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The Balcony Hill Resort: A Review of Accommodations in Chiang Rai
The Balcony Hill Resort is located in Mae Suai, Chiang Rai and is a mile away from three tourist attractions: Khun Korn Waterfall, Wat Rong Khun and Wat Mung Muang Temple. It is, however, far from the center of Chiang Rai and the airport. This lovely place, unfortunately, is more suited for people with private transportation.
Although it is literally in the middle of nowhere, The Balcony Hill Resort has a lovely view of mountains and rice paddies. And, the attraction here is the beautiful sunsets that you can view from your terrace.
In Mae Suai, The Balcony Hill Resort stands out because of its very western architecture unlike most of the Lanna Style architecture that is prominent in the northern part of Thailand. It even has a very Hollywood-like sign in front of it.
Being far from the tourist attractions, however, makes it more of a place for locals to relax. So, bear in mind that although it looks very western, most of the staff do not speak much English. Despite this tiny problem, you can still have a very good stay here as the staff is very keen on making your stay pleasant.
This warm, family-run business knows how to feel that you are at home. And, they are always ready to assist you in whatever troubles you may have.
The rooms are well-decorated and have shared terraces that give you a good view of the rice terraces and mountains. Each room has an en-suite bathroom with a hot water shower. Toiletries are provided in a dispenser.
The cottages in the resort have private balconies with better views as they are located in front of the rooms. These are meant for families and couples who are willing to spend a bit more.
The resort has a basic fitness center with stationary bikes and treadmills and an infinity pool that makes a wonderful foreground for the lovely view.
The Balcony Hill Resort has various Thai dishes on their menu. They also have a few western dishes which consist mostly of pasta. And, they've even added a Tom Yum Gung (sour and spicy prawn soup) with spaghetti which is actually pretty tasty. They also have a selection of fruit juices and coffees.
For breakfast, you have a choice between a traditional Thai breakfast which is congee (or rice porridge) or a western breakfast which consists of eggs, sausages, a salad and a rice ball with shiitake mushrooms and carrots.
The breakfast comes with unlimited glasses of water and orange juice. A waiter with a pitcher tops each glass up each time you finish a glass. So, you'll never be able to leave with empty glasses and there is no need to try to empty the glass in order to be polite.
- Walk around. The resort has a huge area with lovely flowers and gardens decorated with swings and ceramic animals. Outside the resort, on the same road, you'll find sign posts leading to caves and waterfalls.
- Look around. The resort has quaint little details from the cages in the fitness room to the creepy faces in the dining area.
- Get up early to see the sunrise and be back for the sunset. The blast of colors during these times is worth seeing.
- See Wat Rong Khun. Although it's not an ancient temple, it is a work of art. And, it looks more amazing in real life than in pictures. Going inside the temple itself is not worth the hassle of finding a tour guide or waiting in a queue.
- Swim at noon. The pool isn't as cold from noon to two in the afternoon.
- Ask about the telescope in the fitness area. This is a great place for stargazing.
It's got a rating of 4 because of its location. Although I did enjoy the view and am looking forward to staying there again, I'm sure many travelers, especially those who are in Chiang Rai for only a few days and do not have private transportation, wouldn't appreciate staying in a place so far from the airport and the attractions.
For people who are looking for a retreat, this place is definitely a 5 as it is an amazing place to chill.