Background story – Chiang Mai was added later on as my boyfriend began his research and got overly excited about going to the northern part of thailand. While many seek the topical antics and water view in places like Phuket and Phi Phi Islands, we were after more cultural and traditional attractions. Chiang Mai was scaled down from the original adventure which included a driving journey around the Mae Hon Son Loop. I was overly worried about accommodating all the needs and desires related to a trip of that scale, particularly since I had to balance between being an understanding sister and an accommodating girlfriend. That journey is over advertised as a motorbike adventure and I simply am not adventurous enough to drive myself on a bike along the way. In the end, the compromise to stay in Chiang Mai worked out and we were able to fill it non stop with activity.
Bright and early a few days into our Thailand trip, we headed back to the airport to catch our very quick flight to Cihang Mai. Thai airways provided excellent service and while the boxed meal seems unassuming, the fact that they provided any food for free for a 1 hour flight was amazing. (Take a hint Air Canada!) By the time we were up in the air and served our food, it was time to land again.
A short taxi ride later we found ourselves within the old city in Chiang Mai, recommended by many travel sites as the center of all the action. Our street was rather quiet and it appeared to be a calm neighborhood. Even later on in the evening when we explored, we never felt threatened or overly concerned for our safety (although it helps that there was 3 of us total). The only time I was ever really fretful roaming the streets was when we encountered dogs. I’m sure at any given point there were no more than 4 or 5 (and none who approached too closely) but it felt like a dozen when confronted. The ever comforting boyfriend protected me the whole way though, thank goodness!
Room 1 (Queen Bed)
We got two separate rooms at the hotel. One with a queen bed on the second floor and one with two double beds on the 4th floor (top floor). After making our initial decisions, we ended up switching rooms so that the boyfriend and I could push the two double beds to make one big bed. This arrangement was one of the most comfortable and sometimes we joke that we would do this at home. Reason being – you’re still together but neither person disturbed the other when they move around. I never had to worry about waking him up in the middle of the night. Soon after our arrival we went in search of a local shop or 7 eleven to buy much needed drinks, water and some snacks. We did put too much consideration into the hotel’s location in relation to the square because most of our attractions would be done outside of the old city with a tour guide. Nevertheless, we were rather fortunate to live down the street from some of the most recommended food locations (this is always key).
Room 2 (Double Beds)
The view was nothing spectacular but it gave a small glimpse into the local life. The tops of temples, plenty of motorbikes, tuk tuks, local food shops and lots of homes and schools could be seen around us. The hotel had a front porch that we only visited once during our initial exploration. We were even entirely sure it was accessible and got lost a bit on the way but finally made it to the front. It didn’t seem like anyone else made use of it considering there isn’t that much of a view and each of our rooms had a small balcony to look out into the morning.
The entry way is cozy and beautiful decorated in wood. It reminds me of the aesthetic of my parent’s home so its very comforting. You certainly feel like you’re entering someone’s living room and it is beautifully decorated with statues, pictures, and trinkets to make it feel a little friendlier. There is a breakfast/seating area off to the side where for a small fee you are able to have breakfast downstairs. We never opted for this as we found some local options close by that we fell in love with. The front desk always has one or two people to assist and never had any trouble with speaking English to them. There are plenty of brochures, signs and you can even purchase drinks in the lobby.
The outside had a lovely patio with quite a few options for seating. We made use of it once but mostly kept indoors to enjoy the air conditioning. The entire hotel both inside and out is very clean, well maintained and bright with all the windows. They have bikes in the front which can be rented by guests (possibly free?, I’m not sure) to help get around the surrounding neighborhoods.
Additional Notes & Overall Impression
Considering the price and its fairly central location, we were pleased overall with our time at Cozytel. We made use of their laundry services before we left as we had been sweating through all our clothes rather quickly. Their internet was sufficient and staff were friendly and kept to themselves. We had our room cleaned once or twice as it was highly encouraged by the staff. We were close to many local attractions, shops, food options and a quick ride out to anything outside of the Old city. My one bit of grief was the bathrooms, which were large but showed signs of wear already. Both units only had showers and wasn’t as spa like as I had hoped. The air conditioners worked well and we put them to work, esp in the evenings. I’d certainly consider visiting here again in the future.
Address: Jhaban Road, Sriphum, Muang, 50200, Thailand
Stay: March 1 – March 5, approx THB 10K
Booked: through Booking.com