Welcome to Happynest Hostel, the 5 Star Hostel in Chiang Rai, Thailand. This boutique-styled loft Hostel with the full name of Happynest Inspiring Hostel is located in the small city of Chiang Rai, but surely you will have seen their most famous sight ever: The White Temple! Although many travelers come here, not a lot choose to stay overnight.
What we cover:1. The 5 Stars of Happynest Hostel
2. How to book and compare rates
3. Neighborhood and location
4. 5 Secret tips to Chiang Rai, Thailand
However, when these backpackers have a look at Happynest Hostel, they will most likely reconsider. After finding Yim Huai Khwang Hostel, the 5 Star Hostel in Bangkok, we are proud to introduce you to another excellent 5 Star Hostel in Thailand.
Also if you are backpacking Thailand, there are more 5 Star Hostels waiting for you. Oxotel in Chiang Mai, just a 3 hours bus ride from Chiang Rai. And the fun SleepClub Hostel in Krabi is the perfect start place to start your island-hopping in Thailand.
We are Hostelgeeks, your independent shortcut to the world best hostels, the 5 Star Hostels. We are handpicking unique hostels all over the world, based on transparent criteria. This way you can be sure, you can always stay at gorgeous hostels with us. Here you can find an overview of how to book the 5 Star Hostels.
When walking into the stylish building of Happynest Hostel, you will be welcomed by lovely staff and an impressive loft-styled lobby. No doubt this is where you will spend most of your time during your stay. It is the social heart, where people get together to play board games, have a drink, and plan their next trips and tours together.
The stairs lead you up to the sleeping area, separated from the common areas. This is important for the traveler looking for some sleep after a big day of travel or exploring Chiang Rai.
Besides this lovely design of the accommodation, there are more things we would like to introduce you to. After all, this is the reason why Happynest Hostel is now officially a 5 Star Hostel.
Let’s jump into the details.
Happynest Hostel in Chiang Rai is a 5 Star Hostel because …
1. Local Passion and Experience
The accommodation opened its doors back in December 2013, and can host up to 33 people. Happynest was founded by three friends with a passion for traveling. Two of the owners are architects while the third one is a graphic designer. This is a great combination for starting a design-driven hostel.
When the building was newly renovated, the owners decided to create a unique feel-good space with the use of local material such as bamboo, teak wood, brick floors and more. The high-ceiling lamps run with LED lightning which, as you know, are the most eco-friendly lamps available at this time.
In point 4 we will talk about the local tour providers the hostel has teamed up with. It is a very important goal for the team to provide their travelers and guests with a unique local experience – and not only the White Temple experience.
What about a guest kitchen? There is a staff kitchen, and guests are invited to use the space if needed. But same as with Hualien Wow Hostel in Hualien, Taiwan, travelers usually prefer to eat out, as it is very affordable in these countries. However, it is great to have a choice, right?! So if you want to spend time cooking for yourself, you have the option to do so.
For dinner we recommend to head over to the main square of the Nightmarket in Chiang Rai. There you can get local food, super tasty and a fun environment.
Let’s talk about breakfast. The hostel knows how important a good breakfast is. This is why they decided not to just serve any basic breakfast like typical hostels do. Currently Happynest offers four choices of breakfast:
- Eggs with sandwich
- Thai style rice soup
- Vietnamese style fried egg and
- French toast.
Additionally, they serve brewed coffee. This is how a good morning can start, right?! We got the eggs with sandwich and french toast, and LOVED it. You will be asked with your check-in what you’d like to get your breakfast. But no worries, you can change it later if you wish.
Related article: 46 signs to know a hostel is awesome
Anna enjoying the egg with sandwich.
2. Design: Tall Ceilings and Open Space
„Woah!“ – is all we could say.
This is usually the first reaction when guests enter the wide-space lounge and main common area at Happynest Hostel.
This inspiring hostel is located in a three-story building. In order to archive a special ambiance for the lounge area, the owners decided to combine the first and second floor. Now, the tall ceilings and open space give this place an industrial vibe. The three founders have been friends since high-school. They wanted to create a project altogether, combining their passion for travel, their own city and architectural interests.
They created the property like we know it today, and designed this accommodation from the bottom-up. The building was abandoned and a complete renovation was necessary, taking out walls, floors, windows and everything to create something unique.
Related article: +110 design hostels to fall in love with.
When decorating the space, the goal was to use as many local materials as they could find. They combined bamboo furniture with brick floors, teak wood, and modern elements like high-ceiling lamps. The result, as you can see and will see with your stay, is amazing.
That remembers us at Ccasa Hostel , the 5 Star Hostel in Nha Trang, Vietnam. Ccasa Hostel combines also Vietnamese decoration elements with modern upcycled shipping containers in red, yellow and blue, turned into lively homes.
3. Boutique Design in Loft Style
We especially love the boutique style with it’s intimate atmosphere.
It is not a big place to stay; instead it feels like an exclusive, smallish place to really calm down, mingle with some friends, and enjoy a good hostel experience.
Chiang Rai is a popular place to visit, everybody has seen those photos from the White Temple Wat Rong Khun, but many travelers choose to stay at different cities around Chiang Rai.
So now this is your perfect chance! The city of Chiang Rai has kept its authentic vibe so far, giving you the chance to explore Chiang Rai slowly.
But not just the common areas are spacious. Every room, whether it is a private room or the shared ones, has plenty of space.
Related article: all different types of room types at hostels.
4. Exclusive, smallish place to socialize
As mentioned before, the wide-space lounge is the main common area to hang out and to mingle with the other guests. It was surprising to see that there are no events organized by the hostel itself. But when you have a closer look: that is not even necessary.
As the hostel is quite not that big and very socially designed, the guests interact with each other in no time. Usually the travelers gather around in the lounge, play board games and the popular Jenga game. And then the travelers go out together for a drink at the bar around the corner. The social life here happens very dynamically, and we think one reason is the inviting big lobby and the atmosphere brought by the very ambitious staff.
Of course you could always join several tours and classes now that the hostel has teamed up with local tour providers and cooking classes. There are different guided treks and walking tours that will show you around Chiang Rai and surroundings. And the cooking classes are tailor made for the food lovers around us.
The cooking guide (or guiding cook?) will pick you up at the hostel, and you will buy the ingredients for your cooking class directly form the local market. Choose whatever you like, fancy and wanna try – you will learn how to cook traditional Thai food.
Pretty cool, right?! The tour starts in the morning and lasts around 4 hours.
Here is a cool list of things to do in Chiang Rai, this can come in handy.
Talking about food, Beimen Wow Poshtel in Taipei, Taiwan, also lets you get involved in making delicious iced moon cakes – a kind of cookie typical from mid-autumn Taiwanese festival. Food is always a nice and yummy way to learn about the culture!
5. Top rated staff (we are big fans!)
Let’s talk about the staff, another important criteria for the 5 Star Hostels.
Here you do not have to worry about a language barrier, as every single member of the staff speaks English. English is a basic requirement for workers at Happynest, and some of them also speak Swedish, Japanese, and French.
All major booking platforms attest the team hits a whole new level for making guests feel comfortable around the hostel. The staff is from Chiang Rai itself and they love to share their best tips for the city with you. Make sure you pick their brains for some real cool recommendations!
Another lovely detail: It is Thai tradition to give a small present for New Years Eve and a jasmine flower for Mother’s day (12th of August). This means when you are staying here during those two dates, you will receive a present from the team. We love this detail!
How long to stay in Chiang Rai?
We loved Chiang Rai! We would recommend to stay at least 2 nights. This gives you enough time to visit the clock, the white temple, and experience the authenticity of Chiang Rai itself. If you are into sunrises, then consider renting a scooter and driving the 100km to Puh Chi Fa. This is where you can admire a stunning sun rise over Laos.