I'm sorry, but this property does not deserve to be called a Four Seasons! Our dissatisfaction started out with the concierge. We wanted to set up an elephant experience, and also a special dinner for my birthday. I contacted concierge online weeks before our trip. They sent me some choices for elephant trekking, etc. and when I decided on one of them, they got back to me and told me that it was not available, but they recommended Baan Chang. We wanted a private elephant experience, and not to be with a group, so they told us that it would be 5,900 Baht each for this, which is a total of 11,800 Baht. Expensive, but worth it we thought. And it was worth it. A driver picked us up at 7:30 in the morning, and we were taken to the elephant camp. They rescue elephants, and treat them well. We rode them bare back and washed them in the river. It was awesome. However, after learning about the elephants, and before we rode them, our guide told us that we paid to ride only one elephant together, and not our own separate elephants. We thought this was very odd, because why would we go to the expense of a "private" elephant trekking tour, and ride only one elephant together? So, we had to pay an extra 4,000 Baht to them. When we told the hotel about this, they really had no apology or explanation for us. Not cool.
Also, when I had emailed the concierge before our trip, we asked to have a private dinner on my birthday at the rice barn. They told me that there was a function that evening, and that they would be "short staffed" so would not be able to accommodate our request for that night, but
we could do it the next night. We were disappointed that we couldn't do it on my birthday, but we just accepted it. I also couldn't reach the concierge online right before we left for the trip, because he was on vacation! He gave me an alternative email address, but even though I cc'd that other email, no one got back to me to confirm our plans. When we arrived at the Four Seasons, I told the concierge who was helping us there that I did not hear back from them before we left on our trip, but that I had an email that I received a few days after we were in Thailand, but I had to go online to see it. She just handed me an ipad, and expected me to just find the email. She didn't even get me online or anything. I had to ask her for the internet access code, network, etc. They should have been able to pull up the reservation without asking me to check my email!
So, that evening, we were having dinner at the restaurant, and we were talking to our waiter about our dinner at the rice barn, and that we were disappointed that we couldn't have it the night of my birthday. He told us that he did not know of any function that was happening, and that we could indeed have it the night of my birthday. So again, the initial concierge made a mistake. We did end up having the private dinner at the rice barn, which was absolutely the most amazing and romantic dinner I will ever have in my entire life. It was so beautiful, I couldn't stop crying. (happy tears) They had a man playing a beautiful string instrument, called a khim. Romantic candles and torches lined a rustic wooden bridge that lead us out to our private table under the rice barn surrounded by drapes, more candles, and flower petals ever where. The view over the large pond and rice patties was amazing, and the hotel restaurant across the pond reflected and glimmered in the water. The 5 course meal was incredible, and we had our own waiters, standing off to the side, ready to serve us at any time. It was pricey, but literally, the most memorable romantic dinner ever! This would be the place to propose for sure! This was the best part of the Four Seasons.
Now, back to the concierge. : ( We also asked for a private driver to take us to a temple, (Doi Suthep) and also show us around Chiang Mai. The driver showed up and the car wreaked of cigarette smoke. It was almost nauseating. We opened the doors and let it air out for about 10 minutes before we could even get in. It was not a nice car at all. After we went to the temple, the driver took us to lunch at a very funky restaurant that had terrible service and old sewing machines for tables. My husband is 6'3. He was very uncomfortable at these tiny tables. The food was not great, but the one thing that was very tasty was the mango and sticky rice, which I would highly recommend, but not the restaurant. We think our driver got a kick back for taking us there. It took a very long time to get our food. The driver also told us she would take us to change money, and she forgot, so after driving for about 10- 15 minutes, she realized it and turned around. We wasted time doing a big u turn route, and we had very little time. I'm a photographer, so we wanted to have a photographic experience with culture and interesting people, and this is what we told the concierge multiple times. She suggested a place where they make hand crafts, and also make silk. We thought that our concierge discussed this with our driver, but she did not. The driver spoke very little english, so it was difficult to explain what we wanted to do. We asked to go to the place where they made silk, and the driver took us to some store that looked like a scaled down version of Macy's. No charm or culture at all. When we pulled in the parking lot, we said, no, we want to go to the old silk place, where we can watch them make silk. She acted like she just "got" it, and took us to a cool place called Piankusol. We feel that she was probably going to get a kick back from the Macy's style silk place, because why would any tourist want to go there, when you can go to Piankusol. They were spinning silk right there, and the buildings were old, and interesting. They had a huge store as well. Good place to buy scarves! The driver also charged us more than we were told it would cost. We also found out the night before we were leaving Chiang Mai that there was a "long neck" village just about 15- 20 minutes away from our hotel. I was VERY disappointed that our concierge did not mention this once, even though I told her many times that I was looking for culture and interesting people.
Now, the room. Not good. We splurged and booked a pool villa. The first room they took us too smelled like smoke, and you had to walk around a walk way to get to the pool. We asked if they could take us to a different room, and they did, but this one smelled like a cheap apartment that was just painted. I just put up with the smell, because I didn't want to complain again. The pool villa is supposedly recently built, but it seemed like it was built in the 70's. Absolutely no flow, and very uncomfortable layout and design. The bathroom was poorly designed with a sink that took up most of the counter space, so very little room for your toiletries. The only place to use the hair dryer was in the closet area, and that was cramped and uncomfortable. There were no drawers, only wicker baskets. Really? Don't put your nice lingerie in a basket where it can get snagged! The furniture was worn and old looking. The pool area was not good. Stones surrounded the pool that are very uncomfortable to walk on, and you can't even rotate the chase lounges, because it's so difficult to move them in the stone area. Oh, and there were tiny ants in the desk area, and in the bathroom. They came in and sprayed, and then our room smelled like raid.
There were 2 wooded doors to be unlocked with a key to get into the room. Very inconvenient. The room had absolutely no flow, and no feng shui.
The service for the room was also terrible. They were nice, and gave us a bottle of champagne, because of all of the mistakes they made, but when we finished the champagne and little appetizer plate, it took them more than a day to take the empty bottle, wine bucket and plates out of our room. They also knocked on our door multiple days in a row to do turn down service at 5:00 PM! First, that is much too early for turn down service. Most people are resting, showering, or chillin' in there room during that time. You would think that after my slightly annoyed reaction when I answered the door on the first day, that they would not send turn down service at 5:00 on the next day as well, but they did. The Banyan Tree in Phuket was amazing service, and when we arrived, they asked us what time they should send turn down service, and when we wanted the maid to come. The Four Seasons should take lessons from The Banyan Tree! We paid top dollar, about $1200.00 a night for this room, and it was very disappointing! During the stay, out of curiosity, I did look at another room overlooking the rice patties, and those rooms did not have the pool, or the privacy, but at least they were nice rooms, with good feng shui.
The restaurants at the hotel are overpriced, of course, and the food is not anything to write home about. It takes about 25 minutes to get into town. They have shuttles that go every few hours, but if you don't catch a shuttle, I believe it's about a $20 - $30 taxi ride each way. The concierge suggested a restaurant in town, that was on the river, but not good. After dinner, we went next door to a place called the "Good View" which we wish they would have suggested instead. We had cheap drinks there, and watched a live band. It was great! The place was packed, and mostly with fashionable young locals. Unlike the place next door, with all tourists, and mediocre food!
We stayed at multiple hotels on our trip to Thailand, and we expected the Four Seasons to be the best, but it paled in comparison to almost all of the other hotels. Perhaps if you stay in a good room there, the experience may be different. Sorry Four Seasons. Perhaps you should pay more attention to these details, including your concierge service.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestling in the majestic Mae Rim Valley, Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai features refined local Lanna Kingdom culture and contemporary designer-enriched Pavilions with stunning views of terraced rice fields and misty mountains beyond. Minutes from the historic city of Chiang Mai, the resort is a perfect springboard for discovering the Northern region's most glittering heritage sites and colourful contemporary life. Explore the resort's lush tropical grounds to discover intriguing insights into the exotic local flora and fauna. Tick off atmospheric ancestral shrines, rice fields and beloved water buffaloes. Discover local flavours and original cocktails, especially those created by world-renown mixologist Javier de la Muelas. Add another talent to your repertoire at the resort's acclaimed Thai cooking school and feel the world from different perspectives at The Spa. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- 4 Seasons Resort Chiang Mai
- Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai Hotel Mae Rim
- Four Seasons Chiang Mai
- Four Seasons Thailand
- Chiang Mai Four Seasons
- Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai Chiang Mai Province/Mae Rim