More about Vanilla Place Guest House
Second time here
During my second trip to Chiang Mai earlier this month, I am certain that I want to stay at Vanilla Place after a great experience last year.
Just barely one year ago, Vanilla Place is a quiet hidden guesthouse. But based on the reviews here, seems like slowly but surely this guesthouse is getting famous for all the right reasons. My previous contribution on this guesthouse is in this forum link,
Some things have changed since I last stayed here, but most of the changes are for the better. Previously, the owner of the guesthouse has been helpful, but is nothing compared to the current owner, Mr Kem and his beautiful wife. He has gone all out to make my stay in Thailand as comfortable and as hassle free as possible. From arranging public transportation, recommending places to eat and also to help arrange for accommodation at other parts of Thailand.
Prices may have increased (800-1050baht), but it remains very affordable for a guesthouse located within walking distance of the night bazaar.
Excellent location, wonderful hosts
The hotel is in perfect locvation, the rooms are a good size and very clean and the lovely owners are always available to help and advise. nothing was too much trouble for them. ,This really is a great place to stay in Chiang Mai.
Best Part of Chiang Mai
My boyfriend and I stayed at Vanilla Place for the first 3 days of our whirlwind Thailand trip. I can say nothing but positive things about this place.
Starting with the airport, Mr Kem was there with a "Lindsey and John" sign, ready to pick us up as soon as we arrived, and pointed out places of interest for us the whole way to his guesthouse. Upon arrival we were quickly shown to our room (which was nice considering we hadn't slept in 30 hours!!), which were very clean and well decorated, especially for the price. Only non-issue with the room was that there was no window in the "standard" room.
We woke early the next morning hoping to book an excursion, and Mr Kem was again very helpful, set us up for that morning and even got us a discount on the trek we chose! Everyday we bombarded him with a number of questions and all his recommendations were amazing (food, where to go, what to do, etc).
The guesthouse is in a pretty central location - close to markets, resturants and the river. Mr Kem and his wife were both amazing people and it was so nice to start off our trip with such a great experience.
My Family in Thailand
Kem and his wife made Chiang Mai the highlight of our recent trip to Thailand. They would with great enthusiasm tell us about all the interesting and fun stuff to do in Chiang Mai. When we returned, they would listen excitedly when we told them how it went. Kem was also a great help in helping us book things. For example, there was a hotel that we were interested in staying with later in our trip. Kem was kind of enough to call them and arrange everything to prevent any language confusion. During our trip to Thailand, we met many guides and hosts, but staying at Vanilla Place with Kem and his wife really felt more like staying with family members.
Cute place with friendly staff!
My husband and I stayed here for 2 nights in Jan 2009. It was a great deal - just $30 US per night including breakfast. Our room was really cute and bright. There were other rooms that were slightly cheaper, but didn't have a window. It was definitely worth the extra $5 for a bright room! The location was great, and only a few minutes from the night market. There was also a little grocery store across the street, and our favourite cafe, Coffee Bug, also across the street.
Breakfast was a bit disappointing - just toast, instant coffee, and a bit of fruit - but at least it was included in the rate.
The staff were really nice and helpful. The best part was that the owner drove us to the airport when we were leaving for no charge!
The perfect place to stay in Chiang Mai
We booked this hotel based on the reviews on Tripadvisor and it easily lived up to and even exceeded the reviews.
The booking process was simple and Kem (the owner) responds to e-mails quickly and confirmed our booking and also offered us a free pick up from the train station. On arrival to the hotel his wife had tea, toast and fruit waiting for us which was very much appreciated after a 15 hour train journey from Bangkok!
The hotel is in a contemporary Thai boutique style and the rooms are lovely - we had a standard room and it was perfect for us. The location of the hotel is also great as everything is within walking distance.
What makes this lovely hotel even more special though is the owners - Kem and his wife really can't do enough for you, whether it's giving restaurant advice, helping us get laundry done, giving us complimentary bottles of water if we were going out for the day etc etc.
We stayed at Vanilla Place for 4 nights but could easily have stayed for 14, I wouldn't stay anywhere else in Chiang Mai ever again.
Better Than A Five Star Hotel!
My girlfriend and I chose to stay at Vanilla Place guest house after reading all of the positive reviews online. After staying at 4 other hotels in Thailand, this place was the best hands down. The place is owned and run by an elderly couple that make sure you get the most out of your visit. They are eager to help you with everything from setting up trips and tours, giving great advice, making sure you save as much money as possible no matter what you are doing. The hospitality and advice you will receive is unmatchable. The rooms are nice and always kept very clean, the location is the best in the city - It really is central to the best that Chiamg Mai has to offer. Overall, this place was amazing. I will certainly be staying their when I go back. - Joseph
A perfect place to stay in terms of comfort, location, and service
This is our last day at Vanilla Place and we were so happy with our experience here that we wanted to write this review before we left. Our only hesitation is that more positive reviews will make it more difficult for us and our friends to get a room.
We came to Chiang Mai as part of our honeymoon. We had traveled in Taiwan, Cambodia, and Bangkok prior to arriving here, and Vanilla Place turned out to be the nicest place we stayed at, and this is including a four star hotel in Taiwan. To begin with, they offer free transport from the airport, and the owner Kem usually picks up guests himself. Due to our late arrival, he sent a taxi and the driver showed up right on time. Kem was at his desk and gave us a warm welcome. He was very efficient at checking us in and wished us a good night. I had trouble getting wireless internet access from our room and called downstairs. His wife answered and gave me the password to their network. In retrospect, it was pretty late to be calling about this, but she didn't seem to mind at all. When I still had trouble connecting, she explained that her daughter had set up the network. To my surprise, her daughter then called me from Bangkok. We couldn't get the wireless to work, but this was just one example of how accommodating they were. They then graciously offered to let us use their desktop for internet access anytime we wanted, and sure enough, we had were able to use it whenever we pleased.
Our room was spotless when we arrived and there were two bottles of free water in the fridge. We felt it was clean enough to walk around barefoot. The bathroom did not have a separate shower stall but there was a curtain to keep the rest of the floor from getting wet during a shower. There was plenty of room to put our toiletries. The bed was very comfortable and we slept soundly. We did not have trouble with noisy neighbors at any point during our stay. There was a bit of noise from the traffic outside our room which did not disturb our sleep, but we requested a room in the back anyway. They were very accommodating and switched our room the next day. They even installed a new fridge before we moved in, since the room didn't have one yet. Each night we returned to a room that was as clean as that first night, with fresh bottles of water.
The location is great, just down the street from the Kalare Night Bazaar. Kem had many recommendations for where to have a romantic dinner, where to buy fruit, and where to get really cheap and tasty Thai food that only the locals know about. I even got a good haircut down the street for less than $3 US.
Kem and his wife aim to treat their guests like family and we felt this was true in every way. The free breakfast included fresh fruit and toast which was, as Kem's wife emphasized, "unlimited." This turned out to be true. I had four peanut butter sandwiches this morning, and she even put out more bread when I was finished. I ended up sleeping in until 2pm the morning after we arrived, and they left out the breakfast food just for me.
We came to Chiang Mai with no set plans and Kem had many helpful suggestions for us. He gave us a hand drawn map which turned out to be very useful. He then proceeded to act as our personal concierge. He booked drivers for us that he knew personally, which ended up being cheaper than going through a travel agency. No matter how late we came back, he somehow managed to appear each night to greet us and help us plan the next day's itinerary. The highlight was our trip to the zoo, where we saw pandas up close, with hardly any other people around.
Vanilla Place has only been around for about a year. Kem designed it himself and takes great pride in running a quality establishment and in being a good host. When he and his wife found out we were on our honeymoon, they offered to switch our room yet again, to the honeymoon suite at no extra charge. They even gave us a small crystal paperweight engraved with a bride and groom as a gift. We recommend this place without hesitation. Kem and his wife set a standard for graciousness and integrity that was unmatched in all other areas of Thailand that we visited.
This place is a steal. Worth every baht, and probably even more.
Lovely hosts, a home from home in Chiang Mai
As per many of the other reviews, Vanilla Place offers great value in a great central location. Kem and his wife made sure that our 5 days felt like we we`re staying with family rather than a normal hotel/guest house. Listen to their recommendations on where to eat as we had some great Thai and Chinese in places not mentioned in the usual guide books.
Great location and great value
Spent 4 nights here...what a treat! Great location in Chiang Mai, close to the night market (5 min walk) or walk into the old city (15-20min). Great spa across the street (Spa de Siam) plus local grocery with several restaurants and bars all within close proximity. The owner was so helpful with tips on the city, directions and even a drop off at the airport! Brilliant!