This was our second stop to a month long stay in Thailand.
We had just stayed at the Centara Grand at CentralWorld which was amazing and a 5 star hotel. We didn't want to spend as much on the hotel as we weren't staying in Chiang Mai for very long and planned to be away from the hotel most of the time anyway so we were expecting the imperial to be less fancy.
We had the worst experience here in what turned out to be one of our most favourite places (Chiang Mai). On arrival we were sat in the lobby and had a feeling it was going to be a wait as huge busloads of Chinese turned up due to it being Chinese New Year. Our flight was late and we didn't arrive until almost midnight but we didn't mind waiting - apart from all the mosquitos everywhere in the lobby. We had a private transfer that came with a tour guide telling us about Chiang Mai and all the things we can do while we are there. He came in to the hotel with us and got us to sit while he went up to the desk and checked us in. After some time they sent him back - not the night manage - to explain to us that there was a problem and that they couldn't find our booking. We booked through a travel agent that had to receive confirmation from the hotel before confirming to us so we knew it was more like they had overbooked due to the holiday. I went up to the desk and was told I was speaking with the Manager (he was just the night manager - I found out) and he was very unapologetic. He said it is probably someone else's fault not the hotels. I showed him my booking and pointed to the confirmed section. His only offer was that we could stay at their other hotel not that far away which had the same star rating and cost the same price per night there and then in the morning they would pick us up and take us back to this hotel. I asked to see where it was on the map and it was so far from everything! I explained that we were only staying 4 nights and had a lot of things we wanted to do and that it was very inconvenient for us. He just said: 'what do you want me to do about that?'. In my head I thought - show some professionalism and manners for starters, apologise and offer some kind of upgrade or something. I got him to agree to giving us the royal suite for the remainder of the trip. The worse has still not came. So before I could discuss this with my sister, he grabs our bags and starts packing them in to the van - I haven't even agreed to staying at the other hotel yet. He sends the bell boy back in to the hotel to tell us we have to leave now because the car is waiting. We were tired by this point and thought lets just stay there for one night. We get driven to the middle of nowhere, missing the entry so many times that we had to keep doing u-turns. The place is a dingy looking motel that looks like men would take street prostitutes to - not a hotel! We go inside and realise that our driver is the night manager (you'd think he'd know the way to their other hotel). This place honestly looked like a scary motel from one of those horror movies. The keys to the rooms were in those pigeon hole type set ups, all the windows and doors were open with mosquitos and lizards everywhere, the tiny reception booth had a fan - not air-conditioning. The night manager comes in smiling knowing that we didn't know he was driving us and knowing very well that this is not the same star hotel. He starts telling us that if they find out that we don't have a booking with their hotel then we will be charged for the night at this place and then he leaves. I do have to say that the receptionist boy at this motel was really sweet to us the whole time. You have to climb stairs to get up to your room - bear in mind that we have suitcases. Once in the room it was just like a cheap motel. The bathroom was dirty, mosquitos were absolutely everywhere in the room, wires were hanging out from behind the bedside table, and there was no telephone. We felt scared and really not comfortable so we went back downstairs and asked to use the phone to call other hotels. Every hotel was booked out due to the holiday and lucky we begged the holiday inn to give us any room and they were nice enough to give us a room that was absolutely lovely!!! The next day the actual manager from imperial called us and this was a completely different experience. She was very nice and apologised and explained it was their fault and that they would like to pick us up and give us the royal suite for the remainder of the holiday. When we got there, she was very nice and helpful and apologetic. The hotel is nice, the pool and grounds are very pretty - the royal suite was probably a lot nicer than our standard room but I wouldn't spend a lot of money on it - it is a little outdated and the bathroom isn't very nice. The location of the hotel was excellent (right next to the Night Bazaar) and they did make a really good pizza. It wasted a whole day for us in Chiang Mai which was unfortunate as we loved Chiang Mai! I wouldn't stay here again because of that experience but definitely would stay somewhere in that location.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
March 10, 2013
Dear Miss Happy
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Thank you for taking the time to post here on Trip Advisor. We do apologize for the inconveniences caused to you during the arrival at our hotel. Such incidents should not have happened and we have spoken to the night staff concerning such situations. The mosquito problem has too been addressed, as many areas in Chiang Mai have been suffering. An official letter has been sent to the local authority signed by many hotels in the area. Once again we do apologize for the shortcomings and send you our.
Kind regards from Peter Schnyder - General Manager and The Imperial Mae Ping Team
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.