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Review of Sheik Istana Hotel

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Sheik Istana Hotel
Ranked #84 of 380 Hotels in Chiang Mai
Certificate of Excellence
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Save the best for last!”
Reviewed 12 March 2014

I have stayed in so many hotels and resorts in Thailand and Sheik Istana Hotel is definitely one of my favorites! The Moroccan style was quite impressive. The room was huge and very clean. The staff were nice and friendly. The hotel ambience was generally light and peaceful. We were in Chiang Mai for 3 nights and every night was a different hotel. This was our last stop and the experience was good. But I must agree on one of the reviews regarding the shower issue. They could do better. The spa was lovely and the restaurant was not bad. They were very generous with the food portion (dinner). Breakfast line was just ok. Few friends have decided to stay at Sheik after seeing our photos and comments. :)

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ceegee2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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226 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (53)
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English first
Level Contributor
33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2014

I was very impressed on first impressions of this Moroccan styled hotel. The location was perfect for us around 10minutes outside Central Chiang Mai by the river Ping overlooking a Stupa temple. The rooms were very large, well decorated and the staff were excellent. My two issues were firstly the minor- the showers were terrible for the quality of the hotel. Secondly and much more problematic I got food poisoning from the hotel restaurant! This was a huge problem as 1 of 3 days there was gone due to illness and the only thing I'd eaten all day was the hotel food. A big downer on an otherwise lovely hotel.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Diplexalitravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chakarn U, General Manager at Sheik Istana Hotel, responded to this review, 7 April 2014
Thank you very much for sharing of your experience and sorry to hear that you had experienced with the food poisoning when you were with us for the first night.

On this matter I would like to informed you that this is the first time that we had the report that our guest had faced with the food poisoning since the hotel establish in 2011.

Please note that we had the SOP to control for our cooking process and we trust that our food were well prepared with standard of the food hygiene.

Once again thank you very much for telling us what you fell and we will monitor this scenario to make sure had our food are save and clean.

Best regards,

Chakarn U.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bangkok
Level Contributor
248 reviews
96 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2014

Please read my previous reviews of this hotel after reading this. In august I again bought vouchers at the travel fair as I have done before. No blackout dates and no expiry date. As a "valued" returning customer I was given a great deal so bought vouchers for 3 nights. We decided to go to chiang Mai early January and called to make a reservation for 4-6th January. They took our reservation without any problem. But an hour later I received a call to say we were to be charged an extra 750 baht/night. I pointed out that I had bought and paid in advance with nothing more to pay. I was told that they were busy and my voucher had already expired n October (so it only had a 3 month validity?). That was a blatant lie. I suggested that they speak with the owner who by this time knew us well. On being called back it was suggested to me that if I didn't want to pay a surcharge I should stay only 2 nights for the price of 3!!! What a shocking and stupid way to speak to a (regular) guest. By this point I was furious and decided all I wanted was my money back. They agreed to refund my money. What I find incredible is that as a regular visitor to Chiang Mai, 2-3 times a year, their greed and total disregard for good business practice has lost them any future business or recommendations from me. So be warned, if you book this hotel in advance you might be asked to pay more when you get there.Note that although I'm listed as visiting in April I DID not stay, I had to put in a date in order to post this review

Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank BKK111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chakarn U, General Manager at Sheik Istana Hotel, responded to this review, 15 March 2014
Dear Guest,

First & foremost I would like to thank you for your comment concern to our service and facilities, according to your recent comment on this website about the intention of trying to make a surcharge to your prepaid voucher after reviewing of all correspondents and selling documents that concern to your comment I found that this is totally misunderstanding and I am pleased to clarify all the misunderstanding as follow:-

First the incident was recalled in August 16, 2012 at Queen Sirikit Convention Center during the Thai Tiew Thai travel fair during that time we had created a promotion rates for selling within this fair by two selling rates between a Green Season (Low Season) during August 16 , 2012 – October 31, 2012 and Cool season (High Season) from November 01, 2012 – April 30, 2013. The problem was occurred because all documents were published in Thai only therefore the date definition in the hotel’s brochures also being in Thai language. Please note that Thailand count our calendar year by Buddhist era (B.E) then the year in our brochure will be published as year 2555 (B.C) that equal year 2012 (A.D)

The rates that we sold were not selling as a voucher but we sold the room base on exactly period of stay between Green Season or Cool season which differ from selling a voucher and giving a time definition of the expiry date.

We sold the room to you for three nights in a Superior room under the Green Season rate that means you can stay during August 16, 2012 to October 31, 2012. Because of not having an exactly plan yet then your reservation was created under open date condition.

In fact you did not checked in according to the period of promotion cause the validation of the promotion rate was expired then we had already offered you by extend this promotion rate to next green season that mean you can check in during August 16, 2013 to October 31, 2013 without any additional charge however we had recorded that you willing to check in during January 5 – 7, 2013 for 3 nights which mean the period of stay not being the same condition as the promotion rate you had brought and the price in Cool season is more expensive than the green season rate that mean if you stay in Cool season but you had already paid a green season rate then you should pay for the difference.

On this matter we understood that you were not satisfy with the outcome and need a full refund and we agreed to give you a refund via Thai Farmer Bank the transaction was proceed on January 2013.

Should you still not understand why there was an additional charge during the period of January 05 – 07, 2013 please feel free to contact me anytime at your convenience, I am pleased to supply you a full information in documentary as soon as my earliest convenience.

Thank you once again for your attention on this matter we had already change the way to create our promotion in any travel fair by more simply promotion to prevent any confusion like this.

Best regards,

Chakarn U.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2014

This is a great hotel. The location is out of the main city but very close to the airport which is great if you want to be away from the city's hussle and bussle. You can get tuk tuks or taxis in to the city easily enough. The rooms and the decor are all lovely. There are two pools which is great, unfortunately they were a bit cold for us to use. The only thing that let the hotel down are the staff and the service.
We had arranged and confirmed ( twice ) a collection from the airport. When we arrived there was no one there to collect us and when we rang the hotel, they thought we had already stayed there! There was no real apology, which is not really what we had come to expect. We ate in the hotel the first night and the food was not great, I would not recommend the restaurant.
We then had an incident where they tried to over charge us when checking out and basically accused us of lying! It is such a shame as the hotel itself is lovely, just need a bit more training on customer service. Also whist we stayed there in Feb there was construction work that woke us up at 6.30 - you may want to check that this has finished if you are light sleepers.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from main road
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jolly01234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chakarn U, General Manager at Sheik Istana Hotel, responded to this review, 18 March 2014
Dear Jolly01234

Thank you very much for staying with us in February and we are very sorry for the incident concern the pickup service from Airport to Hotel. As your comment I had already investigated what was happened and found the results as follow:-

Transfer from Airport.

We received your inquiry for pick up at the airport with the flight number and estimate arrival time unfortunately that you did not mention for the name of the Operation Airline by the way we send another mail to ask you to confirm with the name of the airline but did not received your confirmation anyway we assume from estimate arrival time and flight number then we send the car to pick you up at the airport as requested. Unfortunately the car that send could not find you while you were trying to call to hotel but our staff did not know that you are the one that requested for the pickup service then our staff recommend you to come to hotel by taxi while the driver still at the airport. I am deeply sorry for this matter and will train our staff to know how to communicate to prevent any case like this in the future.

Food at the restaurant was not great.

As we reviewed to your order on that date and found that the foods you ordered are Thai local dishes that cooked in a traditional style and one of them has some generic herb like aromatic ginger as it ingredient so you might not appreciate with this recipe.

Problem with mini bar when checked out

This is the issue that occurred when checking out that we had the record that the mini bar was consumed and you deny to pay and finally the hotel agree not to charge you and our Front Office Manager had already been responsible for such cost that occurred.

Thank you once again for you comment we will monitor fix these problems that you had comment to prevent any case like this in the future.

Best regards,

Chakarn U.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2014

My husband and I stayed four nights at this exquisite gem of a hotel. We watched the sun rise next to a stupa across the River Ping from our balcony each morning, with the fountains from the Moorish garden tinkling below. The breakfast buffet included both eastern and western dishes.I was enthralled with the Moroccan accents everywhere--lanterns, pillows, woodcarvings. The staff was friendly and helpful. We often took the scheduled free shuttles into town, taking a tuk tuk back. Wish we had a business card with the name of the hotel in Thai for tuk tuk drivers. (The road into town did not look safe to walk along--traffic too close.) The hotel has two pools, a spa and a fitness center, but we did not make use of them. We did enjoy the double swing in the garden under a full moon. We stayed on the fourth floor--there is an elevator--great views. Loved the roosters crowing to wake us up--just a touch of rural Thailand.

Room Tip: Third and fourth floor rooms have better views and offer more privacy. All rooms have Moorish garden...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Geralyn H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Deutschland, Hesse
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 February 2014

Big rooms (we had a suit) that are nicely decorated. But the positives stop here... This is a 3-star hotel at most....

1)The breakfast is of low quality (dry muffins, tasteless fruit - and that is in Thailand where any market has an amazing selection of fresh fruit, - as well as tasteless coffee & tea), and the selection of Western food is extremely limited.

2)The shower cabin in the room is tiny and the water pressure and temperature change back and forth by themseves...

3)Some waiters in the restaraunt do not speak or understand English...

4)During the 1st 2 days, the a/c in our room did not allow to ajust the temperature, so the room became very cold. Only a repeated complaint got the issue fixed. The room door was broken ( did not close), and was fixed - again - after the 2nd attmpt only. Also, it took the staff 3 days to get us 2 working room key cards... And that is despite of 300 TBT deposit we had to give for the key. So we were finding ourselves in front of our room not being able to upen the door - MANY times...

5)There is a loud costruction going on nearby, which made relaxing in the swimming pool impossible...

6)Location is away from town - not that far, but requires a taxi. Interestingly, many taxies and tuk-tuks don't know where the hotel is and refuse to drive there from town.

7)Finally, when we asked for a late check out, the stuff refused to offer any options, even after we pointed out many issues we had during the stay.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank EAP71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chakarn U, Manager at Sheik Istana Hotel, responded to this review, 9 February 2014
On behalf of the management and staffs at Sheik Istana Hotel, I would like to thank you for your comments concern our services and facilities and sorry to hear that you feel disappoint while you were staying with us.

Please be informed that your comments had been well noted and we had monitored such incidents that you had mentioned for improving of our service and facilities to ensure that these should meet the expectation of our value customer as much as we can.

In some reason such as the noise that occurred at the other site of the river bank this is out of our control due to it is being a town Municipality’s project to construct the river’s barrier to prevent a future flood from the Ping River and the worker will start working from 08.00 am – 05.00 pm from Monday to Saturday.

Regarding to the late checkout issue I am so sorry to inform that we could not offer a late check out until 08.00 pm free of charge as your requested however maximum late check out at 2 p.m free of charge had been proposed even we were 98% occupancy rate . Please note we always be flexible with all requirement for late checkout subject to our room availability and occupancy of the date request.

Thank you once again for sharing your experience via our page in tripadvisor and please accept my sincere apologies for the incidents that occurred to you.

Best regards,

Chakarn U.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
61 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2014 via mobile

This was our favorite "small" hotel during our 12 day visit to Thailand. Our family of 8 stayed here three nights/four days. Noona, Noon, Joey and the rest of the staff could not have been friendlier or more helpful during our stay. We took advantage of the free shuttle ride to the evening markets. Every room has a view looking out on the beautiful gardens and Ping river. The view is a little better from the third floor than the first and second floors (we think!). There's a Wat across the Ping that we did not get to explore also. At night it's lit up. For breakfast each morning we ate at their Marrakesh restaurant. There is a new restaurant across the street "Chill Out" that was great for dinner.

Stayed February 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank rh1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sheik Istana Hotel

Property: Sheik Istana Hotel
Address: 10/1 Moo 3 Padad Road | Padad, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Chiang Mai Province > Chiang Mai
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #84 of 380 Hotels in Chiang Mai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Sheik Istana Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 35
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sheik Istana is ideally situated on the Ping River, the main river that runs through the city, in one of the most beautiful locations in Chiang Mai. All attraction areas are all within easy reach. The design of the 35 luxuriously appointed guest rooms was inspired by Moroccan and Asian architecture, making the hotel ideally suited for a romantic getaway or honeymoon; its convenient location and beautiful, cosy and elegant atmosphere will however equally appeal to business people. Relax and take in the stunning views of Wat Chedi Lium, one of the ancient temples in Wiang Kum Kam,from your guestroom terrace and have yourself pampered by our friendly and professional staff. ... more   less 
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