I had the pleasure of staying here during my recent trip to Chiang Mai. I had booked this online following the great reviews I had read…I’m not your typical backpacker. I’m a bit older now, and I’m earning money in a good job, so I am not looking for the cheapest bed available. I am basically looking for a hotel room with all the social benefits of a hostel since I am travelling solo.
Lantern House was the best rated hostel I could find available with private & en-suite rooms.
I have to admit, when the taxi was bringing me here upon arrival at the airport- I wasn’t sure if he was actually taking me down some alley way and having me sold off or something. I started to get quite nervous…. the road seemed so far away from any tourist/town spot and I was convinced he was up to no good.
Turns out- I was wrong, and he brought me to the hostel through the back route- its actually really easy and fast to get onto the main road and its only about 500m until you’re in the heart of the old town!
Anyway, it was quite late in the evening and the hostel manager Gof was there waiting for me. Gof is amazing- and if I was reviewing Lantern House based solely on the service from Gof, this would get a solid 7 out of 5 stars! Gof is the best!!! He even kindly took my suitcase and carried it up the stairs for me and installed me into my new room.
Bearing in mind- less than 5 hours ago I was in a suite at the Hotel Muse, a 5* hotel in Bangkok.. the blandness of this room was very apparent! The room is clean, the bed is big and its a totally adequate place to stay. But the room lacks any personality or love- purely functional!
I wanted a shower, and so I went into my ‘ensuite’. This place is tiny- and my inner snob couldnt find the shower! So I had to go back downstairs and ask Gof why I dont have a shower in my room. He laughed and came back into my room and showed me the shower (well tried to- 2 people cant fit in the bathroom, so we had to take it in turns to have a look behind the door).
There it was…. this tiny little shower head hanging up on the wall behind the bathroom door. It was so small, more like a tap. Whats even more confusing is this is basically over the sink and pretty much over the toilet as well! it’s at this point you can either laugh or cry. I chose to laugh, I might’ve booked the superior double en-suite room- but this is a hotel- not the Ritz.
Before having a shower remember to remove the toilet roll, bin etc or everything will get soaking wet.
Its also important to know that like most places in Chiang Mai, you cannot throw your used toilet paper down the loo. There is a bin provided, please use this. (But it would’ve been better to have a dark bin liner round the bin, with a lid and a separate general purpose bin. Surely this would only cost the hotel less than 50p per room to organise?.. This is the luxury room after all!!)
Also, in order to sit on the loo you must side at the right angle, and not how you would usually sit on the toilet. This is because the wall of the bathroom is right there!! It’s actually hilarious- and I wouldn’t knock off a point in my review for it! Just learn to embrace the experience!
The shower was obviously not going to have much pressure, or be too special- but the water was hot on demand, and there was plenty of it. And apart from being very small, at least the bathroom was clean and bug free!
I should mention that I also had my own private balcony. The view is basically the wall of the hostel next door, and if you lean over slightly, you can even touch the wall!
The hostel itself is very small, and I found it harder to meet people here to share activities and my days of exploring with. Luckily for me, I had done my research and had a jam packed itinerary anyway- and I meant loads of fun and friendly people outside of the hostel. See mahout day, tiger kingdom, Doi Suthep, & Orchid Farm posts in Chiang Mai!
What makes this hostel special is the location and the friendliness of the hotel managers. Emma- the hotel owner, is a young Australian lady that fell in love with Chiang Mai and decided to open up a hostel. She was friendly and nice, but not always the most approachable. I would’ve hoped, as the owner and boss she could’ve made more of an effort for her guests. But when you approached her, and instigated conversation she was really lovely.
Gof and Pak are the managers there- and they are both the most helpful, friendly and organised people you will ever meet in any hostel! It truly is because of them that this hostel has got its rave reviews. I really hope to meet them again, and wish the success of this hostel for years to come! Gof even took me to the Ladyboy show, and sorted all my tours etc for me. Pak hooked me up with a driver for a day so I can go to Tiger Kingdom and surrounding attractions!
Also- I hope the hostel pet dog Happy remains as playful and as cute as he was when I was there!!!
This hostel is clean, the linens, towels rooms and bathrooms are very clean.. but its very basic and functional. I feel like returning there with a large pot of paint! Thank you Lantern House for a lovely stay!