Thursday, November 02, 2006
If you want to avoid the crowds and tour buses and get a feeling of true Thai hospitality, I highly recommend this small boutique hotel. We have been traveling to Thailand for business for almost 20 years and are always looking for a place to feel pampered and welcomed at the end of a long (hot) day. If you are heading for Chiangmai for the night market and the crowds, stay in town. Although the hotel is about a 10 minute taxi ride into the city center, it is just across the road from the well know Mandarin Oriental hotel so there is variety if you have a long visit and want to walk to other places to eat or shop.
The hotel was just a year old when we arrived but felt like it was built in true Lanna style years ago. You are greeted by a bubbling turtle fountain in the courtyard, and a gentle greeting from one of the friendly staff members. Jaree, the hotel manager performed the check-in procedure, then escorted us to our Deluxe room.
The room was spacious and light filled and updated with all the appropriate furnishings necessary to either relax or work. For me a work desk and an Internet connection are a must, and both were provided in the room in addition to a computer in the library if you needed it. Our room also had a flat panel TV and DVD player (free movie selection in the library), a Jacuzzi tub big enough for two to relax comfortably, separate shower and commode. No detail was missed as far as international 5 star standards are concerned.
If you are require a gym or nearby place to take a morning run, this may not be the best hotel for you. There is a lovely lap pool, but no other facilities for exercise. Although the hotel is in a quiet neighborhood just off the main freeway, once you leave the street your morning run, you will be on a major highway with the accompanying traffic and pollution. Besides…unless you are out and back before 6 am, it’s too hot to jog!
There is one difficult noise issue, and that is the healthy neighborhood rooster population. It may (probably will) awaken you each morning, but the staff is happy to provide ear plugs if that will help. That’s one of the drawbacks of a rural hotel site, but after the first morning we were not bothered by it.
We would definitely stay at Bann Tazala again and recommend it highly!
We enjoyed dinner one evening in the dining room. My rack of lamb, and my husband's duck breast were executed to perfection. Service by the friendly staff was impeccable. We were glad to have a cooked to order breakfast instead of the usual buffet of breads and fruit.