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“Needs just a little bit more to make it 5-star”

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Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel & Spa
Ranked #7 of 375 Hotels in Chiang Mai
Certificate of Excellence
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
90 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Needs just a little bit more to make it 5-star”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 January 2011

I was extremely pleased with almost everything that the Ping Nakara could offer, but it was just let down by some tiny things. A bar that cannot offer a slice of lemon or lime with a gin and tonic is not a bar that I would go to again. The offered explanation was that they had run out. Well, there are enough shops nearby for someone to run out to to buy one, but that simple piece of logic seemed to escape the imagination of the staff.

After 8 hours of travelling to get to Chiang Mai, all I wanted to do was to get into the room, shower and snooze. But the hotel's policy is to sit you down with a glass of green tea and a cold towel in a separate room and ask you to fill in some forms before they will show you upstairs. That is irritating and unnecessary. Most other hotels in the world, take a swipe of your credit card, issue you the key and off you go. So why is it different here? Some thought needs to go into this part of the hotel 'experience'.

OK, the toilet was blocked. Twice. But these things happen. The hand-held shower was broken; a repair was promised but never took place. And the knob which releases the bath plug was bust. All three indicate a sloppy attitude to maintenance which, in the long-run, will cause this still new hotel to become run down and shoddy.

Bathroom amenity kit did not extend to a toothbrush and paste.

The front-desk staff were exceptionally good, helpful and attentive.

But the turn-down staff in the evening were not sharp-eyed enough to see the dirty cup and saucer in front of them, and they had to be nudged into replacing the coffee creamer powder. Incidentally, coffee creamer powder is horrible when used in tea.

And while writing about tea, what on earth is going on in the breakfast staff's brain when they fill a teapot with luke-warm water? And then serve it with a jug of boiled milk! Tea should be hot and milk should be cold. And a knife and fork is needed to eat breakfast - they should be on the table, and not have to be requested. A bit of staff training is required here.

If all these little things were sorted out (and it comes down to getting the staff to think about what they are doing) then the hotel will deserve its high position in the charts. At the moment, for me, it is 5-star design, ambience and comfort with 3- and 4-star service.

The spa, by the way is good, professional and decent. The masseurs are great! It is a little bit over-priced.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank stephencohen
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 review, 17 January 2011
Dear Stephencohen:

Thank you very much for your thorough comments about our hotel. We do appreciate your review because it helps us improve so much.

As to your specific comments, I can offer these as our response:

Regarding no lime for Gin and Tonic, I think there must have been a miscommunication with our staff because we always have a large supply of limes on hand.

For improving on maintenance, we are addressing this issue in all of our rooms now and have already repaired the faults in your room. Thank you for bringing these to our attention.

We really appreciate your comments about hot milk which was served with tea. We have immediately changed our system to provide cold milk with tea and regular coffee while still serving hot milk for latte and cappuccino. We have always made fresh milk available for the room upon request, but perhaps we need to improve the signage in that regard. Similarly, we have toothbrush, toothpaste and more amenities available upon request at the front desk.

I hope you can see that our goal is to become a recognized five star hotel in all areas of the hotel. Your comments will help us in that regard, we are grateful and hope to see you again in the future.

Kind regards,
Chairat
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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895 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 December 2010

For my wife and I, staying at this boutique hotel was a zen-like experience. We took advantage of the "Spa Indulgence" package and enjoyed every minute and amenity. After 3 hours of treatments, we floated back to our room to get ready for the complimentary dinner. The incredible staff was ever-helpful and available, but also respectful of one's privacy. Before it was converted into my favorite hotel in Northern Thailand, visiting VIPs were hosted here while they visited the local royals. That's the kind of experience you'll have here - VIP treatment all the way.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank YesWeDid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Clara, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 December 2010

We ( brother,sister with mother ) stayed here just before Christmas for 4 days. Even after reading all these reviews I could not have imagined how beautiful, serene and wonderful this place turned out to be. The place itself is an architectural gem, the attention to detail is unbelievable. All of the staff, without exception, were very friendly, polite and helpful. The room and beds were very comfortable, the view from our third floor room, overlooking the back and the swimming pool was excellent. The only times we ate at the hotel was at breakfast, and it was quite good. Very consistent and good WiFi was available throughout (no additional charges). The only slightly odd thing was that the entrance to the room was through the bathroom, but that didn't really bother us too much.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Vinay_SC
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 review, 3 January 2011
Dear Vinay_SC,

Thank you so much for your wonderful review. We are glad that you love our architecture and our services.

At the first stage of the hotel design, we were concerned that our guest might feel strange that the bathroom area was in the front of the room, in some room types. However, after extensive discussions with the architects about the floor plan, we decided that it seems like that the pros of doing this had more weight than the cons. This can be explained as follows:

1. The area is beneficial as a noise barrier.
2. For differentiation and a more spacious area than conventional floor plan, as guests would have a larger foyer together with the welcoming fresh orchid display on the forefront.
3. It is also eco-friendly by making the bathroom be a barrier from the heat because this type of room is facing west. As you may have noticed, our hotel is trying to do whatever we can to save our environment. As examples, we use solar panel cells to make the hot water for daily consumption, and we are using as many energy saving light bulbs as possible.

We are glad that you mentioned this issue and it will help us explain to our future guests why some of our rooms were built this way. Thank you once again for your review, my staff and I really appreciate it.

Kind regards,
Chairat
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New York City, New York
Level Contributor
108 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 December 2010

Agree with all the TA positive reviews -- this hotel was a gem! We had the Spa Indulgence package, which I highly recommend. Hubby loved the Mercedes pickup; I loved the spa treatment -- best I've ever had! (and it was the FULL 3 hours - we filled out the questionnaire before). Large comfy bed, lovely amenities. I agree that it's strange that the bathroom is right at the entrance. 2 suggestions: need better room lighting (particularly in the closet), and more closet shelf space. The breakfast buffet was "modest".
Service by all hotel staff was absolutely excellent.
We love Chiang Mai, and loved this hotel. It is not your typical Thai ambience; it is more "return to elegance", as advertised.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank anonmate
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 review, 31 December 2010
Dear Anonmate:

Thanks so much for your review. My staff and I really appreciate your compliments regarding our accommodation, spa treatments, and services. Regarding your recommendation on the lighting and the size of the closet, we are looking into this comment and will try our best to improve it. It is only through this kind of constant feedback that we can maintain and exceed our commitment to guest services. Thank you again for giving us this valuable suggestion. We wish you all the best, and we hope you will "Return to Elegance" with us in the near future.

Kind regards,
Chairat
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 December 2010

We spent 4 nights at Ping Nakara and from the moment we arrived we were impressed with the service, friendliness and attention to detail. We were collected from the airport in a vintage merc and after a short journey (10 mins) we arrived at the hotel. The building itself is beautiful, very fresh and clean. Our room was wonderful, very spacious with the most comfotable bed we have ever slept in. We were staying over Christmas and Father Christmas left us a little treat on our pillow which was a lovely touch. The location of the hotel is also excellent, as the night market is only 5 minutes walk away. A monastery is located down the road and every morning the hotel offer food to the monks at sunrise. We offered the monks food one morning and were blessed for the day which was a great experience - very early though, so we went straight back to our very comfortable bed afterwards. The staff are all very attentive and the pool area very clean and comfortable. If we were to revisit Chiang Mai we would definately stay here again. many thanks for a fabulous break.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TheRigster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ireland
Level Contributor
27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 December 2010

The hotel is very expensive for what you get. For a hotel classed as a 5 star and the price we paid for the room I expected more. The room size was only average.

The breakfast selection is not great and the area where it is held is semi-outside. The food on display was not covered and there were plenty of flies about. It was very off-putting and not 5 star service.

Overall a lovely hotel in a lovely setting. The staff were excellent and always friendly. If money is not an issue, the hotel is well worth a visit but dont expect anything extraordinary.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Joey1980
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 review, 31 December 2010
Dear Joey1980:

We strive to offer our guests the most enjoyable stay in a classic welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. And, therefore, we are truly sorry that we could not meet the expectations from you.

Our restaurant is fully air conditioned. However, during the winter season we like to open the hotel to the cool breezes in Chiang Mai, as the days are always bright and the weather is so nice. We have worked hard to keep all food covered during the breakfast buffet, as nature does try to invade as well. But, sometimes the covers are left off after people take their food, which allows insects to visit. We are glad that you bring this up. Our immediate response to the problem you mentioned was to put more of our staff at the buffet line to insure that all food is properly protected. We are also working on new designs of the food covers to make sure that they will be easy enough for all guests to close after taking food.

Ping Nakara just has been honored by receiving two prestigious Prime Minister Prizes from the Thailand Boutique Awards 2010. These were for outstanding architecture and the best culture preservation. This recognition motivates us to continuously provide high value for money for accommodation and services, as well as to reach our goal to exhibit the best of our culture to our visitors.

We remain open-minded and we always welcome genuine comments from our guests. Please do not hesitate to contact us or continue to express your personal experience and feelings on the website.

Kind regards,
Chairat
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 December 2010

Ping Nakara was amazing. The facility and grounds are gorgeous, the staff warm and attentive, and the rooms meticulous and luxuriant. Meals were superb. Numerous personal touches like a fresh flower on the pillow when the bed was turned down, and -- without us asking -- boxed breakfast to go when we left at 5:45AM for an early flight. Who has ever heard of that before? The building is a work of art, and the staff is extremely well-trained. Massages at the spa were worth every penny, even in a land of plenty of cheap massage places. If you go to Chiang Mai, STAY HERE.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank adamkronk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel & Spa

Property: Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel & Spa
Address: 135/9 Charoenprathet Road | Changklan, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Chiang Mai Province > Chiang Mai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Chiang Mai
#3 Family Hotel in Chiang Mai
#5 Luxury Hotel in Chiang Mai
#6 Romantic Hotel in Chiang Mai
#12 Business Hotel in Chiang Mai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel and Spa. Set in the awe-inspiring colonial style of the early 1900’s, the Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel and Spa is located at the heart of Chiang Mai’s vibrant business centre and entertainment venues. The hotel is just a five minute walking distance from Chiang Mai’s famous Night Bazaar to the numerous riverside restaurants, while at the same time allowing guests to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the natural surroundings. The three-storey hotel with a central elevator boasts of 19 luxury guestrooms, all individually styled and elegantly furbished with the colonial charm. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in all the rooms including a TV, DVD player and a free mini bar. The hotel's restaurant offers a wide variety of food from authentic Thai cuisine to Western dishes. Coffee and tea, soft drinks, wines and liquor are served at the Lobby Bar, and guests can enjoy their drinks in the comfort of the library or at the peaceful verandah by the outdoor pool. For holistic health and relaxation, guests can unwind and enjoy the genuine Ayurvedic treatment from the hotel’s Nakara Spa. Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel and Spa offers a broad range of services, facilities and amenities designed to provide personalized service and first class hospitality. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel Chiang Mai
Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel And Spa

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