Darling Viewpoint Resort was the first place I ever stayed in Pai, and the only place! I’ve had plenty of other options, but I just kept going back. There are many beautiful places to stay, but I didn’t try anywhere new, partly because it was a familiar place that feels like home, and because I wanted to see how Darling was doing and hear her call me “Darling”. It’s so cute when she says it!
Yes, Darling is the owner’s nickname, and she calls everyone else Darling too. Darling and her husband Peter run the bungalows. They are very, very nice and accommodating. Darling will immediately make you feel at home and make you feel like she already knows you.
I really enjoyed both of my stays at Darling Viewpoint Resort, and I would return again, but I have to be honest with you. It is not the cleanest, most organized place to stay. I am a bit of a neat freak and usually concerned about cleanliness, but in the case of Darling Viewpoint, I looked past some of these shortcomings. If you are young and the backpacking and camping type, then you shouldn’t have a problem.
It is definitely what I like to call rustic. For some of you, it maybe a little bit beyond rustic, because the rooms are older and some are in disrepair. The bungalow rooms definitely need total renovations, at least the ones I stayed in. There are too many little details here to even mention, but at the same time, it did not bother me.
I just want to warn you if you ever decide to visit. This is not a pristine idyllic fantasy resort, that you might imagine, but again, I still recommend it.
The bungalows’ porches are probably the best kept areas and have pretty stunning views across one of the valleys in Pai. As far as I could tell, you can get a great view from mostly every room. I’ve stayed in 3 different rooms and each one had a spacious porch/balcony area with hammocks, tables and benches built onto the railing, all with great views. The cost is reasonable and there are possibly cheaper places to stay in town, but you will not have the kind of views you will get from Darling’s. After Darling’s it gets more and more expensive on this side of the river.
On my second trip, my friends Tyson and Kory were staying over at the Countryside Resort, which is a beautiful place to stay, but it is setback even further into the countryside, and you will have to ride down a very small dirt road to get there. They stopped by to see me at Darling’s one evening before we went out, and we ended up hanging out there most of the evening after dinner. They loved it so much, they decided they wanted to stay longer so the next day they checked out of Countryside Resort and checked into Darling’s for an extra night in Pai.
What Darling Viewpoint Resort lacks in modern amenities, organization, and cleanliness, it makes up for in character, hospitality and charm. If you have been camping and are used to country living, then you will most likely have a great time. To me, its a great place to enjoy the peaceful countryside, with other travelers in a semi-communal environment.
If you require a pillow-top mattress, matching towels, and free soap and shampoo, this place is not for you. If you balk at the site of an insect, or complain when you hear animals outside your window, and curse if you can’t shut your door because of an uneven door hinge, then this place is probably not for you. If you are patient, easy-going and can overlook imperfections and want a relaxing peaceful time in Pai, then you’ll be fine at Darling Viewpoint Resort.
There is something special about Darling’s Viewpoint and although, I plan to try some other places the next time, I will be sure to stop by and say hello to Darling!
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