When you’re constantly on the move, exploring new cities, regions and countries – writing from guest house bedrooms, coffee shops, parks or wherever you can find – having a base to unpack and set up your laptop for a few weeks is an extremely welcome prospect. After a year on the road, Iain and I stopped in Luang Prabang to catch up on writing work but, despite falling for the idyllic Mekong River town, our location independent writing routine was still moulded by the impermanence of our travelling life: we lived out of backpacks, ate meals out and had to rely on the local coffee shop for a comfortable table at which to work. Sixteen months after leaving our apartment in Shanghai, the idea of having a kitchen, a living room and a wardrobe was surprisingly appealing. I decided to search Roomorama for short-term rentals in Chiangmai, where we were headed next, and soon found exactly what I had in mind.
Roomorama’s peer-to-peer rental system
Chiangmai is extremely popular with location independent professionals, who tend to stay for a few weeks or more at a time, drawn to the charming city by affordable accommodation and a huge number of coffee shops and expat hangouts relative to its size. The city also has some of the fastest internet in mainland Southeast Asia. Chiangmai has over 160 accommodation listings on Roomorama’s website alone, many of which are more affordable than mediocre guesthouses, and far better value. Most are peer-to-peer rentals, in which you contact the owner directly through Roomorama’s booking engine. Once the owner has confirmed availability, you pay securely on Roomorama’s site via credit card or Paypal, but payment is only finalised once you arrive at the premises and give the host a payment ID. Roomorama facilitates bookings for rooms in hosts’ homes, entire houses, as well as smart new apartments, like the studio we booked, used exclusively for short-term rentals.
Booking a property & getting value for your money
Roomorama’s booking system is secure and simple to use, and all their property’s hosts commit to keeping in touch online throughout the process. You simply select a property and your dates, send an inquiry to the host, and make payment online once the host has confirmed availability. Unfortunately, the host we selected rents out a variety of apartments with different pricing arrangements, which meant having to send him several emails to clarify exactly what we were getting for our money.
Though it doesn’t happen often, all rates listed on Roomorama.com are subject to change, so be sure to ask your host exactly what is included in the rate they quote. Separate daily, weekly and monthly rates made the apartment we booked particularly good value for long stays, although breakfast, room cleaning and utility bills are only included for bookings made on a daily or weekly basis. If you’re a real breakfast-lover like me, be warned that the free “American breakfast” is just a basic meal of toast, jam and juice.
If you’re visiting Chiangmai in summer – and stay for a month or more – bear in mind that the attractive monthly rate is offset slightly by utility bills. Near-constant air-conditioning usage can add around 2000 baht a month onto your costs. Weekly rates are particularly competitive, and you’ll have the pleasure of coming home to fresh towels, fresh linen and a spotless apartment three times a week – and enjoying cool air-conditioned rooms and long baths as often as you like – all included in your rate.
Although booking with this host wasn’t the completely hassle-free experience I’d had with Roomorama before, we were so happy with the property that we stayed almost six weeks. Apartments like this, and the facilities that come with them, aren’t easy to come by when you’re travelling.
- Large fully furnished rooms with balconies (desks available on request)
- Flat screen TV and satellite
- Furnished kitchen including a coffee maker, stove, toaster and large fridge
- Marble bathrooms with bath tubs
- Laundry service
- 24 hour minimart
- Restaurant with free internet access and WiFi
- 24-hour security & closed-circuit TV system
- Private parking
- WiFi in rooms (200 baht per week / 500 baht per month)
“Standard studios” without kitchens start at 430 baht per night for a week-long stay. Our “superior studio” worked out to 860 baht per night on a weekly basis, inclusive of utility bills, room cleaning and breakfast for two. Roomorama also charges a modest booking fee for their services. Visit Roomorama’s website to book a property in Chiangmai or other cities around the world.
If you don’t mind being a long walk or a short tuktuk ride away from Chiangmai’s Old Town – or you’re planning on buying or renting a scooter – this apartment’s location may suit you as well as it suited us. The surrounding neighbourhood has plenty of local restaurants, a few coffee shops and bars, and as many 7-Elevens and massage parlours as anywhere in Thailand. Instead of eating out like we’d done every day for the last sixteen months, we made good use of our kitchen and cooked almost every day. Chiangmai’s largest Tesco is about a ten minute drive away and Dacheeso delivers delicious cheeses, cured meats, organic coffee, lamb chops, and various other treats that will make Western-food-deprived travellers do cartwheels. Delivery is free for orders of 300 baht or more.
In between being homebodies, working in our living room, cooking and eating, we trained in Chiangmai Land’s 25 metre swimming pool, a short walk away*. Being able to keep fit while staying in a comfortable, well-equipped apartment where we could cook for ourselves was more than we expected from our hiatus from travelling. I may well look to Roomorama again to find another home away from home.
*Chiangmai Land’s swimming pool is open seven days a week from 9:30am to 8pm and costs 60 baht per person.
444 Chiang Mai Land Village, Soi 8-10 Chiang Mai Land Road, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Phone: +66 (0) 53 27 2821 or (00 53 27 4269
If you enjoyed A Short-Term Apartment Rental with Roomorama in Chiangmai, subscribe to email updates or our RSS Feed. You'll be notified when we next publish a story about the Old World.