We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“a wonderful holiday”
Review of Joy's House

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 5 more sites!
Joy's House
Ranked #5 of 833 Chiang Mai B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 18, 2012

I stayed 2 weeks at joy's house and did most of their excursions including a trip to Doi Inthanon and North Thailand. If you want, they make you feel part of their family. They have nice rooms, many beautiful spots for relaxing, excellent food and, most important, offer great company.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Alexandra N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (744)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

289 - 295 of 744 reviews

Reviewed November 16, 2012

This is my second time to Thailand and as I said before in my previous review, I'm again here at Joy's House. Since we are here for 2 weeks, we thought to ourselves "There's nowhere better than at Joy's." The place (in a good way)changed quite a lot, but what didn't change was the cozy hospitality the people there gave us. I was actually here 2 years ago with my husband, who was my boyfriend back then. It was surprising that the owners recognized us. I felt so at home ♥.

We made reservations for a room that could see the garden. It was quite different from the pool view but I love the green atmosphere it gave to the room.

As when we got here, my body was so stiff from the travelling. So, I booked the 2 hour massage to ease my muscles. It was AMAZING! Probably the best one ever.

We also asked them to helped us plan our vacation for the whole stay. They didn't hesitate to help, which made us so grateful of them because we didn't have a clue what to do the whole time here except sight seeing. We are also going to visit the Children's Shelter Foundation in Parmeing. And we are also looking forward to the Full moon festival or what they call in Thai "Yee Peng".

What's new for me...

They having cooking classes now! My husband doesn't know a single bit about cooking, so forget about a foreign dish. But here at Joy's House Cooking class, they make everything so easy to understand. Now I can make my favorite Pad Thai and Tom Yum Goong. I also had a chance to try something new, "Hunglay Curry". This dish made all my taste buds explode! I've never tasted anything like this! I was so excited.

So, all in all. . .

From this trip by far, me and my husband had the chance to experience a lot of firsts. We never had the time to go to the Children's Shelter Foundation when we were here last time. Yee Peng is comming. We now know how to cook our favorite Thai dish. I got to taste something new. My body hasn't felt so relaxed in a very long time. And all this thanks to Joy's House, a welcoming place that will absolutely make our trip remarkable.

I definitely recommend this place to all travelers to Chiang Mai.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank liindiez_s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2012

We stayed (2 adults and 5-year old son) for one week in November.

Joy's House, with it's connection to the Children's Shelter Foundation, is an interesting place to stay. However, it's expensive, offering poor value for money (on a relative basis, for Thailand). It's location 5-6km from the City Centre was also an inconvenience. While some others have commented on the spirit of the place, I only partially agree and found some of the "friendliness" insincere. While interesting, I do not think it deserves to be ranked No.1 in Chiang Mai and think you can do much better in the City itself, in which there are plenty of delightful, cheap guests houses in quiet areas of town. As a result I would not choose to stay there again.

Overview: Joy's house is located 5-6km outside the centre of Chiang Mai. This puts it on the outskirts of the city, in what i would call a suburb. Joy's House is located on a lane, which is shares with a large number of other residence's, including holiday homes. ie it's not in the middle of the countryside, as i'd expected. There's a large 6-lane highway about 250m from the House, though traffic noise was not an issue. Joy's house is in a walled compound, containing several other buildings and out-houses, with the small swimming pool to the rear. The compound is shady, overhung by trees and shrubs and is well maintained overall.

We became friendly with another family during our stay who complained about noise from a Karaoke situated on the main highway, which they said went onto 2am. We also heard the Karaoke noise, it didnt disturb us as we were situated on the opposite side of the compound.

The food at Joy's House is ok. As others have commented, it is plentiful. However, my wife and I found it a bit bland and simple. I assume they have 'dumbed it down" for Western tastes. As such, if you are new to Thailand, you will probably like it. If you are Asian, or are used to Thai food, then you might not.

Positives:

Laid back: The owners are laid back and easy going. Having the Children (mainly in late teens) made for a nice atmosphere, especially at night when several would play guitars for the guests. Our 5-year old son enjoyed this a lot and I think it gave him a good experience. The festivities didn't last long and most seem to go to bed just after 9am.

Child friendly: Overall, Joy's House is a child friendly place. The owners provide a number of children's bicycles for use and our son was allowed (or should i say tolerated!) to cycle round to his heart's content. Many of the Children were warm and friendly to him. While we were conscious of not taking advantage of this, at least we felt we could let our son wander round in safety by himself.

Negatives:

Cleanliness: We had a rat in our room. We came back to the room after the first night and found 2 rat droppings, one in the sink and another on a light fitting. We were moved to an upgraded room without any fuss. I also found another rat dropping on an outside table during our stay. Rat's are a major pest in a tropical country like Thailand and rat infestations are common (i speak as someone who lived there for a month many years ago). They can be prevented through thorough cleaning and not leaving food out. Although Joy's House is not unclean, I think the cleanliness can still be improved upon, as the washing of some of the breakfast plates and jugs was not always up to scratch, in my view. In addition, food (including fruit) is left lying around the breakfast area for most of the day - and night. Efforts should therefore be made to put this food away in a more timely fashion.

Expensive: While the nightly cost of staying at Joy's house wont break the bank for the average Western Tourist, i dont think it offers good value for money, relative to what else is on offer in Chiang Ma, as think you can find accommodation of equal, or higher quality in the main town at a lower price. I'd also say you need to be very careful about which room you stay in. We were first housed in room 16, which although newly refubished, was a simple out-building and somewhat poorly constructed. The bed in this room was hard and uncomfortable and i would not have stayed the full week in this room, has we not been upgraded after the 'rat incident".

Second, the prices charged at Joy's House for extra's including drinks and trips are very high. For example, they charge 50 baht for a can of coke in their Bar, compared to 20-30 at a Street seller and 10-13 in the Supermarket. While I would expect such a high price at a 5* hotel, charging 50 baht seems like profiteering to me.

Another example include's the extortionate prices they charge for arranging Taxis, charging 200-250 baht for a one way trip by Songthaew, or Tuk Tuk into Town. Any seasoned traveler to Thailand will know these rates are v high. I spoke to the owners a couple of times about this who maintained that this was a standard rate for both tourists and locals alike. I simply do not agree and cannot understand why the owners insisted this was the case.

I later found out - from a local i'd befriended - that Thai's are charged around 100 baht for a Tuk Tuk from our location. We also organised our own Tuk Tuk into town and were charged 150 baht, not the 200-250 that the owners claimed was standard for everyone.

While I have bigger things to worry about that Tuk Tuk fares, what I do mind is being told something by the owners, which i think was plainly untrue. I also dont like to be taken for a fool.

The prices charged for tours at Joy's House are also expensive and a premium to what is charged locally. We visited the Mai Ping Elephant Village for a 5-6 hour trip, paying a total of 5,500 baht for 2 adults and a child. We had shared the trip with another family to save money. We later found out that the same trip could be arranged with a local travel agent for 900 per adult and half price for a child. Maximum of 12 people per tour - which makes no difference, as the Park is busy. The owners might reply to this that there's was a private tour, while the 900 baht trip was for a group. While this is true, our trip was 4 adults and 3 children, or 7 individuals, which is not that different from 12. Given we were on a budget, we should have done it ourselves.

We also found Joy to be quite pushy in wanting us to arrange tours with her. This leads me onto another issue. Sincerity (or lack of). While there are plenty of comments on this site about the positive atmosphere and spirit of Joy's House, we didn't always experience it. On the contrary, I didnt always think the Smiles were real. I will give one example:

Our son had been ill and needed to see the Doctor.The owners suggested a local hospital that was not too far away. True to form, they told us we would need 200 baht for the short 10 min journey, which I though was outrageous. Not one person asked after my son upon our return from the Doctor's or inquired how he was. While this doesn't bother me, it supports my view that the owners of Joy's House are sometimes more interested in making money, than the welfare of their guests.

While some of my comments might seem critical, I believe it's a fair summary of our experience. We should not forget that Joy's House is not itself a Charity. As their website says, it's a family run business, owned by Joy's family. While Joy's House does provide an outlet for the Children of the Foundation, we should remember that the Guest House is run for profit, for the family. It is on this basis that i have judged it - as a commercial enterprise and as a place to stay in Chiang Mai.

I admire the work of the foundation. I also admire the opportunity given to the Children to better themselves. We also thought the Children were great. We also found Ulri, the co-owner to be warm and friendly. I wish all of them the best for the future. However, I would not chose to stay in the Joy's "family business" House again.

Room Tip: Dont choose room 16, unless you like a hard bed.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
12  Thank AnEnglishmaninAsia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joy's House C, Manager at Joy's House, responded to this reviewResponded December 8, 2012

Dear Guest, thank you for stay with us and for your review.
We would like to appologize and improve in the following parts:

Even in your room it was not a rat dropping as you thought - it was Gecko dropping - quite simulare in looking - we will try harder to avoid Geckos in the rooms.

For the hard matress we really have to appologize. As you said it was a new bed and we had no experience with it. In Thailand you will face by nature hard matrasses - a good matrass is a hard matrass. But for foreigners we have to change the matreass. We did already.

For the Taxi - we dont get any profit - we just provide the service. I'm sorry to say that but I can hardly believe that a Thai Person got charged only 100 baht - its just not possible. Probably that Person dont know our location exact. We feel sorry that you felt untrue with us, but we never have been untrue with you.
Anyway, now for high season we provide a Shuttle bus from Joys House
9.30 am and 6 pm to go to the City for 20 baht/Person.

For the last point I would like to explane:
By law Joys House have to be a business - separated by financials from our Children's Foundation - as we show it in our website. If you imagine, you have to provide home and education for 45 children and youngsters in training you will easily know where the main profit of Joys House is going to. Even Childrens Shelter Foundation tries to get Godparents and Sponsors - the project (founded by the owners of Joys House) could not exist without Joys House.

Thank you again for staying with us
Joys House Family

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2012

Joy's House was a fantastic place to stay in Chiang Mai! I recently traveled her with a group of 6 friends. I now would like to return with my family some day. I think this is a great place to bring children as it is very kids friendly. We met couples, families, and friends traveling together. Joy's really is a great place for all travelers.

I found this not only a great place to use as a home base in Chiang Mai, but it was the ultimate cultural experience. From the time we arrived at the airport (there were 2 staff members waiting to greet us with a friendly Thai welcome) until the day we left (I can still picture the kids singing to us and waving goodbye as we drove away) a great time was had by all. Some of the older children from the foundation help work and run the hotel and are there to talk and interact with you at all times. We really enjoyed sitting around at night, eating dinner and listening to the kids play the guitar. We sang and danced along with them and had a fabulous time. I did read a review on here that stated that the dinners here are expensive compared to what you can find in the city. This is true, but you can't beat the experience. I would recommend having dinner at Joy's House at least one evening. Joy and and her partner Uhile (not sure if I spelled that correctly) are so kind and welcoming as well. I was skeptical about staying a bit outside of the city, but we found this to work out just fine. Here is an overview of my stay at Joy's House:

Rooms-Very nice and clean. We had 3 rooms and some were bigger than others, but all were just fine for 2 people per room. We found the rooms to be hot, but as we continued to travel throughout Thailand we realized this is the norm. There was not a single place we stayed on our trip that had the air conditioning turned up like you would typically find in the more tropical parts of the USA.

Staff-AMAZING!!! I could go on and on, but I think this word sums it up very well.

Amenities-Great! The pool was very nice. The decor of the hotel is majestic. We had massages several times and were very pleased. The hotel offers a variety of other things to do such as cooking classes and yoga.

Food and Drinks-We really enjoyed our dinner at Joy's House. As I mentioned, the entertainment (kids playing the guitar) was one of our favorite memories from the trip. They had a song list that we could choose from and we really enjoyed finding fun, popular pop songs and singing along. We danced, sang, and had a fabulous time. There is also a bar with wine, beer, and mixed drinks. I recommend the Mai Thais:) The breakfast was basic, but that was fine for us. They had toast, eggs, cereal, waffles, orange juice, milk, and a few other things.

Location-I was a little worried about being a little ways from outside the city, but this was not really a problem. Anytime we wanted to go into Chiang Mai, we easily found a taxi that was called for us by Joy or one of the other staff members. We even split the fare with other families a few times.

Excursions-They will set up any kind of excursion/day trip you wish. I highly recommend going with Joy's House arranged tours. We did the elephant camp and children's foundation. By arranging your tours with them you will have a private guide and driver. We really got to know the guides (who are usually the 16 or 17 year old foundation kids) really well and found this to be so neat and the best way to learn about their culture. Any question we had, they answered. We had so much fun getting to know our guides!

The experience-PRICELESS! I highly recommend Joy's House and can't wait to go back again someday.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank KAT615
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2012

I wanted somewhere comfortable to stay for a few nights in Chiang Mai and fond Joys House on Trip Advisor audit is everything the reviews say.

Do:

eat there, you'll feel especially welcome
Visit the local market and learn a Thai dish - its a lot of fun even if you can cook
Visit the farm, the kids are awesome
Do yoga, the yoga room was a very pleasant surprise
Talk to Joy p, Ule and the staff, they are a treat
The 2 hr massage, I love massages and have a lot and this was one of the best

Don't

Get a room near the breakfast area, it's damn noisy, even if you're up at sparrows
Expect luxury, this is basic but welcoming

Enjoy!

Room Tip: Avoid the breakfast area and ask for one out the back
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank BSBtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2012

This was by far the best part of our trip around Thailand. Joy's House was a peaceful retreat outside of the craziness of the city, but only about 200bhat ($6USD) tuk-tuk/taxi ride into the city. We were treated like royalty by the staff and the children. Joy's House organized all of our tours for us for the week which included excellent traditional Thai nightly dinners at the house. Joy's House is partnered with the Childrens Shelter Foundation outside of Chiang Mai. The children come to Joy's house to work and learn when they are 15. They give excellent tours and it was so great to spend time with them on the tours and at dinners in the evening. They are so smart and learning so much, what a great organization! Thanks!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank kchicks21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 1, 2012

I stayed at Joy's House at the end of October for 6 nights and enjoyed it immensely. Joy and Uli are the best hosts ever!

The accommodation is cozy, and the trips well organized. It really gives you a family feel, and by the time I had to travel to the south, I simply did not want to go!

During my stay I took daily yoga lessons with one of their teachers. It was a challenge, but I ended up doing something I thought I could never manage before.

I particularly enjoy the trip to the farm of the Children's Shelter Foundation. The children are so sweet, and I miss them already. On the way back from the farm, we stopped by a hot spring at night. Bathing under the stars was simply amazing, and words fail to capture the experience.

If you are looking for a place to rest your mind, I would say choose Joy's House without hesitation. It is out of the touristic part of town, hence very quiet. The gardens are well maintained and the food is great (esp. if you are a vegetarian). Try the Thai massage and herbal ball massage. My friend and I enjoyed both very much. If you are a musician, you can even jam with the staff at night.

Go there with an open mind. It is not a five-star hotel, but it has much more to offer.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Anirbas A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Chiang Mai hotels
3.5 mi away
Rainforest Boutique
Rainforest Boutique
#53 of 403 in Chiang Mai
977 reviews
3.3 mi away
BED Phrasingh
BED Phrasingh
#5 of 403 in Chiang Mai
895 reviews
2.7 mi away
V Lodge
V Lodge
#3 of 833 in Chiang Mai
146 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
2.7 mi away
Chedi Home
Chedi Home
#8 of 833 in Chiang Mai
278 reviews
3.2 mi away
BaanBooLOo Village
BaanBooLOo Village
#7 of 833 in Chiang Mai
415 reviews
0.7 mi away
Guesthouse Liam's Suan Dok Mai
Guesthouse Liam's Suan Dok Mai
#12 of 833 in Chiang Mai
336 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Joy's House? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Joy's House

Address: 114 Moo 9, Sanpeesue Village, Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Chiang Mai Province > Chiang Mai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 833 B&Bs / Inns in Chiang Mai
Price Range: $55 - $113 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Joy's House 3*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sawas dee kah,...We invite you to stay with our family in comfortable traditional houses in our tropical garden with Spa, Massage and Swimming Pool. Our restaurant will offer you the authentic Thai kitchen. We also guide you through NorthThailand. You will experience Thailand beyond the beaten tourist paths. Further more you can visit our Social Project „Children’s Shelter Foundation“ in the mountains. Warmheartedly welcome Joy & Ulli - Joy’s House Family ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Priceline, Agoda and Hotels.com so you can book your Joy's House reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Joy`s House Hotel Chiang Mai

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing