Location: Saraphi, 20 minutes south of downtown Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand
Category: Boutique bed and breakfast (B&B)
Price range: 1400-3800 Bt per night, depending on season
Because Dreamcatchers B&B is Annabel’s home, and not a hotel or resort, staying at Dreamcatchers B&B is like staying with good friends, you have the run of the comfortable house, great food, but also large well-furnished guest rooms where you can relax and chill out during your ‘down time’. There are only a handful of rooms so you’re unlikely to feel crowded and it’s easy enough to book the whole place for a family or group.
Located in the suburbs off Route 121, it’s not a downtown guest house but a retreat, a home away from home. And that’s why people come back to Dreamcatchers B&B again and again when they visit Chiang Mai. Although it’s out of the way for some people, if you’re an independently mobile traveller (e.g. you have a scooter or a car), Dreamcatchers B&B is well worth considering. Even if you don’t, it’s only a 250Bt taxi ride from downtown Chiang Mai and the peace and tranquility is certainly worth it.
Owned by Anabel, a French-Canadian, but managed with the assistance of Ting and the Thai staff, Dreamcatchers B&B is a modern bed and breakfast in the Thai Lanna style, with lots of teak wood and beautiful decorations, a stunning pool area, extensive well-maintained gardens and great facilities.
Dreamcatchers is more like a resort than a bed and breakfast and the fact that it’s located in a village-style area, you get to interact with local people and see Chiang Mai life at first hand, just outside your door. Annabel can also arrange a traditional Thai massage by the poolside if you really want to chill out.
Rooms and rates at Dreamcatchers B&B
The rooms at Dreamcatchers B&B are in a series of detached buildings connected by walkways. Each room is spacious and uniquely decorated, with a mini-bar and private verandah. Each room has a view of either the countryside out to Doi Suithep, the swimming pool, or the canal that surrounds Dreamcatchers B&B on three sides.
The twin deluxe room (pictured) has two twin beds, seating inside and outside and a work table. Facilities include air-conditioning and ceiling fan, ensuite bathroom with toiletries and slippers, minibar, coffee and tea in your room, WiFi internet and daily housekeeping. These rooms overlook the Dreamcatchers pool, the canal and the countryside.
The common facilities at Dreamcatchers B&B include a saltwater swimming pool, open air gazebo with tables and lounge chairs, a small library of reading materials, a TV with sound system, DVD player and a DVD libary. Fishing in the adjacent canal and a massage by the pool are available by arrangement.
The queen room is like the twin deluxe but with a queen sized bed and overlooks the canal and surrounding countryside.
The junior suite has a king sized bed and overlooks the swimming pool and surrounding countryside.
One of the interesting things about Dreamcatchers B&B is their willingness to cater for larger travel groups. Because it only has four bedrooms and a villa, you can actually book out the entire place for your group or family.
A word about the location of Dreamcatchers B&B
Because it’s a fair way out of Chiang Mai city centre, you’ll probably eat at Dreamcatchers at least some of the time. So it’s nice to know their menu is as good as their decor, with an expansive continental breakfast (pancakes to die for, hot dishes made to order) included in the room rate and an interesting dinner menu (lunch and dinner need to be ordered in advance) with apple pie and chocolate cake on offer.
We can thoroughly recommend the home-made muesli with home-made yoghurt and Annabel’s scrumptious banana crepes with caramelised walnuts and real Canadian maple syrup, both of which are on the standard breakfast menu, included in the room rate.
Anabel can help you to hire a car or motorbike if you need it. She will also help you to organize tours, onward booking, even restaurant bookings (helpful if you are there as part of a larger group). She is especially good at organizing less common activities like rock climbing, mountain biking, etc, as she has a great range of local contacts.
The place has a very laid back, chilled out atmosphere. Anabel is around most of the time and more than happy to sit with you and chat in the evenings, sharing her extensive local knowledge and adding value to your tour plans.
Ask Anabel about a trip to the San Kampaeng hot springs (about 30 minutes further out) for a fantastic side trip that most visitors never see. Boil eggs in the very active geyser, or just relax the day away in the hot mineral water swimming pool, or get a professional massage in one of the private bures. It’s a gas (pun intended).
The downside of Dreamcatchers B&B
It is a long way out of town if you don’t have transport. But if you hire a scooter it’s only about 15 minutes and tuk-tuks are cheap. Dreamcatchers B&B is just way too comfortable … you could end up not going anywhere and miss the rest of what Chiang Mai has to offer!