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The new wave of design hostel-cafes taking over Chiang Mai

Bed, breakfast and a whole lot more. 

By Lily Kittisrikangwan | Jul 20, 2017

  • The new wave of design hostel-cafes taking over Chiang Mai
    The Laboratory

The Laboratory & A Cross the Universe

The hostel: Nestled on Sirimangklachan Road, right between Nimmanhaemin Soi 7 and 9, The Laboratory (084-914-4539) is is designed by Thanachak Thesawet and comes with sleeping quarters inspired by a laboratory with hanging butterflies, animal skeletons and other vintage curios. Private rooms are priced from B1,800-2,300/night inclusive of breakfast, while the six-bed dorm rooms will cost you B490/night (no breakfast).  
The cafe: Next door is the all-day cafe, dubbed A Cross the Universe, whose shape almost resembles a minimalist church. Operating daily from 11am-11pm, the cafe serves up fusion dishes like keemao spaghetti (B145) as well as slow-drip coffee (B95), shakes like the Matcha Chocolate milkshake (B95) and desserts like the brownie waffle strawberry crumble (B145). There are plug points and free Wi-Fi available too if you want to while away the hours away from the sun.  

Thunder Bird

The hostel: Keep an eye out when you walk along Moonmuang Soi 6 as what was once a vegan cafe and massage parlor has turned into a brand-new multi-use complex. At Thunder Bird Hostel (053-289654), the third floor has been divided into 10 rooms, ranging from 4-8-bedroom dormitories, while the fourth floor has been turned into private accommodation plus a small rooftop area for kicking back. There's a special stay-one-night-get-one-free promo right now for the opening period, too. 
The cafe: Divided into three zones, the space comprises Hungry Bird serving up vegetarian dishes like khaosoi and pineapple fried rice from an open kitchen; in-house bakery Greedy Beast, which presents a big spread of homemade breads fresh out the oven such as banana walnut bread and flourless chocolate cake; and another basic kitchen and common area for guests staying at the hostel. Feeling thirsty? There's coffee and craft beer, too. 

Oon Poshtel x Cafe

The hostel: Located right on the outskirts of the Old Town, Oon (085-653-8489) opened a few months ago with an aim of offering affordable accommodation without compromising on beautifully minimalist design. All five room types are private and come with ensuites, with prices starting at B850/room (for two guests). The family room comes with two bunk beds and can cater up to four people.
The cafe: In keeping with the theme of the hostel, the cafe is a cute, simple pink and white space adorned with plants and hanging lamps. Here they serve up fresh fruit smoothies like mixed berry with yogurt (B90) and lychee rose Italian soda (B65). Morning sets get you a combination of coffee and baked good (B95), coffee and cake (B130), tea and bakery (B115) or tea and cake (B145), available from 8-11am daily. There are a few wooden tables and stools outside of the store too—if you want to enjoy that elusive winter breeze.

The Barisotel by the Baristro

The hostel: Just opened in March, Barisotel (092-545-8855) is actually more of a boutique hotel than a hostel. Each room is spacious and comes with a comfy double bed, fully equipped with a 55-inch flat screen TV and a bluetooth sound system. The white and gold room oozes elegance and comes with a bathtub, while the white and grey room comes with a separate living space in a monochrome, minimalistic fashion.
The cafe: Upon entering, you’ll find an outdoor set of clean white chairs, tables and umbrellas. Step further in and you’ll find an all-white, two-floor minimalist loft that looks like something out of Kinfolk. As the second branch of the Baristro by Guu, the focus here is on quality cold brew and nitro coffee (B120), cute cakes (around B99) and bingsu shaved ice in funky flavors like pandanus (B129). The second floor is a small co-working space. 
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