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Is Four Seasons the best choice in Chiang Mai?

Is Four Seasons the best choice in Chiang Mai?

Old Jun 20, 19, 3:13 pm
  #1  
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Is Four Seasons the best choice in Chiang Mai?

I have heard from several people that it's quite far from the city and it's nice if you never want to leave the resort, but not practical if you plan to see things in Chiang Mai and spend time there for meals or in the evening as it's a long drive. Can anyone comment on this, and if this is indeed the case, is there another good option in Chiang Mai? Thanks!
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Old Jun 20, 19, 3:33 pm
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Originally Posted by GetSetJetSet View Post
I have heard from several people that it's quite far from the city and it's nice if you never want to leave the resort, but not practical if you plan to see things in Chiang Mai and spend time there for meals or in the evening as it's a long drive. Can anyone comment on this, and if this is indeed the case, is there another good option in Chiang Mai? Thanks!
Four Seasons is indeed far outside of the city, and is really best for relatively short stays with most time spent on property or in the environs, which are beautiful countryside.

If you really want the best location in Chiang Mai, to experience the city and be able to go anywhere else you want on day trips, the best option, by far, is Anantara Chiang Mai. The former Chedi is still under the same ownership as it always was, but is now under an Anantara management contract. Go for either a river view or garden view Kasara (club) suite. These are extremely spacious junior suites inclusive of generous club benefits.

The Dhara Dhevi is still lovely in certain categories, but is not quite as centrally located as Anantara. Its Colonial accommodation and its original reception area are currently undergoing some renovations, but that isn’t something that will disrupt a stay.

I am not a fan of 137 Pillars House. It may have opened well, but I certainly would not choose to spend my time or money there over Anantara or Dhara Dhevi, not by any means.
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Old Jun 20, 19, 6:36 pm
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Thank you. Can you elaborate on why you don't like 137? Thx.
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Old Jun 20, 19, 6:54 pm
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Might not be Four Seasons or Anantara level, but remember I finding Rachamankha (a Relais & Chateaux) quite nice when I stayed many years ago. Major positive for me was that this one is located actually within Chiang Mai's city walls (unlike all the other luxury options).
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Old Jun 20, 19, 8:00 pm
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Originally Posted by GetSetJetSet View Post
Thank you. Can you elaborate on why you don't like 137? Thx.
It’s hard for me to elaborate on that while being nice. Suffice it to say it is not where I would choose to stay. Its one redeeming feature is the historical house which houses the decidedly mediocre restaurant. Basically some rather colorful words I could use to describe my disappointment come to mind...

The top category pool suites are quite nice, but considering that for the same price I can have Dhara Dhevi, I find it unlikely that I will ever return.

Anantara really is lovely. It does not have detached villas, but its sense of space and tranquility is really very relaxing. It was built as the Chedi around the former British consulate, and has a lovely riverside location. Both Dhara Dhevi and Anantara are urban resorts, basically, but the former is more resort like with really stunning grounds. The latter is a lovely, relaxing hotel, but at any time you can step outside and explore the city by foot or take a car or took took to get around easily.

Some of the villas at Dhara Dhevi are truly exceptional. Of course the Royal villa and the Mandalay themed Burmese signature villa are exquisite. The Lanna style pool villas, or any category really, will be very nice as well.

Some people lament the reflagging of both The Chedi and Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, but I think the sheer quality and beauty of both properties still remain brilliant. And they continue to have very good staff and management as well.

Last edited by MikeFromTokyo; Jun 20, 19 at 8:15 pm
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Old Jun 21, 19, 10:55 am
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Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo View Post
Itís hard for me to elaborate on that while being nice. Suffice it to say it is not where I would choose to stay. Its one redeeming feature is the historical house which houses the decidedly mediocre restaurant. Basically some rather colorful words I could use to describe my disappointment come to mind...

The top category pool suites are quite nice, but considering that for the same price I can have Dhara Dhevi, I find it unlikely that I will ever return.

Interesting to note re: your comments.
I had a great time at 137 Pillars House (in December 2018) and would gladly return - just finished up my review: https://www.thesuitelife.com.hk/137-...-hotel-review/

Funnily, I can't say I particularly like the pool suites at 137, but price wise they aren't bad (as the jump between categories isn't high).

I didn't get a chance to visit other properties though...
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Old Jun 23, 19, 8:29 am
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I stayed at the Oriental Dhara Dhevi (when it was still Oriental) and still remember it as one of my all-time favourite stays. I visit the FS for lunch and although I found the property beautiful it did not blow me away like DD did.

I did not know there was an Anantara although I did stay at the Anantara Golden Triangle last year and really enjoyed it.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 3:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Fliar View Post
I stayed at the Oriental Dhara Dhevi (when it was still Oriental) and still remember it as one of my all-time favourite stays. I visit the FS for lunch and although I found the property beautiful it did not blow me away like DD did.

I did not know there was an Anantara although I did stay at the Anantara Golden Triangle last year and really enjoyed it.
I absolutely agree re Dhara Dhevi.

Anantara is a reflagging of The Chedi, so it is still the same hotel and under the same ownership. Itís still very nice under Anantara management.

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Old Jun 23, 19, 8:23 pm
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Chiang Mai has plenty of great options. My wife and I stayed at Dhara Dhevi during our honeymoon this past November. I did a more detailed write up if you search under my threads.

Iíll summarize it as a good, but not great stay. The property is beautiful and the staff tries really hard. However, the property is showing some age and we did have a few service issues. The location is nice as it is close enough to visit Chiang Mai, but far enough for peace and quiet when you want it.

I think location preference should perhaps be the biggest driver as all the properties look nice and receiver fairly good reviews. For us, I would have preferred to be closer to the city and feel like Anantara or 137 Pillars would have suited us better.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 3:57 am
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Just back from a Chiang Mai trip and we stayed at 137 pillars.
It's a nice property but wasn't wowed by the experience.

Nothing major, mainly small things like no one at the pool to bring drinks / menus / towels even after hours of staying there.
The kind of things that a boutique property with low key count (and most expensive / second most expensive rooms in town) really should nail.

Will probably check out Anantara or FS next time.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 6:34 pm
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I stayed at the Anantara a couple of months back and overall had a really excellent stay. We had considered the FS but wanted to do more things in Chiang Mai itself and it's wildly inconvenient for that. Overall I wouldn't say the Anantara was to the level of a Four Seasons/MO/Peninsula but it was maybe half a notch down.

We had some minor issues but they were resolved extremely well. We were in a Deluxe River View Room and on the first day, early in the evening, the room started to get a strong paint smell. We alerted the front desk who tried to resolve it whilst we were out for the evening but the smell remained when we came back, so they upgraded us to a Kasara River View Suite for the duration of our 4 night stay.

We ate at the 1921 Restaurant one night and the food was excellent, breakfast was a huge selection and of really good quality out by the river, lovely and relaxing. We used the spa a couple of times and found the treatments to be really decent too, although prices are obviously much higher than you can spend by venturing outside the hotel. (We had a free treatment through Virtuoso and then got offered a heavily discounted rate for a second treatment). Even tried the cooking school which was a really fun experience with a tour of the market where we bought the food we were to cook but also the chefs allowed us to try anything we wanted, or there recommendations, free of charge which was a fun element to that.

The location is just right, IMO, you're just a couple of minutes by tuk-tuk from the Old City so close enough to everything but by the river and away from it when you want to relax. Staff were also faultless too.

IMO, you could almost do a couple of days at the FS then a couple at the Anantara.
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