What We Love
- The Jetsetter rate includes all meals, nonalcoholic beverages and transfers to/from Chiang Mai Airport
- The rarefied yet relaxing atmosphere
- Beautiful decor, which has appeared in the pages of Architectural Digest
- The food: Howie’s wife Jerri is a fantastic cook and creates a button-popping feast at every meal; don’t miss her famous crab omelet
What To Know
- The Homestay is a good 30-minute drive from the city, temples and shops of Chiang Mai
- The villa is surrounded by nature and all the sounds that come with it; if you’re a light sleeper you might want to pack some earplugs to drown out the nightly frog choir
- This is a luxury stay at its most intimate; if you’re not comfortable with socializing with your hosts, this might not be for you
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Architecturally stunning retreat in northern Thailand with antique-filled villas set on five acres of lush grounds
Homeowners and hosts Howie and Jerri have spent seven years and millions of dollars building a vision of Lanna loveliness in the northern Thai countryside. Expect grand peaked villas filled with artworks and antiques from across Asia, a large, luminous turquoise swimming pool topped with stone carvings, and rambling gardens overflowing with bamboo, ficus and fig trees.
Bed and Bath
Designed by acclaimed American architect Bill Bensley, the property is made up of four sections. Surrounding the swimming pool on three sides are a couple of grand open-air pavilions, with a dining area, kitchen and lounge, and Howie and Jerri’s home. Tucked away in the wings are a huge three-bedroom house — perfect for families and groups of friends — and a romantic stand-alone villa with an outdoor bathtub and lily pond views. All of the decor is impeccable, from the specially commissioned hand-carved doors to the Burmese antique beds dressed with 500-thread-count sheets.
A big part of the experience at Howie’s is Howie himself. The Bostonian entrepreneur has been living in Thailand with his wife Jerri for more than 20 years, and he’s the most congenial of hosts, regaling guests with his extensive knowledge of art and antiques and tales and tips about the area. Meals are prepared by Jerri and her staff and are beautifully presented around a teak dining table (they can also be arranged in your villa if you prefer). The services of a driver and a masseuse are also available.
In the Area
For a change of pace, head to in-vogue Nimmanhaemin Road, where you’ll find leafy streets lined with coffee shops, cafés, wine bars and boutiques. Try Salad Concepts for an energy-boosting tamarind and sesame shot and a zingy low-cal lunch before fanning out into the streets behind to discover extravagant gold-topped temples, artisanal furniture shops, dinky modern art galleries and traditional Celadon ceramic-makers. Nearby Chinatown is perfect for fabrics, fans and street food. On the other side of the river, high-end shoppers can fill their Tumis with fine silks and hand-crafted candelabras at Vila Cini and Sopmoei.
How to Get There
This is a truly lovely place. The ambiance is magical and even more so when lit up at night. The property is expansive with stunning lush gardens, a lovely walkway around the pond and beautiful appointments everywhere you turn with many interesting nooks, artifacts and books. If you require, Howie will thoughtfully arrange all your activities in Chiang Mai and beyond (he arranged our stay and complete itinerary in Chiang Rai) with a private car, driver and personal guide for our entire time in Northern Thailand including airport transfers. Everything was expertly arranged and taken care of which made planning the trip a breeze. Dinners cooked by Howie’s wife Jerri are unparalleled in artistry, quality and taste. A feast for the eyes and palate. No need to dine out as you will not find traditional Northern Thai food as good anywhere else. However if you want to make reservations in town, Howie would be happy to recommend and reserve any number of great places. In addition to booking exclusive tours on our behalf - Patara Elephant Farm was an amazing experience and it was less touristy than a place we might have chosen on our own— he also arranged our spa time at a lovely local place and shopping in local markets with a guide who was an amazingly resourceful help with vendors. The very private main guest room is gorgeously appointed and the beds are exquisitely comfortable. This is unique, luxurious and exclusive property for discerning guests. If you’re looking for a special place that has it all and more than you can imagine, this is it!
Nirvana is defined as "a state of perfect happiness; an ideal or idyllic place".
Howie's Homestay is Nirvana. It is the closest we have ever come to a Garden of Eden.
We came upon Howie's Homestay through an internet search as we planned our last-minute trip to northern Thailand. We were unbelievably fortunate to spend six magical days at Howie's, surrounded by heart-stopping beauty, both natural and man-made. At Howie's you are immersed in tranquility, surrounded by your own private tropical jungle, creek, pond (complete with ducks and a turtle!) and an infinity pool with an indescribably stunning view of the mountainous horizon. We have never been to a more serene, romantic place!
But the physical surroundings are only the backdrop for the "experience" of being there, which is shaped by the personalities of Howie and Jerri, the American-Thai couple that don't just host you, they adopt you! It is so clear that for Howie, this isn't a business, it's a mission! And the mission is for his guests to simply have an unforgettable experience of a lifetime. You see, Howie built this place for himself, as his home, and only in the past five years decided to share his piece of paradise with guests.
So many have written about Howie's hospitality, attention to detail and attentive organization of his guests' every need and whim – and of Jerri's extraordinary culinary talents. All of this is true, and more. But for us, their most endearing quality is simply their sincerity. Sincere interest in us. Sincere desire to make our stay perfect. Sincere caring.
And Howie is SUCH an interesting person! He's a Renaissance Man! A self-made creative entrepreneur, knowledgeable about history, politics, business…
One more thing about Howie. He's a fun guy with a great sense of humor!
We left Howie's Homestay not only with memories of an unforgettable experience, but with a sense that we make a new friend for life.
We decided to go to Thailand for a family trip. Meeting Howie was a gift from the universe. [Actually it was a gift from Gwyneth Paltrow because I read about his private resort in GOOP years earlier.] As soon as we contacted Howie he helped us to design a way for us to explore the country the best we could in two weeks. This included him finding us unique places to stay in other parts of the country. By far the time that we spent at his place - which included experiencing the delights of Thai cuisine from his talented wife Jerri - was the highlight of our trip. The kids are still talking about it (their favourite trip ever, and we've travelled quite a bit) and we plan to go back again. The attention to detail and relationship that we developed with Howie is something that you will not get from a hotel - even if it's a luxury hotel. To be fair, this isn't a hotel. It's a private resort for the lucky ones. If I could travel only this way all of the time, I would.