As our one year wedding anniversary drew near, my husband and I made a pact. Rather than gifts, a romantic dinner, etc., we would travel somewhere we’ve never been. With our busy lives and schedules here in Seoul, this would ensure that we would always take the time to travel at least once a year. This year was particularly demanding of our time and energy, and we were in desperate need of a restful vacation that wouldn’t be too hard on our wallets. A friend recommended Chiang Mai, Thailand. After some quick research I was totally sold!
The hubby was slammed with work, so he basically left the trip planning in my hands (he REALLY needed a vacation). Being an anniversary trip, I was determined to find us a romantic place to stay. I was really searching for something with that “getaway” feel and definitely not a standard 5-star hotel. There are so many lodging options in Chiang Mai, so after tons and tons of research I decided on the Rainforest Boutique Hotel.
The hotel is only a 20 min drive from the airport and they offer a shuttle to and from the airport for 200 THB a person each way. You can book the service in advance by email. Our driver called himself Mr. Lucky. He was super friendly and was more than happy to fully brief us on what was going in Chiang Mai including holidays, weather, economy, history and what to do. He was a vast mountain of Chiang Mai knowledge all the while the hubby watched in awe out the van window. We certainly weren’t in Kansas anymore Toto.
In addition to airport shuttle, they also offer a FREE shuttle service every evening to the Night Market. For those who arrived without an actual itinerary, like us, the hotel can arrange just about anything you need including tours, activities and drivers or simply advice or tips. I really can’t emphasize enough how friendly and accommodating the staff was. Even their dog is super friendly. The staff rescued and rehabilitated Domi after she had been hit by a car. She gladly welcomes all pats and belly rubs =D
The hotel itself is like a private tropical retreat shrouded in lush green plants and shrubs. There are 2 different pools, a large open-air restaurant and lots of little areas with books and comfy chairs to just lounge around in. Our booking came with complimentary meal vouchers for their breakfast buffet, which was such a great way to start the morning. It was nothing fancy, but it they had a little bit of everything and it was good!
We spent an afternoon swimming and lounging by one of the pools, just sipping on some truly delicious cocktails and eating some mango sticking rice. It was absolute bliss and just what we needed after a long morning volunteering at an elephant sanctuary. I can’t remember the last time we just lazed about like that. It was exactly what we needed.
There are 3 different wings, so there are quite a few different types of rooms to choose from. I went for the CoCo Deluxe room, mainly because it came with a huge Japanese style stone tub. Bathtubs are more of a luxury item in Korean housing, so we made sure to bring along some bath bombs and just soak in the tub till we got nice and pruney.
Our room was very clean and super comfortable. We had a balcony overlooking one of the pools, a tv, desk, air conditioner, blow drier, shower, in-room safe, comfy double bed and of course wifi. Toiletries were pretty minimal, so we made sure to bring our own. Also there was no iron, but they do offer a pressing service for pretty cheap so I went ahead and took advantage that.
We were a bit concerned about mosquitoes or other bugs getting into our room, but we did not see a single insect in our room the entire time we were there. The hotel staff is pretty vigilant about setting bug repelling incense all over the hotel, especially at night. The only visitors we got were little lizards with their bellies pressed up against the outside of our room windows =) So cute!
Overall, this hotel was exactly what we were looking for! It’s the kind of hotel where you can stay at and still feel like you’re in a different country, if that makes sense. It’s romantic, relaxing and the first hotel where we actually felt like it was worth spending time at. We stayed for 3 nights and it only cost us 4,536 THB (roughly $138 USD). I’m quite certain we will be staying here the next time we’re in Chiang Mai and we’ll definitely be visiting Chaing Mai again… but I’ll save that story for another time.