BANGKOK. Swiss Lodge. 2008 review – mid-range – 4 ½ out of 5.
We had a great experience in this hotel. We had travelled roughly but decided to splurge in Bangkok. For $100 we got a 2 room suite. Great location, next to Patpong, close to sky train. We got so comfortable here we decided not to go out, crashed and ordered room service (fantastic food, we ordered Thai, asking for “Thai spiciness”).
Update: I’ve read reviews that suggest the quality of this hotel has slipped since we’ve been there. They often have internet specials and you can get room in $65 range.
BANKOK. Phranakorn-Nornlen Boutique Hotel. 2008 review – mid-range – 3 ½ out of 5.
My (very detailed) Tripadvisor review: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g293916-d633694-r14070519-Phra_Nakorn_Norn_Len_Hotel-Bangkok.html
It’s definitely a different kind of place – but if you are in no rush to get anywhere and just want to laze and enjoy a wonderful setting then this place might be for you. I think I covered everything in that review.
CHIANG DAO. Chiang Dao Nest. 2008 review – mid-range – 3 ½ out of 5.
A beautiful spot with clean and modern bungalows – we had some of our best sleeps in Thailand here! Nights actually get cold here and we appreciated the shower (which generates very hot water at high pressure!) and the heavy blankets on the bed. No complaints at all about the bungalow.
Likewise, the whole infrastructure of Chiang Dao Nest is great; there’s an internet shack (with high speed internet!) and a very comfortable dining area. The grounds of the hotel are beautiful with a huge variety of exotic plants and flowers. Just gorgeous! The price is also very good (about $30/night).
2 things we didn’t like here: 1) We found Wicha, the owner, very rude. It started the minute we arrived and set the tone for the rest of the stay. I looked the hotel up on Trip Advisor and opinions vary – people either thought she was great or that she was really rude. My feeling is that it depends how she likes you, she’s obviously the queen of her kingdom and will treat you accordingly (very un-Thai, but everything about Wicha and Chiang Dao Nest are un-Thai).
The 2nd thing that disappointed us was the Western food. For all the talk about how the Western Food is so great here, we found it very disappointing! If there had been a Thai restaurant nearby we would have eaten there. I would really recommend that Chiang Dao Nest have at least one Thai plate on their menu (Chiang Dao Nest 2 has a Thai menu but it’s pretty far down the road…)
I would give this place a 3 1/2 out of 5 – my 2 negatives aside, this would be a pretty perfect place!
CHIANG MAI. Rachamankha Hotel. 2008 review – expensive – 4 ½ out of 5.
One of Chiang Mai’s fancy hotels, a treat after roughing it. Just a gorgeous hotel with a beautiful pool. If you appreciate good service and attention, including being wai-ed to a lot (which makes me honestly a little uncomfortable) then this is a great place for you.
Update: in 2013 rooms going for about $215/night. Ouch.
KO YAO NOI. Lom’Lai Beach Resort. 2008 review – mid-range – 4 out of 5.
An incredibly relaxing spot with great views. The bungalows are rustic, they are some kind of thatched material – be warned they’ll be bugs coming in from the outside.Lighting is poor, ventilation is by fan (no AC). At $65/night (in 2008) I think it’s pricy for what you get. I would say however that the food in the restaurant was excellent. And the place kind of grows on you, after a few days you just kind of tune out and turn into a zombie. I noticed that among the other residents and started to wonder if they were drugging the food.Very relaxing spot to chill out.