A relaxed stay-house or a comfortable hotel is a very important part of any trip be it vacation, holiday or work. Be it any place, a roof over the head is most important. As a traveller, I prefer starting my day from a cosy comfort and returning back to a warm and clean bed of my room. Hospitable and courteous staff is another thing that stays in mind for long after I return from a hotel.
Its interesting to see how different types of hotels are being creatively designed to meet the different requirements of a traveller. One such concept that is catching up to the fascination and the budget of new age travellers is off boutique hotels. These accommodations aren’t lavish or boastful of luxurious amenities but they cater to all the needs in a smart and space constrained way. Unique concepts, stylish architecture, modern designs and creative décor is their USP.
Last year in Singapore , Hubby and I had booked a boutique hotel (Arton) for the first time. The stay was comfortable and the hotel was laced with modern facilities but the actual room was too small in size. We had felt cramped inside. However, in Chiang Mai recently I had a big spacious room allocated to me in a beautiful boutique hotel called the Balcony Chiang Mai Village. The façade and the design of this hotel was impressive. I was told that the wooden architecture takes its inspiration from the local hill tribe culture. The teakwood look is a modern Lanna design. (Chiang Mai has always been an art and trade center and Lanna is the name that encapsulates the cultural heritage and artistry that goes in the history of 700 hundred years of Northern Thailand.)
With total of 12 rooms, Balcony makes a great place to stay if you are looking for a silent and peaceful retreat at the end of the day. The surroundings are absolutely free from the city buzz. It is situated fifteen minutes away from the Chiang Mai international airport but the city centre and the night market are closely placed to it. And the hotel does provide for the shuttle service to the city.
When we arrived, our rooms were ready and we were greeted with welcome drinks. Remember, the check in time is 2 p.m. so plan your arrival accordingly. Since it does not have many rooms, it isn’t possible for them to make fall back arrangements. The hotel has four prominent sections to it. In the front, there is a sweet little reception area. In its vicinity is the Fang coffee shop. Next to the reception, there are stairs that take you to first floor where lies the pool with the Jacuzzi and on the right is the Balcony restaurant. Next to it are the stairs that lead you to higher floors but before I made the climb, I couldn’t miss bowing down to the huge statue of the Hindu God at the extreme corner of the lovely wooden bungalow.
Some of my team members of the FAM had their room on the first and second floor. I had mine on the third level of elevation. Before I made way in my room, I noticed that the balcony view of the swimming pool and the surrounding area was pleasing to the eyes. Away from the heady chandeliers and dazzling lights, the lampshades were really very interesting. I was yet to step in the room, thus I waited before declaring that this was one beautifully designed, quiet hotel that had won my heart.
I was led to my room no. 204. Once inside, I was very happy because there was definitely lots to be cheerful about. A comfortable bed with all the amenities in the room awaited me. I love spacious rooms and this one had enough to give me space to do happy dance. I was glad to discover that not all boutique hotels are cramped in space. The washroom had a very comfortable shower and bathing tub. The pictures below will let the room come alive and tell its own story.
I had a great sleep on the first night. On the second day, we played Songkran and got really wet. To add to the blessings, it rained heavily and we rushed back to the hotel to change and catch some nap. After taking a warm shower, I made some tea for myself and enjoyed the weather outside. As far as my eyes could reach beyond my balcony, my surroundings looked beautiful soaked in rain.
I don’t swim and also there was hardly any time to sit around the swimming pool but we did enjoy our conversations and travel moments in the cute little balcony restaurant during the breakfast time. In the morning, some juices, milk, cornflakes, chocos, veggies, bread and butter is there to choose from. However, there is always an option to order from the menu. Since we all were comfortable with eggs in the morning, we ordered them in different forms. Two of our travel buddies preferred some sausages too. I quite enjoyed the eggs. For a change I liked this breakfast buffet over the lavish ones because then it really becomes difficult to make choices and one tends to over-stuff too. 😉
Well, the food was good except that one had to order for eggs and patiently wait for sometime. The wifi connection in the room was decent and gave me no hassles. There was no choking or overflowing of any kinds in the washroom. There were slippers and umbrella in the room but before you use them , let me tell you they come at a price. So if you really need them, only then put them in use. Drinking water is complimentary while other eatables are charged at a little higher rate.
Overall, I had a great time in this adorable space in Chiang Mai and would love to return here again.
I visited this hotel as part of a FAM trip organized by Thailand Authority of Tourism (TAT, New Delhi)