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“Great boutique hotel, nice location for peace & quiet”

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Aruntara Riverside Boutique Hotel
Ranked #36 of 379 Hotels in Chiang Mai
Certificate of Excellence
Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Great boutique hotel, nice location for peace & quiet”
Reviewed 3 January 2012

I echo other reviewers here: very nice, elegant little boutique hotel with very prompt, kind, and professional staff. Not a five-star, knock-your-socks-off experience, but a very solid 4-star place that is good value for money. Our room was nicely appointed (we would have appreciated more complimentary water, but I think we got spoiled with boatloads of bottled water at other larger hotels) and the bed was very hard but surprisingly comfortable. We were not thrilled to find so many mosquitos in Chiang Mai (we had to kill several in the room the first day); there is mosquito netting around the bed, but it is rather ineffectual as it is not a full piece of netting (they need to take a lesson from the safari lodges in Kenya to learn what mosquito netting around a bed should really look like). However, the front desk will give citronella oil spray if you ask, so there's that. It was quite hot and sticky in Chiang Mai (it was probably 90 degrees F yesterday in Chiang Rai), and the mosquitoes were out in full force, sadly. But that's not Aruntara's fault, obviously, so just be warned that you should bring some itch cream and repellant if bugs love you.

The hotel grounds are lovely and the restaurant/breakfast area is wonderful (faces the river and a manicured lawn area). There's a little tapas/wine bar that did not have staff the one time we tried it; we ended up walking back to our room. Breakfast choices are very limited (perhaps this is an unfair comparison, as I am thinking of the amazing brunches at places like Lebua, Mandarin Oriental, Langham, Hyatt, etc.), but the omelet station is nice, and the few light meals we had in the restaurant were well-prepared (the khantoke was especially delicious).

We liked the location (in the peaceful Muslim neighborhood of the city) and enjoyed our 20-minute walk to the night bazaar and our 30-min walk to the old city, but I can also see why some people might not like the location due to the distance. You can get a tuk-tuk to the old city for about 100 baht (depends on time of day and number of visitors in town; if the drivers think they can fry bigger fish/more willing tourists, they will hold firm with inflated price and not bother negotiating). There is usually a tuk tuk outside the hotel, though, and song teows are fun to buzz around in.

Overall, really nice little hotel and fantastic staff!!

Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Jennifer H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (81)
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KL
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 January 2012

Because we went to Chiang Mai during peak season, I only managed to get Aruntara for 2 nights and moved to DusitD2 for 1 night (see my next review).

I have to say, when I walked into the main courtyard, I was totally smitten. The pictures of the hotel don't do it justice. The room was more than what I expected, it was huge and so romantic. And everything was well maintained, the amenities were all in working order. Apart from the bed being a little too hard for my liking and the hot water not working so well, I truly enjoyed my stay at Aruntara.

The staff in the hotel were excellent, from the driver to the kitchen staff, they were prompt in their service and most importantly knowledgeable. The front desk staff were especially great, always there to answer any questions and are able to arrange taxis, drivers and tours. They will even give you the estimate cost of those services.

The breakfast selection isn't big but what is available is good. The made to order omelette is my favourite, cooked to perfection!

The hotel may be a little farther away from the city but you have a fantastic view of the Mae Ping river and it's so peacefully quiet. Moreover, the city is just a short tuk tuk ride away. We walked back from the Night Bazaar one night and it took us about 20 minutes, but wouldn't recommend it as all the shops close by 9+ and the roads are empty so it's a little scary.

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in Aruntara, so I would definitely be back!

Room Tip: Ask for the courtyard room, you have your own little entryway and day bed.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank msttp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
105 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 December 2011

This is a wonderful boutique hotel. The decor and individuality of the building and rooms is just another world away. We liked the bathroom layout with a separate room for shower and loo. The garden is the highlight with the dining room overlooking the lawns and river, nice sunbeds on the decking by the pool, and a Tapas Bar where you can sit inside or out on the deck.

There aren't many restaurants nearby to walk to, but a big choice if you get a tuk-tuk to the city, or a walk, but there are a lot of hazardous pavements and traffic.

The staff are very friendly and helpful, and a big bonus to us that we were able to pre-arrange with them a pick-up from the airport, and a drop off at Chiang Mai station for only 200 baht per journey.

Room Tip: All the deluxe rooms are nice and overlook the inner courtyard.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TravellingTrippers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
42 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 December 2011

Positive side : Very nice staff

Negative side: 1.It's too far from the city center.
2.Not much selection for breakfast
3.The warm water works not good,took a very long time till it turned hot.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank NNK_Nuchka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NYC
Level Contributor
71 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 December 2011

The most romantic hotel in Chiang Mai. I've stayed at over a dozen hotels in CM and the Aruntara Hotel is my favorite. Food is outstanding, staff is wonderful, rooms are lovely. The hotel exudes romance from check in until check out. The lobby is thoughtfully laid-out and staffed by a group of warm and smiling people. A delicious cool tea is offered at check-in and the process is smooth and speedy. All rooms are accessed through a set of intentionally worn wooden doors that lead into a beautifully landscaped, horseshoe shaped courtyard. This is a real boutique hotel with a 28 room capacity standing at 3 stories. I prefer the first floor units which feature small gardens with a large and comfortable leather lounger at your front door. Rooms are warmly lit and comfortably appointed and the bathroom is large enough for two. The open layout of the room may not appeal to the more prudish but it holds great appeal to a loving couple. I fell in love during my first stay (November 2010) at the Aruntara and I held my wedding reception there one year later. The hotel began preparing the large garden area at the rear of the hotel the day before our evening reception and the results were spectacular. A petal strewn path led the 60+ guests to a flower-strewn heaven. The Mae-Ping River set the backdrop to a rollicking night. Chiang Mai has a vibrant Jazz community and my wedding band, led by my new brother in law, was a CM all-star band. The buffet, wedding cake, and services provided by the hotel were incredible. They couldn't do enough for us. Great thanks to the staff and the hotel manager Khun Dusit, Thanks to the friendly front desk staff, Namta, Aire, Guy and everyone else at the hotel that made my wedding and my stays, memorable. The Aruntara Hotel is a great place for grown-ups.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank bronx4play
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newton, Massachusetts
1 review
Reviewed 2 December 2011

Boutique correctly describes this hotel. The room, bed and bathrooms are clean and very comfortable, not luxurious. I had breakfast at the restaurant and would have liked more fresh fruit, but everything else about the breakfast including the fresh-made omelets were excellent. The front desk was always offering to help, as was everyone I encountered, and after I left they really amazed me. I had left a shopping bag in the lobby of the hotel, and I realized this only when I was at the airport and it was too late to go back. I called and asked if they could send it by taxi, but one of the staff brought it on a motorcycle as a courtesy. I highly recommend this hotel even before this unique and gratifying above-and-beyond service.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Tony S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 24 November 2011

We first booked the then #1 of hotels in Chiang Mai on TA, Secret Garden due to the almost fanatical rave reviews. We lasted 1 night only there because it is very much like a backpacker hostel the 50 and above crowd. We moved to Aruntara on the 2nd day and never looked back.

This was in March. I'm not sure if it was off-season or what but the beautiful hotel seemed empty. This wasn't a bad thing because the service was prompt and wonderful. It was a joy to have the place to ourselves. There were possibly 2 other couples at breakfast which was delicious and made-to-order. The hotel grounds at night was romantically lit up. You could sit at the big tables in the courtyard and even go swimming in their small plunge pool. It was like having a huge private villa to yourselves.

The only bad thing was that I woke up the morning of our first night with a huge mosquito bite on my eye. I'm slightly allergic so my eye was swollen for half the day. We showed the front desk staff and they upgraded us to a suite overlooking the river. Exquisite. Both our rooms were spacious, modern, very romantic (big bed, dark teak), and clean. Big bathrooms.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mikatreetop
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 #36 of 379 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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