How to Choose Hotels in Chiang Mai

How to Choose Hotels in Chiang Mai

By Chris QuanUpdated Nov. 17, 2021

Chiang Mai covers accommodation of a wide range of styles and for every budget. Whether you are visiting for a family trip, or a honeymoon vacation, choosing the right hotel in the right area is very important for your trip to Chiang Mai.

There are many hotels in Chiang Mai, ranging from 3 to 5-star. A 3-star hotel will provide you with a comfortable standard room but less facilities. On the other hand, 4- and 5-star hotels offer better facilities like business center, swimming pool, restaurants, etc. which will make your stay more relaxing and enjoyable.

Quick Facts about Hotels in Chiang Mai

  • Chiang Mai is the fifth largest city in Thailand, so you will not run out of accommodation options.
  • Accommodation prices depend on the season. Peak season is October to March, while the low season lasts from late March to September.
  • The Old City, Riverside and Night Bazaar are the well-known areas in Chiang Mai.
  • During the Chiang Mai Yi Peng Lantern Festival (October 31st – November 1st, 2020), hotels will be in high demand. Because of this, booking your hotel early is recommended.
  • Staying in one of the famous areas will help you to get around more easily.
  • Book your next holiday with Asia Highlights and enjoy your trip stress-free.
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4 Best Areas to Stay in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai’s hotels are mostly concentrated in 4 areas: the riverside, the old city, the night bazaar, and Nimmanhaemin Road. Each of these areas offers its own distinct atmosphere and charm.

Below we have summarized each area’s distinguishing features. Feel free to make your own decision according to your needs and preferences.

1. The Riverside Area — Best for Relaxation and a Holiday Atmosphere


1) This area has many resorts and boutique hotels with great views and beautiful surroundings.

2) Located close to the night bazaar.

3) Allows you to escape the crowds of the more touristy places and is quiet and tranquil at night.

4) This area has plenty of great waterside restaurants, bars, and cafes.


1) The hotel rates here are often higher than those in other areas.

2) The opportunities for shopping and nightlife are a little limited.

Suitable for: families, seniors, and couples.

Recommended hotels: X2 Chiang Mai Riverside Resort (luxury 5-star), Na Nirand Romantic Boutique Resort (5-star), Rati Lanna Riverside Spa Resort (5-star), Aruntara Riverside Boutique Hotel (4-star)

2. The Old City Area — Most Popular Option


1) Centrally located and is easily defined by the city wall and moat which form a border around the entire Old City.

2) This is where most of Chiang Mai’s main attractions are located including Phra Singh Temple, Wat Chedi Luang, Lanna Folklife Museum, Three Kings Monument, and more.

3) Offers various hotel options from high starred hotels to mid-range hotels to guesthouses.

4) Plenty of entertainment options such as spas and Thai massage shops, bustling markets, and boutiques.


1) Because this is such an important part of the city, expect heavy traffic during rush hour

2) A little commercialized

Suitable for: young people, travelers who want more affordable accommodation, or people who prefer living in the city center.

Recommended hotels: Rachamankha a Member of Secret Retreats (5-star), Bodhi Serene, Chiang Mai (4-star), Kodchasri Thani Hotel (4-star), Eurana Boutique Hotel (3-star)

3. The Night Bazaar Area — Best for Nightlife and Shopping


1) Located between the riverside and the Old City and contains the biggest night market.

2) There are plenty of foreigner-friendly bars, clubs, and restaurants and also good shopping nearby.


1) It can be crowded.

2) This area doesn’t have many cultural attractions.

Suitable for: night owls and shopping lovers.

Recommended hotels: Le Meridien Chiang Mai (5-star), Banthai Village (4-star), Shangri-La Hotel, Chiang Mai (5-star), Dusit Princess Chiang Mai (4-star), The Empress Hotel Chiang Mai (3-star)

4. Nimmanhaemin Road Area — Good Value for Money


1) This area is the trendy and modern part of Chiang Mai. Here you will find many malls and trendy boutiques, which is different from night bazaar.

2) It is close to the airport which is located just to the south.

3) Chiang Mai University is located here, which gives the area a young and lively atmosphere.

4) There are various dining and nightlife choices.


1) There are few cultural attractions.

Suitable for: young people and honeymooners.

Recommended hotels: Akyra Manor Chiang Mai (5-star), Khum Phaya Resort & Spa (4-star), Ibis Styles ChiangMai (3-star)

Hotel Styles and Average Ranking

Considering hotels or resorts, both kinds of establishments are meant to serve you on a temporary basis. Yet each is rather different from each other. While a hotel provides comfort and luxury in terms of lodging, a resort provides comfortable lodgings as well as space for relaxation and recreation.

There are many choices of hotels and resorts in Chiang Mai, from standard hotels to luxury resorts. Standard hotels tend to have lesser facilities but are still comfortable. Hotels are mostly situated in popular areas such as close to a market or near a historical place.

You can find luxury accommodation in Chiang Mai pretty easily. Luxury hotels usually feature restaurants serving high-class food, along with bars and lounges where you can enjoy a relaxing drink. Indulge in a traditional Thai massage at your hotel spa, before taking a dip in the hotel pool.

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Length of Stay and Budget

There are many activities that you can do in Chiang Mai. It is recommended to stay at least 3 days to see the highlights. If you are staying less than 3 days, we advise you to stay near the attractions; it will be easier to access. The high season in Thailand is from October to March, while the low season lasts from late March to September.

Hotel prices in Chiang Mai depend on the season. A 3-star hotel will cost around US$50 a night in low season and US$80 a night in high season. A 4-star hotel, for example Bodhi Serene, will cost around US$80 a night in low season and US$100 a night in high season. During low season, a 5-star hotel like Le Meridien costs around US$150 a night, but the price will rise to US$230 a night in high season.

Asia Highlights’ Handpicked Hotels

There are plenty of great hotels in Chiang Mai that will give you everything you need. As long as you choose carefully, you can expect good, clean facilities and Wi-Fi service. Here we have several hotel recommendations for you to stay in Chiang Mai. We picked these hotels based on their facilities, price and also their great service.

Le Meridien Chiang Mai

Rating: 5-star hotel

Location: 108 Chang Klan Road, Tambol Chang Klan, Amphur Muang, Tambol Chang Klan, Chiang Mai, TH-50 50100, Thailand

Features and why we recommend it:

This upscale hotel, in the Night Bazaar shopping district, lies 2 km from the Wat Chedi Luang temple complex and 9 km from Chiang Mai Zoo. There are 3 eateries, including an Italian restaurant. There's also a chic spa and a gym, plus a rooftop pool with a bar.

There is also a function room that can be used to accommodate a range of events from meetings to seminars and can hold up to 700 guests. This hotel is perfect for business purposes or a family who is looking for a remarkable holiday in Chiang Mai.

Shangri-La Hotel Chiang Mai

Rating: 5-star hotel

Location: 89/8 Chang Klan Rd, Tambon Chang Khlan, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand

Features and why we recommend it:

This hotel is located near the major attractions in Chiang Mai, 11-minute walk from the banks of the Ping River. This upscale modern hotel is a 10-minute walk from the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar. There's a Szechuan restaurant and a multi-cuisine eatery, plus a lobby lounge and a bar beside an outdoor pool. Other amenities include a spa, a fitness center and a tennis court.

Rooms are equipped with teakwood furnishings, and feature free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV, minibar and coffeemaker. Room service is available 24-hours a day. This hotel accepts a wide range of payment methods, including Amex, Diners club, JCB, MasterCard, Visa and China UnionPay.

Bodhi Serene, Chiang Mai

Rating: 4-star hotel

Location: 110 Ratchapakhinai Rd, Tambon Phra Sing, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Features and why we recommend it:

Set in a northern Thai-style building, this relaxed downtown hotel is a 9-minute walk from the Wat Chedi Luang temple complex and 1 km from Warorot Market. This is the perfect location for travelers who are staying for a short amount of time.

The hotel has an international restaurant overlooking the outdoor pool, and a poolside bar. Other amenities include a library, bike rental and Thai massage services. Offering balconies with garden or courtyard views, the elegant rooms and suites have hardwood floors, free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs. There is also 24-hour room service.

Goldenbell Hotel Chiang Mai

Rating: 3-star hotel

Location: 50/1 Rajchiangsaen Rd. Haiya Muang, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Features and why we recommend it:

This hotel is located in the most convenient, peaceful area in the heart of Chiang Mai city, next to the famous Saturday walking market, just minutes away from the city’s busiest street Night Bazaar and it is only a short drive to Chiang Mai International Airport, bus station and train station. It is within walking distance to all attractions you may want to visit, including weekend markets and all ancient temples in the city.

This relatively new hotel has lots of facilities such as bike rental, business center, Wi-Fi service, swimming pool with poolside bar, 24-hours concierge and many more. This hotel is the good spot to treat yourself to quality accommodation and service at a reasonable price.

Tour Chiang Mai with Us

With plenty of hotel options, it can be confusing to choose and book a hotel to meet your needs. We will give professional advice when picking a hotel to meet your individual requests. Please feel free to contact us.

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