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“Wow--serene beauty” 5 of 5 stars
Review of River View Lodge

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River View Lodge
25 Soi 4,Charoen Prathet Road, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #119 of 503 Chiang Mai B&B and Inns
4.0 of 5 stars 108 Reviews
Sterling, VA
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
248 helpful votes 248 helpful votes
“Wow--serene beauty”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2006

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!

  • Stayed January 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
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108 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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English first
A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2005

We stayed at the River View Lodge for two days in November, 2005 and were very disappointed. The bathroom grout was covered in mildew and the shower curtain was downright filthy. The hallways were cluttered with old magazines and water-stained potted plants. To make matters worse, the service was just as bad. We had to store our luggage there for a few hours before heading to the airport, and the person at the front desk argued with us when we asked for our bags to be put in a secure room (not left in the main hallway as we had seen others). If there had been availability at a different hotel, we would have gladly lost our money to move. Do yourself a favor and stay elsewhere, there are many other options in Chiang Mai.

  • Stayed November 2005
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laguna Hills, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2005

Have you ever visited your senile, grouchy, great aunt? The one who wasn't very friendly, and never cleaned? Had mildewed magazines from 1983 stacked to the ceiling and dirty potted plants everywhere? And probably had 6 cats? You never wanted to touch anything in her house, or eat her cooking, because it was... well... scary. And she really needed a makeover by "Clean Sweep" (American TV show where they teach people how to get rid of clutter).

That is the experience we got at the River View during our stay last week. We spent our first evening in Chiang Mai calling other hotels and wandering the streets looking for a decent place to stay, but, alas, they were all booked. (The Imperial Mae Ping looked good, as did a couple of others).

So, we sucked it up and stayed the two nights we had pre-paid. Tolerated rude service, a filthy bathroom, and plenty of mildew, inside and out. The River View was the lowest point of our two week trip in Thailand and Cambodia.

One good thing to say- the location is convenient. So, if someone wants to buy it, take a bulldozer to it, and build a decent hotel, I'd gladly stay there. As long as all the staff isn't included.

Of all our experiences on this trip, this is the only bad one, and we really want to pass it on to others. Do yourself a favor- skip the River View.

  • Stayed November 2005
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2005

I stayed in this hotel several years. The location is very nice. Right on the river. The rooms are pretty basic for the price butthe foyer is quite nicely decorated. The thing that really lets this place down is the service, or to be more precise, the lack of it. Surly and unhelpful receptionists and restaurant staff make for an unpleasant atmoshpere. It obviously trades on the location and doesn't worry too much about the hospitality side of things. There are lots of better priced alternatives offering better service and hospitality.

Stayed September 2003
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2005

My partner and I visited the River View Lodge on a recommendation and we definitely enjoyed our stay. It's a rambling house full of bric-a-brac with some nice gardens out the back and a decent well maintained pool.

If you're wanting plush pampering that some of the big hotels offer the this probably isn't the place for you. The rooms are very clean but basic, with air con, safe and fridge and most with a decent view of the river.

Whilst being in the heart of the city it's location is secluded to keep the noise and direct pollution at bay.

If I returned to Chiang Mai this would definitely be my choice of location.

  • Stayed November 2004
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2005

This lovely guest house is overflowing with Asian antiques and other bric-a-brac. I enjoyed listening to the chirping birds while having breakfast on the outdoor verandah that overhangs the mature garden which extends down to the banks of the river Ping. The garden would have been a lovely place to sit outdoors and enjoy the magnificent views across the river if there wasn't muddy residue from the river which overflowed its banks into the garden and surrounding areas a week or so before my stay.

My spartan room was quiet and clean with a comfortable bed. It had a balcony which overlooked the garden and an ensuite bathroom with a shower but no bathtub.

As there is no seating area in the lobby there is nowhere to wait comfortably on the ground floor for the arrival of a taxi.

While the house and its location are interesting, its overall ambiance is lacking in warmth. One of the reasons some people choose small guest houses rather than hotels is because they are looking for a friendly ambiance. In this case the staff offered me minimum information. The service would improve considerably if they were to take the trouble to orient new guests to their surroundings. I wish someone had pointed out to me on the first day, the large and very detailed map of the surrounding area posted on a column near the entrance. I discovered it by myself on the third day of my stay. I also overheard another guest on the evening of his arrival enquiring about meals in the dining area of the hotel. He was politely told that only breakfast was served, but no information was volunteered as to where the guest could find nearby places to eat. I signed up for a tour from a list presented to me when I registered, only to discover later that the price the front desk receptionist asked for the tour was at least a third higher than other persons who joined the same tour from another hotel had paid. Finally, I had to leave the hotel very early in the morning to catch a flight. There were two male staff on duty, both of whom watched me struggling quietly with my bag down the long flight of stairs to avoid disturbing other guests. Neither offered to help. Earlier during the day before, I had visited another guest house called Galare nearby. I could not help but notice the marked contrast between the warmth and hospitality of that guest house and the one in which I was staying. Given the basic charm and surroundings of River View Lodge, it is a pity that the attitude of its staff is not of the same calibre.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2005

Our family of four (including two young kids) thoroughly enjoyed the River View Lodge. It presents a quiet and home-like atmosphere in close proximity to Chiang Mai's bustling night market and great eating opportunities. The staff treated us like family, presenting us with well-priced, non-commercial daytrip options and providing impeccable customer service every step of the way. The swimming pool-- nestled between the Thai-style garden and Ping River-- allowed us to cool off after hot days sightseeing. The breakfasts were ample and delicious. We will never forget our friends at the River View Lodge!

Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about River View Lodge

Address: 25 Soi 4,Charoen Prathet Road, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Chiang Mai Province > Chiang Mai
Amenities:
Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #119 of 503 B&Bs / Inns in Chiang Mai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 35
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

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