Le Meridien Chiang Mai Review
I saved a lot of money on hotels by staying with a friend in Bangkok on my recent trip to Thailand. However, we traveled as a group of four people up north to the city of Chiang Mai. Here is my Le Meridien Chiang Mai review.
I had booked two rooms for four women. One of them was secured using points and the other was a cash reservation. Since I have gold status with SPG (thank you Platinum Amex) it made more sense for me to make both reservations. The room secured with points was a standard room and included a fruit plate as an SPG gold status welcome amenity. While checking in the clerk informed me that the hotel was completely booked and unfortunately the other room had to be upgraded to a suite. Oh, the horror.
Our suite had a large bedroom and living room separated by a floating wall that held a large TV on each side. The bathroom was enormous, with a soaker tub that looked out onto the city. The separate zero entry shower wasn’t small either. The separate toilet room and giant closet were perfect for two girls traveling together. There were no less than 8 bottles of complimentary water in the suite. The room was truly spectacular. In the bedroom there was an extra long built in couch that sat under one of the panoramic windows. As an SPG member with gold status I had my choice between free wifi, two drinks at the bar, a small amount of SPG points, or a welcome amenity (fruit). I decided on the free wifi, although it would be free for all guests in another month at all SPG hotels. Keeping up with family was important for all of us so it was an easy choice.
The lobby and bar:
This modern hotel boasts a comfortable lobby with extremely tall ceilings and lots of places to sit. While it seemed primarily a business hotel, I did not feel out of place dressed like a tourist with my comfortable walking shoes. The tall modern pillars in the lobby had small rectangular niches that held a small lit candle at night, giving a beautiful glow to the space.
The small bar area sits adjacent and open to the lobby area. We sat and had a few drinks waiting for our suite to be ready. The bartender spoke excellent english and was very attentive. The small bowl of Tom Yum seasoned nut mix that he gave us was fantastic. It was so good I even bought some in the night markets the next day. We struck up a conversation with an Australian traveler at the bar, so don’t shy away from this hotel thinking it’s only for business people.
We asked for several recommendations from the concierge during our stay. They recommended several restaurants, shops, and even a fish spa experience! Every recommendation was spot on. I appreciated that he gave us several recommendations in one area in case they were busy and had a long wait. He also gave us an idea of how much it should cost to take a tuk tuk or how long it would be to walk to the places he recommended. We never had to wait behind more than one person when asking for assistance from the concierge.
This level of service extended to the other staff as well. The doormen were always there to open up the large two story glass doors at the entrance. One morning while waiting for a tour to pick us up, the doorman asked us to sit down in the comfortable lobby and he would notify us when they arrived. They also quickly arranged an SUV to take us to the airport on the day of our departure after they saw all of our luggage. I don’t know if the great level of service was due to their training by the hotel, or just an indication of how friendly the Thai people are. Either way, it did not go unnoticed.
I did not visit the gym, pool, or hotel restaurant. The pool is located on the 4th floor and looks out over the peak of Doi Suthep. We had the same view from the inside of our suite, so I’d highly recommend it.
The Le Meridien Chiang Mai is located in downtown Chiang Mai. The night markets begin right outside the door. We found ourselves strolling through the night markets at the end of both of our long days in Chiang Mai. They sell everything there! Food, clothes, toys, gifts, art, spices, you name it. For those of you that need a specific caffeine fix, there is a Starbucks directly across the street from the hotel. If you are traveling with kids that are picky eaters, you might find comfort in the location of a McDonalds and a Haagen Dazs around the corner. Although the quality and variety of the food in the markets is all you will ever need.
Since Chiang Mai is smaller than Bangkok, it seemed more friendly too. Getting around by tuk tuk or songaew seemed much more manageable in Chiang Mai. The location of the hotel meant that we were not very far from anything we wanted to see. Although the peak of Doi Suthep would not be close to any centrally located hotel in Chiang Mai, so I wouldn’t include that. As a tourist, it might be easier to visit Chiang Mai before Bangkok, as I found it much easier to get my bearings in Chiang Mai.
My overall impression of the Le Meridien Chiang Mai was fantastic. The location, rooms, and staff were second to none. The only thing it is missing is a little Thailand flair. While the modern interior of the hotel could have been located anywhere, the views from our room and the night markets right outside our door made it a great choice. I would definitely stay there again.