Location: Riverfront near the Nawarat Bridge
Price range: 1900-3600Bt per night
Baan Orapin is located on the Ping River up in the quieter part of Chiang Mai between the Nawarat Bridge and the Nakornping Bridge. Although it’s a 20-25 minute walk into the town proper, there is a foot bridge over the river just out the front of Baan Orapin that takes you directly to the the night bazaar and it’s only 10 minutes or so walk from there to the Tha Pae Gate.
Baan Orapin is one of the original mansions in Chiang Mai, sitting on an acre of lush gardens in a quiet residential neighborhood. The main building is almost a century old and is built in the traditional Lanna style with beautiful teak wood features. It’s is the family home of the owner Opas and manager Pepsi.
Rooms and rates at Baan Orapin
The 15 guest rooms are in a separate building built to match the design of the original mansion with hardwood floors, glazed terracotta floor tiles in the bathrooms, a terracotta tile roof and delicate woodcarvings throughout.
There are two separate wings to the Baan Orapin guest house section, a front wing with Superior rooms and Junior suites, and a rear wing with Superior rooms, Junior Suites, One Bedroom Suites and the luxurious Baan Orapin Suites. All have gorgeous rattan and teak furniture, four-poster beds with mosquito nets, air-conditioning, international cable TV, free WiFi internet, a fridge with mini bar, ensuite bathroom and an in-room safe.
Inside the mansion itself are some common areas, a breakfast room, a reception area and the office.
The front wing units at Baan Orapin are older, a bit noisier (as they are closer to the road) and were built around mature Longan (dragon eye lychee) trees so each room is a bit different. It consists of a superior king room on the ground floor with a teak four-poster king-sized bed, a rattan sofa and a private patio; a superior twin room on the first floor with two four-poster twin beds and a small shared balcony; and three junior suites with teak wood king-sized beds, a comfortable sofa, a dining table and a private patio or balcony.
The rear wing units are newer but have a more laid back feel, set in tropical gardens near the salt water pool. The superior rooms at Baan Orapin are on the ground floor and have high ceilings, four-poster queen-sized teak beds and a private patio entrance; the junior suites have king-sized teak beds, a comfy sofa and private balconies or patios; and the luxury Baan Orapin Suites, situated in the quietest part of the property, feature king-sized teak beds, a large bathroom with a hot tub and separate shower enclosure and a private balcony or patio.
Baan Orapin unashamedly pitches itself at “mature, independent travellers” and it’s unlikely you’ll bump into any backpackers at these rates. Although it can house quite a few guests, it manages to maintain an intimate, homely feel backed up by fantastic service and attention.
Breakfast is included in the room rate, with both Thai and western options including toast, eggs, jams, muesli, fresh fruit and coffee or tea. If you like a spicy Thai breakfast, it can be ordered the day before. A short stroll away is the very popular Riverside Bar and Restaurant with some of the best Thai food in Chiang Mai and a range of other popular riverside bars and restaurants.
Something to look for at Baan Orapin Bed and Breakfast is the elusive white rabbit, which can sometimes be glimpsed in the garden and may even front up for a hug if you’re very lucky.
The downside of Baan Orapin
Hard to find one, although as mentioned the front building can suffer a bit from traffic noise, and not all the staff speak English. Baan Orapin is just way too comfortable … you could end up not going anywhere and miss the rest of what Chiang Mai has to offer!