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“Glorious! An exceptional, quality hotel in a beautiful, exotic location!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Shangri-La Hotel, Chiang Mai

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Shangri-La Hotel, Chiang Mai
Ranked #19 of 374 Hotels in Chiang Mai
Certificate of Excellence
California
Level Contributor
33 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Glorious! An exceptional, quality hotel in a beautiful, exotic location!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 October 2009

We stayed at this lovely hotel as part of a package deal through GloboTours during the hotel's grand opening. The hotel was centrally located in Chiang Mai, the staff was friendly and quick to respond to our every need, the pool was spacious yet gave you a sense of privacy. The hotel grounds had something interesting to see at every turn. The bar was friendly and the breakfasts were wonderful, especially the exceptional fresh juice. I would happily return to this hotel and recommend it to friends and family.

  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank suecityglobal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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England
Level Contributor
43 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 October 2009

I have a history of problems with this chain of hotels; from KL to Hong Kong they've all managed to upset me to some degree so I'm determined to give these guy a fair appraisal.
Positives first:
whoever designs these hotels is a genius, the layout is fantastic and the attention to detail with decor etc is fantastic. The gardens were immaculately kept and the level of maintenance was high.
Negatives:
What frustrates me with Shangri La is that they have the potential to be so much better. The facilities they build are fantastic but in my opinion, and I'm not sure if its staff, training or management style, but they always manage to just fall short of the mark. For example, some staff spoke no english which I would say is a problem for most visitors. The bath in our room was clean but stained with dirt from lack of previous cleaning. On one day it took us 15 minutes to find a pool attendant and the best one was someone's crazy decision to hold a children's party in the main restaurant. Picture a dozen or so children aged 7 to 12 years of age running around a sophisticated buffet restaurant screaming, fighting and generally causing havoc. The look on the faces of most guests just said it all (even the staff felt awkward) and we certainly considered eating elsewhere when we were ushered to one end of the seating area because of the noise alone. Now if it were me (and I have no hotel management training whatsoever) common sense would have said that the minimum that should have happended would have been a cordoned off safe area for the party to take place. Ideally it should have taken place in a separate room away from other guests. When you consider the danger and risks caused by 12 children running riot amongst guests and hot food & beverages i think we were lucky not to see someone going to hospital.

So in conclusion, the Shangri La has the potential to be a 5 star hotel in the true sense of the word comparative to those in Bangkok who do it properly. However, in their defense for the price they're charging and if their bringing employment to local people maybe we can let them off the hook.
The restaurant fopar isn't forgiveable and I would question some of their management decisions.
I would comment further that the hotel was dead, I mean there was hardly anyone there. My colleague experinced the same a few months ago. Let's hope that this hotel will have enough quality business to keep it going and that it doesn't end up falling into the trap of accommodating low budget tour operators who will kill the ambience of their facility and drive good quality customers away.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TonyDeeEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumbai
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 October 2009

Stayed there for two nights in September and to be honest I expected more from the Shangri La. We booked the hotel by writing to their reservation department directly and were quite impressed by their speedy response. Got a decenet rate given that this was low season and the hotel was pretty much empty.

The Good -

Location - Very close to the Night Market and not in the middle of the old city like some other boutique hotels but I would recommend something closer in case you are not upto taking a fifeen minute walk to the old city. What the location does offer is some peace and quiet if you are loking for that . a short tuk tuk ride 40- 50 THB can get you to the old city gates.

Arrival Experience - Even though our flight was delayed , the airport rep and the chauffer were there at midnight since we had booked a transfer via the hotel - Toyota Camry pick up! The usual water , wet towel , flowers etc etc.

Greeted at the porch , offered a seat in the lobby and given a welcome drink. Smooth Check in process.

Breakfast - Great Breakfast - all kind of options and would be able to cater to most tastes. They even had a green tea croissant - my first ever - nice!

Excellent Laundry - Probably the best that I have ever experienced. Our rate had included Laundry so we did make use of it . We even had a special request which they willingly ceeded to without charging us extra for it.

Concierge - Helpful and efficient - we booked the flight of the gibbons thru them.

Silapa Thai Lounge - It is a nice place but there seemed to be some sort of photo shoot going on there when we arrived so we decided to sit in the outside area. THERE ARE TWO WELCOME DRINK COUPONS THAT YOU MAY GET WHEN YOU CHECK INTO THE HOTEL. THEY ARE ONLY FOR A SPECIAL COCKTAIL THAT THEY MAKE AND CANNOT BE SUBSTITUTED FOR ANY OTHER DRINK . I made that mistake. Even if you are told it is ok you can have an altenate drink, please do not take the word of the server but go for the printed words on the coupon only.

The NOT - SO - GOOD

Mini Bar - Very basic with no alcoholic beverages. - We were in room 513 ! Never stayed in a room with the number 13 on it! That was a first.

Room - Large and Spacious with a view of the pool . REMEMBER _ WHEN YOU STAY AT THIS HOTEL ASK FOR POOL VIEW AND NOT MOUNTAIN VIEW - the latter is just a sham . The mountains from the Hotel are almost 5-7 KM away and you may see them on a clear day! The pool view is definitely better.

Bathroom - Had a glass partition with the room like you see in most hotel nowadays but a word of caution . The wooden door that covers it can only be shut or opened from outside the bathroom and there is no way to do so from within the bathroom.

House keeping - most inefficient - We left the room at 0800 hrs for a tour that we had booked via the Concierge and came back at 1400 hrs to find the room not done up. Upon calling the desk to inform them they seemed surprised and that was it. Someone came by to do it up. One would have expected better co - ordination between departments to ensure that the room had been made up in our absence. what was most irritating was that the hotel was not even full up and they could still not manage to service rooms in time.

Pool and Gym - Again because of low occcupancy, there were not too many people there. We wanted to use the jacuzzi that next to the pool and while an attendant did come and start it- it wwent off in less than 5 minutes. To my horror there was mud and dirt inside the jacuzzi and upon calling this attendant- ( all man with his dark glasses) again , he did see it , go into one corner and make some calls but not once did he apologise or do any service recovery.

I immediately got out and not in the mood to spoil my holiday decide to use the steam or the hot tub inside the gym areas. Steam room had no steam and the hot tub was not even on. Futher more there was no one on hand to assist . After much searching my wife foudn one attendant in the ladies area cleaning up who finally came by and helped. IT did seem again that just because there was low occupancy the hotel staff had gone lax. I still do believe that that itself is not justification to deprive other guests of facilitites when they are staying there.

Post Departure Contact from hotel - Had sent a request to the hotel post my departure for something . Am yet to hear from them . I guess they must all be in SHANGRI LA!!!

  • Liked — Large Room Size and Laundry Service
  • Disliked — House Keeping and Pool side Service
  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank OenoIndo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mumbai
Level Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 June 2009

It was my first in any Shangri La hotel.Overall experience in the hotel was excellent. Restaurant is great with variety of continental food. Swimming pool and Gym facility is great. Overall i would recommend this hotel for everyone.

Stayed March 2009, travelled on business
Helpful?
2 Thank vijaydhiman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bucks
Level Contributor
93 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 May 2009

We stayed in a Horizon Club room with good views of the city. The room was large and comfortable. The Horizon Club staff were very helpful and courteous. For all the hotel staff nothing was too much trouble. We had a very pleasant stay

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sunnypBucks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surrey, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 May 2009

We stayed one night at the Shangri-la Chiang Mai in May 2009 because of the very good price we got, due no doubt to the various forces that have left the Thai tourism industry in shambles: political crisis, incidents of violence in which tourists got caught in, and the world economy. This hotel was actually set to be the site of the recent ASEAN summit meeting, which would have been a major boon to this 2-year old hotel from the reputable Shangri-la chain, but due to violent political demonstrations, the meeting was rescheduled and moved to Hua Hin instead, leaving the Shangri-la Chiang Mai in a way without its official "entree" into the world of luxury hotels in Chiang Mai. For reference, when we travel, we prefer to stay at 5-star resorts and hotels with character and that special little something to remember them by.

The Shangri-la Chiang Mai has all the trappings of 5-star luxury: gorgeous lobby, pool area, fitness center (with heated whirlpool, sauna, and a steam room — the steam room didn't work, though, when I was there). The rooms are beautifully appointed, on the small side for comparable hotels in the area. The rooms have no balcony (what the staff cllassifies as a "city" hotel, so no balcony). I would have loved a balcony, to relax in the evening and catch the cool breeze (and also to moderate temperature — see my comments on air-conditioning below). The bathroom is beautifully appointed — gorgeous really, with a glass wall on the bedroom side that can be shielded by a wooden panel.

The staff is super friendly, accommodating, and gracious. The housekeeping personnel are efficient and helpful. Luggage service and housekeeping requests take long for some reason, even though the hotel is not very busy.

The hotel gives you free high-speed LAN internet access in the room and free WIFI in the lobby, which is great. Most of the hotels in Chiang Mai do this, a trend which I highly applaud. Only the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevia still charges a hefty fee for internet. In Bangkok, most of the luxury hotels (including the Shangri-la Bangkok) also charge for internet access, which is rather crazy in this day and age. All the smaller hotels provide it free of charge.

The location is OK but the neighborhood outside the hotel's door is kind of run-down. We take tuk-tuks everywhere and they are reasonably cheap.

A few cons:

1. Air-conditioning is temperamental. When we arrived, the room was a bit stuffy because there was no window and the air-con had been off for what must have been a long time. The top covers on the bed had a musty smell. Soon after we settled in, the temperature dropped to very cold even though we had set the dial to 25 degrees. It was so cold we had to wear a bathrobe and were still shivering. So we moved to the dial to 30 degrees before we went to bed. We then woke up in the middle of the night sweating because it was so warm. We don't know what to make of it: the air-con dial doesn't reflect the actual temperature of the room.

2. The hotel, though furnished to a very high standard of luxury, lacks both character and charm for us. We are big on special places and this place is not "special." It feels just like any other nice 5-star hotels in Bangkok and elsewhere, no little touches that make for a memorable stay. It's a pity because Chiang Mai has a long and interesting heritage of Lanna culture and architecture. Many of the other luxury resorts reflect this in their design, making you feel like you are some place special and unique, one that is steeped in history and tradition.

3. It's not far from the river but not on the river, whereas comparable 5-star properties around here are on the river, which makes for an amazing ambience in the evenings sitting on the banks of the river catching the breeze.

4. The water in the swimming pool gets too warm for swimming for me, way hotter than any other swimming pool I've been in. It's so warm, the air actually feels cool when you leave the pool, even though it is 35 degrees outside (but because the water is hotter, you feel the air is cooler). I think this has to do with the pool being shallow (shoulder height) and the dark tiles they use in the pool which absorb all the heat during the day. I have not had this problem with other shallow swimming pools that get full sun exposure, but then they all have light-colored tiles. The dark-colored tiles look very nice and elegant but are probably not practical for the tropics.

All in all, this is a very nice, rather generic 5-star hotel. There are more unique and charming 5-star hotels nearby for about the same price or less that I prefer to be staying in, though. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with the hotel, that's why I give it 5 stars in all categories. Whereas I'll be remember some of the truly special places I've been to for a very long time to come, the Shangri-la Chiang Mai didn't leave me feeling like I've been somewhere unique and out of this world.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Affordable_Style
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
40 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 April 2009

My wife and I just stayed 5 nights here and we could not be happier. We had a club floor standard room which we upgraded to a Premier room after the first night because it was so reasonably priced. Its probebly due to the economic downturn. I suggest you also check it out after you arrive. They were looking for ways to provide service. We would stay there again.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MrBill_89509
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shangri-La Hotel, Chiang Mai

Property: Shangri-La Hotel, Chiang Mai
Address: 89/8 Chang Klan Road, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Chiang Mai Province > Chiang Mai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge 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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Business Hotel in Chiang Mai
#10 Spa Hotel in Chiang Mai
#11 Family Hotel in Chiang Mai
#13 Luxury Hotel in Chiang Mai
#13 Romantic Hotel in Chiang Mai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Shangri-La Hotel, Chiang Mai 5*
Number of rooms: 281
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ideally located on Chang Klan Road, the Shangri-La Hotel, Chiang Mai is within easy walking distance of the city's famous Night Bazaar. Situated in a lush garden setting, the hotel is just a 10 minute drive from Chiang Mai International Airport. It also enjoys close proximity to fascinating museums, cultural centers, and Chiang Mai's numerous temples, shops and boutiques. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shangri La Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai Shangri La

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