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“Exceptionally good new hotel”

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Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort
Ranked #2 of 109 Hotels in Chiang Rai
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Exceptionally good new hotel”
Reviewed 12 January 2009

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.

  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
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1 Thank LeginLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Portland, Oregon
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2009

My family and I (wife, three children, and a mother-in-law) stayed at this resort in late December for a few nights. The service was great, in a western world way (Let me explain: Thai people are always helpful and friendly but they struggle with westerners when asked for something out of the ordinary, something not in the training book or list of daily duties.), and the facility is just beautiful.

Of course it is a mother-in-law's prerogative to ask for things out of the ordinary, and especially mine. They met all her requests and even anticipated some needs she did not know she had, or would have in a few moments. That's service!

Much to our surprise we learned the hotel had just opened less than six weeks earlier. While the groundskeepers were busy in the gardens, lawns, and lakes, the place was immaculate. The rooms were modern, but still comfortable, and the restaurants were stylish. The breakfast buffet was simply outstanding. The variety of western, Japanese, Chinese, and Thai food was amazing.

We received great service from all staff, and especially from the manager of employees (Garlic is his nickname). He was friendly, informative, and caring of our entire group.

We were pleasantly surprised on evening when we decided to send off some khom loy candle balloons. We had a few that we purchased at a local market. Unfortunately, one balloon had a tear in it. A manager noticed our struggle and immediately radioed for help. Within a few minutes the manager handed us the largest khom loy I had ever seen, as a replacement. They had two wax circles (candles) and were almost two meters high. We launched a few with his help and other guests came to watch and launch their own. It was a great experience for our children to be treated so well.

Traveling with young children can be difficult at times. Not here. They have a children's club, the Penguin Club, which is staffed with helpful young ladies that entertained, and dazzled our four year old daughter with a variety of arts and crafts, games, and other items. Our boys enjoyed the PS 2 and selection of games.

The only recommendation I would have is to staff the pool a little earlier in the morning. I worked out at their well appointed fitness center in the morning and decided to go for a swim in their three-tiered infinity pool around 8:30 AM. Much to my chagrin I could not find a pool towel or attendant to ask for one at that hour. The Thais must have thought I was crazy (translated in Thai "ting tong Farang" - crazy westerner) as it was only 16 degrees outside and the pool is not heated. It was refreshing after an hour in the gym. Our room was close to the pool so it was not much of an issue. A towel would have been nice though. I learned later in the day the towels were in a tasteful cabinet near the pool, with the doors facing a hedge. A small sign probably would have done the trick.

I certainly recommend this resort for families and even as a nice destination with a spouse or partner.

  • Liked — Stylish facilities and attentive staff.
  • Disliked — A little off the main town area - sort of had to be to have its riverside location.
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Michael_Turkiewicz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Speyer, Germany
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 December 2008

Stayed at the LeM for 4 nights from Dec 24 to Dec 28. It is a very new hotel and some rooms are still being furnished.
Despite the high season on Christmas the hotel was rather empty (I guess due to the airport closure by protesters in early Dec). This however had no influence on the friendlieness of the staff in the hotel. Always a smile, you really feel welcome there. The hotel manager personally contacted us twice during the stay to check if everything is alright.
The rooms are very nice, spacious and modern (however if you want to have the Thai touch in your room, this hotel is not for you).
The grounds are very nice and peaceful. The hotel is located next to the local river which flows peacefully by. There are loungechairs by the river which we used frequently just relaxing by the river. Service here was great as well. You can get all drink also served at the riverside and even get free botteled water.
It is an ideal location for exploring the mountain region of Chiang Rai.
We loved the hotel and will come back one day.

  • Liked — peaceful location and friendly staff
  • Disliked — too much lounge music everywhere in the hotel
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank mikezens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 20 December 2008

We stayed at Le Meridien last week and really loved it. Hotel opened about a month before we went but we were really wowed by the service. Staff were very helpful and willing ・nothing too much trouble. Rooms are good size ・all over 50sqm ・and I fell in love with our balcony (photos attached) ・amazing views and great place to relax. Breakfast is a highlight ・one of the best buffet I ever had and they bring you little tasters of other dishes. Recommend the Italian restaurant for dinner ・amazing food - tables next to the river ・perfect for romantic evening ・and the afterwards you can sit by open fireplace for a nightcap and look up at the stars. If you go during winter months, I recommend that you bring some warmer clothes ・sunny and warm during daytime, but the evenings can be really chilly (mind you a pleasant change from Bangkok). Location is very handy ・10 mins into town (good Night Market) ・easy access to airport. Hotel is right on the river. We went on long tail boat from the hotel up to elephant camp ・highly recommended. Tours generally are more expensive through the hotel than you find in town, but our guide was very good and flexible took us to White Temple even thought it wasn't on the programme. Also recommend trip to Khun Korn waterfall (get taxi or car from the hotel) ・about 20 mins from hotel. A fantastic trek (about an hour each way) through rainforest to the water fall. Awesome. All in all, would recommend this hotel to all. We did 2 nights ・could happily have done more and will go back.

Stayed November 2008
Helpful?
1 Thank Crazy_boySeattle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 December 2008

If you are looking for a brand new hotel, about 10% occupancy, an excellent staff and a management going out of their way to please, a Lanai style inspired architecture with the latest features expected of a new medium size (about 200 rooms) 5 star hotel, hurry and come to Chiang Rai, North of Thailand and discover a very quite hotel, next to a river. Because of the very low occupancy, you might also get an excellent deal, but just the fact that the hotel is new, decorated with excellent taste, with the attitude the staff has, is already enough of a reason to book promptly a few nights at this hotel.

  • Liked — excellent setting and staff
  • Disliked — nothing really
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Mati I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland, Oregon
Level 6 Contributor
108 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 November 2008

We stayed here at the end of November 2008, right when the Bangkok airports were taken over and closed. The service at the hotel was great - there was always someone there - although it could be because there were only 30 people staying here! The concierge even went with us to the airport and stayed for 2.5 hours to help us figure out how to re-book our tickets to get to Hong Kong without going through Bangkok!

The spa was good, although I have had much better Thai massages for much less money. Internet access is a whopping $20/day - which I thought was a bit excessive. The buffet dinner was amazing - great variety and lots of made-to-order food plus they brought little dishes to your table to taste. The room service breakfast was also quite good. The grounds are beautiful as are the rooms. Unfortunately it was too cold to use the pool though! The location is a bit outside of the main part of town, but it was a quick tuk-tuk ride. Would definitely recommend it.

  • Liked — Beautiful grounds and extremely helpful staff
  • Disliked — Expensive internet
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Singmaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, WA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 November 2008

I stayed at le Meridien in Chiang Rai about 17 days after they opened the new resort. It is amazing. Wonderful location right on the river and all of the facilities were great.

I'm a big starwood guy - so when I saw I could stay there I was pretty happy. But they definitely exceeded my expectations. The restaurants, spa, fitness facilities and rooms were all great.

The service was amazing - they were very attentive and diligent about all requests. I also used the concierge to set up a day tour up to the Golden Triangle, with a long tail boat ride on the river and that was excellent as well.

You could definitely find less expensive places to stay around Chiang Rai - but its worth the money to stay at Le Meridien.

  • Liked — Beautiful setting, great facilities and service
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank efrem44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort

Property: Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort
Address: 221/2 Moo 20, Kwaewai Road | Tambon Robwieng, Amphur Muang, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Chiang Rai Province > Chiang Rai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Chiang Rai
#1 Spa Hotel in Chiang Rai
#1 Luxury Hotel in Chiang Rai
#1 Business Hotel in Chiang Rai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:5 star — Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 159
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

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