Chiang Mai - Hotels/Activities ??

Mar 13th, 2003, 02:49 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Chiang Mai - Hotels/Activities ??

Hi, My-self and my husband are going to Chiang Mai in early September for 1st time. Can any-one advise us if the Regent is worth what it charges or if the Rincome/Westin comes any way near the Regent's standard?

Also, can we arrange to tour the Golden Triangle from Chiang Mai - will this include an over-night stay? Can we book this locally - if so, how much??

Finally, do we need to stay in Chiang Rai for a night or is every-thing accessible from Chiang Mai?

Many thanks...
Kofki is offline  
Mar 13th, 2003, 04:06 AM
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I will be interested to hear what others say about the Regent. We are just starting to plan so am unfamiliar with the territory, and was attracted to the Regent and its top notch facilities. But friends who stayed were actually disappointed, because it was like any spectacular resort anywhere and very far removed from the actual city of Chiang Mai and even more removed from any possible direct contact with the customs or feel of the area. As they said they should have stayed home in Naples, Florida and spent a weekend at the Ritz Carlton.

Of course you can do all the usual trips from the Regent, it just isn't like being in Northern Thailand according to them.
Patrick is offline  
Mar 13th, 2003, 04:30 AM
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The Regent is a wonderful and luxurious place to stay, with a magnificent spa. However, it is far removed from Chiang Mai, which to my mind is one of the best places to visit in Thailand.

The best parts of Chiang Mai are strolling through the city and enjoying the look and feel of the city (the wats, the architecture) and then the amazing vibes in the Night Market. While the Rincome and Westin are both comfortable places to stay, they too are somewhat removed from the center of things (though not nearly so much as the Regent).

I prefer to stay near the Night Market. The Royal Princess is a good choice, in the center of things and comfortable enough. Another interesting choice is the Riverview Lodge, about 2-3 blocks from the night market. It has more of a Thai character than the large hotels -- almost the feel of a western B&B.

When we stayed at the Riverview, they arranged a tour of Chiang Mai (which also included 3 or 4 other guests at the hotel) -- we usually steer clear of organized tours, but this worked out extremely well.
DonTopaz is offline  
Mar 13th, 2003, 04:56 AM
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We stayed in both the Westin and the Regent in December. No comparison. The Westin is a business/tourist hotel. Not quite up to US standards for a good Westin. But, probably best in town. The Prince stayed there when we were there and it was the location of the government international conference. Pool is nice and a good buffet breakfast. Good size rooms but not luxurous.
The Regent is an international destination resort. Gorgeous!!! Big, big beautiful rooms, fab gounds, lovely pool, amazing service, great food. They will arrange anything for touring and the elephant campare nearby. Good shops right outside the gate. Is it Chiang Mai?'s an amazing resort, could be any exotic location. It cost 5+times the Westin. So the choice is do you want a world class resort or do you want to be in Chiang Mai. We opted to do both and were glad. If you privately hire a cab to take you back and forth and around, the Regent location is not a problem. We paid 1400 bhatt a day for our private full time car and driver. Plus he did laundry runs everyday and ran other errands.
Elainee is offline  
Mar 13th, 2003, 06:22 AM
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I guess it all depends on the style of travel you prefer. Personally I thought that the Regent embodied all the best elements of gracious Thai hospitality. I found it to be a lush, tranquil oasis to return to after long hot dusty days of temples, elephants, shopping, etc.
It's actually only 25 minutes from the city and the hotel runs several free shuttles during the day and several in the evening for those who want to visit the Night Bazaar.
The person who posted just above had a good idea. Do both, because they are totally different experiences.
Lindsey is offline  
Mar 13th, 2003, 06:25 AM
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The Regent is probably worth what it charges since it is one of the top resorts in the world. We however, did not stay there because we felt it was too far out of the way. It really depends on how much time you have. We stayed at the Westin in one of its nicer rooms with a great view for about $60/night. I agree with the above poster that it is not quite up to US standards for a Westin, but it is comfortable. The location is fine unless you plan on spending all of your time at the night market. The best shopping is at the crafts villages on the outskirts of Chiang Mai IMO.

I would suggest staying in Chiang Rai for a couple of nights. You can fly there relatively cheaply from Chiang Mai. We stayed at the Dusit Island Resort Hotel which is in a very pleasant location on the Mai Kok River. From there you can arrange tours of the Golden Triangle. Good luck in your planning.
Craig is offline  
Mar 13th, 2003, 12:27 PM
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They do have tours from Chaing Mai to the Golden Triangle, but it is a 4 - 5 hour drive. We saw a couple of brochures for that tour in Chaing Mai.

If you have the time stay in the Golden Trianle area. We hired a private driver to take us from Chaing Mai to our hotel. The Baan Boran hotel was great. It overlooks the Mekong River. We stayed there three nights and did a day tour into Laos (U.S. citizens need a visa) and another day tour to some hilltribes and Myanmar.
peg is offline  
Mar 13th, 2003, 01:15 PM
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Hi. How about the Paradise Resort in Chaing Mai? Has anyone stayed here or know its location compared to the night market, etc? Thank you, Mark
honeymoontraveller is offline  
Mar 13th, 2003, 06:55 PM
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the regent is beautiful but i still find it hard to justify that cost in up country thailand....i have not stayed there but have visited it...we did stay at the westin and found it adquate...i think elainee's descriptions are 100% accurate above....the regent is removed from everything and inconvenient for regular tourist activities...i think many people go there and stay there most of their is that kind of place....the westin, while not right in the center of things is 5 minutes from everything would not be disappointed with it
rhkkmk is offline  
Mar 13th, 2003, 07:06 PM
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I just returned from two weeks in Thailand (March 3, 2003). This was my second trip to Thailand in less than a year. On both trips I stayed at the Chaiang Mai Orchid Hotel, on the north west tip of the old walled city - elegant, yet inexpensive, convenient and self-contained (from restaurants, shops to lounges). Right across the street is an inexpensive Internet Cafe, and next door is a multi-storied modern shopping mall. I recommend flying up to Chiang Rai and staying for a full day, returning at night. During that time you can take a tour of Hill Tribe people, visit the border checkpoint to Burma, take a boat ride on the Mai Kong river and get off at Laos to mail a postcard home. You can also visit the Opium Museum there. All this in one day. Arrangements for the tour can be made through your hotel. It can all be done for about $150 US -- well worth the price. My trip included lunch at a luxury hotel at the tip of the Golden Triangle. I am hooked on Thailand, and would go back in a heartbeat. In Chaing Mai, I'd stay at the Chiang Mai Orchid for the third time!
Travelchief is offline  

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