We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“No thanks”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of River View Lodge

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Chiang Mai
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
River View Lodge
Ranked #153 of 718 Chiang Mai B&B and Inns
Manila
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“No thanks”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2009

I booked this hotel online having learned about it from Lonely Planet and having looked at the website. What a disappointment. I paid $90 a night and the room was nothing like what had been featured on the website -- its tired green carpet was straight out of the 70s, the walls were as thin as posterboard, the breakfast rapidly became boring and the staff was sullen. Yes, the garden was lovely, but it takes more than a garden to get me going and as soon as the sun went down, the mosquitoes made it uninhabitable anyway. The location was kind of cute, down a quiet alley from a ring road, but it did make for a long trek home with the kids after sightseeing. I would have stayed just the same but after 3 days, I discovered the Suriwongse Hotel, which offered me a great room at almost half the price including the most fantastic buffet breakfast. Normally I don't change hotels once I have made a reservation but the attitude of the staff at River View eliminated any remorse. I only wish that I hadn't bothered to buy ear plugs before switching hotels -- the music from River View's neighbour starts pounding at 10 pm and continues for the next few hours.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JenniferAndrea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RiverViewLodge, Owner at River View Lodge, responded to this review, 11 November 2009
Thank you for your comment on our staff, we have told them about the complaint and have insisted on them to be more friendly and hospitable. Please note that we have had some very positive comments about our staff on Tripadvisor with the reviewer returning to stay with us again.

Our location is central and is 15 minutes walk from the Night Bazaar. From the hotel to the main street will take you 5 minutes walk. Regarding the noise we accept that this is a problem but please understand that this is out of our control. The loud music is coming from a pub across the river and we have made numerous complaints to the local police and the Chiang Mai governor. We have made efforts by sealing the windows facing the pub to reduce incoming noise.

With the mosquitoes, as the hotel is open air and has a large central garden, it is natural that there are mosquitoes. We understand that this is uncomfortable for guests so we try to reduce their numbers by spraying our premises once a month.

We offer 3 types of rooms – Twin without river view ($60), Twin with balcony ($70) and Triple rooms ($90). We believe that our price range is competitive for what we offer (given our location and space) compare to other hotels in Chiang Mai.

We have just found out about Tripadvisor reviews and after reading some of the praises and complaints, we have better trained our staff and have made improvements on other points mentioned in these reviews accordingly.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

137 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    41
    56
    26
    5
    9
See reviews for
27
55
10
1
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
canberra
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 December 2008

Well I booked this hotel on the advice of the Lonely Planet and frankly they could not have been more wrong.
Number one the manager and many of the staff are positively unfriendly
Number two the more expensive rooms facing the river are impossible for anyone who is a light sleeper to sleep in. This is due to the blaring band from the nightclub opposite and the inevitable Tuk Tuks blurtng up and down the street across the river.
Yes the garden is lovely, yes the breakfast is very good, the pool appears clean.
The rooms are spartan and the TV was a joke, old 30cm TV with the rabbit ear antenna held together by a rubber band, no sky channel. Why when most of the customers are from overseas.
They demand your credit card on arrival and take a copy although they had already taken my credit card details to book the room and thencharged us for the room two days early!!!!.
This was my honeymoon and me and my wife who is Thai could not have been more disappointed.
I have stayed in many places in Thailand and this was one of the more disappointing particularly considering the high price, more like a Bangkok price.
Thye have been spoiled by having too many western tourists who pay the exorbitant price. They charge double what local taxis charge, the knick knacks for sale at the hotel are a rip off.

What more can I say, very disappointed, firstly by the noise at night and secondly by the unfriendly manager and her staff.

Recommendation; don't go look for somewhere else. Lonely Planet - pick up your game, I won't be trusting your recommendations after this.

  • Liked — garden and breakfast
  • Disliked — unfriendly staff and very noisy at night
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank aussietraveller76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RiverViewLodge, Owner at River View Lodge, responded to this review, 11 November 2009
Our rooms are clean, simple and furnished with traditional furniture. This has been our style since the beginning and we like to differentiate ourselves from the bigger chain and more modern hotels. We are not a business hotel so we like our guest to feel more at home and relax in the garden or by the pool.

Regarding the TV, our philosophy is for guests to come to Chiang Mai to explore what the city has to offer therefore we do not have a TV in our rooms but it can be provided at guests’ request. We usually only get this request from Thai customers whom from our experience prefers the more modern and luxury hotels. We’ve had positive comments from western families with children staying with us. They like the fact that there is no distraction for their children so they were able to go out and explore more of the city.

We require a credit card number at the time of reservation to charge for one night non refundable deposit in advance prior to the guest arriving because we have to block the room. During check in we require a credit card for in print to guarantee the rest of the stay and will only charge for the rooms upon check out. We believe that this is a standard procedure for hotels around the world and that we are not asking more than usual.

With taxis we do charge more than the local but we believe that this is the same at most other hotels. We screen the drivers so if guests has any problem we can trace the driver back to the company. The local taxi might take guests to shops where the driver gets a commission whereas our service takes you to where you want to go. The price of our drinks and snacks are more expensive than the local shop but this is standard in any hotels and we believe that our prices are fair.

Thank you for your comment on our staff, we have told them about the complaint and have insisted on them to be more friendly and hospitable. Please note that we have had some very positive comments about our staff on Tripadvisor with the reviewer returning to stay with us again.

Regarding the noise we accept that this is a problem but please understand that this is out of our control. The loud music is coming from a pub across the river and we have made numerous complaints to the local police and the Chiang Mai governor. We have made efforts by sealing the windows facing the pub to reduce incoming noise.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
uk
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 December 2008

I think almost every previous reviewer here is right about this place and the question is more how the Lonely Planet Guide rates the River View Lodge so wrongly as the best hotel in chiang mai? The number one Lonely Planet Guide recommendation in Chiang Mai the River View Lodge? Are they serious? Are they having a laugh? Had the reviewer just come come back from a round trip to the Golden Triangle? It is really hard to describe what I think about this place while having to, at the same time, be balanced about the whole experience? But, for what it's worth, here's what happened to me.

First, you approach this creaking wreck of an old mansion/musuem wooden pseudo-temple-without-the-gold via these little slightly intimidating back streets. There is no entrance, exactly, even when you arrive there, and you sort of look around for a reception of sorts.

I was greeted by what seemed like stares, soon confirmed, in my direction, from reception, rather than a friendly hello, but instead silence until I made my purpose clear: "Do you have a room for the night?"

This was clearly a slightly intimidating question for the receptionist because... OK, I'll be serious - there was not a single smile, or word of welcome, just blandness - 1800 bahts per night, no discount, poker face.

Can I see a room? I was shown upstairs to a rather large room with green carpet without a view, except of the roof of a garage, with two single beds. When I asked if they had any with a double bed, she said, "we always push the two together." I thought she was exaggerating. "I think I have other room with double bed." She wasnt, that's exactly what they'd done, but it was a good size too, and this one overlooked the river, and had a fridge and ensuite which was well-maintained and very clean.

However, it did have a very dated, depressing feel to it, and I'm not sure whether that was because of the old furniture or the dim lighting or the greenness of the room. However, in fairness, I have to disagree with the poster who wrote the green carpet smelt, no, it didnt - unless it was a new green carpet I had?!!!

Oh, and the othert thing a poster mentioned was true and it was a little bit disconcerting when I accepted the room.

When I agreed to take the room, she asked for a credit card as a deposit and refused AMEX and MASTERCARD and only accepted VISA! But then she did actually ask me to sign a blank slip. This, as the other poster rightly maintains, is wholly illegitimate business practice. Fortunately, they returned my signed slip when I paid, but you have no idea how uneasy that made me feel while staying there for absolutely no reason whatsover, and I am offended that the Lonely Planet Guide recommended a place that would do this to a relatively inexperienced traveller.

"You're not just staying the one night are you?" She asked slightly confrontationally, as if to say that if I agreed I wouldnt be even allowed to stay the one night. I was so tired and exhausted by the journey that I said, " no, of course not, maybe one or two nights." But, should I have had to 'defend' how long I wanted to stay? And shouldnt I have instead been asking why she was asking it? Of course, the latter, which is well documented for everyone to read here, now, but I want this to be balanced, and there were good points.

There is an amazing garden in the rear of the property, which has been carefully tended and cultivated, with greenery, flowers and ponds, and is beautiful to sit in, although not without trousers and socks as my moskito bitten feet and legs testify to. It is a very peaceful place, right in front of the river, and I saw individuals reading books in the pagodas and others splashing around in the beautiful pool until late.

There is an empty quiet bar area where you can help yourself to the fridge and write your own bar bill because there's no waiter to be seen for life nor money! But it imbues, seriously, a feeling of trust, which you're going to seriously need in a few hours when the music starts.

I retired to bed at around ten or eleven, after admittedly, one or two beverages, and slept immediately, only to be waken six hours later by the live blasting music over the river.

Now dont get me wrong, I love live music, when I want to listen to it, but the poster who posted 'bring ear plugs' definitely wasnt kidding!

I was lucky it only lasted to five or six am, but then I could hear this whirring whirring and I went to turn off my air conditioner but it wasnt mine, it was the person's nextdoor and however much I tossed and turned it was so loud I couldnt ignore it to sleep.

At 7am, I put my air con on, and waited, and then after ten minutes turned it off again, and then turned it on. And then my neighbour turned theirs off. I'd probably woken her up!

It was time for breakfast! And at 1800 bahts this had to be amazing, the Lonely Planet Guide recommended, the breakfast to beat all breakfasts!!!! Yes?

"Sorry about the music, we have other rooms opposite away from the music if you no like?" The lady manager said.

Oh yea, I didnt mention that I'd checked out before breakfast becasuse I was so worried about what they might do with my credit card signed slip I thought I had to prioritise that ahead of my food. Sound like a pleasant relaxing stay to you?

"No, that's ok!" I replied, nudging my bags closer towards me under the table (!) "Got to, got to, go!"

To be fair, the internet access in the room was remarkable, but it, ironically, allowed me to sign on to Travel Advisor and find out what everyone else thought about this hotel. At that moment, and I think this needs to be said, and isnt sycophantic, Travel Advisor actually almost felt like a friend to me; People I could trust; sharing a common interest; seeking a shared goal. That is the genius of Travel Advisor if they can keep the balance right, and what I read, convinced me they were. And I dont mind anyone quoting me on this.

You're stuck in some Lonely Planet rated hole and you can even start thinking you're the one that's crazy to think so, especially travelling alone, unless you can get online and check out Travel Advisor, seriously.

I didn't mean to imply that my bags werent safe there. In their favour, they left a fridge full of beer and whatever literally open for anyone to help themselves to all night, and trusted that you will sign your own tab. I did. It encourages trust. But, still, in the back of my mind, I've already signed a blank credit card slip, and without going into my personal credit availability, it probably beats the bar tab! Do I make myself clear?

Why act like a mistrusting third-class joint when you're charging first-class prices? This place is seriously living on former glories and if you squint enough at the wooden frame you can just see how the owner managed to line up his dozen Rolls Royce's and Mercedes... But open your eyes and your eyes will be open...

One poster I read here as my saving light suggested running off to the Vanilla Place Guest House and, guess what, I did! It is half-the-price. It does have internet, too. The internet, to be fair to the River View Lodge, isn't as fast there as it is here. You will get far better reception in the River View Lodge in your room, but it is workable at the Vanilla Place Guest House.

The problem with the Vanilla Place Guest House is that it is a Guest House - No cupboards, no chest of drawers, no refrigerators, no window (see my review of there!) but lovely warm friendly owners, I agree!

If I was you, I would forget the River View Lodge as quickly as considerring it. Who wants to sign literally a blank cheque to a hotel and pretend to sleep peacefully there? It's ridiculous and almost cruel to an unsespecting and innocent traveller. I dont know what Travel Advisor can do about this, but I suppose even simply sharing this now re-confirmed mis-behaviour may help some other poor misguided by the Lonely Planet traveller?

Breakfast was chopped over fried tiny crispy bacon strips, with an eighth(?) of a grilled tomato, and a miniscule portion of hard and flaky brown scrambled eggs, served with tea/coffee and toast. Although, to be fair to the waiter, he did say I could have it all twice because I had booked a double room, even with my luggage beside me.

It made me smile. I don't think this is a "Bad Hotel", at all. It has large rooms, reasonably well equipped, very clean, immaculate linen, immaculate ensuite, a comfortable open bar/breakfast room, beautiful garden and beautiful swimming pool and fantastic location.

It's just that the staff will hate you from the moment they look at you, perhaps rudely size you up by the length of your stay, the rooms are very large but dated, dreary and dim, and seem to be all in green (!) The live music noise across the river will wake you up in the middle of the night - although another poster claims that the management have made efforts to address this - I was there a week ago and this hadnt been resolved. If the live music doesnt wake you up next door's antiquated whirring and winding air conditioning unit will! At least it did me.

This place is like Elsie Tanner thinking she's as prime as Charlize Theron - it's on another planet as far as it's charging for what it offers:

Summary

Welcome: Poor - sign blank cheque please?
Room Design: Dreary, green carpet, dim, a bit depressing, heavy dark furniture.
Room Condition: Excellent, clean, well-fitted and provided.
Location: Fantastic, by river, close to Night Bazaar.
Grounds: Excellent/ Outstanding Garden by River and Building construction.

N.B. Garden and room have excellent wifi signal.

Conclusion

If you can afford to spend at least 100-1000 baht Less (see my other reviews) I'd recommend the Pornping Tower round the corner. It is literally over the road and closer to the Night Bazaar, you could walk it in 5 minutes, It is ultra modern, luxurious, great views, fantastic location and if you ask for a discount you'll get a room for at least half what you're paying at the River View Lodge. I know another reviewer recommended the Vanilla Place Guest House, but unless internet access is vital, I would forego this for the privelege, cupboards and chest of drawers, and even window, I know you'll have at the Pornping Tower. If they press for more than 800bahts, then the Vanilla Place is ok, or even the Green House, for half that again.

I hope all of this helps you my traveller friend.

Enjoy!

  • Liked — Internet access in room
  • Disliked — Breakfast
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank s4essene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
san francisco
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2008

we were looking forward to staying at this hotel after learning that this was the "pick" in the lonely planet. we called the hotel directly and booked a couple of nights. we were quickly disappointed to discover a dated looking room with dirty looking green carpet that smelled, no tv, and no internet access. in addition, the description of a riverside hotel conjured up images of rest and relaxation that did not pan out. the riverside view is of the brown river and there is music that is very loud directly across the river until very late at night. earplugs are a must. the hotel staff also tried to have us sign a blank credit card slip when we checked in and had already charged our credit for the first night before we had even arrived. a bit strange. the staff was not friendly, nor were they particularly helpful. we decided to change hotels to a small newly opened boutique hotel down the street called Vanilla Place that was half the price, much nicer, with tv, free wifi, run by a very sweet and helpful couple. river view lodge got some good reviews in lonely planet and on trip advisor but after seeing the competition in chiang mai i would absolutely skip this hotel!

  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank grapefruit45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NL
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 February 2008

At an excellent location and with a lovely garden, friendly service. All as it should be and this at a good price.
But bring your ear plugs. The disco at the other side of the river is loud and makes long hours. The owners of the lodge apologise and try to lobby their way. But it is a pity. Since we brought ear plugs, we hope to be back one day.

  • Liked — lush garden, very friendly service
  • Disliked — the disco
  • Stayed November 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank dutchNL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
USA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 January 2008

We stayed in one night on our way from Pai to Phuket. We called at the last minute and booked the last room they had. The room itself was depressing. Terrible dark, old furniture and furnishings just suitable enough for one nights stay. It was only $40/night. We were pretty down and out on the hotel until we saw the pool and gardens. Located right on the river, the hotel has a lovely garden/pool/terrace/cafe area with lovely river views. The hotel does have rooms that overlook the river. If we were staying here again we would book one of the river view rooms. The woman working at the front desk is wonderful! As soon as we checked in she asked us about wake up calls and ask us what time we needed a taxi the next morning. She also helped us book an unforgettable dinner at Le Coq d'Or. Not just a dinner but an amazing experience and a must do if you don't mind spending $100+ a person for dinner and wine. Check out the owners wine collection at the River View! Amazing! Overall, the hotel is great for the price. But make sure to book a river view room.

  • Stayed January 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank derbythedoggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 November 2007

This is a terrific little hotel right by the river in Chiang Mai. We recently stayed here for about a week in September.

The rooms are tastefully decorated and spacious and ours had a balcony overlooking the gardens and pool.

The owner is really friendly and seems genuinely interested in her guests. It really is like staying in someone's home.

The breakfast selection was very good (Western and Asian options) and served in the restaurant or out in the gardens. It's also served until 11am which is good for late risers.

The location is very convenient for the night market and there are a number of bars and restaurants close by.

Stayed September 2007
Helpful?
3 Thank FisherTours
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Chiang Mai hotels
0.0 mi away
Galare Guest House
Galare Guest House
#62 of 375 in Chiang Mai
4.0 of 5 bubbles 287 reviews
1.1 mi away
Rainforest Boutique
Rainforest Boutique
#53 of 375 in Chiang Mai
4.0 of 5 bubbles 850 reviews
0.4 mi away
Sakorn Residence & Hotel
Sakorn Residence & Hotel
#42 of 375 in Chiang Mai
4.5 of 5 bubbles 537 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.0 mi away
Ban Narai River Guesthouse
Ban Narai River Guesthouse
#197 of 807 in Chiang Mai
5.0 of 5 bubbles 7 reviews
0.2 mi away
Riverside House
Riverside House
#44 of 718 in Chiang Mai
4.0 of 5 bubbles 254 reviews
0.9 mi away
Sri Pat Guest House
Sri Pat Guest House
#18 of 718 in Chiang Mai
4.5 of 5 bubbles 463 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to River View Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about River View Lodge

Property: 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 #153 of 718 B&Bs / Inns in Chiang Mai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
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 
Also Known As:
River View Hotel Chiang Mai
River View Chiang Mai

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing