Arriving in Chiang Mai as a digital nomad, one of the first things you do is find yourself a suitable base. Chiang Mai is a fantastic spot for this as unlike many other parts of Southeast Asia you can easily and cheaply rent fully furnished apartments on a month-by-month basis.
Hillside 4 Condo was where we spent our first month in Chiang Mai. Much like anybody looking to rent, we had our own set of ‘wishlist’ requirements that other people looking may not have. We specifically wanted a swimming pool, close access to a gym and something a bit bigger than the standard 32sqm studio, so naturally we paid a little extra to have these features.
You can certainly find much cheaper condo’s in Chiang Mai for cheaper, however all things considered, I would say Hillside 4 is still exceptionally good value (especially if you are splitting the rent between two, like we did)
Pro’s of Hillside 4 Condo
- Great location: Nimmen is a great area if you want to be near all the western comforts. There is a huge mall with excellent (albeit expensive) western grocery store and a good & well priced food court. The whole area is full with a variety of Western and other ethnic restaurants, bars and cafes.
- Great facilities: The swimming pool was large and usually rather deserted. Most times I spent down there was alone, at most 2 or 3 sunbathers hanging about.
- Large rooms: The studios are 45sqm with a large balcony. Most rooms include a bathtub, and some even include varying forms of a kitchen/kitchenette. Although they are all fitted and decorated separately (see things to know).
- Close to Good Working Environments: Hillside 4 is just moments down the road from C.A.M.P and an easy walk from Punspace. The area offers a number of other excellent shared workspaces and cafes with free wifi.
- Everything you need: The lobby includes 24 hour reception & security, a gym (you have to purchase a membership, but it’s really affordable), a convenience store & a cafe (that provides room service!)
Con’s of Hillside 4 Condo
- The rooms tend to be ‘long’ rather than wide: meaning they aren’t as light and bright as some other condos that I’ve seen in Chiang Mai. However, they are all individually fitted and decorated (see things to know), so they can vary.
- It’s a bit of a ghost town: This is a HUGE building, full of office spaces, shop spaces and condos. Despite the condos all filling up over high season, most of the commercial spaces seem rather abandoned. Could make for some excellent photos or stories, however if you’re looking for a buzzing lobby full of restaurants and shops (As the condo sometimes advertises itself) you will find it rather incomplete.
- The neighbourhood is very western: Yes, this is a pro and a con. Many people love it’s proximity to western life, but we were after super cheap food and a bit more local feel. If you want a truly Thai experience, maybe give this whole neighborhood a miss.
- The buildings Wifi is rather expensive and can be incredibly slow at times. This is, however, normal for most condo’s and can be remedied by getting your own private line installed, the price is similar as purchasing week-by-week wifi at reception, but the speed is fantastic. You have to pay a installation fee, but if you are staying for even just 2 months, or you are serious about working from home then its a great option.
Things to know about Hillside 4 Condo
- Reception tends to overcharge their condos: however many private owners rent theirs out. Go down to the basement/carpark level and by the elevator entrance there is a noticeboard where people list Hillside condos for rent & sale.
- There is a second pool: up on the rooftop. It is only accessible with key-cards to the residents of the top three floors. However with a little exploring (or ask one of the local residents) it is usually easy enough to get up there using the stairwell at the rear (furtherest from road) end of the building. Personally I actually prefer the lower pool, I just have a taste for adventure.
- You can get water delivered to your condo: If your landlord hasn’t provided you with a crate of bottles, ask at reception. Each week (or twice a week) go down and let reception know you want a top up. Pay them the money (it’s very cheap) then leave your empty crate outside your apartment’s front door. On Tuesdays and Thursdays they will swap it for a brand new crate of freshly filled & sterilised bottles of drinking water. Alternatively there is a water refilling machine down in the laundromat room.
The Cost of Living in Hillside 4
The prices vary as different configurations are available (Studio, 2 Bedroom, 3 Bedroom etc), as well as a price variance between different landlords as well as the reception managed apartments.
We paid 12,000 baht per month for a 45sqm studio, rented privately through an owner. The reception were charging 14,000 baht per month for a similar apartment.
This condo was fantastic, we really enjoyed our time here. Unfortunately our condo was only available for one month when we booked it and by the time we were searching for another apartment there was nothing available (high season) so we moved on. Otherwise we would’ve continued in this complex for another month. Instead we moved onto Riverside Condo on the Eastern side of town, another condo I rate highly.
I hope this review was helpful, if you want to ask me any questions about my time spent living in Hillside, or in fact anywhere else I’ve been – please email away or leave a comment for me here.