This little gem of a place, with only about 30 rooms, located about 2 km from downtown Chiang Mai is perfect if you are looking for an affordably luxurious hotel to escape from all the hustle and bustle of holiday traveling and shopping. Quiet - check. Beautifully designed - check. Pleasant helpful staff - check. Comfortable - check. It is as good as it looks in the photographs!
What did I like?
Comfortable beds in bright, airy, comfortable rooms. While the rooms are not particularly large, they were adequate for two. It comes with a day-bed which could sleep one more (kid perhaps) but having another person in the room would make it a bit cramp, what with luggage and all.
How quiet and welcoming it felt. Stepping into the hotel makes you feel like stepping into a different world - cool, clean, quiet, welcoming - accentuated by the slightly old-world design of the place. Think white wash walls, columns, mixed with wood panels, manicured lawns and hedges and tasteful decor.
Attentive and helpful staff. From the security staff outside, to the bell service and reception, and the breakfast crew. Responsive housekeeping that made up our rooms while we had breakfast. There was a complication with my on-line booking and the receptionist offered to call and speak to the main e-tailer who had supplied the booking to the hotel booking site I had used. And she solved the problem. Thank you Noi.
Breakfast. I'd read previous comments that the breakfast selection was limited. Ignore that comment. They provide a small but thoughtful selection for breakfast; something asian (rice, curries, porridge etc), something western (the usual suspects), something heavier and something lighter. Generally good quality, aside from some slightly tired looking salad greens (low season syndrome?). The best thing, with so few guest, the kitchen crew on hand will cook you your hot breakfast exactly the way you like it.
My suggestion for the hotel:
☞ perhaps teach kitchen crew to prepare something a little special, à la minute, such as eggs benedict. Perhaps have a small à la minute menu available.
☞ make available freshly 'squeezed' juices with a small selection of local fruits and vegetables.
☞ make available a small espresso machine for coffee lovers.
☞ your location on Google maps is WRONG!!!! Please fix it so people don't get lost.
Suggestions to make your stay even better:
1. Make sure you hire a motor bike (great fun - USD4) or a car ( longer journeys and rainy weather - USD20 for a compact like honda Jazz). At these prices, you can each hire one. They have parking on the door steps. The main tourist area is more than 2 km away.
2. If you care to walk around in the area, you will discover little noodle shops and bakeries and restaurants primarily serving the locals. Cheap authentic eats. You will also get to meet friendly locals.
3. Try different routes back to the hotel and get to see a different side of Chiang Mai, where locals work, live and play.
4. If you are finding your own way there, the google maps location is currently incorrect. It is about 400m before the bridge crossing the river to get to the Holiday Inn.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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