Have you ever stood in the lobby of a hotel and thought, “This was once a grand hotel”? There we stood in the lotus and the thought briefly crossed my mind. That thought returned once in the room. However, the place, if you can accept that it’s aging and due for a bit of sprucing up is quite interesting. Check out prices and room availability HERE and HERE.
From the moment you arrive you can see what it was, is, and was meant to be. It’s huge. Much like the the design of the Embassy Suites near San Francisco International Airport (for my local SF Bay Area Readers), it has a large central atrium surrounded by the rooms as the design flows skyward to the covered translucent roof. It’s impressive. There are six eating areas in the hotel.
We only tried one, the San Kam Phaeng, as it was the restaurant for our included breakfast buffet. The buffet was what you would expect for a 3-4 star hotel, meaning decent variety, hot food and plenty of seating. Indeed, there was more than plenty of seating, as I believe the San Kam Phaeng can hold roughly three hundred and fifty people.
Floor 1 also connects to the one of the largest shopping malls in Chiang Mai. The feeling in the Mall was in a way similar to the hotel. It’s more like MBK and less like Terminal 21 or Central World, if you can relate to it. Older, many small stores, some bigger chains, a theater.
As we entered the room, we were treated to a very beautiful view of the mountains and on it we could see Wat Doi Suthep, near the top. I’ll have an article about it soon.
I love the way that they utilized wood to set the sitting area apart. While checking out the sitting area, I noticed the connecting doors to the units on both sides. This is great if you have a large family as during family time you could have three or more rooms all opened up to each other. Later, I heard someone open the door on their side and close it again. That made me wish for a deadbolt on those side doors 🙂
I like the sitting area. You can see it in the slideshow below. Its really nice, and practical. The table is a useful size. You can still see the TV from the sofa (maybe you’ll need to move it a bit if you seat two on the sofa, but I could see it. That sitting area, and the excellent view, helped make the room nice, and memorable.
The bed area was nicely laid out. It was old, but working, with the bedside light, tv, and aircon controls built into the panel. This put a bit of a date on the room, I think, but it was working so no complaints here. The bed was medium in terms of hardness, but I slept pretty well in it. The only bite I picked up in the room was a mosquito bite on my thumb. There weren’t a lot of mosquitoes flying around, maybe only one or two that slipped in the room so that was a plus.
The bathroom was not fairing as well, though. The grout had mold and mildew stains on it and the towels had a slight mildew odor to them. It was unfortunate and, I suspect, not hard to fix.
I was going to criticize the green pool, however there was a sign that the pool was going to be shut down as of (later?) today for new tile work, so perhaps that would explain it. I will show the photos, and withhold any criticism at this point.
There were some children playing in the water but no one else was swimming at the time I looked.
The hotel also features a work out room, which appeared spartan, but clean, so for people who want to get a workout in, that’s a good thing.
All in all, it’s a good hotel, but shows it’s age and in a few areas, could improve.
Location. Attached to the shopping mall in more than one place. Excellent.
Location. If you are at a conference here. Definitely stay.
View. Beautiful view of the mountains and if you have been to Wat Doi Suthep, you can recognize it on the mountain each day.
Service. Excellent staff and university trainees.
Breakfast. Their buffet breakfast was more diverse than we’ve been getting on this trip. About average when compared to 4 star hotels. Solid value, though.
Room size. Large. Sitting Room. Plenty of tables.
Value for money. Location, room size, extras like the pool and work out room are huge pluses.
Airport transport. Excellent value. Very slightly more (less than a dollar difference) to take the hotel van to the airport instead of a taxi. Very nice and quite unexpected. I was half expecting to pay a ‘hotel surcharge’. Driver got a nice tip.
Location. Outside of the core of the tourist area means a tuktuk or taxi ride if you want to hang out at Thapae gate or whatever. That distance also means that you’re potentially spending a few dollars more on transportation each day. If you have transportation or don’t mind taking tuktuk to many places, it’s not an issue.
Internet. Outrageous, $20 a day for internet. Really? This is not the 1990’s. Internet should be free. Just my humble opinion.
Condition. The hotel is aging. Some things like mold & mildew in our bathroom. There’s no excuse, really.
Room Safe. None. Why not?
Would I stay there again?
Conditionally, yes. It was perfect for what we wanted to do. After trying out a few hotels this trip, we were ready to have one day close to the conveniences of the mall. For us it was worth it. What would have made an internet junkie like me happy and offset the malodorous towels, and the neglected grout in the shower would be free, unfettered internet. Again this is just my thing, so if you’re not in a position where you need to have the internet as much as I do, then great! 🙂