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“Avoid the scam!”
Review of River View Lodge

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River View Lodge
Ranked #204 of 834 Chiang Mai B&B and Inns
Reviewed 4 October 2007

Avoid the scam! The warning signs were all there...when we checked in around 7pm, there was just one guy in a dimly lit corner. He told us there would be a 3% surcharge if you paid by credit card (which is illegal in Thailand), and by the way you also were required to not just provide your credit card, but to sign the blank bill in addition. Then he pulled out a form indicating a "1500 baht fine" if you used the room safe but lost the key. Seemed pretty strange.

The room was merely serviceable...there are much better options for this price in Chiang Mai. A TV isn't that much to ask for. We decided to leave, but then he wanted to charge us a 200 baht fee "for using the air conditioning," even though had made the decision (and booked a new hotel) within ten minutes! Unbelievable. They finally dropped it after we refused to pay.

The hotel gets a lot of positive reviews on Trip Advisor, so we were looking forward to a nice experience, but I really am surprised that the reviews are that positive given the experience we had.

Stayed: October 2007
6  Thank csbcg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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81 - 87 of 141 reviews

Reviewed 23 September 2007

This was my 3rd time I've stayed here in the past 7 years.

Liked:
- Lush gardens, antiques and interesting knick-knacks everywhere you look.
- Friendly & helpful staff, who speak excellent English.
- Basic but clean rooms with interesting furniture.
- Location. The Night Bazaar, Tha Pae Road and restaurants across the Ping River are all within easy walking distance, but the hotel itself is still in a quiet side street.


Disliked:
- The riverside room we had the first night smelled like urine. Fortunately, they had another room free, which was not smelly.
- The mattresses were quite hard.
- Noisy clubs/bars across the river. It's not the hotel's fault, and perhaps it's not a problem if you have the air-con on & windows closed, but with the windows open, the live bands from across the river were *REALLY* loud (and out of tune!). They played until about 1am, I think. I couldn't sleep until I remembered my ear plugs.

All in all, it was a bit disappointing after my first 2 good experiences there. Still, I'd consider going back again.

  • Stayed: September 2007, travelled with friends
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3  Thank LadyEm-in-Thailand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2007

When I think of Riverview Lodge it always puts a smile on my face. For over ten years my husband and I have been staying there. We love the atmosphere that comes with a small hotel. When I travel I look for a rich personal experience...so that is what I find. I always look forward to seeing the staff and the owners have become very dear friends of ours. Now that is hospitality, when your experience is enriched by friendship!

When we need help, all we have to do is ask for assistance and it is always graciously given.

I love sitting in the patio for breakfast, and for drinks in the early evening just as the sun in going down, it is so enjoyable with a view of the river and garden. This is Thailand at its best, where you can relax and enjoy the warm ambiance of a place, a place that is more like being at someone’s home than a hotel.

For a truly joyous and serene experience I recommend Riverview Lodge. Come with an open heart and you will not be disappointed, your time there will be enriched by your interaction with the staff and the beauty of the environment. Open up to the staff and then you will experience one of the things that makes Thailand so special. And if you are as lucky as we are, you will return year after year to Riverview Lodge, and in the process you will make new friends and learn many new things.

  • Stayed: June 2007, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank 1Dragon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2007

This was a great home base for our recent visit to Chiang Mai. It is a simple hotel right on the Ping River that is like a small retreat hidden from the city. It is located at the end of an alleyway which helps shelter it from the city noise.

The rooms are basic - a large wardrobe, a vanity table, and a small refridgerator. As is quite common, you need the room key to activate the electricity. The fridge is on its own circuit so does not shut off when you leave the room. We had a small balcony overlooking the back gardens and river. The lighting was not that great.

The gardens are what make this place special. There are hundreds (no exaggeration) of potted plants. There is an outdoor eating area for breakfast (included) and lunch (fee). They have a small inground pool with a nice deck filled with lounge chairs. The pool was so refreshing after a day of touring in the heat. There are many small seating areas around the garden.

The hotel offers several tours using local guides. We used Chai for two days and were the only ones on the tour both days. It worked out great as we could dictate our own timelines.

They have no internet access, but there are two shops right at the beginning of the alleyway.

Even if you do not stay here, walk down to it just to see the owner's antique car collection.

It was very easy to walk anywhere we wanted from here. It is east of the old city gate. It took us about 10 minutes to walk to the gate. There are tuk-tuks available everywhere, but we like to walk.

Avoid the street market unless you like being hassled by every vendor you pass. Instead go into the Kalore Night Bazaar right behind it. Most of it is in a spacious covered building with a really great food court. There is a small stage where a different type of entertainment is held every night. A great place to sit with a local beer!

There is only one negative here - incredibly hard beds. I had to do stretches each morning to work out the kinks before doing much of anything else.

For price/value/location, I would definitetly use them again. I would just ask for a few more pillows to sleep on!

  • Stayed: April 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank DivingDavid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 December 2006

This small boutique hotel is great! Yes, the bedrooms are basic (and the breakfasts rather limited) but overall we thought it was great. They are clean and comfortable and the linen was of exceptional quality. The setting next to the river was lovely and the gardens around the hotel even lovelier.

The staff were friendly and efficient. We were able to store our gear there whilst going off travelling for several days, including a PC, without fear of security.

Only downside was the seriously squeaky wooden frame single bed and rather poor soundproofing (not caused by anything more untoward than simply trying to get comfortable!)

  • Stayed: November 2006, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TheRealSnowQueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2006

The Riverview was a breath of fresh air. Very beautiful setting with such an interesting garden. Very Thai. Open and airy, each room has a balcony. Ask to overlook the river. Four of us stayed and all of us fell in love with the Riverview. No tv or hair dryer, but who cares? Too many other things to do. Don't miss the elephant rides. Fun, not scary. Hotel will make arrangements for you. They have an inexpensive laundry service available. Please don't pass this place up for fancy accomodations.

  • Stayed: June 2006
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5  Thank Floridatravelgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2006

After reading the various Trip Advisor reviews of the Riverview Lodge, we checked in and were looking forward to a relaxing stay in what was supposed to have been a well run and tidy hotel. Unfortunately a lot must have happened since the first Riverview Lodge reviews in 2005. Not only did the rooms smell terrible (we think they must have experienced some flood damage and not bothered to replace the matteresses), but the beds and pillows were extremely uncomfortable. Given the lack of facilities and poor standard of the facilities they do have, the high price they are charging compared to other Chiang Mai hotel deals available online makes them extremely hard to recommend.

We checked ourselves out after the first night and wont be in any rush to get back, even though the staff we very freindly.

  • Stayed: May 2006
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6  Thank PatrickP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about River View Lodge

Address: 25 Soi 4,Charoen Prathet Road | Muang, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Chiang Mai Province > Chiang Mai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #204 of 834 B&Bs / Inns in Chiang Mai
Price Range: £29 - £49 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — River View Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 35
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The River View Lodge is overlooking the Ping River and is less than 10 minutes stroll from Chiang Mai's famous Night Bazaar. Decorated with regional carvings and textiles, our rooms are clean, neat, beautifully appointed and simply furnished with good showers, hot water and air conditioning. Fifteen of our 35 rooms have balconies and verandas that face the Ping River and overlook a beautiful tropical garden with several intimate pavilions and patios. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
River View Hotel Chiang Mai
River View Chiang Mai

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