Besides being a friendly and charming city, Chiang Rai is a fairly economical destination. When it comes to accommodations, there are a wide variety types of hotels to choose, ranking from 300 baht to almost a hundred thousands baht a night.
Because there is a growing number of budget hotels and guesthouse in Chiang Rai in past few years, finding an affordable hotel is not hard. However, the challenge is to get the one the give the best value. There are plenty of budget hotels with the price between 300 and 400 Baht residing all over the city but the adage “You get what you pay for” holds true. You normally have to trade cheap price with comfort and ease of staying. New hotels might offer basic needs but you might run into a lot of problem in the old hotels.
To guarantee a better stay in Chiang Rai one is recommended to aim for a mid-range hotel whose price is above 1,000 Baht a night or more than 1500 Baht is even better. To many people, these price is beyond what they want to pay for.
Now the question is: Is there any budget hotel that offers a comfortable stay in a nice large room, with clean bed, with free Wi-Fi, located in heart of the city, and not a rundown one, with price range of 500-600 Baht night? There is one hotel that is the answer for these questions.
Today we will take you to one of the best budget hotels in Chiang Rai that cost under 600 Baht a night. It is called B2 Chiang Rai which is operated as part of B2 Hotel chain. In the beginning, the hotel relied in word of mount and its own website for the marketing. Now we start to see it famous online travel agencies (OTA) like Agoda.com and Booking.com.
There are 2 locations of B2 Hotel in Chiang Rai – one is near Night Bazaar known as “B2 Night Bazaar Chiang Rai ” and another one is located in near the Clock Tower and it is called “B2 Chiang Rai Hotel”. This article is all about the latter one.
B2 Chiang Rai is located right in front of Samakki Wittayakom School. The hotel has 2 building (A and B building) with the total of 89 rooms. It is a very good budget hotel, walking distance to the night markets, clock tower and walking street markets. Just 5 minutes walk to see the colorful clock tower display in the evening. Also only a few minutes to Chiang Rai walking street which is opened very Saturday.
The hotel has opened for 4 years but the rooms still look very new. It offers free Wi-Fi, free parking and air-conditioned rooms. There are a flat-screen cable TV with DVD player, minibar, built-in desk, hot shower and necessary shower facilities available in all rooms. The rooms are decorated with modern furnishings and warm lighting feature throughout the room. Beds are very large, clean, firm and comfortable.
I travel between Chiang Rai and Bangkok very often and whenever I need to stay in the city, I almost always stay in budget hotels. I’ve been using service of B2 Chiang Rai many times in last 4 years. Also have put friends and family there when we needed to stay in the city many times to. Based on my experience, this is the best budget hotel I’ve stayed in Chiang Rai.
This hotel was opened in 2012 with a surprised price scheme of 450 Baht a night. With very minimum marketing, it become well known among local budget travelers quickly. A year later the price increased to 500 Baht and 540 Baht in the year after. As of 2015 the room rate for standard room has increased to 590 Baht a night. Recently it added VIP rooms into their service. The price break-down is as follows.
Standard room (or Superior Room): 590 Baht per night on Sunday to Thursday. On Friday, Saturday and long weekend holiday it jumps to 650 Baht a night. For this type of rooms, there are twin rooms, double rooms and connecting rooms and they all cost the same.
VIP room (or Deluxe Room): 650 Baht per night on Sunday to Thursday and 690 Baht per night on Friday, Saturday and long holiday. A VIP room is bigger than standard room but you probably won’t notice the difference.
Suit room: 1,200 Baht per night on Sunday to Thursday. However price will vary for Friday, Saturday and long holidays.
Recently B2 Hotel started to focus on online marketing . The below images are still photo from B2 Chiang Rai’s YouTube video. It’s kind of sexy. So I decide to put them here.
- Good price and good location. In my opinion, it is the best hotel under 600 Baht in Chiang Rai.
- Room condition. It is very clean and look new. The quality of the room itself and the interior finishing is far superior to other hotels in the city that are in the same price range.
- There is a restaurant downstairs called Over the moon cafe (used to be Tiger Koff – probably already out of business). Food here is not authentic Northern Thailand food but some menus are quite tasty.
- A walking distance to the popular attractions such as The Clock Tower, Chiang Rai’s walking street, massage center, and night clubs for expat near Wat Jed Yot.
Nothing is perfect. The below is the list of negative items that I have observed.
- One aspect that the hotel doesn’t seem to care to improve since the beginning is the loud noise from inter-building telephone rings. Here is what happens. Two telephones are installed at each end of corridor of every floor. The purpose is for the receptionists or managers in the office to call maids who are working in those floor. Sometimes the maid is not in that floor and the phone will ring for a long time. From 8:00 onward you can expect to hear telephone ring from outside your room quite often. They should have use walkie-talkie or something similar. Two years ago I complained about this noise with one of the managers downstairs. So far I don’t see anything changed yet.
- Some rooms are too dark because of wooden window screen that is placed on the windows which are closed to electric pole outside (room 02 and 04 of every floor). In-room lamp doesn’t provide much of light. I always declined to stayed in room 02 and 04.
- There are some problems with water piping system especially in 4th floor of building B. Noise from water pump outside can be heard from time to time.
- Toilet flush seems to have problems in many rooms. For example, the flush sometimes is not working and the most frustrated issue toilet lid is not placed properly.
- Parking is quite limited.
- Always request to stay in building B because it is located in a better spot and most rooms (except the ones mentioned in the following point) has big window with good view. Building A is built behind a big shop house. Many rooms in building A is pretty dark and not very pleasant window view.
- If you manage to get Building B, avoid staying in room 02 and 04 of every floor (namely room 102, 104, 202, 204, 302, 304, 402 and 404). These rooms are close to the hotel’s main electric pole. Because of safety reason, wooden screen has been place just outside the window of the room mentioned above. The rooms will be pretty dark and you won’t have opportunity to enjoy window view. Generally these rooms don’t give you a pleasant stay.
- If Building is full and you have to stay in Building A, avoid staying in odd-numbered rooms of every floor (102, 104, 203, 204, etc). These rooms are facing of of the shop houses nearby which make it very dark inside.
- There is no room service directly from the hotel but you can order food from restaurant downstairs to deliver to your room. The food will come in plastic container.
- If standard rooms are available, do not choose VIP room and expect to have a better experience. The size of a VIP room is bigger but not much different. There is not better experience from VIP room (at least to my experience). Only that VIP rooms add a few more items and decoration that you don’t need. Funny thing about VIP rooms here is most of them are in Building A which have full of dark rooms and window view is not as good as Building B. Still don’t know why they put VIP room in building A.
- Avoid rooms that has a connecting door as noise of another door can get to your room easily.
What is cool about this hotel is the room rate and its finishing which is superior to other budget hotels in the same price range. I have been using its service since the beginning and pity to see its price keep increasing every year. The price started with a stunning rate of 450 a night a few years back but now it’s getting close to 700 Baht, which is still okay compare based on its quality. The price should stop at the current level already. As soon as the price go up beyond 700 Baht, it will lose its charm and become one of ordinary unattractive hotels.
Based on my 4 years experience with B2 Chiang Rai Hotel, despite of a lot of negative points, overall it is still the best budget hotel under 600 Baht in the city. Just be in the right room, and you will have a nice stay.
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