We love Thailand, and have visited the country many times but have never previously been to Chiang Rai.
Le Meriden Chiang Rai is a contemporary Thai styled resort located on the banks of the Mae Kok river – about 1 hours drive from the Golden Triangle. It opened in November 2008. Congratulations must go to all those involved in starting up and working at this hotel as it is very unusual for such a new hotel to deliver the very high standard of service that we experienced during our stay. The hotel only had a few other guests staying, so we hope that the high standards can be maintained as it becomes more popular.
The hotels gardens already look established, partly due to the retention of some beautiful trees in the grounds, a couple of which we were informed, are over 100 years old.
The design of the pools, lakes, lobbies and restaurants is outstanding. The large guest rooms are contemporarily furnished to a high standard, with all the amenities you would expect in a Le Meriden hotel, including complimentary tea, coffee and drinking water.
The breakfast buffet is of particular note. It was one of the best we have had anywhere. There are two on site restaurant options for lunch and dinner. ‘Flavor’ has an Italian inspired menu. The other restaurant offers a slightly limited assortment of western and a few Thai dishes. Overall the quality of food and service was impressive although I think it would be better to offer a wider choice of Thai food options. Chiang Rai itself has plenty of Thai restaurants but they are all rather ‘local’ and not necessarily appropriate for western digestive systems.
We used the hotel car for sightseeing trips. Exclusive use of a hotel car and an English speaking driver cost a reasoanble 600 baht per hour ++. There is plenty to do and see in the area. We visited the outstandingly beautiful Doi Tong Royal Villa and gardens of the King’s Mother. This is a ‘must see’ whilst visiting the area. The White Temple and Mae Fahluang Cultural park are also wonderful. Driving around Thailand can be a scary and the country as a whole as an appallingly high road accident rate. All the hotel drivers we had were extremely good, cautious, and we felt very safe.
The hotel has a small gym with quite a reasonable assortment of brand new equipment.
Overall I can say that this has been one of the better short trips (our stay was for 4 nights) that we have had for quite a few years. Again,thanks go to all the staff who made us feel so very welcome.
As with other resorts of this type, expect reasonable value on the basic room and breakfast package, and then pay ‘European’ prices for all the extras. I am sure the hotels spa is wonderful, but the prices put us off trying it out. Beyond this comment the only other bit of feedback to management is that the sun lounger cushions are too hard.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The resort occupies an idyllic 26-rai site directly on the banks of the Mae Kok River, moments from Chiang Rai town and a one hour drive from the Golden Triangle where the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar converge. The resort is set at the heart of beautiful landscaped gardens complete with a tranquil man-made lake and two majestic 100-year-old rain trees. Surrounded by magnificent mountain scenery, the neighbouring community is a jewel waiting to be explored. Nearby attractions include Rai Mae Fah Luang, Le Méridien's chosen UnLock Art site, and Oub Kham Museum which houses a collection of objects from the ancient Lanna kingdom, Myanmar, southwest China, and Vietnam. Nearby attractions include Wat Phra Kaew, the temple that once housed the Emerald Buddha, and the Hill Tribe Education Centre with its fascinating display of tribal artefacts and handicrafts. Boat trips along the Mae Kong River are available from the town of Chiang Khong, with stops along the way at villages of interest. Ethnic groups living in the province include Karen, Lisu, Lahu, Akha, Meo, and Yao, and it is possible to arrange treks into the hill tribe villages with experienced local guides. Mae Sai is 62 kilometres north of Chiang Rai and makes for an interesting day trip. This busy trading post borders Myanmar, and it is possible to cross the bridge to visit the bustling market in Tha Khi Lek. Phu Chi Fa is a spectacular viewpoint. The impressive views are best enjoyed early in the morning, particularly in the cool season when mist covers the valley floor. A highlight to any trip to Chiang Rai is a visit to the Doi Tung Development Project. Started as a royal initiative to help eradicate opium supply, drug use, and rural poverty, the project offers villagers with a practical and sustainable alternative. The project focuses on development, education, training, humanitarian activities, environmental conservation, agriculture, and the production of quality crafts. At the summit of Doi Tung, visitors can visit Phra That Doi Tung, a chedi constructed in 911 A.D and one of the oldest and most sacred sites in northern Thailand. The chedi is said to contain the collarbone of Buddha. Le Méridien Chiang Rai Resort, Thailand is located close to the town centre and a short drive from Chiang Rai Airport. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Le Meridien Chiang Rai Hotel Chiang Rai
- Meridien Chiang Rai