Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Hotels and Places to Stay > Marriott | Marriott Bonvoy
Reload this Page >

Le Meridien Chiang Rai, Thailand [Master Thread]

Le Meridien Chiang Rai, Thailand [Master Thread]

Old Mar 29, 09, 2:35 am
  #1  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: All over
Programs: Most
Posts: 10,836
Stayed at the Le Meridien few weeks ago for couple of nights. I hadn’t been to Chiang Rai for 14 years so it was about a time to visit the city again.

There are no metered taxis from the airport so we had to take some sort of “airport” taxi. The fare to the hotel that was no more than 10 minutes away was 200THB.

The hotel is relatively close to the airport along the river. Not faraway from the city center, although not within a walking distance. The hotel provides a shuttle bus few times a day to the city center and back. They will provide you with a schedule with the welcome pack.

The hotel complex is not entirely ready yet, although the public spaces are. When we checked in the occupancy rate was in the low single digits and we probably saw four/five other hotel guests during our two nights stay there.

When we were checking in around 10AM or so our room wasn’t ready yet. Considering that there were maybe five other rooms occupied at that time it was quite a surprise for me. After we had look at few rooms the one that was originally reserved for us had been prepared. In Thailand the hotel normally writes down the immigration form numbers but here they actually made a photocopy of the passports.

The room itself is quite typical modern one with an outside balcony. The bathroom is quite spacious. The bathroom toiletries are the usual Le Meridien stuff. Platinum’s shouldn’t expect a suite upgrade to here because they have only one or so suite and they weren’t even finished yet.

There are two bars on the property. One by the river close to the Favola “concept” restaurant and other Latitude 19 which is close to the lobby. We had few drinks at both.

There are two restaurants. The Le Meridien concept “Favola” pseudo Italian/Mediterranean restaurant that appeared to have a pretty good wine selection. The other one is Latest Recipe where breakfast is served and that has a buffet on Fridays that appeared to be rather popular with the locals. The breakfast buffet was very good and the dinner buffet wasn’t bad either. Breakfest buffet was complimentary.

During the stay I never met the GM. I did, however, speak several times with the western F&B manager that had previously worked at the W Seoul and Sheraton Pattaya. One of the front desk managers had preciously worked for Westin Bangkok and Sheraton Hua Hin.

The fitness center had modern equipment, although I did not manage to put them into good use during the two day stay there. The hotel also provides a kids club.

Chiang Rai is probably one of the places in Thailand where renting a car makes sense because of the lack of metered taxis. Budget was supposedly sold out when I inquired from their office but was able to make a booking on the US website though. The car was brought to the hotel and I was able to return it to the airport upon leaving.
holtju2 is online now  
Old Mar 29, 09, 4:35 am
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: DCA
Programs: AMC MovieWatcher, Giant BonusCard, Petco PALS Card, Silver Diner Blue Plate Club
Posts: 22,223
Thanks for your report, holtju2!

You mention breakfast as complimentary, was it included in your rate, based on your status, or for all guests? (I realize that sometimes this isn't clear.)

How was the quality of non-buffet food? How was the service? Did you visit the spa? What activities did you do / sights did you see while in Chiang Rai?

Did you take any pictures?

Thanks so much!
gleff is offline  
Old Mar 29, 09, 7:20 am
  #3  
Moderator, El Al and Marriott Bonvoy, FlyerTalk Evangelist
Hyatt Contributor BadgeMarriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: SIN
Programs: TG*G, Mar LTBT, Hyatt Glb, AA PLT-LTG, LY, HH, IC, BA, DL, UA SLV
Posts: 11,522
We checked in about 90 minutes ago and it is a bit dark but here we are so far.

Pics at: http://tinyurl.com/d9e8ek (will embed them later)

We booked 1 award reservation + 1 Starwood Privilege reservation, connecting rooms requested. I see from holtju2's report that they only have the one suite. I didn't know this when I checked in but didn't ask about a suite as I pre-booked one in Khao Lak so we can do without for a few days. We received connecting rooms king + 2 singles. Both rooms had a nice bag of cookies and 2 fresh pineapples.

Local amenities have not yet been delivered. I took the 500 points but could have taken $5 for the minibar or a day of free internet. Since internet is free in public spaces, albeit with a business center-provided username/password I wasn't interested. The property is very large. Our room is quite far from the pool and on the 4th floor. We have a river view. I'll check tomorrow if there are non-river view rooms.

I asked about breakfast for the kids (7/10) after being informed that our room would get free breakfast for 2 people. After some checking we got a phone call to the room that the kids breakfast would be complimentary.

No lounge at this property and unlike LeM Khao Lak and Sheraton Pattaya, they don't provide the single drink in the bar as a trade-off. Very apologetic about explaining that each property chooses to do different things and they provide breakfast.

Will add more later...
yosithezet is offline  
Old Mar 29, 09, 8:44 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: SEA (previous locations: DTW, TLV, EWR, BOS)
Programs: AS: 75K; DL/NW: Plat; DL SC: Lifetime; Hyatt: Diamond; HH: Gold; SPG: Plat;
Posts: 3,288
Originally Posted by gleff
You mention breakfast as complimentary, was it included in your rate, based on your status, or for all guests? (I realize that sometimes this isn't clear.)
So, based on holtju2 and Yosithezet's report, they provide breakfast as a Plat benefit, which is great to hear!

Last edited by SanDiego1K; Mar 29, 09 at 6:14 pm Reason: Fixed ubb coding around quote
bostonbali is offline  
Old Mar 29, 09, 10:05 am
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: DCA
Programs: AMC MovieWatcher, Giant BonusCard, Petco PALS Card, Silver Diner Blue Plate Club
Posts: 22,223
Indeed it is ^
gleff is offline  
Old Mar 29, 09, 11:45 am
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: All over
Programs: Most
Posts: 10,836
The GM of the property is Anne Scott. Just received an email from her after completing a survey after my stay.

We gladly appreciate the time that you took to complete the online questionnaire following your recent visit to our hotel and the extra time that you spent to write feedback at the end of the questionnaire.

I am glad that you enjoyed your stay at our hotel, and I do note your comments regarding limited benefits for Platinum guests. You are correct that our hotel has only one Suite and this therefore restricts upgrade options. By the end of the year, we will have completed our wing of Grande Deluxe Rooms each offering 66 sqm of luxury accommodation. I am sorry that these rooms have been delayed and therefore we were not able to offer your this option during your stay.

In the interim, I do hope that you still enjoyed complimentary breakfast as a Platinum member as well as VIP in-room amenities.

Its important to me that our guests feel special and recognised during their stay. We will continue to work on added-value options for our Platinum guests. Your comments well made and noted.
holtju2 is online now  
Old Mar 29, 09, 4:04 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: DCA
Programs: AMC MovieWatcher, Giant BonusCard, Petco PALS Card, Silver Diner Blue Plate Club
Posts: 22,223
Wow, grand deluxe rooms aren't open yet? Very disappointing, as I had rather internalized that that's where I'd wind up.

Originally Posted by Starwood Lurker II View Post
Introducting the Grande Deluxe room – we have 32 of these rooms in their own Exclusive section of the hotel. Each room is 66 square meters (bigger than many hotel suites!) and all have either a river view or direct access to the pool from their balcony. These rooms will have upgraded amenities and facilities.

I believe even though there is one suite, upgrades are still possible. But like most of our hotels, it is subjected to availability.

You might find it to be exceptionally comfortable in these rooms…
The hotel website doesn't list any 'special conditions' that would lead one to think this room isn't currently an option. Their room types page shows the Grand Deluxe room.

I'm planning a 5 night stay at this property. Just one or two nights and i imagine I'd be perfectly happy in a lesser room (such as they'll offer) but for a 5-night visit I rather assumed the upgraded accomodations would make the stay more comfortable.

Honestly this has me reconsidering LM Chiang Rai for my trip in two weeks.
gleff is offline  
Old Mar 29, 09, 7:49 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: SEA (previous locations: DTW, TLV, EWR, BOS)
Programs: AS: 75K; DL/NW: Plat; DL SC: Lifetime; Hyatt: Diamond; HH: Gold; SPG: Plat;
Posts: 3,288
Hmm, I'm disappointed to hear that the Grande Deluxe rooms aren't available yet either, and my stay there is in less than two weeks...
Unfortunately, my stay was booked as a non-refundable stay (MALTO), so I guess I'm going.
Either way, I'm sure it will be a nice stay.
bostonbali is offline  
Old Mar 30, 09, 1:53 am
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Programs: ua mm, starriott LTPP, ihg plat, hh gold.
Posts: 12,883
yes, breakfast as a platinum benefit. i'm here now as well. lovely room, no suite available. apparently--as discussed in the early posts--there's really only one, and it's in a building that's currently closed. (due to lack of custom, if i had to take a guess.) room we're in is just fine, slightly larger room with two queen beds and a river view. staff is gracious and seems thrilled we're here!

the hotel is gorgeous, and we've only just arrived, so don't have much to report other than free wifi in one hour blocks (but as many as you like, apparently) in the library and lobby, free breakfast also as platinum benefit. got the nice cookies, no pineapple like yosithezet but we did have some grapes waiting for us in the room.

property is very, very empty...and pristine. i'm disappointed in the lack of suites available as well, and frankly we're reconsidering staying the four days we had planned. we may shorten and head back to chiang mai. that hotel is also empty, but the suites are available and the hotel manager made sure to both greet us and couldn't have been more accomodating or personable.

Last edited by karenkay; Mar 30, 09 at 2:06 am
karenkay is offline  
Old Mar 30, 09, 2:02 am
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: All over
Programs: Most
Posts: 10,836
Here's a link to some photos of this property. I have not had time to organize them yet. I will post few direct links here tomorrow.

http://holtju2.smugmug.com/gallery/7...01780758_McqLG
holtju2 is online now  
Old Mar 30, 09, 6:32 am
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: DCA
Programs: AMC MovieWatcher, Giant BonusCard, Petco PALS Card, Silver Diner Blue Plate Club
Posts: 22,223
Thanks for the photos and the reports!

Question about breakfast... hotel says Platinums receive "full American breakfast" -- is this ordered off the menu or buffet?
gleff is offline  
Old Mar 30, 09, 7:03 am
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: DCA
Programs: AMC MovieWatcher, Giant BonusCard, Petco PALS Card, Silver Diner Blue Plate Club
Posts: 22,223
I should add, looking at the photos, in spite of not having the possibility of upgrade to larger room I do believe I'll make the trip.

5 nights in a 'regular' sized rooms is a lot, and 5 nights in CEI is a lot for most, but the regular rooms aren't small (53 sq m, ~ 570 sq ft?). And the place looks beautiful. And secluded enough, especially if there are as few guests as others say, that a day of touring, a half-day cooking class, a few spa appointments, and some laying out by the pool somehow I think we'll manage
gleff is offline  
Old Mar 30, 09, 10:13 am
  #13  
Moderator, El Al and Marriott Bonvoy, FlyerTalk Evangelist
Hyatt Contributor BadgeMarriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: SIN
Programs: TG*G, Mar LTBT, Hyatt Glb, AA PLT-LTG, LY, HH, IC, BA, DL, UA SLV
Posts: 11,522
Originally Posted by gleff View Post
Thanks for the photos and the reports!

Question about breakfast... hotel says Platinums receive "full American breakfast" -- is this ordered off the menu or buffet?
Breakfast is the buffet. Large spread with various stations. Everything you expect (breads, pastries, fruits, cereals, juices, hot dishes, miso/boiled rice, eggs as you like, etc). The staff went around a few times with shots of smoothies in Jean Georges flavours, some sort of espresso cup with farina (?), hot fresh croissants. One thing, we were never offered coffee, we had to ask when we remembered. At breakfast we saw the same 2 sets of guests we saw at the Italian restaurant last night but also various tables of top military brass hobnobbing with folks out of uniform who appeared to be important in their own rights.

Last night we ate a Flavola. There were two other tables. 3X50ml wine tasting set was about THB 450m. Mains were from THB 250 for pizza to THB 750 Angus ribeye. 3 appetizers, 2 adult mains, 2 childrens mains (pizza and pasta) and a few scoops of ice cream came to THB 3400. 2 wine tasting sets, one cocktail, one large Evian (THB 300) and 3 soft drinks came to THB 1600 or so. Expensive for Thailand but 'THB 2000 off' food and 20% off drink from Starwood Privilege came in handy. The duck foie gras and fried romaine wrapped in parma with Gorgonzola appetizers were good. The duck confit on gnochi and veal parm were also nice. The kids loved the pizza and angel hair pasta. The service was a bit slow. I think it is hard for them to get in a groove with so few customers. The coffe at breakfast is likely the same. I photographed the menu and will post.

When we headed out with the rental today the staff stopped us while they brought us two umbrellas for rhe sun and cold bottles of water. Very thoughtful of them.

The hotel is as just about 21% occupancy. This means I get to park the rental at the lobby rather than in the carpark. As karenkay mentioned, and we discussed in town this evening, the place is, and feels, emtpy. We don't mind it much though. This morning the kids went to the pool at 8. There was nobody there and a sign not to go in without a lifeguard present. They came back to the room and I called to see if it was open. It opened at 7 apparently but with nobody around, who would know.

In your shoes, gleff, I would continue with your plans to stay here. Bring long pants to protect from the mosquitoes and if you like higher ceilings ask for 1408.
yosithezet is offline  
Old Apr 1, 09, 3:14 am
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Programs: ua mm, starriott LTPP, ihg plat, hh gold.
Posts: 12,883
want to add a bit more...gleff, with the itin you describe, you'll be fine. the hotel is definitely empty. great for relaxing, you could literally have the pool to yourself today. apparently they're expected to be fairly busy over the weekend and then slow down again. the pics holtju2and yosithezet posted are a great representation. it bothered me a bit the first day that the hotel was sooo dead, the staff doesn't have much to do and thus are more eager to be of service than i'd like. after two more days, however, it's no longer an issue. either they're busier or i've just stopped noticing.

we did shorten our stay by one night--the last night was going to be a 5000 baht paid stay, and i just couldn't justify it. we'll go to chiang mai a day early and use c+p for 1600 plus $30 for a (likely upgrade to) suite. can't be beat. back to chiang rai:

the breakfast buffet is nothing short of spectacular. if you can't find something you like here, you have a problem. everything from fruits (dried and fresh) and yogurt, nuts etc. to hot dishes like mashed sweet potatoes, murgh masala (sp? indian, spicy and delicious) and the ubiquitous baked tomatoes and pancakes/waffles. cheeses, breads, cereals, an egg station, sliced meats, amazingly good 'halibut carpaccio' and other tasty treats. also a soup station and some dumplings...i'm sure i'm leaving something out. thankfully, the fitness center isn't far away and you'll likely have that to yourself to work off the feast.

as a nice touch, as yosithezet mentioned, someone comes to the table shortly after you're seated with a platter of fresh-baked croissants...a jean-george 'smoothie' in a shot glass will also be brought by during the course of your meal.

they've brought a little snack by each night at turndown, the first night was little white and dark chocolate covered goodies and yesterday we had a white and a dark chocolate shooter cup...kind of like a melted milkshake. tasted great.

one caution--insist on a room on the fourth/top floor. we're on the third, and we get a fair bit of noise from the maids when they're cleaning above and from our upstairs neighbors who are not being loud. i think it's the way the building's constructed, but it's something to be aware of.

i did have a chance to meet with anne scott--she called and left a message to be sure we were enjoying our stay--and found her perfectly lovely and willing to listen to concerns. they know we (platinums) want the wing with the suites open. they're working on it, but i wouldn't be surprised if it takes longer than expected. with the slowdown in tourism in the north of thailand, that may not be a priority (MY opinion).

all in all, a fine stay.

Last edited by karenkay; Apr 1, 09 at 3:26 am
karenkay is offline  
Old May 19, 09, 8:51 am
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: DCA
Programs: AMC MovieWatcher, Giant BonusCard, Petco PALS Card, Silver Diner Blue Plate Club
Posts: 22,223
Extensive trip report and photos of the property are included in my trip report
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-...sort-ever.html
beginning with post #57
gleff is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: