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“The Best in Chiang Mai”

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Aruntara Riverside Boutique Hotel
Ranked #38 of 375 Hotels in Chiang Mai
Certificate of Excellence
Ibiza, Spain
Level Contributor
36 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“The Best in Chiang Mai”
Reviewed 29 June 2011

I can't say enough good things about this gem of a boutique hotel. Conveniently located in the city but on the Ping river away from the hustle and bustle. From housekeeping (Nam, Deng and Sang) to the restaurant (Chay) to the spa (Mat) to reception (Air and Nam Da) to the manager (Mr. Dusit) to the owner (Mr. Chira) this wonderful staff and management took care of my every need. I had planned to stay a few days and ended up staying many weeks. The designer touches are minimal, understated and elegant. The amenities are five star. The service unbeatable. I've stayed in many Chiang Mai boutique hotels but none comes close in value or ambience except maybe Ratchamanka which is many times the price.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jdibiza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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676 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (81)
Date | Rating
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
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  • English first
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 June 2011

Aruntara Hotel is amazing ,from the moment you arrive ,with the friendly staff that cant do enough for you . The food is excellent aswell . And the beautiful ladies that give wonderful massages from head to toe to make you feel brand new . And our hotel room was amazing with its own court yard and couch at the front felt like you were at home .Ive told my friends and showed them photo's of Aruntara and they cant wait utill November when we go back .And most of all i cant wait either .Thanks for making us feel so welcome in your beautiful hotel . kind regards Allan and Lori Walters

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank geoffjaimi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aberdeen
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 June 2011

The Aruntara is a great hotel - very small and lovely and definately a boutique hotel. There were only 2 problems that I could see. One was the location of the hotel - be prepared for having to taxi or tuk-tuk ANYWHERE of interest. There is absoliutely nothing of interest near the hotel (bot even anywhere to eat). The other draw back that may be seen as an advantage, was the hotel was so quiet. We saw about 3 other people the whole time we were there which is great ordinarily, but it does mean there is no atmosphere at the bar at night which I always quite like.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MrsM3810
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maroochydore, Australia
1 review
Reviewed 29 May 2011

Im not the sort of person who normally can be bothered writing reviews, but my wife and I felt compelled to tell everyone about this hotel. We've just come back home to Australia after staying in Thailand for three weeks, and can say this hotel was far and away better than everything else we've stayed at.

Let me start with the staff, as they are truly this hotel's greatest asset. The reception staff made us feel at home right away with a simple check in. They were extremely friendly and helpful throughout our entire stay, from suggesting restaurants to arranging a well-priced day tour with an english speaking tour guide. Also, my wife fell ill one day (nothing too bad, but enough to warrant seeing someone) and we asked if they could order us a taxi, to which they started to call someone. When they saw that she really wasn't going too well they cancelled the taxi and got one of the staff to drive us to the hospital. Well and truly above the call of duty.

The housekeeping staff are very unobtrusive and no matter how late you wake up, if you leave your room for even a short period of time, it will more than likely be fully cleaned and made up.

A special mention needs to go to the security guards, who do an outstanding job of hailing tuk tuks, stopping traffic for road crossings and giving you a big ear-to-ear smile and salute that makes your day as you enter the Chiang Mai streets from the sanctuary of Aruntara.

Despite what some previous reviewers mention about the poor location of the hotel, I couldn't disagree more! It's quiet location on the Mae Ping is what makes it good. After venturing into the Old City on several occasions, we were all (we were staying with another couple at the same hotel) really happy to get out of it all. It's so easy and cheap to catch a tuk tuk to the Old City it's honestly not worth staying in there. The night markets, Riverside restaurants, Saturday Walking Market and various other tourist attractions (Tiger Kingdom, Wat Soithep) are all outside the Old City, so it really shouldn't be necessary to base yourself in the Old City.

The rooms are very modern. We stayed in the rooms on the ground floor with courtyards, so if you're booking you might want to ask for one of these rooms if you want a little bit of extra space.

You really don't have to look any further than this hotel if you're planning a trip to Chiang Mai, even if your budget is twice the price. We extended our stay at this hotel not once but twice, because it played a massive part of our enjoyment of this city.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SimonJane1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
49 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2011

I stayed at the Aruntara for a total of four nights after booking it on Expedia. Having read a few reviews on Tripadvisor I thought this would be a good place to try, as a change from local guest houses.

Overall, value for money is unquestionable; 30GBP per night cannot be beaten for the sort of standard I got. Although, I am saying that with my European hat on and maybe the same price would have got me more in other places...

The standard of the hotel is globally excellent: it is extremely clean and the staff is smily and friendly. My room was very large and tastefully equipped with modern furniture and facilities. WIFI is available free throughout the hotel. The minibar was lightly stocked, no different from the boring choice you get at all 7 Eleven's in Thailand, but it did the job.

The hotel has a restaurant that serves dinner and operates a room service until 10:30pm. I tried the room service one night (spring rolls and chicken in coconut soup) and was really pleased with the quality of the food and also the price (220 bahts, that's approx 12GBP)...

There were however a couple of let downs:

Breakfast was included in my room rate and consisted of a fairly basic buffet on day 1; not mind-blowing but very decent I found. Unfortunately, on days 3 and 4 the bufffet had disappeared and breakfast became a la carte. No extra cost to me, but the hassle of having to order from waiters who struggle with English was not necessary and somewhat frustrating... I am pretty moody when I wake up... maybe that's why and other people would not mind... I guess the hotel was pretty empty when I was there which would explain why the buffet was dropped. The one good thing though was that I got a proper coffee instead of the usual watered-down filter coffee...

Staff is overall very friendly, as pretty much everywhere in Thailand; however I didn't find them particularly pro-active which is a shame for a hotel aiming to be at the top of its game. For instance I spent three hours one afternoon at the pool (tiny but does the job) without anyone coming to offer me a drink... I presume this is because I did not speak Thai and their English was not perfect, so they were maybe shy to ask... A little bit of a shame though...

Another let-down I'd say is the hotel's location; you cannot walk from there to the centre of town where all the markets and attractions are and you will need to get a tuk tuk (80 baths one way)... Costs nothing but can be a bit annoying for some. I rented through the hotel a motorbike for 24h (250 bahts) which really helped as I was not reliant on tuk tuks anymore. It allowed me to go and explore the surrounding temples and venture into the mountains too... I would recommend doing the same if you are confident riding a motor bike...

The hotel is very quiet, although, once again, I was there during low-season... One drawback is that it is close to a worship temple and I got woken up at 5:30 two days in a row by the singing at morning prayer... but I guess that will be hard to avoid, unless this was a particular religious place (but I am not a specialist of the different rituals in Thailand)... And I am a light sleeper, so that may not be a problem for other people...

One last detail... The room doors are not particularly well built... which means the tiny lizards you have everywhere at night in Thailand may make it to your room... they are harmless and a great way of killing mosquitoes, but they may wake you up at night with their shrieking... So if you have a phobia of lizards I would maybe avoid this hotel... :-)

So, all in all, a nice stay, but by doing a bit more research you may find better in Chiang Mai: better service and better location for a similar price... If you don't want the hassle of shopping around, it is a safe bet so go for it...

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank AntoineLondonSW11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
24 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 May 2011

Aruntara is perfect for a city hotel in Chiangmai. It's not set on the busiest street but instead set by the river in a very quiet area. This gives you more chance to be relaxed from the crowd. The hotel is compact and easy to access if you have a car. The room is really spacious and well decorated. It's really clean and when compared to the other hotels in this standard, Aruntara is great value.

What I love the most is the breakfast area in the garden. It was so relaxing to wake up and let the time passed by by the river. Breakfast was limited but really ok for me.

The only draw back is that the room could not protect the noise from the restaurant nearby and the other rooms next to us. It was hard when your neighbor had a little kid.

I will strongly recommend Aruntara to everyone who is visiting Chiang Mai. This small compact place has everything you'll ever wish for in the city hotel.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ~LazyHammock~**
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 May 2011

We chose this hotel after reading reviews on Tripadvisor. It is an excellent hotel on the Ping River. Very good service, timely room cleaning and ok breakfast.
The only drawback is it is not in the city centre. However, that is easily solved with a 80baht tuk-tuk ride. As mentioned in one of the reviews, the bed is a little hard.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sonic69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Aruntara Riverside Boutique Hotel

Property: Aruntara Riverside Boutique Hotel
Address: 351 / 1 Charoen Prathet Road | T Changklan, A Muang, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Chiang Mai Province > Chiang Mai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #38 of 375 Hotels in Chiang Mai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Aruntara Riverside Boutique Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Aruntara Chiang Mai is a true treasure for hotel aficionados and the traveling cognoscenti alike. Its British colonial design is complimented by Northern Thai influences that embrace the present while respecting the past. High ceilings sit above beautiful towering teak columns traditionally crafted by Thai tradesman. Each of the luxurious guest rooms is designed to offer stylish accommodation with an expansive open-plan living area and an abundance of room to relax and unwind while glancing over Chiang Mai’s Mae Ping River. ... more   less 
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