The cultural capital of northern Thailand Chiang Mai is an enchanting and tranquil destination. The innately Thai city feels much like a big village, whether its the winding bylanes, the gorgeous temples, or the elephant safaris. Chiang Mai also happens to be gay-friendly, just like Thailand’s capital Bangkok. While Chiang Mai’s gay scene isn’t as huge as Bangkok, it’s definitely vibrant and attracts LGBTQ travelers from all over the world. As a result, the number of gay hotels in Chiang Mai has grown too. Right from luxurious Thai retreats to fun hostels, travelers to Chiang Mai have no dearth of options of gay hotels to choose from.
With Thailand being such an open and tolerant country, its no wonder that the gay scene in Chiang Mai has flourished. Chiang Mai’s gayborhoods are spread out geographically across the compact city, so they don’t feel very far away. Most of the newer gay bars and clubs are focused around Night Bazaar and Thapae Gate. However, there’s also an amazing posse of these venues in the Santitham and Chang Puek neighborhoods. Plus, Chiang Mai has a steamy gay sauna scene, with the number of gay saunas as many as gay bars and clubs.
If that wasn’t enough, Chiang Mai has a 700-year-old history and a host of fascinating ruins, temples, national parks, markets, and more. Exploring Chiang Mai by day and night is going to be an exhausting and exhilarating experience indeed. So, here are the top 11 gay-friendly hotels in Chiang Mai for you to put your feet up and kick back the rest of the time.
Club One Seven guest House and Sauna
Stay at the only gay-exclusive hotel in Chiang Mai, the legendary Club One Seven Guesthouse and Sauna. What’s more, it happens to house one of Chiang Mai’s most popular gay saunas. Housed in a quaint, 130-year-old Lanna teak house along the Ping river, the gay-friendly hotel beautifully blends contemporary facilities with quintessential Thai charm.
The outdoors at Club One Seven are its highlights. The guesthouse is ensconced in tropical greenery and is peppered with lovely alfresco seating and terraces. Traditional decor and statues dot the property. Start your day by digging into a hearty breakfast by the riverside. Also, it’s a great place for meet-cutes since it’s open to locals during the day. The popular gay sauna is a rage with both guests and locals and has everything from massage rooms to private cabins. It also has Northern Thailand’s largest herbal steam room. The charming outdoor swimming pool is the perfect place for lounging and catching the eye of the good-looking set.
As is with most guesthouses, rooms at Club One Seven include both shared dorms and private ones. Dorms have non-bunkbeds too. If you’re looking to spend a bit more, the rooms feature stunning teak furnishings and decor. Moreover, the river-view rooms even have private riverside terraces.
In the heart of Chiang Mai old city lies the secluded gay-friendly Thai resort of Tamarind Village. Celebrating the local Lanna heritage, the blissful hotel is amongst the most romantic gay hotels in Chiang Mai’s Old City. Tamarind Village’s location couldn’t be more perfect. It is within walking distance of some of the city’s best attractions, including the Wat Chedi Luang and the Night Bazaar. At the same time, a perimeter of shrubbery and trees at Tamarind Village doesn’t let the hubbub of Old City reach guests either.
The hotel draws up one of the most impressive entrances ever in the form of a green tunnel of arched bamboo trees, which are lit up at nightfall. The nucleus of the Thai village-style property is the eponymous 200-year-old tamarind tree. Courtyards burst with blooms of white and purple orchids, while the rooms feature tiled clay roofs and dark timber beams. The backdrop is a stunning gilded temple spire, which adds to the resort’s ethereal charm. Rooms and suites boast of courtyard views, gorgeous traditional Thai decor, and a host of mod-cons.
The hotel has a smattering of facilities for its guests. A large outdoor pool feels heavenly in the day heat, while the restaurant terrace is great for sipping on a beverage. A quaint spa with unique and stimulating Northern Thai treatments is just the antidote one needs after a long day of exploring Chiang Mai. The Ruen Tamarind restaurant is one of the city’s best, with guests from other hotels also heading here for a bite. Furthermore, the hotel offers complimentary Village Walk tours of nearby cultural sites and temples.
You’d think that five-star hotels aren’t affordable, but DusitD2 tells a different story. The gay-friendly, hip upscale hotel is surprisingly wallet-friendly while offering a slew of first-rate facilities to guests. The spiffy and modern DusitD2 is a welcome break from the traditional Lanna heritage that envelops Chiang Mai, making it extremely popular with young travelers. Also, it abuts Night Bazaar and is surrounded by amazing gay bars like Orion and Pandee, making it popular with gay travelers too.
DusitD2 boasts of glass-and-steel surfaces and minimalist decor, right from the bright lobby to the modern rooms. The swimming pool set on a tranquil sun-kissed terrace with loungers is a great place to lounge during the day. The Devarana Spa is famous for its massage treatments, while the small fitness center is a nice place to work out. The action-central heart of the hotel, however, is the open-air D-Square restaurant which features live music and award-winning cocktails, attracting young party monsters.
The smartly-designed, snug rooms at DusitD2 feature nice touches like orange-colored accents against wood furnishings. Those who want more space can think about upgrading to Studio Suites, which have living areas and great mod-cons. Club Rooms have their own set of privileges, including private breakfasts and free happy hour cocktails.
Yaang Come Village Hotel
LGBTQ culture buffs will do well to choose Yaang Come as their base for a 360-degree Chiang Mai adventure. The gay-friendly Yaang Come Village Hotel has a great location; it is close to the Ping River, the gay scene at Night Market, as well as Old City.
The tranquil and serene property welcomes guests with a comfy lobby sprinkled with Chinese art. The hotel itself is nestled in an artsy garden with gorgeous mural paintings, traditional Lanna architecture, and colorful statues. The swimming pool with whirlpool makes for a great hangout place, especially at night with lanterns strung on the trees. There are lots of lounge chairs around as well as a food-and-drink service from the restaurant, which also sits under a tree strung with golden lanterns. The small library is a good place to curl up with a book in the afternoon.
What guests will particularly love about the rooms at Yaang Come is that they are amongst Chiang Mai’s most spacious ones. Elegant mural paintings and mod-cons dot every room. While the base category rooms have large sleeping spaces, the Deluxe ones boast of bathtubs and armchairs as well.
Perhaps Chiang Mai’s most famous five-star gay accommodation is the Lotus Hotel. The gay-managed, gay-popular hotel is famously home to the Garden Bar, one of the most famous LGBTQ playgrounds in Chiang Mai.
In spite of having been around for a while, the Lotus Hotel boasts of a bevy of amenities for its guests. The fitness center will appeal to gym rats, while a massage at the spa/sauna will have you relaxed and reinvigorated for another day of exploring Chiang Mai. The Garden Bar’s live music is appreciated, as is the Thai Elvis impersonator in the lobby who adds comedic value. The main draw at the hotel is undoubtedly the sprawling rooftop pool, which doesn’t feel cramped even when there’s a crowd. Also, shopaholics visiting Chiang Mai will love the direct connections from the hotel to the massive Kad Suan Kaew shopping complex.
Rooms at the Lotus Hotel are particularly spacious and boast of amazing views of either the Doi Suthep mountain or the Chiang Mai town center. The rooms are done up in traditional Lanna style prevalent in Chiang Mai and feature huge, comfy beds, seating areas, a minibar, and well-stocked ensuite bathrooms.
The gay-friendly Lotus Hotel has a great location in Chiang Mai’s city center. The famous shopping street Nimmanhemin Road and Old City are within walking distance. Plus, one of the biggest gay clubs in the city, Adam’s Apple is right across the street.
Budget LGBTQ travelers looking for a great value-for-money experience in Chiang Mai should look no further than the gay-friendly Qi 68.
The Qi 68 guesthouse is like none other in the city. What makes the gay-owned Qi 68 experience special is the amenities and the attitudes of the owners and staff. The availability of a well-stocked kitchen to guests to whip up their own meals is a huge plus point. The fridge is available to guests to be able to stock their own food as well.
Well-designed rooms exude warmth even in the wake of their starkly contemporary decor. The river-stone-embedded bathroom floors make every step feel like a reinvigorating foot massage. A chic, steel-framed and wooden blocks-filled wall divides the bathroom and the bedroom. Plus, the quaint patios off the rooms make for the perfect spot to grab a cuppa in the rays of the morning sun.
Did you know that one of the most unusual hotels in the world is right here in Chiang Mai? Welcome to the Dhara Devi, one of the most striking luxury hotels in Chiang Mai. The resort pays homage to the Lanna kingdom culture with its sparkling mosaic walls, baroque, gilded pagodas and spires, and flower-filled gardens. If that wasn’t enough, the resort is peppered with traditional Southeast Asian art, lotus ponds, wooden bridges, and what-not. Plus, the resort happens to be gay-friendly. So, if you and your partner are looking for a decadent traditionally-Thai hideaway, Dhara Devi would be the place to be.
The architecture might be traditional, but the resort is thoroughly contemporary. The gym, yoga-shala, and library overlook the sweeping miniature rice paddies that surround the resort, as does the freeform infinity pool. The resort offers a slew of complimentary activities, from culinary school classes to fitness ones. Plus, there’s a cake shop, three bars, and five restaurants for foodies to choose from. Guests can enjoy a sun-kissed hearty breakfast with spectacular views of the gardens Do explore the zenith of all the decadence, the lavish Dheva Spa, which has a slew of relaxing treatments.
If the facilities are luxurious, the rooms are even more so. Guests can choose from Colonial Wing suites, signature residences, and two-story teak villas. Enormous is the only word to describe the spaces, which feature private terraces and plus oriental furnishings. If you like indulging in extravagance, the Grand Deluxe Villas have stilted patios, steam rooms, pianos, and plunge pools.
Travelers staying at Dhara Devi needn’t worry about missing out on exploring Chiang Mai. There’s a shuttle bus ferrying guests to the city center and takes merely 15 minutes.
The Inside House
The gay-friendly Inside House is one for the Instagrammers. The stunning white property is sprinkled with shades of green, making for a secluded oasis that will immensely appeal to discerning gay travelers. This luxurious boutique property lies at the southwestern corner of the Old City of Chiang Mai and is a fantastic base for exploring the city as well.
Gleaming white colonial-design arches with hanging vines make for a grand entryway. Radiating traditional Thai hospitality, the property is beautifully done up in a charming old-world Colonial style. Guests can choose between bedrooms and pool suites. The former features tons of natural light, cozy daybeds, airy patios, semi-outdoor bathtubs, and views overlooking the stunning vertical garden. The lavishly unique pool suites feature stunning views of the city, outdoor Victorian bathtubs, and, of course, massive decadent private pools.
Apart from beautiful accommodation, the Inside House boasts of a superb restaurant ‘Ghin,’ which serves Northern Thai specialties.
The gay-friendly Rachamankha Hotel is extremely popular with LGBTQ travelers looking for boutique accommodation in Chiang Mai. The hotel lies in the heart of Old City, right near the historic Wat Phra Singh temple.
Rachamankha radiates an old-world charm with its tranquil courtyard, neatly manicured lawns, a pretty seating area, and antique curios peppered all over. The rooms and suites are housed in a two-story structure which also houses a library. The property is sprinkled with exquisite European, Asian, and African furnishings, contemporary and antique trinkets, statues, and artwork, adding to its leisure-heritage character. An alluring swimming pool set in its own courtyard is perfect for a swim on hot days. The spa, albeit small, features a range of treatments. Bibliophiles will love the library, which houses an excellent and antique collection. Culture buffs will appreciate the quaint museum showcasing 19th-century statues and swords from Burma and Thailand.
Apart from being a little low on natural lights, rooms at Rachamankha are flawless. The comfy, elegant rooms boast of modern amenities, brick walls, high ceilings, and a host of invaluable antiques. Plus, the ensuite bathrooms are roomy and immaculate.
Strips the Poshtel
Located right next to Night Market, the edgy, gay-friendly STrips Poshtel is the perfect accommodation for budget-conscious social butterflies. A big plus point about Strips for LGBTQ travelers is that some of the best gay bars and clubs of Chiang Mai like Ozeed and Station One are all within walking distance.
The posh hostel is very much unlike a regular hostel with its cream-and-black polished exterior, green foliage, wooden floors, and monochrome interiors. Guests can choose between dorm rooms and private rooms. The dorms feature bunk beds, lighting accents, and even comfy chairs and beanbags. Private rooms have the comfort of ensuite bathrooms and writing desks.
For a hostel, STrips has tons of freebies for its guests, including free bottles of water every day and bathroom accessories. The common lounge area features comfy seating, books and magazines, and a TV, and is ideal for catching up with fellow travelers. In addition, the hostel provides a complimentary breakfast, which guests can enjoy out on the lovely shaded patio. What’s more, there are packed to-go breakfasts for guests who leave early in the morning. On top of it all, they’re extremely helpful in booking sightseeing tours for guests. We’d recommend this fantastic and yet reasonable full-day tour showcasing the best that Chiang Mai has to offer.
If you’re for riverside luxury in Chiang Mai, then gay-friendly Anantara Resort ought to do the trick. Nestled on banks of the Ping River, Anantara is a peaceful getaway just 20 minutes away from Chiang Mai’s best attractions. The resort beautifully merges timeless and new elements with an original 1920s colonial structure and a minimalistic bamboo-clad design.
A gorgeous strip of verdant manicured lawn separates the riverside and the pool, which has lots of sun loungers. Do book a massage at the mesmerizing sanctuary of relaxation that is the spa. The hotel offers a host of wellness activities from tai chi to aerobics classes available, as well as its signature cooking class. Plus, its tuk-tuk tour of Chiang Main is highly recommended. What’s more, the hotel features a sundowner cruise aboard its own boat, complete with onboard champagne and a light meal.
The rooms at Anantara are equally inviting. They all have views of either the river or the gardens from their own balconies. Double day beds are sleep-inducing, and the open-plan bathrooms with deep bathtubs are sexy to boot. Plus, the rooms are well-equipped with all mod-cons.
Just So You Know:
- In 2019, Chiang Mai celebrated its first LGBTQ Pride Parade in a decade. In fact, the 2019 Pride Parade was only the second time it was held in the city.
Get Some Culture in Chiang Mai:
- Thai cooking class – It’s hard to imagine that Chiang Mai is one of the world’s most vegan-friendly cities. So, whether one is a vegetarian, non-vegetarian, or vegan, they can take a cooking class in Chiang Mai. It is one of the city’s best cultural experiences where one can learn how to whip up authentic Thai dishes. Shop for ingredients at the local market and enjoy the delicious meal you prepared. What’s more, you get to choose the time of the day and the culinary style. So, if it is vegan Thai food you want to learn about, this wonderful cooking class has you covered.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Chiang Mai:
- Orion Bar – Bright rainbow signs adorn this laidback gay bar which has lots of cute local boys.
- Pandee Bar – The queer spirit flies high at this fabulous gay bar which offers amazingly cheap drinks.
- 69Bar Night Bazaar – A modern gay bar with a happening dance floor.
- Secrets Bar – One of Chiang Mai’s biggest gay bars.
- Ram Bar – Fun special events, lots of go-go dancers, and drag shows rule the roost at this funky gay bar.
- Station One – This casual gay bar is popular with older ex-pats.
- Adam’s Apple Club – A popular gay go-go bar with gorgeous go-go boys, cabaret, and drag queen shows.
- Garden Bar@Lotus Hotel – An LGBT-popular bar where conversations and more take place between gay locals and tourists.
Best Gay Saunas in Chiang Mai:
- Club One Seven Sauna – Located in the Club One Seven Guesthouse, this is Chiang Mai’s best gay sauna – and a cheeky one at that. It has a penis-shaped outdoor pool, private cabins, and herbal steam pool.