Since we were only to stay in Chiang Mai for 1 night, accessibility to all the action in the city is key for us when deciding on which hotel to stay in. Thanks to the organisers (Tourism Authority of Thailand – Singapore Office & Bangkok Airways), we checked into Imm Hotel Thaphae, right in front of the Thaphae Gate that is part of the 700-year-old fortress wall of the old city.
Thaphae Gate, situated in the western part of the city, is probably the most famous historic landmark of Chiang Mai, & just a few steps ahead of Imm Hotel is the renowned gate. Unlike the previous 2 hotels we stayed in Koh Samui & Chiang Rai, Imm is more of a no-frills 3-star hotel that boasts a superb location with easy access to cultural sites and the famous weekend walking street market in Chiang Mai. In fact, the Sunday Walking Street, about 2km long, is a big vibrant market just behind the gate (which you can see in picture below) selling all sorts of interesting Northern Thai crafts, clothing, souvenirs etc.
While the hotel lobby does not have a sophisticated decor, its white tiled flooring & walls with dashes of bright orange looked clean & well-maintained. There are 106 rooms in this 3-storey hotel featuring 5 different types of rooms to cater to varied needs, & I was allocated a deluxe room on the second floor.
My room was round the corner from the lift (can’t remember the room number though). Just like the hotel lobby, there was no fanciful decor in the room, but all the essential amenities such as clean & comfortable beds, toiletries, towels, TV with cable channels, clothes rack etc were available. Free Wi-Fi was also provided throughout the property. Most importantly, it was a clean room where I could have a good rest for the night.
If there is something the hotel could improve on, I must say it was the provision of a hair dryer. I realised there was no hair dryer in the room, so I called the front desk to enquire. The staff told me I had to go down to the lobby personally to get one, as I had to sign in to a logbook so they can track where the hair dryers are. Fortunately when I went down the hair dryers were still available, because some of my tour mates mentioned that they couldn’t get 1 as it was all lent out by the time they checked! 😦 If I remember correctly, I also had to return it to the reception upon checkout so that I could sign out in the logbook… -_-
In the morning, breakfast was available at the lobby area where guests could just grab & go with some simple toast &/or beverage if they wish. The seating area wasn’t too big. My sixth sense told me that the breakfast here wouldn’t be something particularly noteworthy or to look forward to, given that the hotel seems to adopt a no-frills management style that emphasizes on its superb location in the heart of the city only. True enough, I was right. There wasn’t a lot of items at the buffet counter to choose from, & the quality of food, erm, I should say, is not for the fussy guest haha. Anyway, I didn’t try much as I just grabbed a couple of slices of toast with a hot beverage to fill my stomach. After all, we had been eating too much the past few days! So it was good to go easy on my stomach that morning too. 😅
To conclude, if you are looking to stay in somewhere that is accessible to Chiang Mai attractions as well as other parts of the province via the highway, Imm Hotel Thaphae is really quite strategically located in the city. Furthermore, it is quite affordable from around S$100 per night for a twin-sharing room. But please don’t expect a classy / luxurious stay in this simple 3-star hotel. 😉