Travel 700km north of Bangkok and you’ll land in Chiang Mai – a beautiful verdant valley that doubles as a seamlessly mixed wonderland of ancient Lanna beauty (think venerable temples) – and modern buildings standing proudly side by side.
Chiang Mai is a home to misty mountains and energetic hill tribes. It is also a lesser-known playground for seasoned travellers, a drooling dip for shoppers and a delight for adventurers.
Do we have your interest yet?
Well, this northern capital in the land of smiles offers unique accommodations – that’ll further compel you to take the off-the-beaten path, in search of a brand spankin’ new adventure!
Here you go with our list of 10 incredibly unique hotels in Chiang Mai. And you’re welcome!
1. Stay in luxury tented villas by cascading waterfalls – Sukantara Cascade Resort & Spa
Surrounded by lush mountains and greenery, Sukantara Cascade Resort & Spa is slowly becoming a favourite of many by enchanting them with a blissful retreat.
Set on flourishing hillside, this divine abode offers Lanna-Balinese style cottages set in jungle greenery and cascading waterfalls.
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Its pool villas are famously frequented by celebrities both local and international. But we propose taking the off-beaten path and staying at tented villas by the waterfall.
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As the trickling water falls on the boulders, the sprinkled water creates luscious mist and it’s basically an experience that begs to be had once in a lifetime!
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Enjoy crossing the resort’s sling bridge to reach your tented villa. If you reserve both tented villas (there are only 2), then you have this whole other side of the resort all to yourself!
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Mountain biking, nature trekking and bird watching is the cherry on top for the adventurers – and if you’re traveling to Chiang Mai with your sweetheart, we highly recommend booking this resort.
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We certify that this romantic retreat will intensify your romance to a whole new level.
Ideal with a group of friends, this place is a shout out for all the travellers young, wild and adventurous at heart.
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If you want to be in the midst of nature, without compromising on the luxuries of tiptop resorts, Mountain Float is what we recommend in Chiang Mai!
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Upon your arrival, a water taxi will wind-sweep you from the shore to your floating getaway on the freshwater lake of Mae Ngad Dam.
The resort offers 4 types of villas to choose from depending on the number of people in the group. Each room in the villa has its own balcony with a picturesque view of ‘floating mountains’. Awesome, isn’t it? 😉
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Moving on, the deck is where all the fun begins! Sun tan, relax or jump right in the water – the call is yours!
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Fully equipped with comfortable sun loungers, paddle boats, kayaks, banana boats, inflatables, kitchen, BBQ and a karaoke machine, Mountain Float defines sheer fun in its truest form.
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Tip: In the evening, head out to the floating lounge which seats 8 people and paddle off into the sunset. Ask for a speedboat to tow you back just in time for dinner under the stars!
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3. Experience three different European worlds – San Pareni Hotel Chiang Mai
If traveling to Europe is out of the budget for you, head to Chiang Mai and straight to this hotel. Meticulously styled with a European theme, San Pareni features three buildings resembling the architecture of Tuscany, Amsterdam and Interlaken respectively.
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Each of its 29 rooms (superior and suite) laden on 4 floors has a private balcony for you to get cosy in a true European style!
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If you’re hungry or simply looking for a place to chill, how about Daddy’s Antique? Their in-house café and restaurant offers great ambience with live music everyday from 8pm to 10pm.
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From Chiang Mai Night Safari to Royal Flora and Wat Phra That Doi Kham, this hotel is situated a mere 5-minute drive from the city centre – and offers easy accessibility to everything you might want to do in Chiang Mai.
To make your trip hassle-free, they do provide rental cars and taxi service for those looking to head out via car. And when you return tired from a day out, feel free to request for a massage at the front desk!
Word of care: The hotel does not have elevators. We would advise booking a room on the ground floor if climbing stairs is not your favourite way of workout.
4. Let your adventure juices flow in this treehouse in a real forest! – Rabeang Pasak Treehouse Resort
Located in a small village (yes, a village!), you’ll find masterpieces of art in the form of original treehouses.
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Perfectly hidden in a teakwood forest which is alive in every form with animals around and fresh grown fruits on trees (which they’ll serve you with meals!), this place is guaranteed to give you an authentic off the grid experience!
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Although all treehouses have their own unique characteristics, we heard Moon Cottage Treehouse is a clear winner. This charismatic cabin tucked away in the middle of woods offers an upstairs bedroom with a relaxing terrace.
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Back to the nature activities include trekking, cycling, biking (provided free of charge!) and fishing in the lake that passes through the resort.
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Tip: Grab your swimming costumes and cycle to the waterfalls, rivers and caves nearby. If peace and tranquillity are your friends, then this happens to be the perfect place to bond with them!
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Beautifully secluded place and amazing Thai food, what else can you ask for?!
PS: Do keep in mind to carry extra insect repellent with you!
5. Kayak in a swimming pool! – The Oia Pai Resort & Spa
Ever had the crazy idea of kayaking in a swimming pool? Well, it seems like you finally can! The charming Oia Pai Resort & Spa offers a memorable holiday experience with a strong emphasis on privacy.
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Surrounded by a saltwater lake, you’re welcome to indulge in recreational activities like kayaking, winter camping and cycling sans the additional costs!
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Set in a prime location, the resort’s relaxing ambience will persuade you to lie back, forget about the tensions back home and enjoy life as it is.
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If you’re traveling with your sweetheart, we highly recommend booking a Honeymoon room with living space and river view. We’re drop-dead-stunned by its minimalist décor, and the romantic vibes that resides in this love nest!
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6. Enjoy a cup of coffee up a tree – The Giant Chiangmai
Imagine waking up to a mesmerising sunrise in a treehouse next to your beau.
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With only 5 rooms (2 standard rooms and 3 deluxe rooms) to offer, The Giant Chiangmai is worth nudging your spouse to book a room ASAP! With a peaceful and harmonic ambience, this oasis in the middle of a forest is a one-stop soul recharging destination in Chiangmai.
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Enjoy the splendour of views while overlooking natural forestry down below, and allow your romance to climb a step (or two) higher.
Expect no mobile signals here, one good thing for lovebirds looking to disconnect from the noise of the internet for awhile to just reconnect and focus on each other. (Quality conversations is one thing to look forward to!)
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PS: If you can’t room a book here for any reason, we recommend visiting The Giant Café perfectly nestled on a GIANT tree because it’s that amazing.
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Begin by taking an hour and half car ride through the forest and then walk swaying on a rope bridge (2 person at a time only!). We guarantee a divine coffee at the end of your sojourn.
7. Living in your fantasy world of choice just got real and cheap! – The Time Movement
With a high emphasis on uniqueness and fun, The Time Movement provides 22 different themed rooms ranging from the cute to the ultra wacky.
There’s a World Class room for those looking for an extravagant lodging, Sea World for those who’ve always dreamed of living in a submarine under the ocean – and even Cartoon for parents who want to tickle their kids’ fancy with life in the cartoon world!
There’s even a Romanesque gladiator themed room for those who dream of being at Rome’s famous Collosseum!
With so many interesting options to choose from, we’re sure you’re bound to find one you really like!
PS: If you’re feeling a little naughty, try the Playboy Room, a 60s styled room with flashing disco lights or a Crystal room full of mirrors!
8. Get bowled over by a variety of themed rooms! – Is Am O Chiangmai Resort
As bizarre as the name of this resort may sound, Is Am O is the ultimate place for a relaxing getaway from the hustle bustle of everyday life.
This beautiful resort is nestled amid nature with true northern Thailand vibes. Its 14 private snoozing units are designed in a unique contemporary style anyone can easily fall in love with!
Each room’s exclusive décor does justice to its appealing themed name – Is Am Oceanic (with beach side feels), Is Am Only Love (with a heart shaped bed), Is Am Oriental Queen (with the crown as a headboard).
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Even the balcony, bathroom and corners are highlighted with what the room intends to make you feel – which is AMAZING! Wait till you explore Is Am on the Roof!
A lovely pond, soothing garden, a karaoke, billiards and exceptional on site services awaits you here. Also, Happy Instagramming!
9. Spend a night in barns – Kaomai Lanna Resort Chiang Mai
Fancy staying in a real tobacco curing barn decorated in contemporary Lanna style with antique teakwood furniture? Kaomai Lanna Resort, with its picturesque buildings draped in ivy, is waiting for you.
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The resort features 34 guest rooms renovated from 48 aged barns and is surrounded with shady towering trees, wild flowers and a variety of palms and bamboos. A subtle balance of nature, culture and leisure, this paradise is the best bet if you want it all!
It also boasts an outdoor pool with hydro-massage jet area, a tropical green garden with happy butterflies, relaxing spa – and restaurant which serves some serious lip-smacking Thai and Chinese dishes, made from fresh ingredients from the resort’s very own vegetable garden!
Indulge in paper-making and wood-carving workshops offered by the resort, or join in water aerobics classes every morning (now that’s new!). Kaomai Lanna Resort is bound to make you feel like a kid again!
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10. Because DIY is the new theme that demands your attention! – Hotel Yayee
“We don’t remember days, we remember moments” – this is the first thing you’ll read when you log into this hotel’s website. We believe, they couldn’t have said anything better.
The newest kid in the list of unique bed and breakfast in Chiang Mai, Hotel Yayee (which translates to “darling hotel” in Thai) exudes a classic charm, but with the quirkiness of modern days.
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This eclectic boutique is a hillside hideaway that will instantly invite you to explore and get in on the fun. Be it quality conversation with old buddies or an impromptu clearance of tables to pave the way for some dance moves – this is your space for a concoction of creativity, style, craft and above all, life.
The rooms are adopted with the upcoming “DIY” furniture with a touch of rustic and romantic theme. Perfect for every modern-day voyager, this is an ultimate place if you and your partner-in-crime are searching for homey refuge for the tired (or hungover?) limbs at the end of the day.
Hungry? The selfie-worthy Rooftop Bar (with a view of landing aeroplanes!) and the Hungry Heart Café offers a range of signature staples that suits the mood of anyone during any time of the day!