We stayed for 5 nights at the Anantara as part of our honeymoon. I will start with the positive...The hotel and grounds are beautiful and a little oasis amongst the busy city. We loved our kasara suite with large balcony overlooking the river. The hotel is in a great location for the night markets and we particularly liked Anusara Market with its handmade goods by local artists. The breakfast is good and food at the restaurant and room service is nice. However do not come to this hotel expecting 5 or even 4* service. We paid not far off £200 a night for our room and the service we received just did not justify it and we felt it let down the stay. On arrival at the hotel we had to wait around 40 minutes for our room to be ready even though we arrived after the check in time. We had requested a room on the top floor with a river view. We were eventually taken to the room and it was neither of these. Upon querying this we were told a mistake had been made and we could have a river view room but we would need to wait another 2 hours. We had a long day of travelling and just wanted to unpack and relax.
The Anantara used to be the Chedi Chiang Mai until late last year when there was a management take over. The staff remain the same but there seems to be great confusion amongst them about who is entitled to what. If a booking was made when the hotel was still the Chedi it would mean you were entitled to different things than if you made a more recent booking at the now Anantara.
We did not feel that the staff explained well enough what we were entitled to as part of our booking and when we queried anything this also led to great confusion partly I think due to the lack of of English spoken by any of the staff. We had booked an upgraded package which included a free mini bar to be replenished everyday. On arrival to the room the mini bar was stocked with soft drinks as well as several beers and bottles of spirits. We wanted to check that everything was complimentary so called reception. We were told that the beers and spirits were included. However the next day after housekeeping had been we discovered that these had been taken away. After another confusing call to reception and we were told these were not included. This was fine but we just wanted to know where we were. Room service said that due to the confusion they would bring us some complimentary spirits which was great. They promptly arrived and we hoped to enjoy them the following evening. However on our return to the room the following day after a busy day out we found the complimentary drinks had been taken away again!!! And so it continues...
The upgraded package in the suites entitles you to breakfast in the Kasara Lounge. On our first morning we did not know where this was as it had not been explained so we wandered around the restaurant. We asked and were told that we could go upstairs and have breakfast in the lounge if we wanted to but the choice wasn't as good as the main restaurant. Surely this should not be the case? From then on we just ate in the normal restaurant. The upgraded package also entitled us to free cocktails and canapés in the lounge every evening between 6-8pm. We had since discovered that the normal Kasara lounge had a month long private function and therefore could not been used by guests. Instead we were directed to a seated area above the restaurant which was nothing special. Cocktail and wine choice were fairly good but the lounge was completely dead with no music, people or atmosphere. It did not encourage you to want to stay after more than one or two drinks. Maybe that was the point! We found this a common theme throughout our stay. There was no music or entertainment whatsoever at the hotel in the evenings unless somebody had paid extra for a private dining meal and you could catch a glimpse of the Thai dancing provided for them for maybe 30 minutes. The hotel and restaurant were completely dead in the evenings. If you ate in the restaurant chances are you would be the only ones there. We felt the hotel completely lacked any ambiance in the evening. Maybe by providing some music or entertainment for guests it would have given them a reason to stick around. The seating in the lobby area is beautiful and we would love to have enjoyed some drinks whilst relaxing there but even though there were menus on the table this did not seem to be an option and we left after 30 minutes as there was nobody about to take our order.
The Anantara was lovely but I wouldn't stay there again. The level of service just doesn't justify the prices. We stayed in the Shangri-La in Bangkok and the service was out of this world so would maybe give that a go in Chiang Mai. Definitely do not take the upgraded package for drinks. You will not get your money's worth out of it. It would be cheaper to just pay for the cocktails as and when you want them at the bar. With the atmosphere in the evenings though you will probably want to go elsewhere anyway.
Overall staff were pleasant but did not go out of their way for anything. It was an extremely average service and not what you would expect at all from a hotel of this calibre. Mistakes were made with currency exchange and at the end of our stay there was no offer of help to bring our bags from our room on the long walk back to reception.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Edging the meandering Mae Ping River, Anantara Chiang Mai Resort is conveniently situated a mere five minute walk to the famous Night Bazaar and only 10 minutes from the quaint and traditional attractions of the old moated city. Explore authentic Thai areas, seemingly endless markets and the city's quirky art culture with its bohemian vibe as well as popular cosmopolitan hangouts and a growing wellness scene. Surrounding the valley in which Chiang Mai resides, verdant mountains are home to vast national parks of virgin rainforest, impressive waterfalls and rare flora and fauna. Discover countless Buddhist temples, timeless hill tribe communities, exotic animal sanctuaries and fascinating handicraft villages, as well as historic ruins that tell a tale of a time when Chiang Mai was the capital of the ancient Lanna Kingdom. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Chedi Chiang Mai Hotel Chiang Mai
- Chedi Chiang Mai