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“A rundown Disney Theme Park with real live Mickey Mouse!”

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The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai
Ranked #2 of 375 Hotels in Chiang Mai
Certificate of Excellence
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
31 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“A rundown Disney Theme Park with real live Mickey Mouse!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 September 2012

Where do I begin ? I visited this hotel when it first opened around 7-8 years ago . It was such spectacular site that I completely got lost in its enchanting beauty.There were replicas of temples ,Pagodas and an actual rice field ( with rice farmers !) inside the vast hotel ground.

Fast forward to 2012 and upon my return I was shocked that what was once a pristine beautiful hotel is now a run down Disney theme park that is more shabby than super chic.

I booked a Villa for 2 with breakfast that cost me around 670 USD and also a round trip airport transfer which was around 76 USD. The correspondents between the hotel and myself via email was very clear and all my questions were answer promptly. The Reservation officer was so helpful in booking restaurants and giving suggestions that I had a great feeling about my one nighter at the hotel .

I arrived in Chiang Mai in the morning and was met with a representative of the hotel who showed me to my 'limo'- a stretch white Mercedes Benz decked out in a retro fashion . All very James Bond circa 1970s . I was greeted on my arrival with a Mali flower necklace , a cold towel and a cold drink . The check in process was swift and I was told that my room was upgraded to a Villa which made me a little confused as I had booked a Villa Room in the first place .

I was showed to my room and because of the vastness of the place we had to take a ride in a golf cart . That was when I noticed that something was a little off . The pristine white walls of the hotel are now covered in murky gray streaks . The intended unkempt lush tropical gardens now just looked like messy. The walls of the villas looked like they were in dire need of repairs .The red brick pavements were damaged and have been repaired but the workmanship looked so patchy that I began to question where I was . Was this really Mandarin Oriental or some broke down palace passing itself off as a luxury resort .

Upon entering my villa I was quite impressed . It was huge and split into two levels . The open air downstairs complete with kitchen and dining area and a swing . Lovely . The upstairs bedroom has a en suite bathroom with a whirlpool tub , separate shower and toilet . It was very big indeed . I unpacked my bag and decided to hit the gym before my friend's arrival in the late afternoon.

The gym is big and it was empty. There were various machines as well as a workout bench and row of free weights . The gym is next to one of the pools. I was told that this pool was more beautiful than the other pool which was just your regular infinity pool . I finished my exercise 1.5 hour later and decided to walk back to my villa which was not very far from the gym . I had bought some snacks from Starbucks from the airport in Bangkok and after my workout I was looking forward to munching them while sitting on the swing in the comfort of my villa.

I opened the villa door to my upstairs bedroom and I was shocked at what I was looking at ! A gigantic RAT was rummaging through my bag and Starbucks' goodies ! OMG " ARGGGGGGGGGGGGG " I yelled at the top of my voice prompting the rat to run towards me so I stomped my foot on the floor and it ran to the opposite direction ! I could not believe this. A BIG FAT RAT on the writing desk in my villa at the luxurious Mandarin Oriental ! OMGx10000 !!!

I called the hotel operator in a panic and asked her to send someone to catch Mickey who I assumed was still in my room . A gardener came and he asked me whether what I saw was actually a Squirrel as they have a lot of Squirrels on the property . I was so mad and that point and told him that I could tell the differences between a squirrel and a bloody big fat rat ! I was told that the GM would come to my villa shortly. The GM is actually a very pretty lady called Ms Champunuch who was very apologetic and told me that she would move me to another room. She informed me that they were rained out for two days straight due to a tropical storm and they had to use heavy duty pest control method to get rid of all the pests which evidently escaped into guestrooms !

She got me on her golf cart and drove me to my new room which is this lovely pool villa that comes with its own steam room and a huge four poster bed. Ms Champunuch also sent over some treats ( cakes and fruits ) to make up for my Mickey Mouse run in . My friend arrived a few hours later and we went to have dinner at one of the hotel's restaurants called Le Grand Lanna which serves traditional Northern Thai food and regular Thai food. The food was very nice and the staffs were very charming . We walked back and I realised that what was once a spectacular site is now a Disney-fied version of its former glory . It was almost like being in a movie set and not in a good way.

We had a pleasant sleep and went for breakfast in the morning . It was pitiful. There were many choices but I thought the presentation was just awful for a Mandarin Oriental. The fruits were left on trays without any covers and had swarms of flies al over them . The staffs were very helpful but I couldn't stop reminding myself that this is THE MANDARIN ORIENTAL ! For heaven's sake ! I have come to expect a certain standard from this chain . I have stayed at Mandarin Oriental all over the world and this breakfast to me would not look out of place at a naff resort hotel.

I checked out and they charged me the price of the villa , my round trip transport and my dinner with absolutely no discount for my encounter with a field rat which was fine. I could afford it but it's also safe to say that I won't becoming A FAN of this Mandarin Oriental .

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
16 Thank kade9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,302 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (212)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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English first
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
27 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2012

If somone would have showed me that Hotel and told me that it is the temple of the King I would actually go ahead and say "Wow what a nice temple!".

Thats how amazing the building looks. Never seen anything like that during my trips around the world. It is just breath taking. There are different kind of accomodations from colonial suits to houses and stuff.

All 3 restaurants are good. I liked the thai one the best. Also there is a horse car and a minicar service that can transport you through the hotel.

The staff is extremly friendly just like you would expect it to be. Also more friendly than in other culture since south east asians are more caring and smiling than other cultures which makes the experience even better. Also one thing worth mentioning is that the staff could speak very proper english which is somewhat rare in Thailand.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank yugobetrugo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
125 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2012

The majority of staff at Mandarin Oriental Chiangmai were well-trained and helpful which made its hotel guests feel welcome. The resort is huge with facilities and activities organized for meeting the needs of every hotel guest - family and couples. I in particular love the library - spacious & tranquil. The afternoon tea was worth trying too. After a long day, I would also immerse into the spa service for relaxation. The breakfast selection was fantastic which provided different types of fruits and oriental as well as western food. For the hot buffet section, the chef would make some changes to the menu everyday so that you would never feel bored should you stay for a week or so.

The downside was the mosquito problem. While the staff spray the insect repellent on a regular basis, it was still very serious. I was bitten 8 times in my room during my stay. One night I spray some mosquito repellent inside the mosquito net, I found 2 dead mosquitoes on my bed when I went to sleep. You might wonder why it only happened indoor. That's because I would spray the mosquito repellent from my neck down every time before I went out.

All in all, it is a lovely resort which is worth staying.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Karmaexplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 September 2012

The hotel is very amazing. Room is roomy and comfortable. Breakfast is one the best in Chang with good variety. Staff are very friendly and make a real effort. The SPA is little expensive but its one of the best. Everhting is perfect. I have a great time here.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Kafo M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Phuket, Thailand
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 August 2012

Staying at at this hotel was perfectly exceptional experience for us. The hotel's architecture itself is amazing. The ambience and atmosphere inside is peaceful. We like the big trees, beautiful gardens, and the interesting rice field. We stayed in a colonial suits and it was indeed a wonderful luxurious stay. The furnitures in the building and inside the room are in high quality with elegant designs.
The breakfast buffet was excellent. Staffs were very hospitable with warm welcoming in guests.
We were having a very good time while relaxing in this beautiful hotel. Staying at this hotel is a great value for money indeed.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Sonita K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 August 2012

My sister and I bought our mother to celebrate her 90th birthday. We all had an amazing and very special time. The colonial suite accommodated the 3 of us very well. Everything was perfect from the moment we drove up and were greeted by very professional and friendly staff, the three restaurants were very different and exceptional and we had the best massages we have ever had . Our mother had one on one classes with the yoga master and he had her moving more flexibly than she had for several years. The week stay was an experience of a life time.

Room Tip: The colonial rooms next to the swimming pool was very convenient.
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank susanne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
86 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2012

We stayed here to celebrate a friends 40th birthday, 7 of us in total and from the moment we pulled up the long drive and caught site of the hotel we knew we were onto something special. The hotel is Thai/colonial style, all wood and whitewashed walls, truly stunning. We stayed in the colonial suite and it was everything we expected and more, our balcony was so big we could have held a party on it and the suite was enormous with a lounge, dining room, bedroom, hallway, 3 toilets, dressing room and enormous bathroom. The staff here are so attentive, nothing is too much trouble for them, the pool guy was forever serving me bottled water and moving my sunlounger for me so I could catch the sun and when we swam in the pool we were delighted to hear underwater piped music! The food here is something else, our first night we dined Thai style and there was so much food that we couldn't eat it all and it was so well presented and Thai dancers too to entertain us!
We even went for a bike ride around the stunning grounds and (working) paddy fields, hubby had a massage at the spa and said it was the best he had ever had! The Horn Bar was great too as we made our way through the endless cocktail list. The second night we had a private BBQ on the terrace and it totally blew us away, the staff used dozens of tealight candles to spell "Happy Birthday Mr Robinson" to our friend and we had our own personal chefs to serve us the most exquisite food we have ever tasted. The week before we arrived Sylvester Stallone & Angelina Jolie stayed here (not together I hasten to add!) so if it's good enough for A listers then it's good enough for me!
A special place well worth a visit (we have been back twice since) especially for that special occasion.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Helen N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai

Property: The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai
Address: 51/4 Moo 1, Chiang Mai - Sankampaeng Road | Tha Sala, Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Chiang Mai Province > Chiang Mai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Chiang Mai
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Chiang Mai
#1 Family Hotel in Chiang Mai
#1 Business Hotel in Chiang Mai
#2 Spa Hotel in Chiang Mai
#2 Luxury Hotel in Chiang Mai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai 5*
Number of rooms: 123
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai is set on 60 acres of verdant tranquil grounds in the historical heartland of Northern Thailand. The hotel's unique design draws from the region's rich architectural and cultural heritage that flourished during the Lanna period, which lasted from the mid-13th century until the mid-16th century, and enjoyed a further resurgence in the last 200 years. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai Hotel Chiang Mai
Mandarin Oriental Chiang Mai
Mandarin Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai Mandarin Oriental

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