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Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel & Spa
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Reviews (1,009)
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Reviewed 27 February 2012

The Ping Nakara is a beautiful boutique hotel close to the night market and other attractions but far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the town. It is very quiet and peaceful and a great place to enjoy evening cocktails. Breakfast is excellent with a good selection and eggs which were perfectly poached (with Nam Prik Num -famous green chilli dip - I asked for this specially), crisp bacon (highly recommended) and freshly prepared cappuccino. The room was large (209) with a large balcony with a "leafy view". The bed was very comfortable. The bathroom complete with a bathtub and rain shower made this 5 star room complete. The only negative was the room is a bit dark in parts which is probably consistent with a "Colonial" motif but could add a few lights in some dark areas (between the TV and the Closet). The staff was very friendly and went out of their way to assist you. Would definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled solo
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1  Thank tjreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2012

My husband and I had a change of plans and found ourselves in need of two night accommodations - with one-day lead time - during the Chinese New Year. Our USA/Chiang Mai friends knew of this hotel through their daughter's friends. We lucked out - it's a small hotel and we got the last room. Beautiful, comfortable, with a large balcony. Great value. Loved the tamarind candy in the room. Spa is tranquil and staff are very helpful. We departed ~5:30 for our flight to BKK and the hotel provided us with boxed breakfasts - that is great service!

Room Tip: Since we got the last room available, I can only speculate that ALL of the rooms are great!
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank DamariscottaLakeGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2012

The Ping Nakar is a truly beautiful hotel, with lovely restaurant and fantastic spa! The Staff are very charming and always happy to help.
We had several excursions arranged by Noom, who is extremely helpful, and our guide Noah was a pleasure to spend time with.

Ony criticism is there are only 6 beds around the pool, which at times was annoying, but don't let that put you off.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Gulahula
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2012

I was completely blown away by this hotel, it is absolutely beautiful, stunning large comfortable rooms, tasty breakfast and lovely very reasonably priced restaurant and cocktail menu. The hotel was conveniently located within walking distance to the 'old' town, and only a short stroll to the Night Markets. The staff were great, friendly and professional, discrete and not overbearing. I would definately return and highly recommend it to anyone heading to Chiang Mai.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Tallulah2wheels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 February 2012

My wife and I (both in our early 30's) stayed at the Ping Nakara for a couple nights during the beginning of the Chiang Mai portion of our trip. At the outset, I will second the many other reviews on here and say that the hotel is quite beautiful as is the pool and outdoor space. Obviously, the colonial design does not embody Thai culture so keep that in mind if you're looking for an authentic Thai experience. The breakfast is also quite good and has very tasty ala carte options (although the buffet is rather limited). The rooms are generally nice but a bit more dated and run down than I expected from the website. I also agree with other reviewers regarding the fact that there is a lot more noise than I expected. The website makes it look like the hotel is isolated and away from traffic but in reality we could hear quite a bit of noise both from outside and inside the hotel while we were in our room. We were still able to sleep fine so I would say it was at most an annoyance and certainly not a deal killer. The hotel is also in a very good location within easy walking distance of the night markets. The night markets, in addition to selling some interesting items, also have quite a few restaurants and bars which is great to have nearby.

However, what really surprised us and kept this from being a four star or higher review was the "concierge." In reality, the hotel does not have a concierge but, rather, an in house travel agency. This wouldn't have necessarily been a problem had my wife and I arrived in Chiang Mai having already planned out our excursions and how we would get there etc... Unfortunately, we like to be more spur of the moment and were planning to heavily rely on the hotel to direct us towards the right areas to explore and reasonable ways to get there. This is where the lack of an independent concierge was truly a negative experience for us and left us with a bad general impression of the hotel.

Immediately upon arrival (we hadn't even checked in yet) the female travel agent began aggressively pushing horribly overpriced and uninteresting excursions on us. When we tried to explain to her that we were not interested in what she was pushing but, rather, wanted to have experiences like hiking in the national park and going to an elephant camp that treats its elephants well (rather than the one option she kept pushing that had elephant shows etc...) she was completely unhelpful, even rude. Basically, unless you are willing to do the few selected options her travel agency is pushing she is completely useless and, in fact, might even be worse than useless as she tells you certain trips are impossible or quotes astronomical prices for the same excursions you can easily find elsewhere for 1/3 the cost. Just as an example, we asked to go to Doi Inthanon (the nearby national park with Thailand's highest mountain) and were quoted a price of around $150 where elsewhere the same trip could be made for $50. Moreover, she failed to inform us that you have to have a local guide and pay a fee to do the most interesting hikes in the park (we only found that out after we got there). The driver she arranged also spoke almost no English although was a very sweet man. We also asked about going to see some of the more authentic hill tribe villages (understanding they were quite a distance and would likely require an overnight stay). She completely refused to assist and, instead, pushed her one option of a local tourist trap hilltribe "market." In the end, we were able to arrange better options through local tourist excursion options in the town itself but this took a significant amount of time and we ended up wasting about 1/2 a day of our limited time in Chiang Mai arranging decent excursions when we could have been enjoying ourselves if the hotel had a half-way competent and independent concierge. This was extremely frustrating to us and really left us with a bad taste in our mouth about the hotel in general.

One other note of caution is that the hotel tacks on a significant service charge that appears to be about twice what other similar hotels in Chiang Mai charge. It's unclear to me why that would be particularly since the service was actually what we found to be somewhat lacking in comparison.

We spent one night at the end of our trip at Rachamankha (see my review there) and wish we had spent our entire stay there. Rachamankha is simply in a different, higher, league from Ping Nakara including being far more beautiful (it is truly exquisite), having far superior service (including a very helpful concierge), and being far quieter (not to mention a bit cheaper).

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank travsav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ChairatPingNakara, Owner at Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 29 February 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your comment, although I must point out some factual errors in the review. Even though the hotel appears to be a classic colonial mansion in its design and decoration, it is newly built. The hotel is less than three years old, and is kept in meticulous condition. We regularly receive  many compliments from reviewers saying that the rooms are very clean, classic in design and beautifully decorated, with unusual attention to every detail. So, we are not sure what the reviewer meant by 'dated and rundown'. In addition, it is our honor to be listed in the TripAdvisor for the Travellers' Choice 2012 as 'Top 25 Best Hotels in Asia' and 'Top 25 Hotels for Service in Thailand'; not to mention many awards that we have received from other prestigious organizations.

It was commented that our service charge was excessive. This cannot be true. The service charge assessed by our hotel follows the Thai law that requires such charge, and ours rate of charge cannot possibly be more or less than any other hotel in the Kingdom.

Regarding the review the guest made about the independent tour agency in our lobby, this part of the review should be posted directly to the Lanna Boutique Travel, which is also listed in TripAdvisor. Still, we have forwarded this comment directly to Lanna Boutique Travel so that they can reply directly to the reviewer, since it was such a big contrast with the previous reviewer who gave excellent marks to the same tour lady that this reviewer has mentioned.

We appreciate the kind words, too, for the hotel and hope to welcome the reviewer back in the future for a return to elegance.

Kind regards,
Chairat

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