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“best place to stay in Chang Rai”
Review of The North Hotel

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The North Hotel
Ranked #38 of 109 Hotels in Chiang Rai
Reviewed August 16, 2010

Clean, elegant, friendly and cheap. Certainly one of the best place where to stay in Chang Rai and in Thailand. They gave me a top floor suite with a magnificent view to the town, terrace with outdoor shower, living room. they organize for me the trip on the Mekong river without any commission via a friend (cheaper the local travel agencies) and I spent a good night with live misic and good company. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank SalvoRusso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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68 - 74 of 129 reviews

Reviewed June 14, 2010

We stayed at the North for 2 nights in May.

I don’t expect much for a budget hotel but the room was not the cleanest which is a shame as the Thai Owner was very friendly, helped us with anything and everything that we needed. We also found the room to be quite noisy at night due to the Night Bazaar, the noise stopped about 1am but after a long day of touring a good night’s sleep is top priority!

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank Kimmy80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2010

I've stayed at The North Hotel a few times. It is a small hotel in the city centre of Chiang Rai, just next to the old bus station and night market, giving it an extremely convenient location. The hotel is managed by Thai and Norwegian owners. Although I did not meet the Norwegian owner, the Thai owner is very friendly and helpful. He makes you feel very welcome. You can see both Northern Thai / Karen/Hmong and Norwegian influences throughout the place. Comparing The North to other places I've stayed and looked at in Chiang Rai, The North represents a very good value. I believe that The North may have undergone some renovations since some other reviews. The rooms are small and basic, but they are not typical backpacker styles. They are nicely designed, with decent furniture. Our room even shared a nice patio with the room next door. As a result, I would not call this a typical backpacker establishment. Usually, backpackers tend to go for cheaper places. I would say this place is somewhere in the middle - a cheaper yet better option. During the high season it appears that a room will cost you around 900/1000 baht. This rate includes breakfast. However, if you opt out of the breakfast the price can range around 650 baht. They also probably have cheaper rates during the low season. This is a very good price when you compare it to other places charging 450 baht for a much less pleasant room. In addition, the breakfast is probably best avoided anyway. It was very basic and not really worth it. In the end, I will definitely stay again at The North and certainly will recommend it to someone looking for a better but not expensive option in Chiang Rai. For 650 baht, it certainly deserves 5 stars.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with friends
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2  Thank MisterTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2010

We love Chiang Rai and the North Hotel was the perfect place to enjoy this bustling and not-yet-too-touristy town. The North Hotel's location is perfect - within streets of a great market, the bus station, eateries and local businesses. (The vegetarian Thai restaurant on the same street is excellent!) The North Hotel's owner and his staff are so nice, helpful and really made the difference for us. The owner helped me plan some side trips and cheerfully accommodated our unplanned comings and goings. (He even told his brother, so as we are on a remote river landing, up comes his brother just to make sure we are OK!!!) We found the rooms to be very nice, clean and pleasing. For several nights, we were upstairs on the rooftop terrace room - great views! We love Chiang Rai and we love The North Hotel and hope that one day we can return to stay there.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled with family
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2  Thank Adele B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2010

I didn’t stay here, but I am the Chiang Rai DE and at the requests from my fellow TA members, I toured The North Hotel during my December 2009 stay in Chiang rai. I posted this information on a hotel comparison list for Chiang Rai that I placed on the Chiang Rai forum, but hadn't previously put it in the hotel section, so here it is:

The manager gave me a very thorough tour of the hotel. He spoke good English and was very friendly and pleasant. I did not meet the owner. The other staff I encountered did not seem to speak English very well. The rooms were all fully booked at the time but some folks were leaving so the owner did let me look at some rooms that had just been vacated. The room rate was 900 baht.

Rooms: The rooms are small, but actually they weren’t as small as I had anticipated after reading the reviews. You can move around in them and they actually weren’t any smaller than Naga Hills (but Naga Hills rooms are better appointed). The rooms here have cement floor. No carpet and no tile on the floor. The hotel provides slippers to guests due to the cement floor but the slippers looked a bit worn to me. Fruit is provided to guests each day in their room, free of charge. All rooms have free wireless access.

The bathrooms are small and the shower area very small, but there is hot and cold water. The toilets and sink appeared to be in good condition. The hotel provides basic toiletry products such as shampoo, conditioner, soap and cotton buds.

The towels did not look any different to me than those at the other two hotels were I stayed on this trip (Naga Hills and The Palm Garden). They were not gray or threadbare, as had been experienced by another TA member. I wondered if that TA post had prompted the hotel to improve its towels, as the ones I saw in the room looked newer, although they were not “fluffy.”

There is no dresser drawer or closet but they have some hangers on a rack for hanging clothes. There was a nightstand next to the bed.

The second floor rooms had lower ceilings and no balcony. The 3rd and 4th floor rooms had a small balcony. There is no lift in the hotel.

The apartment unit and the exclusive room, both on the top floor, had a balcony, could accommodate 4 people and had hard wood floors rather than cement. I could only see into the lower level (the room is two levels), as the apartment was occupied, but it looked much nicer than the basic room. It had a nice little balcony area. This room is not air conditioned though.

Location: This is right at the edge of the Night Market so you can easily walk to restaurants, massage places, the market etc. The back of the hotel, where the parking lot is located, is a bit un kept. The front of the hotel looks good. I think it could be a bit noisy, depending on where your room faces.

Restaurant: There was a 4-table breakfast room and a small bar, with 2 bar stools. I thought the breakfast room smelled of smoke, which for me is a problem and was more noticeable because of the small size of the room. I did not have anything other than a cup of coffee here, which was 20 baht and was decent coffee.

Lobby: There is a very small lobby, which is really combined with the restaurant and bar. In the back of the lobby there are two computers that are free for guests use and have free wireless access. There are “sitting areas” on the top of each flight of stairs and the hallways were well kept. The hallways were wood polished floors.

Overall Impression: Not bad but not a great find either. Definitely a budget hotel. There are other hotels near the night market I might prefer over this one but this would be an acceptable hotel for a budget traveler who didn’t want to spend money on tuk tuks, taxi’s etc. I will probably choose other options on my upcoming trips.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank Broder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2010

This has got to be one of the most talked about hotels on this forum over the last twelve months. Differing opinions – some staying ‘stay away it’s horrible’, others saying, ‘no it fine’! We first came across this hotel about two and a half years ago. I think it may have just opened at that stage. We wanted something that was a guest house and very central to the night market. I am a lover of terrace houses and I really liked the look of the photos on the web page. The terrace house with balconies – and particularly the Turntable Jazz Bar downstairs. On our first trip we ended up staying at Laluna, which is a little way out of town. This time we only had one precious night in Chiang Rai – we wanted to go out for dinner and look around the night market, so we decided to give it a go.
The hotel has five levels and on the top level there are two family/larger suites with a small roof top garden. One of these is two levels and very cute. These suites are not air conditioned – (I believe this is in process), so we decided to go for two of the smaller air con rooms downstairs.
Before we arrived I emailed the hotel with various questions and Sanga (one of the owners) replied very promptly and politely. He also gave us advice to use the lower air con rooms in April. The rooms themselves are not very big at all. They have polished concrete floors and a small bathroom. Our room opened onto a small balcony –if you look right from the balcony you can see the night market street and stage area. The walls are painted white and there is one blue feature wall. So very simple. The bed was firm (but ok) – as are most beds in Thai hotels.
Things I liked about the hotel – They have a brilliant location near the night market. The Turntable Bar opens on to the lane way and it is a nice place to sit and have a drink. Love the music and atmosphere here. The staff on reception did not speak very much English at all but they were polite and helpful. The breakfast was adequate – a table with tea/coffee, cereals, toast, spreads, fruit and a choice of a hot breakfast from three or four options. We had four rooms between our group and they were all clean. There are also bowls of fresh fruit around the hotel to eat during the day. Sanga the co-owner is very friendly and warmly welcomed us. He also took time to talk to us while we were there and checked if there was anything we needed.
Things that were not so good. The rooms are very small and could do with a floor rug on the concrete. The TV’s did not work very well (if at all). We had to move rooms because the air con was not working and it was hot – the new room was fine. There were no bathroom mats – so the floor got very wet. There is a lot of art work up around the hotel but none in the rooms themselves. I think this would help ‘warm’ the room up a bit.
While I was there we became aware that the North is owned by two people – Sanga and an American partner (The Jazz fan). Sanga has very good people skills but his partner does not. I am wondering if this is partly why this hotel gets such different reviews and comments on staff. The American partner was around the foyer numbers of times while we were there but he made no attempt to speak, acknowledge or even just smile at us. My husband went out into the lane way to take a photo of the street. While he was taking the photo the partner rode past on his bicycle and abused my husband for taking his photo (as if he would want to!). He was very rude and I hate to think of him talking to guests like this. If you want to deal with this hotel than deal with Sanga – he was nothing but helpful to us.
We do not usually stay in budget hotels so I don’t have a lot to compare this with. It was fine for our needs and was pretty much as I expected.
Hope this helps someone.
Caroline.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank caroline08Australia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2010

The staff were extremely helpful and friendly. In addition I can certainly recommend the hotel food which was delicious and reasonably priced.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled solo
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1  Thank michaelpeterborough
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The North Hotel

Address: 612/100-101 Sirikorn Market, Chiang Rai, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Chiang Rai Province > Chiang Rai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #38 of 109 Hotels in Chiang Rai
Price Range: $10 - $21 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The North Hotel is a small, family-and-friends-run hotel in the city centre of Chiang Rai. We aim at giving our guests good quality and personal service for a reasonable price. We are centrally located in a quiet street with the bus station and The Night Bazaar in one end, and Sirikorn [silikon] Market, the fruit and flower market on the other. We are also within walking distance from everywhere in downtown Chiang Rai. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
North Hotel Chiang Rai

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