Living in Bangkok, Thailand, I travel to Chiang Mai in the northern part of the country often. The last time I took a trip, was there at the same time as friends of the family who, now they’re retired, come from the US every year to spend three or four months in Chiang Mai. I visited them at the Amora Tapae Hotel, the place they always stay when they’re in Chiang Mai. An inexpensive hotel for the night, it works out incredibly cheap for a long-term stay, particularly for its superb location and quality of rooms and facilities.
Where is the Amora Tapae Hotel? – In one of the best locations in the city, I think, the Amora Tapae Hotel is within a couple of minutes walk to Chiang Mai’s famous Tapae Gate, the Old City, the Sunday Walking Street Market and tons of cafes, restaurants, boutiques and book stores. In fact, if you don’t want to travel around Chiang Mai overly much, there’s really no need to ever leave the area.
Guest Rooms at Amora Tapae Hotel – As a travel writer, whenever I meet friends at a hotel, I always ask to see their room and, in the case of the Amora Tapae, I made no exception. Our friends, a lovely retired couple from Cincinnati, were more than happy to allow me to pick them up at their room and, once I’d seen it, I could see easily why they always loved to stay here.
Not as modern as some Chiang Mai hotels, the Amora Tapae Hotel’s guest rooms are decorated in the Lanna style – the traditional Thai style mainly seen in the north of the country. They were staying in a Deluxe Double room, which was spacious and very light and quite cheery. It came with a huge double bed (Thai beds always seem to be enormous), and all the amenities. Air conditioning, which you can control by yourself, a nice en suite bath with a shower and tub, large TV with cable, a coffee maker, mini bar and refrigerator. Looking out the window, they had a pretty view out over Chiang Mai’s old city. They also told me the rooms were spotlessly clean and were cleaned so well every day there had to be something wrong with you if you had any complaints.
We toured the hotel afterward and I was surprised to see how many facilities it had, for the incredibly inexpensive price. There’s a lovely outdoor swimming pool, a gym that was quite well stocked with a treadmill, free weights, a weight machine, a bench press and a rowing machine.
The hotel has a nice bar area where we sat and had a drink and talked to the bar man and, what I thought was the best feature, a very cool outdoor beer garden, which would be a fun place to enjoy a couple of beers when the sun has gone in.
The staff too is extremely helpful and pleasant. I arrived to meet my friends feeling a bit hot and bothered as I’d gotten a little lost and one of the reception desk staff immediately went to get me a cold glass of water so I could cool down. They also speak excellent English and, my friends said, would just about bend over backwards to make sure they were always comfortable and happy.
Prices at the Amora Tapae Hotel – Now here’s where you can’t go wrong staying at the Amora Tapae Hotel. At the time our friends stayed there (around four months ago), they were only paying $38 a night and that included a large buffet breakfast.
Rates as of May 2011 vary depending on where you book. I normally book most of my hotel stays in Asia through Booking.com and they are currently offering rooms at the Amora Tapae Hotel from $33 a night for a Superior Double room to $52 a night for the top-of-the-line Deluxe Double room.
Now can you see why our family friends stay here every year. For a three month stay, they paid around $3,400 for a lovely room and breakfast. You couldn’t stay in a hotel in the United States of this standard for anywhere close to this price. This year was their fifth year there and we heard recently they’ll be going back sometime later in the year for another three months. Can’t say I blame them really.
The Amora Tapae Hotel is at 22 Chaiyapoom Road, Changmoi, Muang, 50300 Chiang Mai.