• Nikki Busuttil

Home-From-Home in Chiang Mai


On a recent rockclimbing jaunt to Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand, I stayed at a new luxury boutique hotel, where I felt so at home and so welcomed that I am compelled to share…

A short evening flight on Thai Airways to Chiang Mai saw me safely up north within an hour and ten minutes. The aim was to meet up with some rockclimbing friends and, early the next morning, ascend various routes up Crazy Horse, a buttress in the jungle, some 30-40 minutes outside of the city. A tale for another blog post (link coming soon)…

Instead of taking the (sometimes dreaded) backpacker option, and staying closer to the climb site, some of us opted for a little extra comfort, at a very reasonable price, in a brand new small luxury boutique hotel, five minutes’ walk from the quadratic old city walls of Chiang Mai.

The Tippanet (www.tippanet.com) is ideally located, just 10 minutes’ drive from the airport, and close to many of the major markets, plentiful sightseeing opportunities and nightlife, yet at a quiet distance away, on Tippanet Road.

Run by two of the most adorable sisters (above photo) you could ever wish to meet in Thailand, theirs is a formula that makes you feel so at home, you are truly reluctant to leave. When you finally pry yourself away, you swear to return as soon as possible, compounded by their post-departure emailed note, inviting you to ‘come back home soon’.

The sisters, Yee and Yong, together with other family members, including their parents, all had a hand in the creation of this superb little hotel. They gave free reign to a young architect, also skilled in interiors, to renovate and refurbish some old shop houses the family owned.

The transformation is astounding. There are only 14 rooms in The Tippanet, and each is generously appointed. The spacious layout is staggered across 4 mezzanined floors, allowing each room to be far enough away from the next, for privacy, save the connecting family rooms.

As a side note, with currently no wheelchair access, people with mobility issues would fare better at a different property.

A cute little touch, in the pre-arrival welcome email, with your booking details, is the note that the higher the floor you are located on, the more calories you burn, and “Don’t worry, our stairs are fun to climb.” I stayed on the fourth floor, which is the highest level, up the beautiful repurposed wooden staircase, and definitely enjoyed running up and down the stairs, for added exercise.

There are plenty of areas, within the hotel, to sit and relax alone or with your travelling companions, read your guidebook, check emails (with wifi throughout), and so on, both indoors and out. From sofas to tables and chairs, as well as the hanging chair in the lobby atrium, thoughtful touches are everywhere, including tea and coffee-making facilities in the guestrooms and communal area. Walls are adorned with creative artworks and vivid photography, all selected and grouped with a personal touch.

Yong and Yee are mindful of the environment and are doing their part to help reduce their properties impact on the planet. Bed linen and towels are not changed everyday, as they surely aren’t in your own home, and the bathroom amenities that they have had custom-designed for their property or chosen from the ‘Aruun’ brand, come from an organic, natural product company (see aruun.com and c8ls.com). In their collection, they even include a face and body scrub of honeysuckle and French almond, which was perfect after a long dirt-encrusted day of rockclimbing inside caves and up mountainsides.

Each room has blackout curtains, a private bathroom with a shower, and no expense has been spared on the mattresses, pillows, bed linens and towels - such a treat!

Once you climb onto your bed and rest your head on your fluffy pillows, it’s no exaggeration to liken the sensation to what I’d imagine reclining on a cloud would feel like, were it at all possible.

For the price point per night, I was definitely not expecting such a luxurious and homely experience. Standard rooms start at THB1,700 and Deluxe cost THB1,900. Family rooms involve two connecting rooms at THB3,200 for the set. The premium room category, which is large enough to be a junior suite, and my accommodation during my stay, is the Executive room, priced at an incredibly reasonable THB2,500 per night. That puts all room types within the USD50 to USD100 range.

This is a non-smoking hotel throughout, and their barefoot policy requires shoes to be left at the front door. This is usual in Asian households, as it is in my own apartment too, which allows you to feel even more at home. There is no elevator, no 24-hour gym (unless you count the stairs) or pool, but these things are unnecessary. Staff help you with your bags, private bookings, tours and queries, and in Chiang Mai there is so much to do within walking distance, or a short drive away, you are never short on amusement or attractions to explore. Just opposite the hotel, for example, is Tippanet Market, and the famous Saturday Night Walking Street Market is a mere 5-minutes’ on foot.

The girls truly go above and beyond for each guest, dedicated to ensuring everyone feels welcome in their home. Breakfast is not provided at present at this hotel, but they didn’t want to see us head out early for a day of exercise, without food in our bellies, and cooked the most amazing Thai food breakfasts each day for us! Unbelievably delicious! The girls also ensured the snacks area (yes, they have a complimentary snacks area!!), was fully loaded and replenished throughout the day, with something for everyone, taking everyone’s dietary requirements into account – who does that in Thailand?! Apparently they do, and it’s all done straight from the heart.

As a really loveable contender to the usual luxury hotel, found in any city around the globe, I genuinely cannot rave enough about this place. (And no, I’m not being paid to write this!) Quite simply, I emphatically adore the spirit of these girls and the soul they have poured into their beautiful little home-from-home for travellers from around the globe. This spirit can be neither bought nor sold, but experienced for a relatively small price tag here. I am a fan of The Tippanet, quite literally, on Facebook: The Tippanet Boutique Hotel now.


For further information, bookings, arrangement of cooking courses and private tours, visit their Facebook page above, or contact The Tippanet directly by calling +66 (0)9-2616-6415 or emailing: thetippanet@gmail.com.

You can also fill in a contact form on their website at:

https://www.tippanet.com/contact.

This is a whole-hearted 'yes', to recommending this home-from-home in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand.

*Certain images courtesy of Yee & Yong at The Tippanet, Chiang Mai.

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