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Review of Howie's HomeStay

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Howie's HomeStay
Ranked #3 of 19 Hotels in Mae Rim
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 6, 2013

My first real post on Trip Advisor is for Howie and Jerri! Can’t say enough good things about this place and both Howie and Jerri. Spending a part of our honeymoon with them, couple that has been together 20 plus years, who enjoys life as much as we do was amazing. I wouldn't have changed anything, except maybe for the fact that I would do anything to take the smell of our bedroom home with us. Fresh flowers were everywhere, every little detail thought of. Howie bent over backwards to make sure we were taken care of and that we got to see and experience all Chiang Mai, and Bangkok, had to offer. I liked to think of it as staying in an AMAZING place with your favorite travel channel personality/guide – how can you beat that?

Highlights:
-Howie taking us to the BEST off the beaten path food vendors and restaurants
-Jerri’s Thai cooking (it was absolutely AMAZING)
-Fresh flowers and the incredible smell of the room every time we arrived back home
-Feeling well taken care of while still enjoying the privacy of the suite and it’s surrounding gardens
-Listening to Jazz as the sun went down in our room
-Howie’s sense of humor
-The fruit at breakfast!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MegaF_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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68 - 74 of 90 reviews

Reviewed August 22, 2013

We first saw this property featured in Architectural Digest a few years ago and were really impressed, so when we discovered that we could actually stay there, we did. We can only concur with all the other 5 star reviews. This is an experience of superlatives topped off by wonderful hosts. Howie is a raconteur of note and Jerri's food is sublime. We wanted for absolutely nothing. Where ever you turn there is an array of incredible detail executed not only with precision but with absolute aesthetic brilliance. Vast collections of beautifully patinated antiques from all corners of SE Asia and beyond are surrounded by a tropical garden replete with magnificent flora including our Thai favourite, beautiful red lipstick palms. The vast jade coloured swimming pool drops off to a lanscape of legions of heliconias, a huge lotus pond and jungles interspersed with vignettes of archaeological objets collections and modern day whimsies that evoke absolute bliss and enchantment.

Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Amanvari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2013

Howie and Jerri are incredible people...we felt at home after the first night. Food is incredible and our three children really enjoyed their time there. I will never stay at a hotel again in Chiangmai and I have already booked my next stay!! It's the perfect place for a family holiday as everything is in close proximity to one another - Monkey Centre, Crocodile Farm - and Howie helps you arrange everything. I give it a 10/10...thumbs up for sure!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank josootang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2013

To be completely honest with you, my life is the hotel business. I've been working in the luxury hotel business in some of the best hotels in the world for almost 20 years, and I moonlight as a freelance writer for the world's best travel magazines on the most exceptional establishments in the world, whether they be hotels, restaurants, boutiques etc. I have seen the chain hotels, and I've seen every form of cutting edge new idea out there. I personally take care of the movers and the shakers behind these legendary havens of peace, so I am justifiably qualified to note and appreciate anything out of the ordinary and unique. Howie's Homestay is less of a hotel and more of a private resort, accepting only single reservations. Meaning this $15 million "private resort" is yours. All inclusive with no nickling and diming, no hidden fees, no wifi charge, no laundry or minibar bills. An extraordinary, mega secure and super chill Bill Bensley designed private haven of peace far from the madness. Howie's beautiful wife, Jerri ensures that you will eat better than anywhere else in Chiang Mai, and Howie himself is a charming man who knows the lay of the land, and who will engage you in frank and interesting conversation on every subject under the sun and make you feel like part of the family. It's no surprise that Howie's has ended up as one of the best "hotels" in the world according to the publications who know what they're talking about and who have seen it all before (Condé Nast Traveler, The Robb Report). If you're travelling to Chiang Mai, and you appreciate the creme de la creme, you owe it to yourself to stay at Howie's. Forget the nearby Four Seasons and the Mandarin Oriental (which as of this writing will probably no longer be a Mandarin Oriental ..)

Room Tip: Although there is no fitness center, the private pool with a view of the backyard foothills is price...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Adrian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2013

I have just returned from a quick 1 night trip to Chiang Mai and another fabulous stay at Howies. I have been traveling to Chiang Mai for over a decade and love the hotels there, especially the Ratchamanka and the Mandarin Oriental (it only gets better with age).

Nothing is as good as Howies. Its the perfect combination of elegance, decadence and Thai design taken to a level of sophistication that would make the most fussy guests relax. Everything about this property is perfect. I must make special mention of the gardens. I am quite sure that these are the pinnacle of Bensley's work. My only mistake was staying for one night, you could stay a week and not get tired of the place.

You have not seen Thailand if you have not seen Howies.

Room Tip: Stay for a minimum of 3 nights. June is a perfect time to go.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank JMFHospitality
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2013

Definitely a place to go back!

The place is so much better when u get there that anything u can see on the web!
The decoration is simply special, and rooms are amazing!
The gardens are beautiful,u have a great view anywhere u look!
So much better then anything a hotel could offer!

Howie and Jerry will recommend where to go and the attractions that u have to see around and ensure the transport wherever u want to go.

One of the best things is the food...I really think Jerry makes the best home made Thai food,i really miss that...

Howie's HomeStay is the place that makes u fell like home :)
I'd love to go back anytime!

Regards & looking forward to see u again!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Bella L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 13, 2012

What's not to like, much less absolutely fawn and drool over?

Both the bedroom and the public rooms and gardens are far more inspiring than the Four Seasons (nearby) or the Mandarin Oriental (about 30 minutes away). If you are considering either of these luxury hotels, you should consider instead staying at Howie's for 20-80% less. Keep in mind that you don't pay extra here for the meals.

We particularly enjoyed getting to know Howie and Jerri, especially learning to cook Thai food with Jerri in the kitchen. Additionally we had the privilege of being in Chiang Mai during Loy Kratong festival during which Howie and Jerri personally guided us on an evening tour through the city, helping us both navigate the chaos and understand the traditions.

Besides the hosting, the other main point of difference at Howie's is the design. The house was designed by Bill Bensley who is racking up awards for hotel design around the world. A number of pavilions are connected by enchanting outdoor walkways, gardens ponds and pools, including an outdoor dining table with a fountain in the middle of the table, sitting under a canopy of trailing vines amidst traditionally built brick columns. Every time you turn a corner there, you see a new detail of interior or exterior design to delight you. The bathroom of the room included its own large private garden with exterior tub overlooking the lotus pond and outdoor shower as well. Everything was beautifully presented and dramatically lit - it is rare for a space to look even better at night than during the day. I completely agree with the previous review that says the property really looks like it does in the photos.

I had not heard of this place until a friend tipped me off, but I can't imagine visiting Chiang Mai again and not returning to Howie's.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank EtherealKotuku
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Howie's HomeStay

Address: 75/1 Moo 1, Ban Mai, Mae Ram, Mae Rim 50180, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Chiang Mai Province > Mae Rim
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Mae Rim
Price Range: $984 - $1,789 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Howie's HomeStay 5*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Beautiful and unique Thai dream house in the Himalayan foothills outside Chiang Mai featured in Architectural Digest, now welcomes guests to the one bedroom Teak Pavilion. A singular accommodation with 8-meter teak ceilings, floor to ceiling windows that open onto tropical gardens plus outdoor bathroom with sunken bath can be yours. Total privacy, home cooked Thai dinners served by the palm-fringed pool, daily massages, car w/driver are all included. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Howie's HomeStay Chiang Mai Province, Thailand

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