River View Lodge Chiang Mai

Jan 11th, 2003, 02:53 PM
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River View Lodge Chiang Mai

This hotel has received some very good recommendations on this forum and as such, I am considering booking here as part of our Thai holiday. The thing is - I have only ever stayed 4* plus when we travel & we are travelling with our two children (7 & 5).

How do I say this (as I am not a snob - I just like my comfort) - being a mid-range budget property, am I likely to encounter a smelly, dark, noisy atmosphere where I would need to be very tolerant? And is the River View Lodge a good choice when there are 4 of us??

Hope to hear from someone to aleviate my fears.


Jan 12th, 2003, 03:27 AM
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just back this week. We stayed at the Westin. Normal large business hotel with very good service. High level international meeting there that week and even the Prince came for an overnight and speech. Really they had a red carpet for him, covered when he wasn't walking on it.
Our 6 year old grandaughter was with us. Her parents were staying at the Regent but her 3 year old sister had come down with chicken pox so she played only child with us. She was perfectly happy with the hotel. Liked the pool, ate the food at the huge multi-ethnic buffet lunch. The upscale Chinese restaurent make a special dish for her (chicken and broccoli). But...the hotel is a cab ride from the Night Market, temples, etc.
We had a great cab driver that we used our 5 days there. He drove us back and forth between the Westin and the Regent (40 minute ride), took us to the temples on a full day sightseeing, had our laundry done (so well we had 5 laundry runs), found the right pharmacy for the special medicines (soothing creams) the chicken pox girl needed, etc. If you are interested, I will try to find his card. Very reliable, and fairly priced.
Remember, Chiang Mai is still Thailand. It is hard for the hotels there to maintain US hotel standards. The 5* hotels are fab, but the others make do.
I highly recommend the Shangri-La in Bangkok. Great in every way. We also stayed at the Oriental in Bangkok. The room decorations at the Oriental were gorgeous, but we like the Shangri-La better. The Club "Lounge" floor is worth the difference. They also have rooms with a seperate sitting area that opens to a bed with its own TV and door. Our daughter used that room and it worked very well.
Jan 12th, 2003, 10:08 AM
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I highly recommend The Regent Chiang Mai. It was fabulous!! Very spacious rooms with an amazing Lanai. Water Buffalo strolling the grounds. Gorgeous pool overlooking the rice paddy fields, shuttles arranged by the hotel to take you to the night market in town, incredible service, very child friendly, fantastic food. I would never stay anywhere else but THE REGENT IN CHIANG MAI!

Jan 12th, 2003, 01:18 PM
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Honestly, I don't know if you'd be happy at the River View Lodge. It wasn't smelly, but we did hear some noise from a disco across the river. I doubt the bathroom would be up to your expectations. If you have only stayed 4* or higher I doubt you'd be happy. Since you are traveling with your children you may want to stay at one of the places the other posters recommended for peace of mind. I frequently stay in 2* when traveling to Europe and thought the River View Lodge was fine.
Jan 13th, 2003, 03:00 AM
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Just returned from almost 3 weeks in Thailand. We stayed 4 nights in the Tamarind Village hotel which is in the Old City part of Chiang Mai. Would recommend it. It is a "boutique" hotel--which we heard was sorely needed from someone who has lived in Chiang Mai for 14 years. It has a pool, large rooms with a/c TV and flowering orchid plants, easy walking distance to pharmacy, wats, Sunday market, massage, photo shops, restaurants etc. It is clean, 2 story, quiet, elegant and staff are attentive. We saw several kids there. Buffet breakfast offers omelet station, pancakes, fresh fruit, toast, juice etc. On Sunday night, they offered a free Thai dance exhibition with dancers from the Chiang Mai university--this was terrific. Only down side is that you need to use the electric mosquito repellant gadget they leave for you in the bathroom--there are a few mosquitoes. We did, and weren't bit.
Jan 15th, 2003, 08:35 AM
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We stayed at the River View Lodge last August and we thought it was the nicest place in Chiang Mai. The garden is so beautiful and the owners are really friendly, refined people who speak excellent English. There is a help-yourself bar (fridge) where you just write down what you take. The rooms are extremely clean and comfortable. There is a lovely pool in the garden to relax after a hard day visiting the sights. The position is perfect - just minutes from the night market on foot, but down a quiet lane away from the traffic. The "disco" someone mentioned above is actually a restaurant/club which we sought out one night because we liked the music. We found it was a live music venue with great music and food. Yes, you can hear it across the river late at night but you get used to it! If you want a small guesthouse with a personal touch this is the place. We went in some of the other hotels mentioned above but they were impersonal places with door porters, lobbies and muzac. But there again if that's what you want... (Oh I forgot the price - we paid 1800 baht a night for a double room. Not the cheapest in town but worth it for the peace and quiet).
Jan 15th, 2003, 10:42 AM
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We liked the River View Lodge but also heard the music from across the river (the loud a/c drowns it out quite nicely). It's perfectly clean and comfortable and well run but isn't on par with an international 4* place. But then, it's a lot cheaper. It's not dark, smelly or tacky, just simple.
Feb 16th, 2004, 07:49 AM
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Brenner - try another hotel. I just returned and wished that we would have stayed somewhere other than the River View Lodge. I booked (and stayed) for 4 nights last week - going on the recommendations from Fodors and Frommers and some notes on this board. I thought it was Wildy Overrated. Sure, it's in a pretty location - but the positive comments end there. The staff was surly, consistently - from the people at the front desk to the people in the dining room serving breakfast. The rooms were spartan and the towels in the bathrooms are at least as old as the Thai monarchy. We heard every single footstep from the room above us and of course, the disco music from across the river. I'm really not a fussy traveller and I tend to stay in simple places - but I would not recommend this place, nor would I return.
joywpa is offline  
Feb 16th, 2004, 03:44 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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On the reco of Tangata from this forum and some other friends we stayed at The Tamarind Village which I thought was great. For $40 a night infl bf a small (40 room) property, in the center of Chiang Mai, very green (ask for a first floor room facing the lawns). Only thing is std rooms are a bit small and u will not be able to have beds for your 2 kids - sure they have inter connecting rooms, u need to check. www.tamarindvillage.com. ON location alone I would strongly reco this hotel - 1 option u could consider is 1 night at The regent, now the Four Seasons and 2 nights here which will give ua flavour of the resort i.e. regent and the city.
Sameera_Anand is offline  
Feb 16th, 2004, 03:46 PM
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Forgot to add - some friends who stayed at both thought Tamarind Village was far superior to River View Lodge and the noise issue mentioned below at River View is a very real issue.
Sameera_Anand is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 12:55 PM
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We've been staying at River View Lodge for years - every time we've gone to Chiang Mai and just love it. No, it's not going to be 4* international - it's US$40 a night! BUT - it's always clean and comfortable, has a lot of character and Thai touches. Never had anything but excellent service there, and the staff is always accommodating and welcomes us back each time we visit. There are some family rooms I believe that are large enough for 4 people. The garden is lovely.
Lotus_Blossom is offline  
Feb 21st, 2004, 01:07 PM
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based on what your attitude is (and what many posters' attitudes toward this property seem to be), i think you will only be happy in a western style accommodation. river view is very serene and simple and thai. it is not aiming to be a western chain experience. i've stayed there on two separate visits, and both times they were helpful and friendly. once in 1997, and then again in 2002. maybe it's the attitude of the guest that determines the reception one gets.
kerikeri is offline  
May 21st, 2004, 09:21 AM
Join Date: May 2004
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We also stayed at the River View for 3 nights and enjoyed it very much. We found the staff to be very helpful. The rooms were (as has been mentioned) not a typical western chain style but we found them quite nice and very comfortable. We were in a room on the end of the property (closest to the river) and the only noise problem was in the bathroom (no AC in there so the windows were open). Maybe its just me but I found it pretty funny using the facilities while being serenaded by a band covering Copacabana.
The garden and pool were wonderful. Highly recommended.
mayorbarry is offline  
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