Wow-- River View Lodge exceeded all of our expectations! In reading other recent reviews, I can't believe that we stayed at the same beautiful, hospitable and very clean hotel.
During our 2-week trip to Thailand over Christmas & New Year's, we enjoyed our 5 nights at River View more than any other hotel. The owners have a winning recipe here with the scenic grounds, clean & comfortable rooms, convenient location, and a hotel with personality. The friendly, helpful staff spoke more English than we expected and had a lot of fun with us practicing our Thai.
The travel books said that the reknowned Chiang Mai map maker and writer, Nancy Chandler, always stays at River View when in town. Sure enough, she was in town and staying at the River View and happily signing her maps and books as visitors asked her. The smiling owners seemed to always be around the veranda/dining area and available to their guests.
The location was incredibly covenient yet nicely situated off of the main road and down a soi (lane) on the MaePing River. The Night Bazaar, the local flower market, the evening food market and the TaPae Gate area were all within an easy walking distance. Restaurant choices abound within 1 block of River View. (Dining in Chiang Mai is incredibly inexpensive. Our family of 4 rarely ate and drank for more than $10 US total.)
Guests at River View are treated to an included breakfast... eggs, croissants, tea/coffee/juice & fresh fruit made to order, not buffet style. The open-air dining surrounded by the beautiful, eclectic courtyard proved a filling and peaceful start to each day.
Planters, gorgeous flowers and trees grace the courtyard with gazebo, swimming pool and little sitting nooks. We took many pictures of this aesthetic setting with hopes of reliving the scenery and feel once we returned home.
You want to get a riverfront balcony room (1650 baht, I think). We had 2 rooms on the first and third floors. Rooms right around the front desk can be a little noisy with the telephone ringing and loud tourists. Complimentary bottles of water are placed in the rooms each day. We bought soda and Singha beer very cheaply down the street and stocked our mini refrigerator. However, beverages are available in the coolers in the dining area. You simply sign the sheet with your room # and what you are taking-- all honor system. What a pleasant change from the USA, huh?
River View was an excellent launching point to the area's sights. We enjoyed classes at Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School, a day at the MaeTang Elephant Camp, massages, shopping and more. We really liked our airport taxi driver, Krispol, and got his business card. After comparing prices with tour guides, we just called "our" taxi guy to take us places such as the elephant camp and the Long Neck tribal village. At the end of our trip, he transported us to the airport for much less than the front desk quoted us.
We fell in love with Chiang Mai and were repeatedly amazed at the cleanliness, safety and kind spirit of the people. It was so pronounced that we let our 14 year old son roam around on his own at times. And, my senior citizen mother walked down dimly lit shortcuts without an increase in heartrate.
River View Lodge exudes the calm, peaceful Thai spirit. We would absolutely return and highly recommend it!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The River View Lodge is overlooking the Ping River and is less than 10 minutes stroll from Chiang Mai's famous Night Bazaar. Decorated with regional carvings and textiles, our rooms are clean, neat, beautifully appointed and simply furnished with good showers, hot water and air conditioning. Fifteen of our 35 rooms have balconies and verandas that face the Ping River and overlook a beautiful tropical garden with several intimate pavilions and patios. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- River View Hotel Chiang Mai
- River View Chiang Mai