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“Marvelous!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Baan Norn Plearn

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Baan Norn Plearn
Ranked #12 of 161 Chiang Rai B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Marvelous!”
Reviewed December 11, 2012 via mobile

Wonderful trip at Chiang Rai - Baan Norn Plearn

I arrived at this boutique guesthouse late in the afternoon, it took me a Little  while to locate this guesthouse, nevertheless, once I reach the recep, immediately I found a small bench drew my attention, like a seat for little kids.  Then I realize that it was a kindergarten. The owner later explained to us that it was the first kindergarten in Chiang Rai.
The whole premises is very well maintained, garden is beautiful and our room is super clean. The owner has good sense of taste level and every details of a guesthouse been taken care, not over decorated but everything is just nice. Most of the existing kindergarten stuff maintained nicely and you can see the owner is appreciating all the best time they have in the past.
I really enjoyed their warmth attendance, humble attitude and helpful information to my one day trip. I will go back visit Baan Norm Plearn, definitely.
Cheers

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JamieTanhc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
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English first
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
29 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
Reviewed December 8, 2012

Dates of Stay:
22 & 23 September 2012

The Lead Up:
Our holiday was originally all about visiting Laos for the first time, however when we started making plans, we decided we would also include a first visit to Northern Thailand (Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai). Next step, the overwhelming task of finding somewhere to stay, overwhelming only because of the vast choices available - 96 hotels, 82 B&Bs and 40 specialty lodgings listed on TripAdvisor alone!

We try to stay cheaply, but consider that we “flashpack” rather than “backpack”, as we require our own room, twin beds, and our own bathroom. We fell “in love” with one place after another based on reviews both on TA and other websites. Where we thought, “this is it, this is the one” something stopped us making a reservation (Sabrina blames my procrastinating, particularly as I would spend hours pouring over reviews, talking myself in to and out of guesthouse after guesthouse)… That all ended when we “found” Baan Norn Plearn.

There were not a lot of reviews on TripAdvisor (6 only at the time of our booking), and limited information online. We learned that Baan Norn Plearn was a fairly new guesthouse (it was just days over a year old when we stayed). We found their Facebook page which included lots of photos of the guesthouse, and their rooms - rooms that looked clean, comfortable, and spacious. We decided, based on the photos, that we wanted to stay in either room 3,4,5 - each a twin room with a private bathroom, priced at THB600 per night (as at April 2012, and at our stay in September 2012).

We sent a private message via Facebook to enquire about making a reservation. Communication was prompt, we were asked which room we would like (we chose room 3) and we were booked!!!

Our Experience:
Shortly before our departure from Australia we sent a message via Facebook and email to reconfirm our booking. We received acknowledgement that our reservation was indeed confirmed.

On arrival we popped our heads into reception, and were told by another guest (staying for a while, and friendly with the owners) that the owner was away from reception for a few minutes, and she would be back soon. After a few minutes wait one of the owners (one half of a husband and wife pair) came along to check us in. She was friendly and cheerful and had us checked in quickly. She then led us through the pretty gardens to the rooms, which are at the rear of the complex. Before entering the “living area” you are asked to remove your shoes, leaving them on a rack supplied at the edge of the space (or you could take them in to your room by hand if you chose to).

As mentioned, we had booked room 3, however the owner offered us the choice of two rooms (the original room 3, and one other) - each of the rooms we were offered appeared identical in layout and size, just slightly differing in location. We chose the second room (room 5) as it turned out that room 3 was directly opposite the dining area outside the kitchen, which we had thought could potentially be a little noisy if people decided to hang out there in the evenings. Room 5 was the last of a row of three rooms on the ground floor nearby the kitchen area.

Our room was large and airy, with windows on two sides (a bonus of having the last room in the row). The windows (each protected by flyscreens) were open on our arrival, with the room lovely and fresh. The room was airconditioned - the owner asked that when using the airconditioning, we close the windows (which makes perfect sense) - we found when using the aircon that it was quiet, and very efficient (ie. we could make the room nice and freezy, and managed to fog up the windows a little).

The room and bathroom were spotlessly clean. The floors are polished concrete - nice and cool under foot (which is just lovely in a tropical climate). The room had a small, retro style TV in the corner, with set top box giving access to lots of channels in lots of different languages. There was a small table (made of an old Singer sewing machine table) and chair, and a couple of hooks on the wall. We loved a painting of an elephant on the wall - the little decorative touches (both inside the room, and around the guesthouse) were just delightful. There is no wardrobe/cupboard (which may cause concern for those not comfortable living out of their cases), but there is a rack on which you can store your case for easy access.

The beds, ahhh, the beds… We’ve found when travelling through Thailand that beds tend to vary between very firm, and very very firm (ie. hard). These were lovely - soft but not squishy, with good support, and slightly wider than average. Top this off with comfortable pillows, and lovely bedding! We had two very good night’s sleep at Baan Norn Plearn (which is appropriate given the name Baan Norn Plearn literally translates to “I need sleep” per Google translate - or as the owners say, place for good sleep).

The bathroom ran the full length of the back of the room, making it of a good size. We loved the fancy glass basin, quite modern, atop a more old fashioned wooden table. The shower had its own individual water heater, which supplied enough hot water for us to both have showers each morning.

There is no fridge in the room, however there is a communal fridge in the kitchen area in which guests can keep their drinks. The fridge also holds lots of bottles of cold water which guests are free to help themselves to - in addition two (non-chilled) bottles are in your room on arrival. Hot water is available all day in the kitchen for guests to help themselves to tea and coffee during the day. Unfortunately for us we did have one can of drink go “missing” which is a shame, as realistically whoever took it must’ve known they did not purchase it, and therefore also known they were taking from a fellow guest (not the hotel’s fault, this comes down to travellers doing the right thing by each other).

Breakfast is included in the room price - here is where things become a lot of fun. Instead of the boring standard hotel fare, the owners lay out ingredients each morning for breakfast. The rooms at the hotel surround a kitchen room containing the aforementioned communal fridge, kettle, plus toaster oven, gas burner, crockery, cutlery, and condiments. The only rules with breakfast are that after cooking your meal, and finishing breakfast, that you also wash your dishes.

There was plenty of food including cereals, eggs, bread, different meats, and on each morning a Thai style dish such as pork soup (delicious I must say), plus various condiments to go with the eggs or the Thai dish. It was good fun cooking up your breakfast, making as much or as little as you wanted, and in the style you wanted. Sabrina doesn’t cook (she can, she just doesn’t like to) so I got to play chef on our two mornings. Eggs sunny side up for Sabrina, and over easy for me! We found guests were all courteous and patient at breakfast time, taking turns at preparing their meals, and washing up their dishes after their meals - some younger guests were having a great time cooking up their own meals or cooking for their parents! Once your breakfast is cooked you have a choice of tables and chairs on which to sit including stools with a long bench, a “normal height” table and chairs, cushions with a low table for ground level seating, or even seating in the garden.

The husband of the owner couple was on hand each morning to help (unobtrusive in the background), should anyone have any questions or need a hand working out the equipment, or even if you just wanted to chat. He is the early riser of the two (speaking to the wife of the couple one afternoon she told of how she will stay up til midnight before laying out supplies for the next morning’s breakfast (perishables in the fridge of course), as she is not a fan of mornings), and a lovely friendly man.

We had read that Baan Norn Plearn was a kindergarten prior to its incarnation as a guesthouse. Speaking with the owners, we learned that the kindergarten had been open for years, with up to 50 children under the age of 5. The owners had decided they didn’t have the energy to keep running a kindergarten, they wanted to retire, so decided to say goodbye to kids, and hello to big kids (ie. tourist / travellers). They have kept small touches from when they guesthouse was a kindergarten including some “class photos”, kid sized furniture, soft toys, building blocks, and pictures, including a beautiful war mural with jungle animals including elephants and giraffes (believe it or not, the tipping point that made us choose this guesthouse was actually that very mural - the only one the owners have retained from the kindergarten days). Both encourage guests to explore the guesthouse, to check out their decorative touches found throughout - some old, some new, all simply lovely touches making for a beautiful and interesting place to stay.

The guesthouse grounds feel like quite the oasis, with lovely gardens, and seating areas throughout - both under cover, and under sky. The street on which the guesthouse sits is relatively quiet - add to that the rooms are at the back of the property making it nice and quiet for good quality sleep, or just relaxing in between jaunts into the town and to tourist sites.

Location:
We liked the location of Baan Norn Plearn - it is in a quiet area, while being close enough to the hustle and bustle around the centre of Chiang Rai. It is around a 15 minute comfortable walk to the Night Bazaar area of Chiang Rai, with the walk in the evening quite well lit. The beautiful clock tower is on the way, and timed right you can check out the show on your way to and from the Night Bazaar.

A Songthaew (like a small truck with bench seats along it’s tray and a covered top) from the bus station to the hotel cost us THB50 and took around 5 minutes. A taxi from the hotel to the Airport cost us THB100 (the meter showed THB62) and took around 15-20 minutes.

For visiting the main temples in Chiang Rai town on foot the location of Baan Norn Plearn is just perfect. It took mere minutes to get to Wat Phra Kaew, with Wat Phra Singh just a little further along.

Best of all, we were in Chiang Rai on a Saturday, so were able to visit the Saturday night Walking Street Markets - literally less than 5 minutes’ walk from the hotel! These were fantastic - we’re so pleased that the owners of Baan Norn Plearn had let us know how close they were (and also made the valuable suggestion of walking down to see the clock tower first then heading up to the market).

Summary:
We would absolutely stay at Baan Norn Plearn again. The guesthouse is very clean, comfortable, and well located (we actually liked being just that little bit away from the busy part of town). The beds are oh so comfortable, the airconditioning efficient and welcome after a hot day out playing tourist - and the provision of lots of icy cold water (as opposed to the usual hotel standard of two bottles per day) was a lovely touch. While cooking your own breakfast may not suit some, we enjoyed it - it was a bit of fun.

The owners are friendly and helpful, not overbearing - there if you need them, or there if you just want to have a chat (which we found ourselves doing a couple of times during our stay). We loved loved loved the touches they’ve kept from when the guesthouse was a kindergarten - it makes it quirky and funky, and lets you in on the home’s history.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Leesree_and_Subbi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2012

Baan Norn Plearn

I stayed at Baan Norn Plearn for two days in October 2012. It was a cozy place with a quaint atmosphere, good value, but with a few issues that make it difficulty to fully recommend.

When I arrived at hotel nobody was in the office. I took a seat and waited for fifteen minutes but nobody came. Finally I called their mobile phone number. The owner answered and explained she was away for a while but that she would have the maid come check me it. Another five minutes and the maid came and showed me to my room.

The room was pleasantly decorated and very clean, comfortable bed, good lighting, the air conditioner worked well. The breakfast was very Thai--good quality, but some Western options would have been nice. The internet was fast, but slowed down a bit in the evenings when many people were using it at the same time. I wish there were more electrical outlets in the room. There were only two--one near the TV which was fully occupied by the TV and cable box and another near the bed, but none in the bathroom. (Electric outlets in bathrooms are rare in Thailand for some reason.) The common area was also very pleasant, with cute knick-knacks and many plants and flowers.

I would fully recommend this hotel except for one reason: the walls and doors are thin so sound carries through the building very easily. Conversations in the hallway were clearly audible, even with my door closed. Every footstep in the room above me was loud and clear. Worst of all, the breakfast and kitchen area were right outside my windows so the chatter of people eating breakfast and clatter of dishes woke me up at about 7:30 every morning.

But overall, at 500 baht per night, Baan Norn Plearn is a good value, and is owned and operated by very friendly hosts.

Room Tip: If you don't like early morning noise ask for a room away from the breakfast area.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Corman922
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
34 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed October 5, 2012

We stayed here only one night and this was enough to make us wish we'd had the time to stay longer. The owner was so kind and helpful, the beds so comfy (the best we had in our two and a half weeks in Thailand! - Most Thai beds have really hard mattresses and even harder pillows... these ones were just a dream to sleep on)
Breakfast was so yummy, I'm thinking of emailing for the mushroom recipe.
Great city location, lots to eat and see all around.

AND IMPORTANTLY!! If you have been reading the forums about Aeon ATMs you will know that these ATMs are the only ones in Thailand that do not charge you 150 baht for the privilege of using them. These ATMs are also not easy to find. Well guess what, there are two Aeon ATMs directly opposite. You walk out the front gates, cross the road and there they are.

Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Limmy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barcelona, Spain
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2012

We can only say beatiful words for Poy and Kung, the owners of the place, who made us feel at our home in every sense, and their sensational guesthouse. We ended up staying 4 nights there, as the location was perfect, extremely clean, every single detail was taken into account,breakfast so complete and tasty, all in all, the perfect stay you can think about. The garden was beautiful, the common areas so clean, and lovely decorated (really, so charming!!!), our room was very convenient, with perfectly sealed mosquito nets in windows and aircon, mattress so comfortable, cold pure water provided at will...free bikes were provided by the house, the surroundings are so beautiful for biking. Chiang Rai night market only 10 minutes away on foot. But the top of the tops were Poy and Kung's attention, you can see they do the best to make you feel as if you were at home. Seriously, this is one of the best places we have ever stayed in...and we travel a lot.

Chiang Rai night market is only 10 minutes by foot, unique market, not the typical with the same items in different stalls, very different and original things with very good prices (clothes, decoration, food..). Leave space in your baggage as you will find plenty of things to buy here.

Biking:Chiang Rai surroundings are fantastic for bike rides (Buddha caves, Kok river, rice fields). Allow 2 days for bike riding, paths are flat, and you can do them yourself, no need of guide, as everything is well indicated, not much traffic in main roads, and people willing to help you.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank lcabellosaiz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
153 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2012

Just returned from 3 weeks travelling in Thailand and this was one of my favourite hotels. Recently opened, rooms are a good size and equipped tastefully and to a high standard. Good breakfast provided and only 5 minute walk to centre of town. Owners are exceptionally welcoming and helpful. Good value also.

  • Stayed June 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jamesthescot71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
33 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2012

First impressions of our room were great, great size, great decor, clean. And the bathroom remains the best we've had in Asia. We spent a lot of time in the room here, and it was a great place to relax.

If anything, the location is slightly disappointing. It's about 10-15 minutes walk from the centre depending on the heat. The result is a nice quiet, residential area...but given how hot it was when we visited, it put us off going out at times!

The breakfast is make your own, but with limited ingredients and cooking facilities is slightly restricted. Overall, we would still highly recommend this place, it's clean, the rooms are great, and the owners really friendly. The compromises are relatively small.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mat_Nicholas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Baan Norn Plearn

Property: Baan Norn Plearn
Address: 382 Banpaprakan Rd. T.Wiang A.Mueang, Chiang Rai, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Chiang Rai Province > Chiang Rai
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 161 B&Bs / Inns in Chiang Rai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 9

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