Chiang Mai Travel Guide
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Wow, we were quite impressed with the responses from our most recent, Guess The Hotel. Not only because we had a few contenders in the game, but we also had a winner! The hotel that uses their key cards as framed art in the lobby is Le Meridien Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Since we headed to the Northern Thai city for Songkran, the country's new year celebrations, the unique display caught our eyes while heading back to our room to change out of the soggy clothes we were in. When the streets and anybody walking on them got super soaked, we knew that we could escape into the comfort of our hotel with its opulent lobby and comfy rooms.
Even though the streets got hectic, we always received a warm smile and Sawatdee ka/krab from any of the staff and even were handed fluffy towels to dry off before we headed to the elevator. The one thing that stood out here was how welcoming the staff was, thanking us for coming to Chiang Mai and even providing personal cell-phone numbers to offer assistance during our stay. Truly an above and beyond experience.
[Ed. Note: Experienced traveler and Hotel Maven GEOmbfl rarely gets excited when checking out new places but the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevei Resort in Thailand has shaken him up. He offers up his semi-conscious review...er we mean semi-stream of consciousness review below.
The moment when you get into the gold cart and are taken to the reception, I was in awe from the moment I arrived. Before I even stepped into the property I knew this was going to be the nicest place I have ever stayed. I am pretty fortunate in my life and get spoiled by the ability to see a lot and travel so a lot of times I arrive and leave places, hotels and cities under-impressed. Well. let me tell you this is without a doubt the most impressive experience I am about to experience.
More on GEOmbfl's stay after the jump.
When we checked into the D2 recently, we were handed glasses of iced lemongrass juice. As a porter ushered us towards the elevator, about twenty staff members broke into an old fashioned, Fred Astaire-style choreographed dance routine.
The hotel will appeal to young at heart travellers who want a stylish place to stay without any pretentiousness. The decor is hip and modern, with the signature colour being orange. Like many boutique hotels, the lobby also doubles as the hotel's bar/lounge, so there's plenty of people-watching, hobnobbing and yes, occasional dancing.
Rates start at $154 which is really a bargain for an impromptu Fred Astaire routine.
Unfortunately, the review doesn't come with any candid photos, just regular hotel website pics.
A design hotel with top notch service--it is the hospitality industries albino rhino.
D2 is a brand spankin' new hotel in Chang Mai that has the design side covered--lounge chairs made of woven rattan, flat screen televisions in small, guest rooms decked out using plenty of Thai materials.
Furthermore, the hotels location is spot on. The open-air bars near Ping River are only a 10-minute walk away.
But what about the service right? This is where these design hotels can sometimes fall flat.
According to one recent guest:
The highlight is the concierge service-- outstanding. Our stay would have been very different without the exceptional help. They helped arrange drivers, tailors, shopping areas, day trips to and their recommendations were great. We even relied on them via cell phone while out to communicate with drivers due to language barriers.
However, last we heard the pool wasn't quite done and this hotel was still in "soft open" mode. So you may want to give it a couple more weeks, or call the front desk and ask when the pool area will be open for business.
If you do go, be sure to try the pad thai noodles, which one tipster raved about.
Oh, and send us some photos, we would love to see this place in pixels.
· D2 Hotel Reviews [TripAdvisor]
BREAKING NEWS: Maroon 5's "She Will Be Loved" video was voted into the #10 spot on MTV's Total Request Live Monday.
Oops -- wrong list.
Thailand's Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai came in at #10 on Travel + Leisure's "best hotels in the world" list (and named #3 in all of Asia).
The survey was based on 425,105 readers' evaluations.
Congrats Four Seasons CM, but come on, Usher beat out D12 for the top spot? Puh-lease.