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“Delightful...” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Aruntara Riverside Boutique Hotel

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Aruntara Riverside Boutique Hotel
Ranked #38 of 373 Hotels in Chiang Mai
Certificate of Excellence
Northampton, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Delightful...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 January 2012

If a 'Riverside Boutique Hotel' means well-appointed, discreet, serene, clean, nice rooms, helpful staff and all-round good value, then the Aruntara Hotel has it all. The reception staff are unfailingly helpful and polite with a smile for everyone and nothing is too much trouble for them.
The restaurant and bar staff treat everyone with unfailing courtesy and politeness and will go to any length to make one feel comfortable while eating or drinking and the chef will do his best to deliver anything you ask for.

Likewise those members of staff 'behind the scenes' who are responsible for cleaning rooms, tending the gardens and generally ensuring that your stay is enjoyable. Again, discretion is the key word, one might not see them as they go about their daily business but the results are self-evident. Example - I asked for some laundry to be taken from my room, within 2 minutes, the housekeeper and the room maid were knocking on my door to let me know and return 10,000 baht I'd left in the pocket of my shorts!! Excellent service, but somehow I get the feeling that this level of service is the norm. With that in mind then, congratulations must go to the management who obviously have a really good training programme in place.

We've been here for three weeks and I can honestly say that I'm sad at the thought of leaving, We shall soon be living in Chiang Mai so that means I can return on the odd occasion and enjoy a meal with people I've come to think of as friends.

I've stayed at various 5 star hotels around the world and I wouldn't care to recommend most of them. However I cannot recommend the Aruntara Riverside Boutique hotel highly enough.
Do give it a try.

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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Omaha08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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672 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (81)
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singapore
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 January 2012

What a intimate resort, what a lovely stay!

The resort may not compare well in size and sophistication of design like hip design hotels or huge 5 stars, but this is a real charmer. The resort is a prime example of how photos do not do justice to the atmosphere, intimate feel and great service one encounters here.

Every staff member we met was kind and patient; the service was never intruding yet very personal. The detailing of the hotel design may not be tip top but they show great effort and genuine attempt to do something special for the guests. The breakfast wasn't huge but being an intimate resort, it felt homely. There are minor lapses like a small row of storage cupboards next to the staircase (which is not very sightly) and two short power down in my room, but all is forgivable as we can always nick pick if we want to. I'd rather choose not to as the resort genuinely gave us a peaceful and quiet environment so elegant and personal, I wish I stayed longer. Style and good taste from the exterior to the room prevail. The legendary Thai hospitality permeates.

The hotel is a little out of the way but the reward is peace and absolute quiet against the backdrop of a great river view. I sat on a rocking chair at the tea room after breakfast every morning and it was bliss. It feels 5 stars but you are paying 3 stars. Great for couples and friends seeking some time away from hectic life in the city.

Chiang Mai is better off with Aruntara. Absolutely.

Try it with an open mind and heart, you will love it like we did. Bravo!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jilop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Darien, Connecticut
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 January 2012

Nice quiet hotel by the Ping River. Comfy room, although the mattress is on the floor so just be prepared for that.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Worldrexplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 January 2012

This small boutique hotel is a surprise to me. The hotel is simple yet stylish. Though it is small but the decoration and style can make you feel like staying in a five-star. It sits next to the river so it gives you a peaceful and quiet atmosphere. The breakfast is really very good. Although the choices are limited but all taste good, especially the order-to-made egg. It also provides you with fruit plate for your stay. The room is tidy and clean and have everything your need - free wifi, minibar etc. Some of the guests may not be satisfied as the pool is very small but as I went there during winter time, it is not a problem for me. Also, you have to take a tuktuk to other places, but it is quite convenient, only around 60B to the Night Bazzar and it takes within 10 mins. Overall, this is a very comfortable hotel that is worth to stay.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank travel-ying
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
Level Contributor
46 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 January 2012

My husband and I spent four nights here during our two week trip to Thailand. After having read hundreds of reviews for various hotels, we chose Aruntara for its boutique style and riverside location.

The hotel is adorable, nicely styled and decorated with an overall feeling of peace and tranquility. As we visited over the Christmas holiday, the lobby played Christmas music 24/7 and there was a Christmas tree in the courtyard - very cute! We found the staff to be extremely friendly and helpful. We asked them for assistance quite a bit during our stay and they were always happy to help us arrange spa reservations, make change so we had smaller bills for the tuk-tuk drivers, find us a private driver for a day or assist us in changing reservations for the khantoke dinner that we decided to forego in favor of spending another night at one of Chiang Mai's many markets.

The day we arrived, my husband and I each had 90 minute hot oil massages. The massages themselves were very nice and the massage therapists very skilled. At $38pp, we also found them to be a great value in comparison to prices in the US, though you could certainly find many massages at lower prices in Thailand. My only small complaints about the spa are that it is located in the courtyard, so the noise does carry and keeps you from that completely relaxed feeling you want when having a massage; also, the hot oil massage didn't actually use oil that was hot and it was fairly chilly in the spa, so I was actually cold/had goosebumps throughout the entire experience. Minor complaints for an enjoyable overall experience.

We had a standard room on the second floor. After seeing our room, we did look into upgrading to one of the suites with a river view, but it wasn't available during our stay and we wound up not really wanting or needing a balcony. The rooms are comfortable, though the bed is hard as rock! After busy days in Chiang Mai, I still managed to sleep like a baby, but my husband found it very difficult to sleep with this particular mattress.

Don't know what's located on either side of the hotel as we didn't do much exploring in the evening, but we did find it to be very loud at night; the courtyard set-up contributes to this, but we also experienced some really loud music that didn't seem to be coming from anywhere at Aruntara, so it could be from somewhere nearby.

As many other reviewers have mentioned, the Aruntara's location is a little withdrawn from the city center. While we realized we would have liked to be in closer proximity to the Night Bazaar or the Old City, we didn't find it to be a huge inconvenience as it was a quick and inexpensive tuk-tuk ride to wherever we wanted to go.

Overall impressions - the Aruntara is a very good value; rooms are basic but sufficient as is breakfast, helpful and friendly staff. Next time we're in Chiang Mai we will choose a location closer to the Night Bazaar (maybe the Le Meridien or Shagri-La), but I would recommend the Aruntara to friends and family without hesitation.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank lostinmadrid28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2012

From the second we were greeted by their security officer to the head of front office, very friendly obliging staff. Food is awesome, cleanliness of the motel very prominate. Ideally located by the river, which the dining area looks out to. Perfect location to night markets and tuk tuk ride to old city. Rooms presented exceptionally well with contemporary bohemian. Drunken guests may have issues mounting the elevated placement of the king size bed, which adds to the charater of the room.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Wanoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 January 2012

I echo other reviewers here: very nice, elegant little boutique hotel with very prompt, kind, and professional staff. Not a five-star, knock-your-socks-off experience, but a very solid 4-star place that is good value for money. Our room was nicely appointed (we would have appreciated more complimentary water, but I think we got spoiled with boatloads of bottled water at other larger hotels) and the bed was very hard but surprisingly comfortable. We were not thrilled to find so many mosquitos in Chiang Mai (we had to kill several in the room the first day); there is mosquito netting around the bed, but it is rather ineffectual as it is not a full piece of netting (they need to take a lesson from the safari lodges in Kenya to learn what mosquito netting around a bed should really look like). However, the front desk will give citronella oil spray if you ask, so there's that. It was quite hot and sticky in Chiang Mai (it was probably 90 degrees F yesterday in Chiang Rai), and the mosquitoes were out in full force, sadly. But that's not Aruntara's fault, obviously, so just be warned that you should bring some itch cream and repellant if bugs love you.

The hotel grounds are lovely and the restaurant/breakfast area is wonderful (faces the river and a manicured lawn area). There's a little tapas/wine bar that did not have staff the one time we tried it; we ended up walking back to our room. Breakfast choices are very limited (perhaps this is an unfair comparison, as I am thinking of the amazing brunches at places like Lebua, Mandarin Oriental, Langham, Hyatt, etc.), but the omelet station is nice, and the few light meals we had in the restaurant were well-prepared (the khantoke was especially delicious).

We liked the location (in the peaceful Muslim neighborhood of the city) and enjoyed our 20-minute walk to the night bazaar and our 30-min walk to the old city, but I can also see why some people might not like the location due to the distance. You can get a tuk-tuk to the old city for about 100 baht (depends on time of day and number of visitors in town; if the drivers think they can fry bigger fish/more willing tourists, they will hold firm with inflated price and not bother negotiating). There is usually a tuk tuk outside the hotel, though, and song teows are fun to buzz around in.

Overall, really nice little hotel and fantastic staff!!

Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Jennifer H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Aruntara Riverside Boutique Hotel

Property: Aruntara Riverside Boutique Hotel
Address: 351 / 1 Charoen Prathet Road | T Changklan, A Muang, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Chiang Mai Province > Chiang Mai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #38 of 373 Hotels in Chiang Mai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Aruntara Riverside Boutique Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Aruntara Chiang Mai is a true treasure for hotel aficionados and the traveling cognoscenti alike. Its British colonial design is complimented by Northern Thai influences that embrace the present while respecting the past. High ceilings sit above beautiful towering teak columns traditionally crafted by Thai tradesman. Each of the luxurious guest rooms is designed to offer stylish accommodation with an expansive open-plan living area and an abundance of room to relax and unwind while glancing over Chiang Mai’s Mae Ping River. ... more   less 
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