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“"Best secret getaway in Chiang Mai"” 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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Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Doi Saket
Kansas City, Missouri
1 review
“"Best secret getaway in Chiang Mai"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2014

We were looking for a quiet place to rest and relax and the Secret Garden was absolutely perfect. Peter, Pai, and Isobel went out of their way to make us feel totally welcome from the moment we arrived, and throughout our stay always had time to help us with whatever we needed. Pai's cooking is fabulous --- I'm not a great Thai food fan, but after a week of her cooking, I am now! The bungalow was comfortable, clean, and nicely decorated. It was especially nice to have an outside veranda to relax, as well as a spacious living room complete with TV and DVD player. The grounds are beautiful and peaceful. Breakfast was served til 10, so we could really sleep late but still enjoy a good meal. We will definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed February 2014, 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
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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, March 5, 2014
Hi Mike & Janet ,
I hope you got Pai's recipes by now , because if you became a fan of Thai cooking while you were here with us , you should try to cook the dishes at your home too . You will soon find out that it's really easy , in a way it's easier than western food . Just the preparation time takes a bit longer . The only thing you should remember is to fry the chili paste first , never add it like it is .And fry the paste slowly , low flame , it must not brown .
When I looked at the new reviews today , they were all 5 stars . You can't imagine how happy you and the others made us , it's like a standing ovation for the actors after the play is finished , thank you very very much !!
In case you come to Chiang Mai again , don't forget to drop by .
Have a great time
Peter , Pai and Isabel
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1,249 reviews from our community

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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
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Darmstadt, Germany
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2014

Secret Garden is run by Peter, his wife Pai and their daughter Isabel. Together with their friendly staff they give this place a soul which you don't find in any upscale resort. My wife and I spent 5 days there and we had a wonderful time.

The food that you get there is absolutely amazing and I loved the fact that there was no menu for dining. Instead, you pay a flat of 200 Baht and in return you can eat all the different dishes that Pai and her kitchen fairies have prepared. Typically, that was three different main dishes + dessert + coffee and we weren't disappointed even once. LOVED the food! :)

Secret Garden is about 30mins outside of Chiang Mai near (or in) Bo Sang and compared to Chiang Mai it is really pieceful and quiet there. You can easily go down to Chiang Mai by public bus or taxi, but if you are looking for for a place in the heart of the city you might want to look somewhere else.
If you are looking for something that gives you easy access to the city, but also gives you the piece and quiet after the noise and air pollution in Chiang Mai then I highly recommend giving Secret Garden a go!

  • Stayed February 2014, 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, March 5, 2014
Hi Thomas ,
As you wrote in English I have to answer in English too .
First of all thanks for giving us 5 points in all categories , it doesn't happen very often .
As you said we don't have a menu , just for lunch our guests can order what they want . We tried once to do the same thing for dinner , but after 3 days Pai wanted to quit the job forever , and we better went back to the buffet . Normally people are quite happy with it , like this they can taste different dishes every day .Good you liked it too , Pai gives her regards . Today quite a few people left , March is a slow month , we even have some days without anybody miiddle of the month .
We hope spring is coming soon in Germany , beginning of May we will be there too . We close early this year , family is more important than business .
Macht's gut , thanks for remembering us
The Secret Garden crew
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Durham England
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014

We have just left the Secret Garden after five nights and loved every minute of our stay. Peter, Pai and Isobel are superb hosts and can't be faulted. The food was excellent and my wife who is a vegetarian was presented with her own personal dishes each evening. All the staff were great and nothing was too much trouble. The rooms are good but not luxurious and have a separate seating area and mini kitchen if you feel like catering for yourself. The price of dinner and drinks is so low that you wouldn't want to use the kitchen. An excellent stay and excellent value. The only reason I haven't given 5* is because we came from a similar resort hotel and moved to another where the actual standard of accommodation is better. Having said that I've just changed my mind and rated it 5* for the overall stay. If you want a city.centre location this isn't for you as all in all it takes 30 minutes to get into town. The hotel drop you off and pick you up at the bus stop and the "bus" is a great experience. Thank you Peter Pai and Isobel. Hope to see you again.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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secretpit, Owner at Secret Garden Chiang Mai, responded to this review, March 6, 2014
Dear Nadine ,
I don't know whether you or your husband wrote this review ...I'm horrible with names , and I just remember yours . Anyhow , thanks for remembering us , and thanks for giving us 5 stars in the end . Our place is not very luxurious , as you know it was not meant to be a resort , we just built it the way we liked it for ourselves . All the more we appreciate that you gave us a very good ranking .
Part of it , as always , is definitely Pai and her cooking , she puts all her heart into it . I myself would never eat Thai food anywhere else .
Regards from the staff , thanks for choosing our Secret Garden
Peter , Pai and Isabel
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Bangkok, Thailand
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014

We stayed here with our young son in September 2013. Overall, we had a very pleasant stay and we would recommend it to families traveling with children who are looking for a non-corporate-hotel atmosphere and do not mind staying outside of downtown Chiang Mai.

The hotel owners were able to reserve for us a van (an entire van for the 3 of us!) for both days of our stay along with a tour guide. The price for this was extremely reasonable (around fifty dollars a day). The hotel owners asked us where we wanted to go (they have lots of information for guests about the nearby sights), then they worked with the van driver and tour guide to negotiate everything. The tour guide was very nice and she would make subtle suggestions on additional places to go, but was also very good at listening to us and not forcing us to go anywhere we didn't want to go. We went to an elephant camp, to a temple, and to downtown Chiang Mai as well (in addition to some other spots).

The food at the hotel was very good, and they have lots of books to read and movies to borrow. Our son was very fond of the owner's animals. Overall, we had a very pleasant stay.

If you are traveling with small kids, I'd advise you to perhaps not take their free transportation from the airport (which is a pickup truck with benches in the back -- the local Chiang Mai public transport). Older kids would probably love it, but we were a little scared in it with our toddler, since it's open to the outside. The hotel would surely help you reserve a regular vehicle. And, what we did was on our final day, we reserved the van and tour guide again, hit up some final spots in the area, then had them drop us at the airport. It worked out well.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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secretpit, Owner at Secret Garden Chiang Mai, responded to this review, February 25, 2014
Dear Anna ,
Sorry about our Sawng Taeow , our pick up truck which we use to transfer our guests from and to the airport . It definitely is not very elegant , but very practical . Most of the kids like it ( I'm not talking about toddlers ! ) Some times when I bring guests back to the airport in the BMW , the kids ask : Why don't we go in the nice car ?? We thought about buying a big , 9 seater van , but the new ones are very expensive , and the used ones spend more time with the mechanic than with us . As you mentioned , most of the public transport in Thailand is done with the same cars .
Nee , the guide you used while you were here with us is very popular with our guests . Her rates are very low , and she speaks quite good English . It's mostly cheaper to hire her than to rent a car per day . Pai says THANKS for mentioning her food .
Thanks again for remembering our Secret Garden and writing a review after almost 5 months ,
we really appreciate it .
Greetings from all of us
Peter , Pai and Isabel
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Shepshed, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014

I'm not sure I can do the Secret Garden justice with words or photos, this place is magical! The bungalows are set in a tropical garden that is buzzing with the sound of birds, ghekos and insects. The bungalows are spacious and private, with a veranda that is perfect for a snooze in the shade. At night you can eat dinner served by Pai and her team, which was some of the best food we had in Thailand, all for 195 Baht per person (about £4) for 3 courses & coffee. During the day this place is a tropical paradise, with a great pool and bar area, at night it is lit up with lanterns. I felt relaxed and happy from the moment I arrived & would like to say a huge thank you to Peter, Pai, Isabel and their team, who couldn't do enough for us.

The distance out of Chiang Mai was perfect - we didn't want to be in the city at all. The white "buses" are easy to use & take you right into the centre, but the best bits of Chiang Mai (for us) were out of the city anyway.

We stayed in the Bird of Paradise bungalow, which was overlooking the lake, had a massive double, a seating area which could have been used as a bed for a third person and an outside veranda. The bungalow was spotlessly clean and the toiletries in the Secret Garden pots were a lovely touch.

This isn't for you if you want to stay in the middle of the city or you want a generic 5* luxury hotel. This is for you if you want to relax, experience the area around Chiang Mai, eat fantastic food and stay in a tropical garden paradise. We loved it and will be staying again.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UDObuzBxfI&feature=youtu.be

  • Stayed February 2014, 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.
Washington DC
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014

A friend and I each had our own cottage and both were lovely. We stayed for 4 nights and loved every minute of it. It's outside of Chiang Mai but we really liked that. It was a nice experience to take the public transportation to and from Chiang Mai. Peter and Pi couldn't have been more accommodating with advice, arranging tours etc... We really looked forward to coming back in the evening for the wonderful food and visiting with the other people staying there. It's very pretty at night with all the lights. One day we went to Chiang Mai to see the temples and shop, the next day we went to an elephant camp (wonderful experience), the last full day they helped us arrange for a car (so we could to see all main the sites outside of Chiang Mai and shop too :). I would highly recommend staying he and will return the next time I visit Chiang Mai. Peggy

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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secretpit, Owner at Secret Garden Chiang Mai, responded to this review, February 25, 2014
Hi Peggy ,
A big THANKS from your Chiang Mai "relatives" . If you felt like this it really makes us happy .
Before we opened the Secret Garden almost 7 years ago , we had open Sundays for about 18 years . It always was like a big family , and in a way the Secret Garden still has a bit of this feeling . As you know we never thought about renting out before , it came because of necessity , because handicraft became difficult to sell . Now it feels like we have done it our whole life . The reviews are very important for us , each good review makes our day .
Thanks for coming to our place , we are glad you enjoyed your time at our place .
Until we meet again , who knows ??
Peter , Pai , Isabel and the staff of the Secret Garden
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Melbourne, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014

We stayed at Secret Garden for 7 days in January... and wish it could have been longer. David and I, and our 2 kids Noah and Oliver had such a wonderful time here. When I walked in, I felt instantly relaxed and calm. Not always something you expect in busy Thailand. It really is an oasis. We stayed in Kingfisher, down the back, and had everything we could have wanted.

It was that magical middle ground between the social aspect of being in a backpackers and the comfort of being in a hotel. The sala was a great meeting point, and we got to know some wonderful people here.

The food is absolutely wonderful. There was always something for the spice people, and something for those who weren't so good with heat! The menu is different every night, and we got an email afterward with all the recipes. Fantastic!

Peter took the time to explain the ins and outs of the local transport, and anything else we needed to know. Pai booked our trips for us, and gave us great advice on things to do - not necessarily the things that cost the most money. Isabel always had a smile and nothing was too much trouble. The rest of the staff were also fantastic. Everyone we saw had a smile and a 'good morning', and it was great to walk past the kitchen and hear the gales of laughter coming from inside. Happy campers!!

The kids loved chatting to Isabel's rabbit and to Charlie the dog, playing fusbal, riding the bikes, and swimming in the (fairly chilly in January!) pool.

But apart from the practical aspects, the feeling there is of being in a home rather than a hotel. Peter, Pai and Isabel always give you the feeling that they are happy to talk to you, answer your questions (even though they must have heard them a million times) and tell you about the journey they've been on to get to where The Secret Garden is today.

David and I have also worked in hospitality (we met when we were working in a place a bit like this!) and we understand what hard work it is. Thank you so much all of you for making this place so special.

Until next time...

Lots of love from Maggie, David, Noah and Oliver Sakko.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 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, February 25, 2014
Hi Maggie , David , Noah & Oliver ,
What a beautiful review , and coming from people who worked in hospitality themselves it's even more important for us , thank you ever so much !! It's fun to work with people , as you will know too ,
but hospitality can be quite demanding . But if you see a lot of happy faces around you , or when you get a review like yours , you know why you love your job . I can't think of anything better .
Next month will be quieter , not real holiday time , a bit more in April because of Easter holidays in western countries and Thai New Year , Songkran . But April and May are the hottest months of the year , that's why we close our Secret Garden already in May and spend some time on the beach in Spain . Maybe we will meet again some time ,
Until then a big hug from all of us
Peter , Pai and Isabel
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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): $
Number of rooms: 16
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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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