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!
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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