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“A home away from home”
Review of Baan Nattawadee

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Baan Nattawadee
Ranked #99 of 186 Chiang Rai B&B and Inns
Reviewed January 11, 2013

Baan Nattawadee offers the perfect opportunity to feel like one is at home in Chiang Rai. The host, Fong and her husband Ton, offer comfortable beds, lovely large clean rooms, many with balconies, combined with a welcoming and warm atmosphere, and outstanding staff. Whenever I arrive I feel like I am returning home and when I leave, I feel like I am saying good-bye to family.

The hotel, which has about 18 rooms on three floors that overlook the trees along the Mae Kok River, is located about 2.5 km west of the city center or a 100 baht and 7 minute tuk tuk ride. It is a five-minute bicycle ride from the Chiang Rai Beach, and bikes are provided at no additional costs.

There is a stunning courtyard, strung with colorful lanterns and laden with tables to enjoy the scrumptious Thai or American breakfast (the Thai breakfast is the best choice) or to spend in conversation with travel companions or fellow guests. We often brought a bottle of wine, for which Fong readily supplied wine glasses, and gathered to share our tales of our day’s adventure in the evening beauty of the courtyard. The hot breakfast, which includes incredible coffee, fruits and juices, is made to order when you sit down, is enough to keep you going until dinner.

The rooms have a mini hallway between the bedroom and bathroom, a sitting area, good towels, hair dryers, flat screen TVs, complimentary snacks and drinks, as well as free fast Internet service.

We were at Baan Nattawadee on New Year’s Eve and the staff and owners were kind enough to include us in their New Year’s Eve celebration. A fabulous 7-course meal was prepared for us, and we joined in karaoke, dancing and festivities with the staff. It was a beautiful way to bring in the new year.

Outside of a 5 star hotel, these are the most comfortable beds I have found.in Chiang Rai. The price is good, the service exceptional and the atmosphere filled with warmth. Every year I bring friends and families along on my trips with me to Chiang Rai. They are always amazed by the hospitality of this quaint and charming hotel. Year after year I return, as I know I can always rely on Baan Nattawadee.

Broder
Chiang Rai DE

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Broder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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30 - 36 of 95 reviews

Reviewed December 22, 2012

We stayed at Baan Nattawadee for 2 nights in November. When we arrived, there was a birthday party in full swing for the owners' 8 year old son. After being shown to our room, we were invited to come down and join in the party. We were going to sneak out and have a look around the area but we were seen and encouraged to come and have some birthday cake.

Our room was on the third floor. It was massive with one wall of huge windows overlooking a lovely green park. The bed was very firm but comfortable. The bathroom was clean. Fong arranged to have our laundry sent out for us.

Breakfast was in the courtyard downstairs. You could help yourself to coffee from the coffee machine with freshly ground beans - very nice coffee! We were encouraged to have the Thai breakfast which suited us fine (you know, when in Rome, do as the Romans do). We were given a soup, followed by 3 or 4 other dishes - all of them extremely yummy. Plus there was also toast and jams, etc.

The owners, Fong and her husband,Ton, are lovely hosts. Fong speaks very good English but her husband, Ton, is eager to improve his so he chatted with us each morning. Ton was interested in what we were putting on our toast (always travel with Vegemite), so we gave him some to try - he had it with some orange jam as he said it was to salty and needed some sweetening!

The restaurant at the hotel is no longer operational. The hotel is a bit isolated from town and there are no nearby restaurants at night. Ton drove us into town on our first night as he said there was too long a delay for a taxi. He showed us where there was a good restaurant and then dropped us off at the locals' night market. We had to get a policeman who spoke a little bit of English to ring us a taxi as there were no taxis or tuk tuks around. The next night, we went to the tourists' night market where there was heaps of different food and stalls, and lots of tuk tuks to get home.

This is more of a guesthouse than a hotel and is very relaxed. The location makes it a bit difficult to get around but it is definitely worth the effort. Fong & Ton are delightful hosts and are very helpful.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Lanny48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2012

While the Baan Nattawadee is not in the center of the city (about 2 km from the night market) it offers a quite retreat from the noise, close to a nice park and the Mae Kok river. There are many small restaurants nestled along the river in walking distance from the Baan Nattawadee (exit the main entrance and go left, follow the Mae Kok river upstream).

We stayed for two nights and enjoyed the hospitality of the owner and his wife. Breakfast is delicious and Thai style and there is a large fruit basket, refilled throughout the day. If you want to go to town, ask for a Tuk Tuk or take one of the bikes, which are freely available for guests (walking is not an option, too far out). The owner can also organize day or half-day tours for any taste; there are many things to visit near by.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Peter O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2012

We spent four nights here and really enjoyed it. The owners are very friendly, and you are really a part of their family as you interact with their kids, etc. Rooms are great, bathrooms are clean, and the green courtyard is a real oasis - both night and day. Breakfast is also good; I recommend the Thai breakfast for sure!

The owners organized a couple of outings for us which were outstanding. One day we did a Golden Triangle tour to the White Temple, long-neck village, etc. with a car and English-speaking driver. It was a long day, but we saw a ton. One day we rented a long-tail boat with driver for four hours and did a tour of the area including the hot springs, elephant camp, etc. Prices were fair, and we were supporting local people and not tour companies. I think these tours are just typical of the "can do" attitude of the owners regarding guest needs.

I agree with the other reviewers that the location can be a bit of an issue. Getting taxis and tuk tuks involved a bit of a delay. A taxi is cheaper than a tuk tuk since they are paid via the meter. They will know "Haad Chiang Rai" (Chiang Rai beach), so once this is clarified, you have no problems getting there.

Ideally there would be restaurants within walking distance for dinner, but this is not the case. If you absolutely cannot make the trek into town, the owners will arrange something for you. I assume this is just the price you pay for being outside the fray of town.

We liked this place and would recommend it to anyone who wants a family connection in a greener, more quiet setting.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank angangang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2012

We stayed (me and my sister) for 1 night on our way to Laos. We arrive late in the evening and they organize our Airport pick up. Everything was running smoothly. Once checked in we wanted to eat something and Restaurant was not available, the place was very quite. The owner told us to borrow a scooter and with one of the staff escorting us we reach a Restaurant downtown, 2 or 3 km from the guesthouse. Thai food was all right, we had live music and friendly staff. Room was big and comfortable, free wi fi. The common area used for breakfast was a bit messy and breakfast (continental or thai) nothing really special but overall a good experience and friendly owners.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank RM197101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2012

This is a very good place to stay. Really cheap. Air conditioning. Ask for room with a balcony. Views from huge windows of park. Very close to walk to Chiang Rai Beach through the park. Very quiet.
There are some downsides but they should not put you off.
There is no longer a restaurant for evening meals in the hotel and nowhere close by. This means getting a taxi into town which are very cheap but we had to wait for a long time on two occasions for it to arrive. The tuk tuks try to over-charge for return journeys so you have to haggle (still more expensive than the taxi in). Very cheap and very good food at walking street market stalls. Chiang Rai is not touristy and we enjoyed it.
Fong and her husband, the owners, are very helpful and really nice. They organised a cheap taxi to the Laos border for us.
You have to realise that you are in a guest house and not a hotel - it's a bit like an extension of their home with their children around (rooms are hotel standard though).
Toilet was not clean when we arrived.
We enjoyed our stay there.

Room Tip: Ask for one with balcony and on second or third floor with a view of the park
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank 1plato23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2012

TripAdvisor really let me down on this one. Based on all of the glowing reviews I was expecting a really special experience at Baan Natawadee Resort and Restaurant, but I'm afraid my expectations were set way too high.

I checked in at 5:30PM after a day spent on a 50km bicycle tour, so naturally I was quite tired and hungry and really looking forward to a good meal and relaxing evening. I was met at the entrance by two teenagers who politely took my luggage, signed me in, and showed me to my room. The room was okay, a bit dated and dimly lit, but clean and comfortable enough.

After a nice shower I went to the restaurant area for some dinner. It was still just the two teenagers working at the desk. I asked to see a food menu. They seemed confused by this request and eventually explained that they only serve breakfast. I found this odd considering this hotel's name includes the words "Resort and Restaurant". Also it is quite a ways out of town and there are no other eating establishments in the area, so where are guests supposed to eat?

Anyway, I asked them for their recommendation for a good restaurant where I could have dinner. They suggested a restaurant several kilometres away. It was raining at this point so I asked how I might be able to travel there. Bizarrely they suggested I borrow one of their bicycles and ride there--in the rain. I declined that offer and asked if they could call a taxi. They did and told me it would be a twenty-minute wait. Forty minutes later the taxi finally came.

At this point I was nearing the end of my patience but I figured a good meal was not far off now. The taxi dropped me at the suggested restaurant. It was in the middle of nowhere--several kilometres from the hotel, but also several kilometres from town--but it looked nice enough so I paid the driver and went inside. It was just a bit after 7:00 PM now so I was surprised to find that nobody was in the restaurant. A few staff members were standing around chatting and seemed surprised to see me walk in. I asked for a table for one. They said nothing but looked at each other with furrowed brows, as if I had asked them to fly me to the moon. Again I asked if I could sit and see a menu, gesturing to a small table. They whispered to each other and finally one of them waved his hands as if to say no. This exchange went on for another minute-or-two but finally it became obvious that they didn't speak any English and that I wasn't going to get any food. I can only assume that the restaurant had closed for the evening.

So, now I'm in the middle of nowhere, several kilometres from anything, in the rain, without transportation. I could think of nothing else to do except walk to town. Twenty minutes later, quite soggy, I arrived in Chiang Rai. It was now 8:00 PM and the street vendors were packing their things away. I found one that had some leftovers it was willing to sell me. It looked cold and unappetising but I was hungry so I bought it, along with a soda and hot dog from 7-Eleven. I found and awning to stand under and eat my evening meal, then found a tuk-tuk to take me back to the hotel.

I didn't sleep well that night, partly because my stomach was still growling with hunger, but also because the air con unit outside my window rattled very loudly. Morning came and I desperately hoped that a good breakfast would finally quell my hunger and improve my sinking opinion of this hotel.

I made my way down to the breakfast area to find the same two teenagers were serving breakfast to the guests. They offered me the American breakfast which I accepted. After a short wait they brought me a plate of two eggs, a thin slice of ham and a slice of bacon. That's all. No juice, no toast, no fruit, no cereal, no yogurt. Just two fried eggs and a bit of ham and bacon. This is a breakfast I would expect to get at a 300-baht guest house, but it's entirely unacceptable for a place that calls itself a "Resort and Restaurant". Maybe I should have tried the Thai breakfast but it wasn't offered to me and at this point I had lost all patience to ask for it. I decided then-and-there that I would check out even though I was booked for one more night.

In conclusion, I wish I had the same stellar experience of other reviewers. The owners that others have been written about so glowingly were not present during my short stay. Perhaps they were away on holiday, perhaps my experience would have been better if they were there.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank Corman922
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Baan Nattawadee

Address: 289 Moo 2 Haad Chiang Rai Road | T.Roab Wieng, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Chiang Rai Province > Chiang Rai
Amenities:
Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #99 of 186 B&Bs / Inns in Chiang Rai
Number of rooms: 15

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