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
secretpit, Owner at Secret Garden Chiang Mai, responded to this review, June 2, 2012
Dear Susan & John ,
Good you just told me the last day about your straw houses ...otherwise I would have nagged you even more than I already did . I talked to my friends in Germany about your project and I'm certain
many visited your web site . On one hand the Secret Garden is a lot of work , but , on the other hand , we would never have met interesting people like you .
I think it's great that your age you still work with your hands and start new projects all the time .
Thank you for coming to our place , it was a real pleasure meeting you and talking to you .
Un abrazo
Peter , Pai and Isabel
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Leicester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2012

stayed for 3 nights wished we could have stayed more.our son and his girlfriend drove to join us from phraya in their truck,we teamed up with glin and sue,ian and laura and all went on many exertions in our truck together, great people.the food here is superb and peter ,pia and their daughter issobelle treated us like friends,nothing was to much trouble.we went on early bike rides early in the morning to local markets to get local delacies for my thai wife and kids.this is a beautiful place and even though it was closing for their annual holiday everything was available and perfect.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
secretpit, Owner at Secret Garden Chiang Mai, responded to this review, June 2, 2012
Dear Chris & Ann ,
Thanks for a lovely review !
As always the last days before leaving for our holidays were very busy , and while travelling in Europe we didn't have internet access...that's the reason for responding late , sorry about that .
We are now relaxing in our house in Spain , already making plans for the next season , starting in August . I'm sure the other guests you took along with you on your truck enjoyed it very much .
Thanks for staying with us ,
Cheers
Peter , Pai and Isabel
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2012

My partner and I stayed at Secret Garden for three nights just before the Songkran festival in April 2012. For us, staying here was the best of both worlds: we could enjoy the hustle and bustle of Chiang Mai during the day and follow up by relaxing in the peaceful and tranquil surroundings of the Secret Garden. Getting around, including travelling into Chiang Mai city centre was not difficult – our lovely hosts, Peter, Pai, and Isabel were happy to pick us up from the local town where we took a small bus to go to and from the city centre.

For us, it felt like we were staying with friends – even though we’ve never met our hosts before! Peter’s daughter picked us up from the airport, Peter then poured us our first drink on arrival, and shortly after, Pai explained very patiently what to do and see. It never felt any bother to ask for assistance, it was very easy going and relaxed the whole time.

The honest and green surroundings - simple yet traditionally furnished rooms, lounge area, a small stream & pond, some playful animals, plenty of trees - means you can enjoy nature and feel relaxed. Shortly after we arrived, we explored the local countryside on bikes set aside for guests for free. In a leisurely 30 minute ride, we came across a local temple, some road side markets and many padi-fields.

Finally, the food doesn’t get much better here. Pai cooks wonderful home cooked Thai dishes with some help from her extended family in the kitchen. We also liked the European influence for breakfast which made for a good variety of food.

It was a wonderful experience and we hope to go back there on our next visit to Chiang Mai.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
secretpit, Owner at Secret Garden Chiang Mai, responded to this review, May 16, 2012
Sorry I don't address you with your real name , but I'm not quite certain who is hiding behind the tripadvisor name . Anyhow , thanks a lot for remembering to write about us and our Secret Garden on tripadvisor , we really appreciate it , and each good review gives new impetus to our work .We will be on the plane to Europe next Tuesday , I still can't believe holidays are just six days away .
Thanks again for coming to us , we are glad you enjoyed your stay .
Regards from Pai and Isabel
Peter
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Perth, Western Australia, Australia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2012

Such a beautiful haven, a place to feel at home, lovely air conditioned bungalows, very clean and cared for. Peter and Pai went out of their way to look after us in so many ways.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
secretpit, Owner at Secret Garden Chiang Mai, responded to this review, May 12, 2012
Dear Vishrant ,
So good to hear from you again ! Thanks for a very positive review about our place ! Still 3 days to go and the last guest for this season leaves our place . We are glad and satisfied that you enjoyed your stay with us . We wish you and your family health and happiness , don't forget the Secret Garden , as we won't forget you .
Greetings from Pai and Isabel
Peter
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Additional Information about Secret Garden Chiang Mai

Address: 54/1 Moo 5 , T. Mae Khue | Doisaket, 2.5 km from Borsang, Doi Saket 50220, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Chiang Mai Province > Doi Saket
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 hotels in Doi Saket
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Secret Garden Chiang Mai Hotel Chiang Mai
Secret Garden Hotel Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai Secret Garden
Secret Garden Chiang Mai Chiang Mai Province/Doi Saket, Thailand

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