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Secret Garden Chiang Mai
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Reviews (1,489)
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All reviewsother guestsat homean oasisthe hustle and bustlebeautiful placea wonderful staythai foodold citybreakfast and dinnerevery eveninglocal villagerice fieldsfree of chargetucked awaysecret gardenend of the dayhidden gem
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Reviewed April 30, 2013

we (me , my husband and my 14 month old son)arrived at secret garden on April 24, 2013 after a horrible flight . the transit was at Bangkok and Thai airlines flight got delayed . so by the time we reach Bangkok and got our visa on arrival we missed our flight to chaing mai. we were stranded at Bangkok airport. They made us run pillar to post to get information on our check in and next flight. with a infant it is very difficult as he will not like staying in a place for long and without a stroller carrying him around for 2 hours is quite tiring. it even made us think why we decided to travel . we were worried about our booking with secret garden also.when we reached we couldn't find anyone from secret garden. when we called them they gave us directions to get there. when we reached we were greeted by Isabel. she was waiting there with cash to pay the cab fellow. we were very surprised. the deal was that they will pick us at the airport . we didn't reach chaing mai at the specified time. peter had come down to pick us at the airport and returned after checking the passenger list.yet they were kind enough to pay the cab bill.

it was a little away from the town. may be you feel bad about it on the first day if you are staying with them for the first time. infact my husband was a bit upset initially about he travel time to city. Trust me ,it hardly matters. peter will give you a map in native language as well as in English which is good enough to travel by any mode of transport.we travelled in local bus, tuk tuk, cab. it was fine.pai will help you with tour booking. our tour bookings were done in straight 5 minutes. she also got us a guide who can speak english well.she even asked our guide to stop at a fruit market so that we can buy some thai mangoes.

peter, pai and isabel all their staff are no nice and approachable and available for you any time you need them.the rooms are clean , cosy and very spacious.we stayed at hibiscus villa.They also gave us a baby cot.Though we went in summer, we hardly used AC during the day. May be because it rained.But it was windy and nice with lot of trees and flowers around. My son was so excited and running around. He learnt to walk recently. he also loved the dogs charlie, cocco, lolo and so on. pai and peter told me that coco is too old now and is half blind and doesn't recognize people at times, my son loved coco the most. infact all these dogs are so well behaved . at one instance my son actually stepped on coccos tail, he endured the pain. may be the dogs also inherited the vibes of secret garden to welcome everyone wholeheartedly and treat as family.

it will be sinful if i don't mention about pai's cooking. we had dinner at secret garden all the days we stayed though we planned to have it outside. the reason -cannot resist pai's cooking.For us thai cusine was only tom yam soup and green curry. when we first had pai's glass noodle salad we fell in love with thai food and ended up eating dinner at secret garden.she personally cooks all the dishes. if if i were the owner , i would have asked my employees to cook up the meal.it shows how much they are involved in what they do..pai even cooked up the thai sweet sticky rice with mango and coconut milk for us the day before we were leaving.i had mentioned it to her the day i arrived that i love the sweet. she remembered that and made it for us.she said she will send me her secret recipes by email .we met a lot of people who were regulars there from all parts of the world. i guess may be they have made "trip to secret garden "an entry in their calendar every year.


They also gave us some parting gifts to remember our stay. little did they know that how could anyone forget such wonderful stay.

when we were checking out , i asked my hubby are they not coming to the room to check the room, my hubby smiled an said did you forget that we are staying with our family not in a hotel.That was it. my hubby who was upset about the flight and travel time to secret garden(25 minutes from city) is also pleased... 3 days in secret garden , he feels he is part of secret garden.That is the magic of secret garden. You cant escape it.Infact i would say secret garden is attraction in chaing mai like maesa elephant camp and tiger kingdom because it is unique. thank you peter , pai and isabel and everyone at secret garden to make my first vacation with my son a truely memorable one. waiting to come back soon. you guys have a great vacation. you really deserve it.


so if i have to summarise i will say the pros are wonderful place with lot of trees, flowers ,squirrels , birds,dogs and zero mosquitos ( i didn't even take out the repellant spray for my infant from my bag),lovely people, awesome food, excellent stay,very very relaxing.

The cons are you will never feel enough with this place no matter how many days you stay.you just wont feel like leaving.

Room Tip: every room is good. so book in advance
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank REKHA M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
secretpit, Owner at Secret Garden Chiang Mai, responded to this reviewResponded May 3, 2013

Dear Rekha ,
Thank you very much , you made your "extended family " very happy with your long , lovingly written review . I read it out loud to Pai , and man , you should have seen her face ! At the moment she is quite stressed , as always shortly before we leave Chiang Mai . Everything has to be organized for the months we are not here , so a good review and some praise for her cooking is like medicine for her .
I still see your son walking through the garden , he was not afraid of the dogs at all . Lola had an operation , and has to wear a plastic collar for 10 days . She was so sick we were afraid she would die .
We are kind of proud that your husband felt like part of the Secret Garden family too . We have a lot of plans for the next season , hopefully everything will work out as planned .
Thanks again for coming to our place , it would be great to see you and your family again in the future .
A big hug
Peter , Pai , Isabel and all the dogs

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Reviewed April 29, 2013

We have just returned to UK after an extended trip round Thailand and Bali. The Secret Garden just outside Chiang Mai was recommended by friends and came after bustling Bangkok, demanding Kanchanaburi and fascinating Ayutthaya. Being adventurous, we had arrived hot and flustered off the night train after a three-hour delay (not unusual) to be met by the daughter of the house, charming Isabelle, with a cheery welcome and an efficient whisk off to The Secret Garden, our haven for the next four days. We were shown to our accommodation (We were in Hummingbird which was great) and before we knew it we were treated to another welcome from Peter, a well deserved sit down in the shady restaurant area and a cold beer on the house. That's their hallmark...welcoming, informal, ever helpful. We then had four delightful days swimming in the pool, relaxing on our deck, chatting with other guests and enjoying the great evening buffet. They even managed to serve decent wine at a reasonable price from their wine boxes. Everything was on an honour system which was lovely. Tempted as we were, we didn’t sit around the whole time. Visiting downtown Chiang Mai was an adventure. Peter or one of the staff drops you at the local village and then you take the white songthaew down town. Then you can use the red songthaew to get around. On the return you use the mobile Peter has given you for pick up at the 7/11. All really easy. We also did a one day trip to the mountains where it was cool enough to walk and to visit the royal temples. But our highlight was the Siam Rice Thai cookery course. We did the evening session and it was also our meal for that night. Great fun and delicious and they then brought us directly back to the Secret Garden after the course. "Smile and move those hips while you're cooking!". Pai had made all the arrangements for us and even helped us find our way to Church on the Sunday. Nothing is too much trouble for this team including the whole family, Peter, Pai, Isabelle and all the staff. We are both experienced travellers and know a good place when we see one. This was a perfect break with perfect hosts. Ideal before we headed off south again.(This time on the overnight coach direct to Hua Hin...another experience!) By the way Peter don’t forget to name the new pool steps after me!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank GJMP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
secretpit, Owner at Secret Garden Chiang Mai, responded to this reviewResponded April 30, 2013

Dear Glenn ,
You wouldn't believe it , but yesterday afternoon I went with Isabel and my handy man to the pool and said : we have to measure the Glenn-steps !! I already bought new tiles for the pool , a machine to break the old ones , and tomorrow morning we will start redoing the pool . Must be finished before the rain starts .When I'll be back from Spain I will take some pictures and send them to you . Thanks for the suggestion , it really was very helpful . It's good you mentioned the steps , because many times I have problems finding a match for the tripadvisor name . And thanks a lot for not forgetting about tripadvisor , you know how much we appreciate it . We do hope to see you again some day , so you can try out the new steps .
we wish both of you all the best for the future , we will remember you well
Regards from Isabel and Pai
Cheers
Peter

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Reviewed April 26, 2013

The Secret Garden was a wonderful experience for myself and my wife and 5 year old daughter! The breakfast and dinners were among the best cooked meals I had in Thailand. The Lodgings were very well put together, attractive, and comfortable! Peter and Pai were very welcoming, knowledgeable, and amazingly good hosts!

Thank you very much Peter and Pai!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Chris H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
secretpit, Owner at Secret Garden Chiang Mai, responded to this reviewResponded April 27, 2013

Dear Chris ,
I'm happy you didn't see the stain on the ceiling ....I was afraid you would have noticed .
We are just making a long list of everything that has to be fixed while we are away , and it's much more than we anticipated .
We are glad you , Sharon and Moira enjoyed your stay with us . Probably by now you are back in Australia , and we are almost on our way to Europe . Today comes our last family for this season ,
and next Monday we will be off off and away .
Thanks again for coming to our place , and for not forgetting tripadvisor !!
Greetings from Pai and Isabel
Peter

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Reviewed April 26, 2013

We booked at Secret Garden whilst exploring Chiang Mai with 2 kids (9 and 12). I was hoping to find an oasis amongst the slightly overwhelming experience of summer-time Thailand, and was not disappointed. Being 20 minutes out of the city is a bonus if you value peace and quiet and waking to squirrels and birdsong by the pond rather than traffic! Peter, Pai and Isabelle have created a space which allows you to relax completely once you leave the many activities of busy Chiang Mai or surrounds. We borrowed house bikes and rode into the local village with our children to eat and explore. Secret Garden are more than happy to help with organising activities and making sure you get there with minimum fuss and with one of their cell-phones for return pick-up. Pai's food is delicious, and her local knowledge is a bonus. She happily catered to my husbands peanut allergy, and would have bent over backwards if the kids wanted less spiced traditional food. We loved the familiarity of the family dogs, and the kids enjoyed roaming the safe grounds and helping feed orphaned birds they lovingly care for amongst the many other daily duties at this lovely guesthouse. We would happily return to this beautiful and relaxing home away from home.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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Thank amanda b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
secretpit, Owner at Secret Garden Chiang Mai, responded to this reviewResponded April 30, 2013

Dear Amanda ,
You just brought us over the 9oo mark review-wise...thank you very much !!
As you know we take a longer summer break than usual this year , and each good review really helps us . We will leave on Monday and are looking forward for cooler weather . Tomorrow we start
putting new tiles in the swimming pool .( We have to break over 70 m2 , which is quite a job ) . I hope we finish before the rainy season starts . Adrian , our house pigeon , is sitting next to me , and jumps on the laptop now and then... it looks like he wants to check what I'm writing .
I'm already planning what to change when we come back end of July . We bought a truck full of plants a few days ago , and will buy more this afternoon . The problem are the big trees . It's nice to have shade , but there are not so many plants that grow without sunlight .
You are probably glad to be back in your home in Bribane , it's nice to go on holidays , but it's great to come back home too .
We wish you , Myles , Sascha and Ella health and happiness
A hug from Peter , Pai and Isabel

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Reviewed April 23, 2013 via mobile

Our hosts, Peter & Pai, could not do enough to make us more welcome.
The grounds are dotted with statues, and the lighting at night is very atmospheric - and did I mention the food? Pai and her team prepare great traditional Thai food, do yourself a favour and eat here if you can.
Although a little out of town, there is always a lift available to the nearest village and a 15 baht bus ride will take you to the heart of Chiang Mai - it really is simple, I promise you!
Wonderful time here - I wish we could stay longer

  • Stayed: April 2013
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Thank Graham M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
secretpit, Owner at Secret Garden Chiang Mai, responded to this reviewResponded April 27, 2013

Dear Graham ,
Thanks a lot for writing a nice review even before you left our place .
As Anne told me you are on the road for over three month , by now you probably are on one of the islands . We hope you will enjoy the beaches , we are looking forward very much to be on our beach in Spain the next month . But before we leave we still have to organize everything that has to be done while we are away . It's always a lot , mostly small things , apart from the swimming pool which has to be redone completely .
We wish you all the best for the rest of your holiday , give our regards to Anne
Peter , Pai and Isabel

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