Mad Monkey Hostel, Chiang Mai – 10 Things That Make a Hostel Great!

Mad Monkey Hostel Chiang Mai

As backpackers, we know that a good hostel can be so much more than a place to rest your weary head. It’s a place where you can make a home from home, a place where you can create your own hostel family.

It’s here where you’ll share travel stories (and a few drinks!) with fellow backpackers, make friends for life and find a comfortable haven away from the crazy, unpredictable life on the road.

So what makes a good hostel?

Mad Monkey Hostel in Chiang Mai (formerly Brick House Hostel) seem to have got everything right when it comes to creating a fantastic hostel. Check out our list of 10 things that make a hostel great in our eyes, and what makes Mad Monkey Hostel so cool!

1. A Variety of Beds = a Variety of People!

In many hostels in Southeast Asia, you’ll come across a mish-mash of people, from the flashpacking couple, to the digital nomad or the on-a-shoestring budget backpacker. It’s this mix of interesting folks that makes life in a hostel so fun – and never boring!

Mad Monkey Hostel makes this happen by offering budget guests the chance to stay in a basic dorm room or the option of private en-suites for those who fancy a little more comfort. Everybody’s happy!

BH Hostel
Dorm rooms at Mad Monkey Hostel.
brickhouse room
Luxury dorm rooms!

There are five spacious ensuite rooms with air-con, flat-screen TV, desk and open wardrobe and dorms with the option of 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 (bunk) beds. There is also a secured ‘ladies zone’ on the third floor. All spotlessly clean rooms / beds come with a duvet and a towel and a sizeable lockable storage. Each locker has a power outlet inside so you can charge your phone or camera safely.

2. You can Party OR Relax

Party hostels can be great fun. Knocking shots back at the bar with newfound travel buddies, taking part in hostel games and events and getting roaring drunk with the bar staff. However, sometimes you may want a little peace and quiet and time for your liver to recover!

Hangout area brickhouse hostel
Hangout area at Mad Monkey Hostel.

At Mad Monkey Hostel you can live it up in the swish hostel bar, but there are plenty of other areas in the hostel if you want to just chill out, read a book or return to your bunk for an early night without the worry of being woken up by loud music all night.

3. Activities in the Hostel

You know you’ve found a really good hostel when you’re finding it hard to leave to explore the city! Activities taking place at the hostel are a great way to meet new people and find out more about what’s going on in the city you’re staying.

Lighting a lantern at Loi Krathong Festival in Chiang Mai in November.

4. Amazing Facilities

A place where you can get your laundry done, connect to free WIFI, have a hot shower and dry your hair, use free toiletries, read a book and hang out with friends – I mean, you’ve got it better than you ever had at home!

Some hostels in Southeast Asia offer all the home comforts you could ever need (TV, laundry service, trip  booking facilities, towels, showers etc.) and some go that little extra….

Mad Monkey Hostel has many hangout areas. It even has a workout area for those wanting to keep in shape, complete with treadmill, cross trainer, exercise bike and weights.

Gym BrickHouse
Keep fit whilst you travel! The fitness corner at Mad Monkey Hostel.
swimming pool
Swimming pool at Mad Monkey Hostel.

And wait until you see their amazing swimming pool – which is even heated in the winter!

5. Events

Hostels can be the hub for people to go when they want to celebrate an event or watch an important sporting match! At Mad Monkey Hostel, they celebrate big events like Christmas and New Year’s Eve, making such a fuss that no one has time to feel homesick. They regularly screen major sporting events and Premiership football matches and you can also enjoy movie nights in the hostel.

6. The Hostel Bar & Restaurant

The focal point of any hostel is the hostel bar, where people come to meet and mingle – and not just with people who are staying at the hostel. A hostel can be a great place to socialise for the whole city! At Mad Monkey Hostel the bar and restaurant offers great local and international food and drink and good prices.

kitchen edit

7. Local Community Involvement

Attracting visitors from all over the world, it’s important for a hostel to stay connected to the local community around it. A hostel must provide an example to its guests for how to behave within the local culture and if they can, give something back – especially in Southeast Asia where there are many people who need help and many worthwhile causes to support.

Brickhouse Hostel Childrens Day
Children’s Day with guests from the hostel.

8. Great location

Location, location, location. No matter how good a hostel is, the location is vitally important. Nobody wants to be staying out in the sticks. When you only have a few days to visit a place, you want to be in the heart of the action with restaurants, bars, shops and attractions close by.

Mad Monkey Hostel is ideally located in the heart of Chiang Mai with famous places such as Warorot Market, Thapae Gate, Sunday Walking Street, Night Bazaar, Flower Market, many beautiful temples, various restaurants and shops within walking distance. It’s the perfect place to explore the cultural capital of Thailand!

Thailand Festival Loi Krathong
Loi Krathong Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

9. Local Knowledge & Travel Planning

A good hostel should be able to advise you on the best things to do and places to go within the local area. And not just the touristy places either! You’ll want tips on authentic eateries and local bars to try so that you can discover the local culture away from the hostel.

At Mad Monkey Hostel the staff are more than happy to recommend and book for you activities to do in Chiang Mai and its surrounds, such as yoga, Muay Thai, cooking classes, trekking, visits to elephant sanctuaries, zip wiring, quad biking, rafting mountain biking and more! They can help you to hire a bicycle or a motorbike and also advise with onward travel to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia or Myanmar.

elephants chiang mai
Guests at the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai.

10. Friendly Staff that Will Make You Feel like Family

When you’re far away from your own family, it’s nice to know that you can rely on the people at your hostel to help you if you get involved in a sticky situation. The staff at Mad Monkey Hostel will go out of their way to help you with anything – from travel planning to local advice.

The travel desk.

This is a sponsored article.

South East Asia Backpacker Magazine is a collaboration of articles from travellers exploring the region right now. For more info on submitting an article to us, check out the 'Become A Writer' page in the 'About' section of the menu.