Absolutely FLAWLESS service!!! This is the first time this has ever happened to us. The service was perfect in every way, not a single mistake of any kind. In fact it was literally “word” perfect – every order or instruction was repeated back to us without the slightest error. I thought I understood what five star service meant, but apparently not. For example, not only was laundry done very well – they removed an ink stain that a previous hotel failed at – they even took the time to unwrap it, and hang each item in the closet with other similar items. I have never seen that done before.
I must correct a misrepresentation in the current edition of a major guide book – this hotel is not hard to get around. Walking was not a big deal, and enjoyable as the property is beautiful. When we didn’t want to walk, we needed to only pick up the phone and a golf cart was there within 5 minutes to take us wherever we wanted to go. They offer horse and buggy rides, and bicycles if you wish.
We received a complimentary upgrade (which we appreciated immensely) to a villa with the jetted private plunge pool and two story gazebo. We could walk out of our second story bedroom, and then walk across the wood bridge to the second level of the gazebo – which was our favorite place to sit outside. Our villa was very large with more space than two people will ever need. The bathroom area was awesome with a large closet and dressing area, and a stunning corner Jacuzzi bath tub which was huge. I want that tub in my house! We had an indoor/outdoor shower and a steam room. There was a mini bar on each floor, plus a really good espresso machine. We had lots of water features, with streams flowing past the front and back of our villa. The villa has been finished to a high standard with quality wood work throughout. We had a nice desk in a separate office area.
Here’s something you must try – we ordered the afternoon tea service. They sent two people to set up an elaborate white table cloth spread, with a tiered silver serving tray full of an assortment of biscuits and treats. We asked to have the tea outside on the upper gazebo, which was no problem. Not a single detail was over looked here either. They rolled down the blinds so the late afternoon sun wouldn’t be in our faces, set the ceiling fan going, put the lights on… the whole set up was perfect. The tea service included some ice cream, the best coconut ice cream we had on the trip, and probably ever. It was very reasonably priced.
My wife liked the daily turn down with little pillow gifts. The in room dining is great, the service prompt and the dishes were collected promptly. I liked the two floor villa layout - we ate our room service dinner down stairs and then retired upstairs allowing the table to be cleared without intrusion. A great complimentary espresso coffee machine is supplied. The concierge service was excellent - I rattled off a list of things we wanted and everything was done exactly as we wanted with no trouble. The buffet breakfast was excellent. My wife inquired about a buffet item and ended up with a server walking around with her explaining each dish as they went. We even had a flutist playing for us while riding a buffalo in the garden below. I guess this is what a true five star hotel is all about – exceeding expectations we didn’t know we had!
I really liked Chiang Mai town. While my wife did a jewelry making course at Nova Collection (highly recommended) I walked around, got massages, had lunch etc. without anyone approaching me or bothering me in anyway. This is a nice area to poke around safely.
Skip the tour to the Golden Triangle, there is nothing there to justify the very long drive. The tribal villages are not very good - we thought they were a waste of time better spent in the hotel. Avoid the Cabbages and Condoms restaurants on tours in this area, they are not very good, so let your guide know up front. Do go to Tigerland – we were thrilled. The market at the Burmese border is very lively and interesting – our favorite on this trip – ask your guide to allow a couple of hours to explore, shop for reasonably priced souvenirs, and check out the unusual foods.
One last thing - the spa is amazing. The facilties are awsome, and the service providers are trained well beyond typical North American luxury spas. Expect to pay U$100 to $150 an hour, but it is well worth it.
- 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