Thailand is known for being a backpacker’s paradise, right? A place where hostels are cheaper than cheap. Where hostel living is a given for a young traveller. Well, not for this gal…
Normally Gaz and I would have stayed in a hostel if we were travelling. But this time we’d be treated like royalty at Chiang Mai’s beautiful Eastin Tan Hotel. After winning Icelolly.com‘s #SendMeAway competition last February, I had £1500 to spend on any holiday on their website. So, of course, we were gonna go all out on a fancy pants hotel!
We were almost tempted by one of Chiang Mai’s gorgeous spa resorts outside of the city centre, which are some of the most romantic hotels in Thailand, but after thinking it through these weren’t practical if we wanted to do lots of exploring. So if you fancy blowing your budget whilst visiting Chiang Mai, Eastin Tan is the place to be. Let me tell you why…
We booked the most standard room in the hotel. Well, I say standard… The “Superior Premium” was the hotel’s cheapest room and it was by no means “standard”. I can’t even begin to imagine what the superior suites and penthouses were like, because ours was flipping luxurious. The king-sized bed was incredibly comfy – and that’s not even the jet lag talking!
All the amenities you would expect from a four-star hotel were provided, including Wi-Fi, a refrigerator, tea and coffee facilities, telephone, safe, hairdryer, robes and slippers. The TV was also a plus if you wanted to chill out in the room. On our final night, we got home early in order to pack. We decided to watch Easy A (the only thing on TV at the time, but I’m not complaining) as we packed our suitcases.
The hotel is also home to a large swimming pool and a fully-equipped fitness centre with a steam room and sauna. However, as our trip was so hectic we barely had time to relax in our room, let alone make the most of the pool and fitness facilities.
The best part of the room was undoubtedly the balcony; however, I don’t think we would have survived without air conditioning, so that was a strong contender for first place. The views of the luscious green canopy from the balcony made me feel like I was deep into the jungle.
There’s also a little table and bench if you fancy sitting outside for evening drinks or breakfast. The balcony can make you feel a little bit queasy though if you have a fear of heights, especially because the safety glass wasn’t that tall.
The bathroom, fitted with both a bath and shower, was beautiful. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to bathe, for the same reason I didn’t have time to swim or work out. I also couldn’t enjoy the shower because I was very badly sunburnt after our day at Elephant Nature Park, and this made showering extremely painful.
The area surrounding the hotel was incredibly swanky and modern. Believe me when I say that 99% of Chiang Mai did not look like this. We just got lucky! Eastin Tan Hotel is right beside Maya Lifestyle Shopping Centre, a world-class shopping mall and urban lifestyle hub.
With six floors of fashion, health and beauty, banking, restaurants, and entertainment, you could easily spend a whole day here. We didn’t really spend any time here since we were in Chiang Mai to explore the culture, not a shopping mall, but if we urgently needed anything the convenience of having a mall right there was handy.
The Maya Shopping Mall boasts the most beautiful rooftop bar (well, from what I’ve seen in photos). Again, we didn’t go up here (mainly because we couldn’t afford it), but the views across the city and Doi Suthep mountain look outstanding and it would be the perfect place to watch the sunset!
The hotel also had its own restaurant, the T Station, where we had a beautiful breakfast buffet every single morning and a couple of our dinners. We normally don’t pay for the hotel breakfast as we’d prefer to try different cafes each morning.
But since we were picked up from our hotel for four separate day tours, it couldn’t have been more convenient. We’d stuff ourselves silly in the morning and this would give us enough energy to seize the day (and make the early starts and jet lag a little more bearable).
Eastin Tan Hotel is situated off Nimmanhemin Road, the so-called “hipster street” of the city. The Nimmanhemin area is Chiang Mai’s rapidly growing chic quarter where you will find gift shops, boutiques, coffee shops, and live music bars and restaurants out in full force.
Right outside our hotel was my favourite shop (and market stall, but more on that later) in Chiang Mai. Playworks Souvenir Shop is filled with so many cool Etsy-worthy nic nacs. I managed to restrain myself and only buy one thing: a passport case. But I could have spent all my money in there, especially considering it was so freakin’ cheap.
But then it came to our last day in Chiang Mai, when we visited the famous Sunday Walking Street Night Market. Here we came across a Playworks market stall. At this point I knew this was fate (not really, but we all need excuses), so I purchased a couple more items. But they’re not for me… I’ll be giving away some authentic Thai treasures to one of my readers in an upcoming competition!
So what did you think of my stay at Eastin Tan? Have you stayed at this hotel or another Chiang Mai hotel? Let me know in the comments below!