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“safari in thailand at its best” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle

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Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   P.O. Box 18, Chiang Saen Post Office, Chiang Saen 57150, Thailand   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 7 hotels in Chiang Saen
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“safari in thailand at its best”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2012

I have stayed in some of the best hotels in the world but this one is the top! Not only are the service and accomodations above the rest but the experience blows everything else out of the water. A rather pricey trip but well worth the cost. Everything is included but not your usual crappy all inclusive. everything is top notch. Food is way above anything else we ate in a long trip to Thailand. The atmosphere is truly Thai at its best, polite, kind, gentle. Other resorts we stayed in on this extended trip were typical tourist that could have been anywhere. Here I knew I was in a foreign country. The elephants are quite an experience but everything here is above and beyond. The tents are luxurious, right out of a Ralph Lauren catalog. We had the silver tent ( each tent has its own theme). Everything about this place is special:Arrival by the long tail boat, personal excursions, mahout training, spa experiences, and the food! Did I mention the food? We met lovely people from all over the world and everyone felt the same from the honeymooners to the small family groups. We brought our 15 year old daughter and this will be an experience she will always remember.

Room Tip: Tents are far apart from each other and facilities. Make sure your tent is near where you will be sp...
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  • Stayed March 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camp_Mgr, Manager at Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, responded to this review, April 15, 2012
Dear Khun malibumomof7,

Sawas-dee pee mai! (Happy Thai New Year)

Thank you very much for completing this lovely assessment. We really appreciated the feedback and our Chef is absolutely thrilled that you enjoyed his food :) Let us know if you would like any of our recipes.

We look forward to welcoming you back to our magical Camp.

Your fellow mahout,

Yonatan Kachko
Camp Manager
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (39)
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Moscow, Russia
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
352 helpful votes 352 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2012

Well, what to say… I was going to say so much but have no idea how to start… I’m quite an old pepper who’s travelled a lot and there’re a few things in the world that still are able to surprise me, but Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle is exactly one of them. It was unforgettable experience, probably the only one of this kind in my life. It’s been written so much “wow” essays about this resort so I’ll try to summarize my general impressions only.
First. I’m happy that I started my FS Thai Tour with the Tented Camp in Golden Triangle because it appeared to be the place that had struck me most during my Thailand journey by its unique synthesis of unspoiled natural environment, impeccable service of a “six-star” hotel and its social function of preserving wild nature and developing close ties with local community.
Second. Its high level of organizational capabilities amused me. All systems go like a Swiss watch: on time and with excellent quality. Elephant camp, guests’ activities, catering, general maintenance, front desk/concierge operations, transportation, public relations, etc – all’s managed very well. Bearing in mind that that this property’s spread out for kilometers in bamboo jungle along the river, it’s clear how much energy and material assets should be spent daily to keep it all at required standards. I think that camp manager Yonatan, brilliantly educated young gentleman fluently speaking different languages, along with his team does a great job to provide second-to none service to customers.
Third. The Tented Camp is small and cozy one in comparison with its sisters-properties in Chiang Mai and Koh Samui, and its staffs are like a family, you now, as a real team sincerely doing all their best to meet all the needs of guests at any time 24 hours a day. And it’s not an exaggeration. Just imagine that accidently met workers repairing tiles on the trail greet you calling by name. Unbelievable, for real. The whole team is very friendly, accommodating and efficient – “M” at reception, “F” at Spa, Poope at restaurant – I’m ready to name a dozen of more names, - all of them are very nice personalities. And the uniqueness of this team is determined by the fact that it includes not people only but also elephants that make the spirit of resort so special. Maybe, in this place I realized a little bit better why my grandma kept seven small marble elephants on her bookshelf as a symbol of happiness…
Fourth. The activities’ program already included in your rate contains local tours, spa treatments, and many more but its main hit is mahout training. I got acquaintance with my new “girl friend” Yuki, she’s so cute and gentle! And I believe that these contacts, a kind of conversation between people and animals, either during trekking or getting breakfast together, is not just a fun or show but also a type of very important action aimed at making us more human, attentive and responsible. And I’m pleased that Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle granted me this opportunity.

Room Tip: Tents 7 and 8 seem to be convenient - just in between Burma Bar and Restaurant.
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  • Stayed March 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camp_Mgr, Manager at Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, responded to this review, April 3, 2012
Dear Khun KSergey,

Many thanks for taking the time to write your assessment of the Camp experience. What can I say more than a "big" thank you and so thrilled to know that you enjoyed it and have given us much praise; Praise that has been already shared with the family in the Camp and specifically with Khun Em, Khun Eff and Khun Poope.

We spend all of our time ensuring and perfecting our service delivery, our product upkeep and continuously look to innovate as we look to the future.

Khun KSergey, once again "Khob Kun Krub" and hope to welcome you again. In the meanwhile, "Yuki" send her best regards, patiently awaiting your return!

Your fellow mahout,

Yonatan Kachko
Camp Manager
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Santiago d.M.
1 review
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2012

We stayed there on our Honeymoon-Trip. To ride the Elephants was very good experience. Also we did the Bathing with the Elephants.
But the Resort itself is a little too much Show. For example: Its directly connected to the Anantara-Resort, but on arrival they will bring you to a river-pier and give you a boat-ride to the resort - so you get the Feeling, that you are away from all. But it´s just an Illusion. Also when they offer to bring you to a "hidden" Long-Neck-Village you will recognize later, that every Hotel in the Region brings their Guests there.
Service is nice, but still needs some improvement. Nobody told us during the Checkin-Process, that the nights in February are very cold so it would have been better for us to switch on the Heater. When we realized it in the middle of the Night (12 Degrees Celsius), it was too late and we already had a little cold.
All there is very US-Amercian-Style: "Big Fun", but more like in Disneyland than in the real North-Thailand. Also when we were there a big Group of Americans stayed there, shouting and laughing almost the whole time during breakfast, lunch and dinner. So it wasn´t very quiet.
The Tents are nice, but not overwhelming. Food was very good.
The Journey was a present to our Honeymoon. If we had to pay on our own, we would have been very disappointed. Elephant-Trekking and Mahout-Training in the same Style is also possible at the neighboring 5-Star-Resort and there its much cheaper.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camp_Mgr, Manager at Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, responded to this review, March 28, 2012
Dear LaLunaDeMiel,

Thank you for your recent review of Four Seasons Tented Camp, Chiang Rai. I was happy to hear that you enjoyed our elephant experience and found the accommodations, the food and the overall service to your satisfaction. I was also thankful of the time you took to address the areas which you felt were not up-to-par. Of course I was deeply disappointed to hear of those experiences which fell below your expectations such as the Karen Hill Tribe visit, the cold temperatures during the night time and the fact that our heating system was not pointed out to you upon arrival to the Camp, all of which have been addressed with the team at the Camp. With this in mind, please do accept my sincerest apology for not meeting your expectations in this regard. Finally, in your review you shared that the service was good, but could be better and thus if possible I would be delighted to be in touch via email Yonatan.kachko@fourseasons.com and understand the gaps so that we are better prepared for our future guests.

Mr/Ms. LaLunaDeMiel, congratulations on getting married and I do hope that you will reach back to me via email as we seek to improve our experience at this magical Camp and as well see what else we can do to ensure your satisfaction is met.
Your fellow mahout,

Yonatan Kachko
Camp Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2012

You will never regret making the trek up to Chiang Saen to stay at the FS tented camps. Went on our honeymoon and it was a life experience that we will never forget. There are only 14 rooms / tents. As expected at a FS property the rooms are impecable and the service is incredible. I cant remember the exact number but I believe there is something like 100+ staff members for ~30 guests!

This is not just a resort but an incredible adventure. The whole resort experience is centered around the elephant camp. The first night we ate dinner outside under the stars and the elephants were there to greet us...you get to feed them bananas which is great fun. The next day you go through training to learn the key commands to ride an elephant bareback by yourself. The next day you take your elephant for a ride up a mountain where you will have incredible views of the mighty Mekong river. I can not express enough how incredible it is to spend time getting to know and love these massive creatures. My wife and I will never forget the names of our elephants...Buna and Bunsi.

Most of the elephants are refugees that were saved from a miserable life of street performing in a big city like Bangkok. The elephants, the Mahouts (elephant trainer) and their families move to Chiang Saen for a much better life. You can even buy handmade crafts in the shop that are made by the Mahout wives which is a great way to further support their efforts.

The only complaint I can think of is the price but we would do it all over again even factoring that in.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
128 helpful votes 128 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2012

We love this resort. This is an ultra luxury Disney like adventure created by the Four Seasons. We had tent#2, the hilltribe tent and the view was beautiful especially at sunrise. Complimentary wifi worked great inside the tent. Mini bar was included and there was even fleshly ground coffee so that we could make quality coffee without a Nespresso machine.

We stayed 4 nights and they prepared an itinerary with many activities for us. The highlight was, of course, the mahout training. The four elephants are all very well trained and they know exactly what they are required to do. Having said that, we still considered riding on the head of the gentle giant an amazing experience. We had a lot of fun with YUKI and PET. The Opium Museum was interesting and we enjoyed very much our visit to the hilltribes where we met the Padong, the long-neck ladies. On our free day, we did a cooking class with the camp sous chef. Chef Pirun is very passionate about cooking and we had a good time cooking with him.

The restaurant served set menu of Western and Thai each night. We had one dinner at the restaurant and 3 private dinners at additional charge. Except the Traditional Kanthok Dinner, the chef designed the menu according to our taste for the 5 course wine pairing dinner at the wine cellar and the special dinner at the elephant camp. They chose very nice wine for the pairing and some were from the wineries in Thailand. The wine cellar was a romantic venue with the special setting. Our dinner at the elephant camp was even more memorable. Our new friends, YUKI and PET greeted us upon our arrival at the the camp. The garden was beautifully decorated with candles and flowers. They set up a camp fire with small furnaces beside the table to keep us warm. Live music was playing while we enjoyed a delicious Thai dinner prepared specially for us. At the end of the meal, we lighted 9 paper lanterns and the number symbolized good luck. Watching them floating high up to the sky carrying our wishes was simply magical. We had the Kanthok dinner on our last night at the resort. It was set up at the bar next to the restaurant and the whole dinner came in the Kanthok, which was like a stool. We dined sitting on the floor just like the families in the Northern Thailand. It was the perfect way to end our visit to the beautiful Lanna Kingdom.

Service was outstanding at this resort. We would say the service was the best of all FS we have ever visited and we have been to quite a number. Some may say this is not a real camping experience and the elephants are just trained animal. We do agree but for people like us who enjoy a selection of wine and cheese at the wine cellar everyday and a quality massage after playing mahout for a few hours, the FS Tented Camp at the Golden Triangle is exactly the kind of camping experience we are looking for.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mexico City, Mexico
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2012

OK, this is camping at its best!!!!
No, it really is NOT camping, except for the fact that you sleep in a tent, but it IS the COOLEST "Camp" you will ever go to!!!!
The minimum stay is 3 nights, but thats OK because it is so far away, you may as well stay a while! We spent Christmas 2009 there, and we will never forget it!!!
You will learn to ride and feed elephants, relax, have spa treatments and enjoy the Burma Bar... If you want, you can also take a boat ride to the Golden Triangle or visit the Opium Museum; Bust most importantly you will enjoy the Camp!

  • Stayed December 2011, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
159 helpful votes 159 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2012

This is a very belated review, as my husband and I stayed here for 3 nights in April 2010. But we had an absolutely fantastic experience and consider our stay here to be one of our top vacation experiences. So - as I return to posting on Trip Advisor after a long lazy pause - I wanted to give the Four Seasons Golden Triangle a 5-star review.

Every morning started off with the baby elephants visiting the restaurant at breakfast and us feeding them bunches of bananas. That alone would have made a stay here very special!

On our first morning we had Mahout training which lasted ~3 hours. My elephant was Yuki and she was very calm; my husband's elephant had a bit more 'personality' but was still well-behaved. Once we'd shown that we had the commands down reasonably well, we took the elephants on a trek down to the river and back. A staff member took my camera at the beginning of the morning and photo documented the entire experience, for which we are very grateful!

Later that day we went to the neighboring elephant sanctuary and were able to interact with more wonderful elephants and see a bunch of them getting baths in the river.

On the second day we spent the morning across the border in a small town in Myanmar (Burma). The differences between Thailand and Myanmar were clear as soon as you crossed the border and it was interesting to get a peek at life there. (This was before the new government and significant changes that are now underway in Myanmar). Our Four Seasons guide was very enthusiastic and made the visit a lot of fun. He took us to a round golden temple surrounded by stations/shrines with animals corresponding to the day of the week you were born. There was a ritual to be performed at each shrine involving water, incense, wishes, and the releasing of a small bird. Sorry to be a little fuzzy on the details now, and I hope that doesn't come off a disrespectful, because it was a wonderful experience!

That afternoon, after lunch back at the Four Seasons, we went on a boat ride down the river, stopping at the tip of the Golden Triangle where Thailand, Burma, and Laos meet. We also visited the nearby Thai town; it has a giant floating Buddha and a large market.

On the third day, before catching a late afternoon flight to Singapore, we visited the Hall of Opium. My husband in particular had been skeptical as to whether he was really interested, but we learned a lot about the history of the area and in the end we both really liked it.

Every evening we had 'sundowners' (cocktails) in the Burma Bar, which is gorgeously decorated and in a beautiful setting. And the drinks are inventive and tasty! We also had two Mahout massages each. The massages were great and the outdoor setting was lovely. On our last night we were treated to a complimentary dinner in the wine cellar. The chef came out at lunch and talked to us about our food preferences, and that night she prepared the best Thai meal we have ever had, served in a very cool setting. It was amazing!

Here I should mention that there were ~6 other guests there the first night, but on our second and third nights we were the only people staying at the resort. This was because the Icelandic volcano was erupting and all flights in Europe were grounded. The manager (Michel) told us that a few tents had been booked (it was the low season, so the resort was not going to be at capacity regardless), but these people were all unable to get to Thailand and had to cancel. This was the reason for the complimentary wine cellar dinner, and this may have been why all of our outings and our Mahout training were private? I don't know for sure if the activities are always done by couple or if they are usually done in groups. If the latter, I have to say that, especially with the Mahout training and on the Myanmar trip, it was great to have the staff/guide all to ourselves!

The setting of the camp on the Ruak River is beautiful and the tents are gorgeous. Take a peek at the photos on the website – they look just like that! We were in the Hill Tribes tent and it looked out on the river and on the grassy area where the elephants rested at night. Really a magical setting.

Staying at the Four Seasons Golden Triangle is pricy, there's no way to deny that. But if you look at what you get – not just your tented accommodation, but all meals, drinks, and activities are included, as well as a massage – then it's not as outrageous as it might appear at first glance. If you can do it, it's worth it!

One last bit of advice…we'd stayed at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai on a previous trip, but if you haven't then I strongly recommend combining a stay at the two resorts. Chiang Mai is completely different but is also a gorgeous Four Seasons resort in a beautiful setting, and we had a great experience there, too. There's lot more shopping to do there (wonderful local handicrafts), a lot more going on outside the resort (in the city of Chiang Mai), and several other activities/places of interest (temples, zoo, botanical gardens, national park, elephant riding, river rafting, golf, etc). Definitely a great place to visit as well!

Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Additional Information about Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle

Address: P.O. Box 18, Chiang Saen Post Office, Chiang Saen 57150, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Chiang Rai Province > Chiang Saen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 7 hotels in Chiang Saen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Escape to the natural wonders of Northern Thailand, just south of Burma, west of Laos, for an unforgettable experience. On our unique min 2 nights stay excursions, you'll have the adventure of a lifetime trekking elephants through lush jungle and spectacular mountain trails. Unwind in our superb luxury tented accommodations, which feature stunning views and Four Seasons luxury. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
4 Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle
Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle Hotel Chiang Saen
Four Seasons Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai Four Seasons
Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle Chiang Rai Province, Thailand - Chiang Saen

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