We stayed here a couple of years ago and were saddened to see, upon our return, how the place had lost much of what made it special. We are SPG Platinums.
The pros: Great location, right across the street from the night markets and a 10 minutes walk from the central markets. The staff is friendly and helpful. Nicely appointed suites with over sized soaking tubs and excellent views. The Club lounge serves afternoon tea and evening cocktail hour.
The cons: The hotel lost it’s former chef and hotel manager (not the GM),, apparently to it’s detriment, and there has also been a lot of turn over in the staff…. resulting in relatively unpolished staffing.
The hotel (possibly due to over all economic conditions in Thailand) has turned to taking in large bussed tour groups, to the point of sign boards in the lobby stating the days tour activities (AKA cruise ship fashion) and suggested local (western and Japanese style) restaurants.
Hotels that take in large bussed tour groups suffer the inevitable demoralization of the staff, loss of service, and a decline in the quality of the food service. The staff was noticeably less polished than on our previous visit, and although friendly, were less able (either through training or desire) to handle simple off book questions or requests.
Although taking in these tours groups is, no doubt, good for the bottom line, it is at detriment of the regular guests who are hoping for a less generic experience.
The Club Lounge no longer serves breakfast and is, in fact, locked until 9:00 AM . This is a considerable problem for the new generation of ipad folks because there no wifi in the rooms & it is only available in the main lobby or the Lounge….and in the lounge you need to get a new wifi code every hour - LOL
Service at breakfast, in the main restaurant has declined somewhat, but this appears due to a lack of training and not because of the staff who continue to be very friendly.
However, food quality at breakfast has noticeably declined. None of the “hot” food in the steam tables was ever hotter than “lukewarm”. The quality of the soups has declined from “good” to “OK-to-poor”. The smoked salmon was hidden behind the counter (like on a cruise ship – which is what this buffet has become). The omelet station was as good as ever, although, again staffing, the gal did not understand the difference between “boiled” eggs and “poached” eggs.
Apparently the GM dines here every morning and is satisfied with this trade off between lessened food quality and improved bottom line numbers. Sad.
We will probably not stay here next time we are in Chaing Mai, in spite of our Platinum status.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The ideal destination for savvy travellers who enjoy the mixture of Le Meridien's European heritage and local Lanna style to deliver a contemporary cultural experience. The hotel's 383 guestrooms, overlooking Doi Suthep Mountain range, are equipped with broadband internet and offer a modern entertainment experience centered on a high-definition LCD television. A perfect location adjacent to the famous night bazaar will ensure guests encounter the vibrancy + energy of Chiang Mai, just at their doorstep. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Le Meridien Chiang Mai Hotel Chiang Mai
- Meridien Chiang Mai