We left the UK with trepidation, excitement and curiosity – with a one way ticket to Chiang Mai, we had no idea what to expect. The learning curve was steep, acclimatising to a new country, culture and currency made for an interesting first month. Thankfully, Chiang Mai and more specifically, The 51 Hometel made for the perfect first destination.
We booked The 51 Hometel through Nomad Rental, who offer a slightly cheaper price than most booking sites. We wanted somewhere affordable and comfortable, two things we saw in this hometel while we researched. It’s a fairly new establishment, so reviews were limited, but we were confident we were making the right choice.
On 22nd September 2018, we checked into The 51 Hometel and immediately felt at home. The building itself is fairly new (we heard that it opened early 2018) the modern decor made it feel like we’d stepped into a Pinterest board, particularly the co-working space area.
The friendly staff checked us in and gave us information about the surrounding areas with a map to refer to when we were out and about. We were absolutely delighted to hear that we were only a short walk away from Tesco Lotus store (probably the main reason we felt right at home, as both of our home towns have a Tesco!!). Once we reminded ourselves we were here to explore a new culture and not just Tesco, we were equally as excited to hear about the nearby street food markets and the old town!
We were given our keys which had a fob to open the main door to the apartments, we felt extra safe with the security door and the 24hr desk service, so this was a huge plus for us in a new place.
At The 51 Hometel you can choose between two room styles. One is a studio apartment with a bedroom and ensuite and the other comes with a kitchen/living area, we opted for the latter.
Straight away we noticed how clean, modern and minimal the place was, just like the photos (many places in SE Asia have ‘catfish’ photos, but this wasn’t one of them!) Our apartment was at the front of the building and had a view over the garden area and we had two balconies which was a bonus!
The kitchen is perfect for basic cooking, equipped with a fridge, microwave, kettle and dishware/cutlery. We asked at reception for their cooking set which included an induction hob, pans and cooking utensils at no extra cost. This was perfect for evenings when we didn’t feel like going out for food, or for quick lunches if we were working from the apartment. We didn’t cook anything exotic if you were wondering – just pasta and noodles! We loved the breakfast bar area and it was a perfect place to sit and tuck into our pasta and noodles.
The bedroom was comfortable and spacious, with plenty of room to hang and store clothes, we packed far too much between us but it all fitted into the open wardrobe area. There was a desk area and chair in the room too which Tom made good use of. We had read that Thai beds were really rock solid but the bed was actually pretty comfortable. Overall, the room was absolutely perfect and we have no complaints!
Just like the kitchen and bedroom – the bathroom was also perfect, we’ve never reviewed a bathroom before so not sure what to say other than it was a wonderful bathroom.
As mentioned, the co-working space is on the ground floor by reception. It’s open 24 hours and is equipped with plug sockets (we recommend you bring a travel adaptor), snack bar and coffee making facilities! The snacks and chilled drinks are available at reasonable prices. If you have a deadline and need to put a long shift in, this co working space has everything to keep you alive and well throughout the deadline process. We worked there quite a few times on our stay and found it really comfortable and the Wi-Fi is great. There are no printing facilities here; however in the next hotel along (the pink one) you can pay to use their printers which was easy enough!
Each room comes with a laundry bag which you can fill up and bring to reception. A laundry lady comes to collect it and 1-2 days later you can collect your washed, dried and ironed clothes from reception. It was reasonably priced for the great service. We noticed a few of our socks went missing so to preserve our valuable sock and underwear supply, we decided to take those items to the self service laundry across the road and hung them up on our balcony to dry (top tip if you don’t want to lose smaller items or have random people touching your knickers).
The Mai Bakery
Next door to The 51 Hometel you will find an amazing cafe/restaurant. It’s run by the same people and serves amazing food, both Thai and Western. They also serve amazing cakes and desserts. As soon as you step into the garden area it feels completely separate to the hometel, it feels very traditional in comparison to the modern space next door which was great. We tried a variety of dishes on the menu and every single one was delicious, we would recommend this place to anyone visiting Chiang Mai!
A weekly clean is included in the price and they do a fantastic job. You can also pay to have extra cleans whenever you like.
- We paid a bit extra for water and electricity at the end of our stay (it wasn’t a huge cost)
- They require a deposit at the beginning; we stayed for one month and were required to pay an extra months rent to cover the deposit. This was returned to us at the end of our stay.
- The hotel next door has a water filling station, so you can save lots of money by refilling bottles instead of continuously buying new ones (the tap water is not drinkable in Thailand).
- The 51 Hometel offer a discount code for Grab app users which is similar to Uber.
Overall, our stay at The 51 Hometel was fantastic and we couldn’t recommend it enough! Since travelling through Vietnam we realise just how much we got for our money at this place and would definitely return in future. If you are a digital nomad just starting out like we were, then we feel this place is the perfect place to stay to get you used to such a big change. Feel free to leave a comment or to message us on social media if you have any questions about the 51 Hometel or digital nomad life in general!
Megan & Tom