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“Consistency of Excellence” 5 of 5 stars
Review of 137 Pillars House

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137 Pillars House
5.0 of 5 Boutique Hotel   |   2 Soi 1, Na Wat Gate Road | Wat Gate, Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand   |  
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Ranked #2 of 330 Hotels in Chiang Mai
Port Shepstone, South Africa
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Consistency of Excellence”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2012

Although relatively new 137 Pillars House is no chi chi Boutique Hotel with false pretensions and inconsistent promises, the delivery of service from every single staff member from the GM to the more than courteous Guest Service Managers and Reception Staff breathe professionalism and smiling , but not fawning, devotion to ensuring guest comfort and well-being from dusk to dawn. Our positive impressions were already etched during our welcome reception and cemented further when we viewed our spacious ground-floor Suite, one housed in a harmonious new build compund, closest to the Reception area. The lay-out smacks of originality of design commencing with an imposingly long entrance passage leading on the left to multi-purpose bathing/showering and dressing areas and forwardly to the bedroom and outdoor lounging patio. Every desirable comfort for leisure and entertainment is considered equipment-wise in an unobstrusive manner in the room design. The highlight, for me, were the fabrics that were utilized. Our room featured decorative wooden elephant placements and heavy elephant embossed curtain fabric with opulent tie-backs; the splashes of red added colour and upliftment to the overall decor. Perhaps, the one negative factor relates to the complicated light system that we finally conquered on the final day of our departure. As a hotel guest one is spoilt for choice as to whether lounging should take place within the confines of the room or in the impressively restored main building housing the restaurant, bars, deep verandahs and formal lounges and then there is the statement pool out shadowed somewhat by the imposing botanical creeper wall in a green colour that is completely seductive not to mention the scattered chiffon draped day beds temptingly beckoning in what breeze there might be during the day ! During our stay both couples and family groups checked in but surprisingly there is a silent level of privacy that can be enjoyed in this establishment. I can recall multiple reasons to praise the staff at all levels but I think suffice it is to say that their training and commitment are both so professional that they will never disappoint. During my stay I was allocated a personal computer on a 24/7 basis for internal use in my room at absolutely no charge what so ever. I was also blessed with a surprise celebratory Birthday Cake. Much can also be said about the landscaping, natural vegetation and trees on this property, there is great harmony of vision and design and great thought has gone into execution of a hospitality dream that is stamped by luxury that is not overt or crass. I can only applaud you if you make this your choice for a stay , long or short, whilst you are in Chiang Mai.

Room Tip: A ground floor room allows you to appreciate the floral drama more. The breakfasts are lavish, do no...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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622 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (103)
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English first
Milan, Italy
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2012

I simply looved this hotel! Room was the best ever! extremely comfortable and impeccable room service. Staff is incredibly kind, helpful and attentive; property is wonderfully designed (when you walk in at night you are amazed by the sight). SPA is a luxury experience. Great location as it feels secluded but you are 80 thb away from center (with tuk tuk). I want to go back to the lovely Chiang Mai just to stay here again! what more can I say?

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Penang Island, Malaysia
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2012

All the excellent reviews of 137 Pillars so far speak for themselves, and the photos uploaded are also very comprehensive, so I shall only add a several specific observations in relation to some "little details" and also with respect to other reviews.

The architecture, history etc. of this place are truly amazing. Nuff said. You really must come and see this place for yourself. It's special and unique. The hotel owners and project staff did an amazing job with the restoration of the original house, and with the design and construction and furnishing of the rooms, and the landscaping etc.

Many nice touches in the rooms -- an ipod nano (I find it difficult to imagine that these do not sometimes go "missing"...), Panpuri toiletries, coffee machine, very nice balconies to lounge around on. The indoor rain shower was a bit strange, in that it only let out cold water -- I don't know if that was a plumbing quirk specific to our room, or a general design flaw common to all rooms.

As everyone else has already noted, the service is excellent and responsive, staff are polite and friendly, always smiling and ever helpful -- one just needs to ask. We particularly appreciated their suggestions for local places to eat and where to go, with times when two staff together shared their differing opinions on the merits of one place vs another. This is true local info which is invaluable.

Location is close to many places of interest, including the Night Bazaar etc. Many riverside restaurants, cafes and interesting shops are within 5 mins walk. There is even a local eating place just in front of the hotel. As it is relatively "new" and exclusive, however, not all tuktuk drivers will know where 137 is. One driver had difficulty even after he had read the hotel card with directions printed in Thai -- so be prepared to give specific directions once in the general vicinity of the Riverside and Gallery restaurants, which is all very simple, really.

Noise -- some reviewers complained about noise, but really this place is quieter than many others within the town of Chiangmai. Sure, there are neighbourhood dogs, and nearby bars, and also occasional fellow guests who can be noisy. But this is urban Thailand, urban Southeast Asia for that matter. So, for the sake of completeness -- there are some bars by the riverside where the music just wafts over. There is a church on the south side which has kids singing Sunday school songs on Sunday morning. The condo on the east side had a pool with kids frolicking in during weekends. All these can be heard. Having said that, none of this affected our sleep, and things are very very quiet here on the balcony on a Monday morning. Anyone looking for real silence would probably prefer somewhere outside of town in the hills...

Breakfast was very good. Some reviewers commented on the relatively small buffet, but what do you expect -- a large buffet does not make sense for a place that has only 30 rooms. I found the buffet to be more than adequate, and we loved the a la carte "main course" breakfast selection -- everything we ordered during our stay was very good. The real highlight, though, are the freshly baked breads, all freshly made in-house by the kitchen -- delicious, with both savoury and sweet selections. Excellent croissants, pains au chocolat, and bite-size banana bread with almonds.

Now, the weakest review so far is a single "average" rating, that I see has already been responded to by the hotel manager. My own observations on the points raised would be as follows:

First, it is true that the light switches in the rooms are rather complicated for folks such as myself who are used to simple on-off switches with no time delays -- the reception staff who showed us to our room did try to explain the workings to us, but it would be useful to either have a perfectly rehearsed speech on this for newly arrived guests, or else to include an explanatory card in the info folder in the room. Having said that, anyone with a bit of time and willingness to learn will eventually figure out the lights.

Second, it would be useful to have a "do not disturb" sign to hang on the door.

Third, people tend not to eat in for dinner, so yes they're not really geared for a great dinner experience and are not staffed up, but the one time we did eat in, it was fine.

Fourth, accessibility for those with mobility issues -- it's true that there is no wheelchair access or elevator, but anyone who needs such access should generally make enquiries before booking. Otherwise, I found the grounds well-lit at night and the steps not unreasonable for anyone who does not need any special assistance or facilities.

Overall, 137 Pillars is excellent and deserves its excellent ratings.

Room Tip: Upper level rooms provide more balcony privacy than ground-level rooms.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2012

We stayed at 137 Pillars for almost a week with our young daughter and in laws during Songkram, Buddist new year. The hotel has a great history as the HQ of the Borneo company, which was run by the son of "Ana and the King". The small boutique hotel is build upon the original compound of the Borneo company. It is intimate and very tastefully designed. The main building has been beautifully restored, but breathes history. I loved having a drink there and reading when days were close to 40 C. Rooms are in groups of 4 or so in six different seperate buildings which have been newly build, but are carefully designed to match the integrity of the whole historic compound. The swimming pool is beautifully done in natural stone , under a 10 mtr or so wall of plants. The wall hides an old building outside the hotel and is very effectively covered up by this spectacular botanical "wall". Only remark with the pool is that the natural stone has quite sharp edges also on the stairs into the pool, which is a bit tricky for kids or elderly patrons if they would fall.
The interior of the rooms was modern classic, with all amenities we could wish for, incl Nespresso machine, in and outdoor shower, beautiful appointed fixtures . Balcony was spacious and private with comfortable sitting area and rocking chair and daybed. Vegetation was lush and fragrant and one felt like being home in this gorgeous colonial environment.
Staff was wonderful, even though the hotel was recently opened. We met the GM who was a true professional in hospitality management, nothing seemed to escape him. The restaurant was designed in harmony and style. We had many dinners "at home" , food was terrific. Breakfast was ala carte and excellent.
We want to go back in end of July , but hotel is booked, no wonder. Love to go back.

Room Tip: All suites are tops. Borneo suites are very spacious. We stayed on top floor, which gives view and m...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012

My wife surprised me with reservations at a new boutique hotel in Chiang Mai. Although we live in town this was to celebrate my birthday. The hotel is beautifully set in it's own oasis. When they found out we were there for a special occasion they upgraded us to a suite that was two rooms and very romantic. A sound system offered music, a soaking tub relaxation and a shower with options of indoor or outdoor was fun. When we returned from dinner they had put a birthday cake in our room. They get five stars from us.

Room Tip: plan on a suite and have a more than memorable stay
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New York, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2012

This hotel is beautiful and charming and the service is excellent. I felt both at home and pampered at the same time! And it is a great location. We were concerned the hotel would be too far away from the sites etc but it turned out to be perfect - around the corner from a really cute area with great restaurants and shopping - and a quick tuk-tuk ride to the temples, night market etc. I would recommend traveling by tuk-tuk instead of by taxi - its more of an experience, not to mention that it is less expensive. I wish there was a 137 Pillars House everywhere I went!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, USA
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2012

137 Pillars House sets a really high bar for all boutique hotels in the world. I am very pleased with the service and facilities after staying here for 4 nights in July. Simply put, it would be very difficult to find a place like this elsewhere in the world for the rate it charges. Some points worth noting:

-The rooms are all very spacious and superb in their design. Beautiful wall pictures, furnitures, warm lighting, which all help enhancing the overall comfortness.
-Great porch and bathrooms.
-Use high quality bath products (Panpuri, a solid local brand).
-Great public area full of colonial charm. Renovation of the property was truly a great job!
-Very nice swimming pool with a vertical garden.
-Front desk staff who always greet with beautiful smile and are very helpful. They booked all my tours and local activities for me with great rates and efficiency.
-Close to the city center but away from the noisy area.
-Great promotion (3 nitghts for the price of 2) and overall value compared to properties of similar-level in the area.

The only minor drawback is the somewhat limited breakfast choices, though it was more than enough to me.

The price is on the high end in Chiang-Mai. But again, this is about the overall value you get. This level of luxury can easily cost USD$600-800 per night in Chiang-Mai (e.g., Four Seasons or Mandarin Oriental), but I paid less than USD$200 including several meals during the low season.

Strongly recommended!

Room Tip: They are all good.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 137 Pillars House

Address: 2 Soi 1, Na Wat Gate Road | Wat Gate, Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Chiang Mai Province > Chiang Mai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 330 Hotels in Chiang Mai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — 137 Pillars House 5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This luxurious 30 suite boutique Hotel is built around a colonial teak homestead built in 1880s. It is located in a leafy residential enclave a few minutes walk from the historical Wat Gate Temple, Ping River and boutique shopping area. Four stunning suite types range from 70 -135 square meters; two with small private pools. Tiled verandas, cane shades, rattan furniture and free standing Victorian baths are reminders of days gone by, blend with modern facilities including outdoor gardens showers, flat screen televisions and wi-fi. A range of bespoke dining options include the Library Bar, Parlor, Wine Cellar, Dining Room, Kitchen and Private Dining, using organic ingredients from the Hotel’s garden.Recreation facilities include the Spa, Gymnasium and Swimming Pool. ... more   less 
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