Get ready for a lengthy review! We stayed 11 nights at centara khum phaya resort over October-November in a pool access room. The reasons we chose khum phaya were:
We wanted a more luxury holiday than many cheap inner city hotels offer
We don't mind being out of the hustle and bustle of the city but with conveniences all close by
We love nature and gardens
We love staying traditional (in this case, traditional lanna style)
And let's face it... How insane does the pool look?
Khum phaya delivered on all these fronts. What I would say though is that this is a hotel which has the potential to be an AMAZING five star resort with a few small tweaks, but at the moment, feels like a four star.
We were told there was something like 200 varieties of trees, plants and flowers around the resort and the grounds staff have done an absolutely wonderful job. Even if your room is on the road-side of the resort (as opposed to the river-side of the resort) as ours was, the high wall has bamboo planted all along it too make you feel like you're more in nature than you actually are (which is a good thing!)
Every morning I loved walking past and smelling what I think was star jasmine, every day in the pool you can smell the frangipani flowers which have fallen into the water, some trees of interest even have plaques you can read about them.
The pool was always clean and presentable, I did notice more dead leaves than usual on Thursday but this is mosquito fumigation day so that may be why the pool wasn't cleaned as thoroughly as others days.
The pool is nice and long with different things to do and places to sit, however admittedly it is smaller than we imagined it to be from photos, not that it was too small, but don't expect it to just keep going and going and going.
Compared to other similar priced, similar rated resorts in Thailand we have stayed at, the customer service here was OK but not amazing. Many staff just did what they had to, in that, they weren't going out of their way to be overly friendly or get to know you. We did take a liking to a driver/bellboy named Aor as he was always friendly, remembered us, gave us some good local tips etc, also Bank who worked In the restaurant was took a little more interest than other staff. But considering we stayed there for 12 whole days, it surprised us that not many other staff stood out to us. All it takes is a genuine smile, and a sincere conversation every now and then. We value that highly in a five star resort, when personal interaction makes your stay enjoyable, any small issues you have with the hotel usually fades from memory. the housekeeping staff we saw during our stay were friendly, but sometimes lacked initiative. Sometimes they took our beach towels that were used and didn't replace them. 3 days after we had eaten our welcome fruit platter it had still not been taken away, fruit peels were just sitting out in our room, we ended up calling up to have it taken out. These little things wouldn't matter in a 3 star hotel but probably should be addressed here.
As is to be expected from a more pricey hotel - more pricey food (compared to outside restaurants). I don't think anyone should complain about that - that's just standard hotel practice! Aside from breakfast we only had room service once, and the food was alright, but not as high quality as you'd expect for the caliber of hotel.
Breakfasts were good, again not outstanding, but good. We enjoyed the Thai food like pad thai (which appeared every 4 days or so), but there were some weird options like Spaghetti bolognaise, thai curries... Things you wouldn't expect for breakfast. Perhaps if less attention was paid to the western styled "salad bar" which we found unusual, and they paid more attention to normal western breakfasts it would have made eating more enjoyable. At comparable hotels you can usually order dishes on top of the buffet (eggs Benedict/florentine etc) as well as drinks (latte, mocha, iced coffee etc) but this wasn't available here. There is an egg chef making your eggs to order each morning, they weren't amazing, but ok. If you want poached it depends on who is working whether they will say yes or no haha. Nice fruit selection available, and a few fruit juices, though I'm not sure how fresh they were.
Once again - huge potential, just haven't hit the mark yet, but with some small changes this could be an amazing hotel breakfast.
We just love the traditional Lanna style teak wood everywhere through the hotel. Our room had some nice touches to it, and we arrived to a spread of rose petals (perhaps because it was our anniversary?) and a welcome letter in a fancy scroll thing. We loved the pool access room, the sound of the water fountain just outside was relaxing however we never could understand when it would come on and off it seemed to be at random times through out the day on different days. Nice bathroom there, nice bed, we used the mosquito net every night just in case. Some weird things though: we had an oil burner, with no candles or matches. We called up to ask for some and they told us they had candles but no matches and brought the candles to our room. That was just weird I guess. We ended up walking to the big C down the road, couldn't find any, I think ended up buying some in the city one day. Also there is no DVD player, nor any music players (eg iPod Dock, CD player). We called up one day to request a DVD player and we were told there were none at the hotel. No DVD players? In a 80-something room hotel? We called the next day as someone else was on the desk and they said they had one DVD player. One! They said we could borrow it, but only for two days... I think there should be more than one DVD player in a hotel that large.
It is a fair way out of the city, if you primarily want adventure, exploration of a new place, and being close to everything touristy, don't stay here, stay in the old city. But if you like to relax in peace and quiet and still have the option to look around this is the perfect location. Free shuttles run every day at 10:00am, 2:00pm, 7:00pm returning at 2:30, 7:30 and 10:00. There's nothing much to do before lunch in the area where you get dropped, in fact there's not much to do until about 6 or 7 as it becomes the night bazaar. I would suggest changing the shuttle times (maybe 12, 4, 7?) or changing the location of the shuttle drop off in the morning and early afternoon. Don't think though that this is out in the middle of nowhere. In walking distance you have some great cheap yummy food, the big C - a shopping centre we went to pretty much every day, dental clinics, laundry, even the thai version of ikea - index living mall, and a guy making the best street cart iced coffee. This is a happening area with lots of condominiums being built (which does mean some construction noise during day and night, but not too bad, you get used to it, besides those hard workers didn't even seem to use power tools just hammers and the like!
In conclusion, we really enjoyed our stay at khum phaya, with a tiny bit of effort this could be better again, hopefully the management will implement some of the suggestions made by faithful visitors
- Also Known As:
- Khum Phaya Resort & Spa Centara Boutique Collection Hotel Chiang Mai
- Khum Phaya Resort And Spa Centara Boutique Collection
- Khum Phaya Resort & Spa Centara Boutique Collection Hotel
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Khum Phaya Resort & Spa, Centara Boutique Collection (formerly Prince Khum Phaya Resort & Spa Chiang Mai): Chiang Mai is well-known for its extensive range of hotels, many being high rise within the city centre. Unlike others, Khum Phaya Resort & Spa, Centara Boutique Collection aims to deliver a friendly traditional Lanna style resort right to the heart of Chiang Mai. The design and architecture of Khum Phaya Resort & Spa, Centara Boutique Collection are based on Lanna (Northern-Thai) traditions and customs, distinctively for the Art of Teak Wood Carving used in the majority of the decorations including the 80-year-old teak wooden roof topping. Plus, in-room furniture and facilities are in Lanna style. The pleasant landscape, conceived from traditional Thai style, which is an assembly of Thai mythological trees and flowers, which some age more than a hundred years, make Khum Phaya Resort & Spa, Centara Boutique Collection an unique place to stay. ... more less
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