My friend and I booked VR Guesthouse in Chiang Mai, Thailand because it was a good price, had good reviews and was right in the centre of the city. We booked a shared room with four beds for 125 baht per person per night (about $3.75 US) and the price included free coffee, water, great Wi-Fi, clean beds and a hot shower.
We’re so happy we ended up here because we instantly liked the very hospitable young owner Potae. When we first met her she said, “My name is Potae. Like potato but without the “to.” She made us laugh all the time.
Potae is the most accommodating guesthouse owner I’ve met in the year I’ve been in Asia. She conveniently arranged a scooter for us when we needed and answered any questions we had. She told us, “I like to make people feel at home and I love running the guesthouse. I want people to give honest reviews on TripAdvisor about their experience. I don’t ask people to say good things.”
But not only did she provide exceptional service, she went way beyond the usual duties of a guesthouse owner. One day when we had to pick up our big bags from a friend’s house about a 20-minute drive away and we were planning on taking it on a motorcycle. Instead, she kindly offered to close the guesthouse and use her car to pick up our bags at the risk of losing new customers.
And on our last day, I needed to pick up a card around 8:00 a.m. before our bus came and I asked if I could use her scooter. Instead she offered to drive me right in the morning even while she was busy helping other guests with their motto rentals.
We were lucky to spend time with her outside of the guesthouse and she took dancing close and helped us get around town. She is always funny and energetic and it was great to spend time with her.
On our last night there she helped us get a taxi to our bus station and she said, “I’ll miss you. If you have any questions while you’re in Bangkok, you can call me.” And we did. When we arrived back in Bangkok around 9:30 p.m., we had trouble communicating with our taxi driver. So we called Potae and translated for us. Before we said our last goodbye, she said, “If you have any other questions, call me.”
At any given moment, she’s busy taking the sheets to the laundry, booking tours for people, arranging scooters and prepping the rooms for upcoming guests. Despite having very busy moments with a million things to look after, she said, “I love my job.”
If you’re in Chiang Mai, please visit Potae for us and tell her Meesa and Zu say hello.