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“Unreliable”
Review of Mandala House

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Mandala House
Ranked #177 of 737 Chiang Mai B&B and Inns
Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
24 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Unreliable”
Reviewed 1 March 2010

I read such great reviews of the place @ Trip Advisor, it didn't take much thinking to book this place as well. Boy, was I in for a shock.

I had booked and confirmed a 3 night stay at Mandala House with a S. Chatthorn.
However, upon arrival, they could only confirm a 1 night stay and they had no more availability. I had confirmed the room a month in advance and the hotel had ample time to email me if they had accidentally overbooked.

Just not reliable at all.

Stayed February 2010, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank June_F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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321 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 January 2010

We had booked elsewhere and changed to Mandala House after stopping by and seeing the value for money. Great rooms, breakfast and wireless included, laundry service right across the street, and a short walk through the neighborhood to main roads and the night market. Will also hold luggage for a few days (we went up to Pai and back). Will definitely return when we go back.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank dtrofgod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
35 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 January 2010

I really wanted to like Mandala House. I had done a ton of research and I am familiar with that area of Chiang Mai - but because of numerous problems (that might not bother others) I decided to move to another guesthouse after one night even though I had to forfeit my 5000 baht deposit.

Several months earlier I sent my deposit (which was not an easy transaction; it took many emails back and forth) and booked what was to have been a very long stay in one of the suites. The rate offered was average before all the extras were added on.

After flying halfway around the world, I was tired and very hot when I arrived at Mandala House in mid-October; all I wanted to do was shower and rest. When I first walked into the room, I was surprised at how dark it was during a sunny afternoon. Maybe some other rooms are brighter, but in this particular room I needed to turn on all the lights just to unpack. Unfortunately more than half the light bulbs were burned out. A handyman, Mr. Cheng, (who was absolutely fabulous), did his best to replace some of them but there weren't enough bulbs on hand.

There were ants crawling in the bathroom and on the walls of the room, but again Mr. Cheng came to the rescue with a can of bug spray.

I was ready to take a shower but noticed not only the mold all around the bathtub but also there was no shower curtain to keep the water inside the tub if I used the wall-mounted shower head. Therefore a "stand-up" shower just wasn't going to be very practical. Also there were no washcloths. But guess what? Mr. Cheng said his wife had some at home and he actually went to his house and then returned to Mandala House with two washcloths as a gift for me! I was very, very impressed.

However, when I turned on the water it was almost non-existent; you wouldn't even be able to wash your hands in it, let alone take a shower. Again Mr. Cheng came to my room and told me that some kind of water pump outside had shut down. He restarted it and there was good water pressure after that.

In this hot city the single a/c unit was not able to cool the large room, unfortunately. I'm accustomed to sleeping in a cool bedroom and I don't come from a tropical climate, so the weather in Chiang Mai during the hotter and rainier season is not easy for me. All night I was sweating in bed, sorry to say. (For some people the a/c might not be a problem during the relatively cooler months of December and early January.) Also, my room rate did not include electricity so keeping the a/c on increased my costs significantly.

The next morning, I asked the receptionist at the front desk about bottled drinking water. She told me that because I was paying the monthly rate, not the daily rate, there would be an extra charge per bottle of water I used. I never encountered that in any previous guesthouse or hotel.

When I travel overseas I don’t expect everyone to speak my language, but in most business establishments there is usually at least one person who can communicate somewhat in the universal language. English was a major barrier at Mandala House, however. "Sorry, no understand" was something I heard multiple times in less than 24 hours there.

The next day I walked throughout the city and found a lovely guesthouse at a price 40% lower that actually includes water, good a/c, free bicycles, no extra charge for electricity, no bugs, English speaking staff, free wi-fi, free fruit and drinks all day, a very large room and one of the most comfortable beds I've ever slept in. I moved from Mandala House immediately and have not regretted it; in fact I’m still at the other guesthouse three months later. (Check the list of my reviews and you’ll find it.)

I waited several months to write this review because I wanted to be able to put everything in proper perspective.

Summary:
Positives: Location; suite included separate dining area with a sink; and of course Mr. Cheng.

Negatives: Ants, a/c not strong enough, bathroom issues, dark and dreary room, difficult communication, everything costs extra if you book at the monthly rate, refund of deposit not offered.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Joel1950dc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Copenhagen
Level Contributor
21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 December 2009

We stayed in Mandala House for 3 weeks in november/december 09. We were only planning to stay a week, but we had such a good time here that we ended up staying a lot longer.

We stayed in room nr. 303, a newly redecorated suite with lots of natural light (1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 1 living room with kitchenette). We paid 1000 B/night for this spacious room incl. an extra bed. Price was without breakfast, which was our own choice. There are 2 fridges in the room, so it is really easy to keep your own yoghurt, fruit etc. The small kitchen area has a sink, water heater and a microwave oven. There are no plates or cutlery, but we asked at the hotel restaurant and it was no problem to borrow some. Nice to have for breakfast, takeaway etc.

Bathroom is also nice and big and has a bathtub. There is plenty of storage space, small tables and chairs and a sofa. There are 2 tvs and lots of channels. Wifi is free. Bedroom is big and has a double bed. There are 2 aircons, one in each room, but we never used them.

Location is perfect! It is in the quiet sois of Thapae Rd., but located right between and very close to both Thapae Gate and Night Bazaar. Warorot Market is also quite close. For night life, Loi Kroh Rd. is just around the corner. There is no swimming pool, but there are pools in some of the nearby hotels (e.g. Raming Lodge) that you can pay to use.

We didn't use the restaurant a lot, but it looked fine. We wen to the nearby "The Garden" quite a few times. Great western food and lots of bread and delicious cakes. We normally bought a loaf of bread for our breakfast there.

Hotel staff was friendly and helpful. We rented bicycles which was the perfect way to get around. The area has a lot of laundry shops offering to wash and dry clothes for 30 B/kg.

We would definitely come back and were quite sad to leave Mandala House.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MangoKat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anchorage, Alaska
Level Contributor
170 reviews
134 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 December 2009

Really enjoyed the stay here - great value for money spent. The breakfast was a little slow coming one morning. But another morning when we were leaving before breakfast was served, they had food packed & ready for us to take.

The rooms actually had a separate shower. The shower curtain had quite a bit of mildew (room for improvement there), but it was nice not to get water all over the bathroom.

I'd stay here again if in Chiang Mai.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Cdnclan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southern Thailand
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 October 2009

We have stayed here several times as we live north of Chiang mai and sometimes like to have a weekend in the city. The staff is very friendly, the rooms are super clean and cheerful and tastefully designed as is the whole hotel. We have stayed in both the double room and the triple rooms (we prefer the double room as the triple has a bit too much furniture). They will put an extra bed in the double room. TV options are limited, like so many hotels now, which my daughter complains about. Breakfast is good and inexpensive and the seating area is a lovely outdoor area. Recently they added an espresso machine to the kitchen. Located in a quite soi, there are also 2 other breakfast options near by if you stay more then a day (try the Garden for excellent friendly breakfast).

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ThailandGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 31 August 2009

I hated our experience at Mandala House. We found it early in the morning after a long bus ride from Bangkok. I asked to see the room, which was nice enough, and was told that it came with breakfast. The hotel staffer quoted me B700/night, but then said he could give me a discount at B600. I haggled down to B500/night. I thought it was a terrific deal; however, he neglected to tell us that the price did not include breakfast, which we only learned the next morning. As we had scheduled an early morning class, we had no time to look for another place to stay, or even have breakfast, and as the staff provided absolutely no help in finding another place to eat, we were forced to eat the TERRIBLY overpriced breakfast at Mandala House. Seriously, other hotels in Chiang Mai are inexpensive enough, and people shouldn't have to deal with this kind of duplicity. DON'T GO TO MANDALA HOUSE!

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BrooklynStella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mandala House

Property: Mandala House
Address: 71 Thapae Rd. Lane 4 Muang District, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Chiang Mai Province > Chiang Mai
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #177 of 737 B&Bs / Inns in Chiang Mai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Mandala House 3*
Number of rooms: 24
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Mandala House Hotel Chiang Mai

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