We arrived at BaanBooLOo on 27 December 2012. We'd been looking forward to this place for so long after so much planning and research on Tripadvisor for places to stay in Chiang Mai. It's a traditional Lanna Thai house and is famed for its hospitality. We were not disappointed. This place is ridiculously good.
The moment we walk through its front gate I feel like I've stepped into something special. It's incredibly peaceful despite it's proximity to the centre of Chiang Mai (it's literally a street or two away from Wat Phra Singh).
Orn greets us with a genuinely warm smile and takes us to our house. She tells us not to worry about checking in..."just sit down and relax and we will bring you some fruit and tea". Can't argue with that.
Already I love the feel of the place. We booked into the Baan Lek house (taking the upstairs king suite for us and downstairs bunk room for the kids (7&9 years).
Like everything at BaanBooLOo, the house is peaceful. Incredibly peaceful and has a beautiful aspect across the grounds. We drop our bags in the room and by the time we make our way out on to the deck, fresh tropical fruit and icy cold fruit juice awaits us on a tray adorned with pretty flowers. All around are green trees and local bird life. I've been here five minutes and already feel relaxed and as if I've been staying here a month.
After settling in we join Adisak (the owner and designer of BaanBooLO), Lek (takes care of the organic garden project amongst other things) and Orn (easy-going manager/amazing host/world of knowledge...) in the community area where you dine and talk and drink and just admire the surrounds,and spend a good amount of time talking to Adisak about all things BaanBooLOo, the King of Thailand, Buddhism, and why the place is so important to him. They have a way of making you feel like you're the most special guest that has ever stayed here.
That evening our kids invite themselves to join a French family and Orn to learn how to cook authentic northern Thai food. That's another thing about this place - we are completely comfortable letting the kids explore and introduce themselves to other guests. It really does feel like you're one of the family, and that's the philosophy of this place. We're not guests in the traditional hotel sense. We're invited to stay with the family (the staff) and experience what life is like in a traditional Lanna house.
We could only book a couple of nights here due to availability (and we booked several months in advance). But even after we leave, Orn invites us back to join her, the staff and a few select guests for a traditional new years' eve celebration, and Adisak comes and meets us at our new hotel across town at 6.00am in the morning to drive us to Doi Sudepth so we could see the temple at sunrise and offer alms to the monks. That was another incredible experience in itself.
BaanBooLOo isn't a place to stay, it's an experience. The kind of thing you'll talk about forever after you leave. It's the place that will bring the biggest smile to you face when you look back through photos and the one spot that you'll genuinely walk away from wishing you could stay longer. A massive thanks to Adisak, Orn, Lek, and the lovely two Burmese staff (whose names I never managed to get) for making our stay one of the highlights of our five weeks in Thailand.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A unique small Thai country village style guesthouse with surrounding wooden villas, hammocks, country garden, outdoor lounges with lots of arts and wood carvings. Visitors should be aware that this is a very natural setting. There are many kinds of creatures in the gardens Some bathrooms are semi open air and mosquitos are omnipresent as in the most part of Chiang Mai. We use mosquito netting in bedrooms as well as using air-conditioning, fans and mosquito repellents and creams free of charge. Guests are advised to wear loose fitting clothing with long sleeves and leg coverings in the early mornings and early evenings or to use a good strength anti mosquito spray. Sunny daytimes are mostly mosquito free. Hard to believe but BaanBooLOo Village seems completely cut off from the noise of the city centre yet is only 15 minutes from Chiang Mai International Airport. It is without question the quietest location in all of central Chiang Mai. We are in the central historic Old City Inner Moat area just 5 minutes walk from the major landmark Wat Pra Singh temple known by all in Chiang Mai. We provide a comprehensive and hearty Thai and International breakfast from 7am until 10am. We do cater for early start breakfasts and special dietary needs. Guests are recommended to discuss any special needs upon check-in. We have a quiet policy after 10pm as these are wooden houses and respect for neighbours is paramount. We also have an outdoor late lounge area with music and drinks until around midnight which is separate from guest rooms to avoid sleep disturbance. There are late night bars, jazz club and eateries all within 20 minutes walk or a short tuk tuk ride for around 100 baht. Most venues are open until around 1am. A handful are open until the early hours. Our concierge service includes helping guests to plan activities/spas/trekking plus advice on events in and around the city. This service is impartial and is included in the room charge. We would never recommend tourist service companies with animal cruelty reputations. BaanBooLOo Village is a 'green' environmentally friendly organisation evolving gradually. Our long term goal is to create a green oasis in the form of a living museum in the historic old city walls. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Baanbooloo Traditional Thai Guest House Hotel Chiang Mai