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“Lovely, but major room issues”

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Suansawan Resort Chiang Mai
Ranked #7 of 19 Hotels in Mae Rim
Bangkok, Thailand
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Lovely, but major room issues”
Reviewed December 11, 2012

We should have loved this place, except for some fatal flaws with the rooms. we had a family vacation suite.

Pros: beautiful grounds, nice pools/pond, walking trails, free DVDs, rooms well-appointed. great playground for kids. great free wifi throughout.

Cons: bathrooms smelled terrible from when we arrived throughout -- like the drains were not draining, and there is very poor ventilation. no windows that open in the restrooms. the tub is in the kitchen/dining room, which doesn't help with this. Also, the transportation fees to nearby places are very high. Breakfast is not worth it -- standard meats put under a fan and cold as ice when you arrive, terrible coffee. Hard to get anywhere else to eat though.

Room Tip: maybe you can check in advance if there are any bathroom issues.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank IDES4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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198 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (43)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Grass Valley, California, United States
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2012

I had decided to seek a room at the AWAY Resort for wifi....but found it to be of no use to me unless you like using dial up....i talked to the owner Peter directly about this and he said they are trying to upgrade and improve that issue...for me that would be a deal breaker in the future and I think people should be told that it is not reliable. As a waitress I was a little disappointed in the service at the restaurant,grant it it was slow and i was the only one there but that should not diminish the service. The staff needs a little more training. For instance, when a customer has been served do not disappear completely, a follow up of "how is everything?" would be good and then stand by should a check or to go box be needed. Overall, the property is spectacular and the intentions are good from the staff to provide the best service they can...they just need a little more guidance.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank 888Tanya888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bluweyze, Owner at Suansawan Resort Chiang Mai, responded to this review, September 24, 2012
I am sorry that the Wi-Fi in your room was slow, I know how frustrating it can be, even though there was good coverage in the lobby. With 12 acres and 1,000 trees we have one of the most difficult locations to provide full Wi-Fi coverage and it is not helped that Thai internet speeds do not match those of a country like USA. Out Wi-Fi system was getting old and it only took one of the 9 relay routers to operate slow and guests could receive slow signals. We are during this week invested in renewal of our entire Wi-Fi system, with modern powerful machines, so that our guests can receive a good signal. We will,of course, continue to provide all Wi-Fi on a complimentary basis.
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Osaka, Japan
Level 5 Contributor
77 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2012

Relaxing, enjoyable, how much I wish I was there now. Spending half the day at the resort and half at one of the many nearby activities is the way to go. Tiger Kingdom Elephant Camp, Elephant Home, Queen Sirkit Botanical Gardens, and many other places are close by.
We traveled a month is Thailand staying mainly at 5 star places. Yet this was were I enjoyed most at better a half to a third of the price. The grounds are beautiful. Sitting in either of the pools, over looking tier small lake with the hills behind it, is just magic. With two pools you could always feel as if you were almost alone. This resort has a real sense of space and peacefulness, even when kids are playing nearby. Thailand is supposed to be the land of smiles, at this resort it is. From the grounds people sweeping the leaves up, everyone greets you with a big bright smile, how I remember Thailand from 20 plus years ago. (The English owner, Peter needs to join in on this). The staff back up their smiles with very helpful and caring service.

The resort is a perfect base for those who have cars or motorbikes. We didn't have our own transport, but the resort has a van with a very careful considerate driver at reasonable rates. Make sure when he gives you the care with the number to call him to pick you up that he marks the correct number. Elephant Camp called the top number on the card for us (which was Away's sales department) and they didn't pass on the message!!

Downside
This is not the place to be for nightlife, restaurant choice (there restaurant is adequate) or shopping. Its Away, a place to get away and relax. Bring your insect repellant one of our 3 evenings we were bothered by mosquitos around the grounds.
The baths are just too big and take an age to fill.
I felt as if I got to know the repair man! But he was so fast, polite and helpful, with everything from fixing the aircon to telling me I just needed to press the eclectic jug switch much harder, that the many small faults didn't seem an issue. I am use to staying much more expensive places so at Aways rates and for the atmosphere of the resort I can accept a few faults.

Room Tip: They have a wide range to room types, check their web page and find whats best for you.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank GBflysagain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bluweyze, Owner at Suansawan Resort Chiang Mai, responded to this review, September 12, 2012
Thank you for your review. I am pleased that you enjoyed your stay. Mosquitoes are a problem during this season unfortunately so repellent is recommended.At your suggestion I will try to smile more, but I'm very pleased that my staff reflected true Thai traditions.
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Bangkok, Thailand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 22, 2012

We went to Chiangmai and stayed at this place during holidays in August 2012. We were there for 4 days 3 nights. This was our 2nd time staying at the place. My family love this place very much. The room are very clean and tidy. My son enjoyed the swimming pools, riding the boat, feeding the fish, and playing at playgrounds provided at the reseort. The resort also provide bicycles, pool tables, in-room DVD player and free DVD rentals, free Wi-Fi, etc. Staff are very friendly and breakfast is nicely prepared. We definitely stay here again when we go to Chiangmai next year.

Note: if you're the night-life person, this place is not for you. This is more to a nature lover as the place is on MaeRim-Samoeng route where you can enjoy waterfalls, elephants/tiger/snake/monkey shows, orchid and botanical gardens.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Nuannutch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bluweyze, Owner at Suansawan Resort Chiang Mai, responded to this review, August 27, 2012
Thank you for returning to us and for your kind review. I am very pleased that your son enjoyed his stay. We think it is a great and safe place for kids to enjoy themselves.
Peter
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Singapore, Singapore
Level 6 Contributor
58 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2012

my family (2 adults and 2 kids--16 yrs and 12 yrs) booked the family vacation suite. it was the upper floor of a villa, and had 2 separate bedrooms plus a jacuzzi inside the suite. overall, the suite was clean and quite new, and very comfortable.

the resort (in june 2012) is still pretty much as is depicted in the marketing brochure, gorgeous and spacious. only 70+ rooms in a huge land area, it takes almost 10 mins to walk from some of the villas to the reception/restaurant.

the service is very good, and all the staff speak enough english. there are 5 bicycles for borrowing (free -- first come first served), but other than cycling out to the main road to the grocery store or 7-11, it doesn't serve much purpose.

the only drawback of the Away Suansawan is that it is not "near" anything, despite being smack in the middle of Mae Sa valley, where there are 101 things to do, from x-sports to tiger zoo to elephant camp to snake farm and at least 20 waterfalls etc. if you want to visit these attractions, you either need to buy a tour, or pay the hotel's taxi, or do what we did...rent a car. for 4 persons, the car made the most sense.

dining and breakfast were very good at the away. we were told that since there were very few guests on the days that we were present, they didn't have buffet breakfast. instead, the kitchen would cook whatever we wanted, and as much as we wanted. that's a deal to us!!! we also had dinner here, and there was a good mix of thai and western dishes, which were not too expensive (we saw the prices at the nearby four seasons -- now that's expensive!!!).

the swimming pools are ok, and you could also go boating, if you just wanted to relax within the resort.

be warned that the resort is very far away from the centre of chiang mai. it takes about 30-45mins to get to the old city by taxi, or 1 hour from the airport. we were quoted around 600 baht for a one-way taxi ride from the airport. (but we didn't need this, as we had a car rental).

overall, this is one of the best ever hotel/resorts i have ever stayed...and my kids loved it too. and if you do some online homework, i am sure you can find a discounted rate that puts it at a fraction of equivalent 5* resorts.

Room Tip: all rooms are parts of villas...either you take the whole villa, or you get part of a villa...ask fo...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
6 Thank alexiusp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Suansawan Resort Chiang Mai, responded to this review, July 7, 2012
Oh! Thank you so much. 'One of the best hotels/resorts that I have ever stayed' that just makes us all feel the effort has been worthwhile.Yes we are away from the city but better placed for many attractions including those you mentioned. Having a car really allows guests to see the many attractions of the area but we operate cost-effective tours for those that do not have a car. I am really happy that you enjoyed your stay. I was on a long awaited family visit during your stay so my staff must take the praise. Thank you again.
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Southampton
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2012

We loved this boutique resort.Although away from the city it seemed near everything but the shopping.The kids loved it there was so much space for them to play as well as 2 swimming pools, a children's playground and Nintendo. A great benefit to us was the free DVD rental which if you have a family is a boon in the evening. The staff were as friendly and helpful as anyone could wish for.The resort is an oasis of tranquillity and is really beautiful with so many trees and plants, a lake with free boating and views of the mountains.Our family room was massive with 2 rooms, 2 bathrooms, one of which had a huge jacuzzi bath.There were so many things to do in the area we could have stayed for longer. We recommend this resort unless you want a city centre.

Room Tip: The family rooms are great.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank janet R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Suansawan Resort Chiang Mai, responded to this review, July 7, 2012
Thank you so much for your review, I am very pleased that your family enjoyed the resort. We have always felt that the resort was better suited for a family than the city. I am particularly pleased that you praised our staff, your praise will be passed on to them.
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Sydney, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2012

This was my 2nd stay at this resort although my first review. I was impressed that the resort had improved since my first stay.Wi-Fi was always free as was internet in the lobby but the boating on the lake and bicycle hire had both moved from chargeable to complimentary, a really nice touch, the 5 bikes were in heavy use by guests, I used one to visit the local 7/11 shop. There seems to have been ongoing investment in the resort and whilst I was there some rooms were being refurbished. I loved the colour changing lights on the lake at night, a new touch since I was last there.The resort is beautiful with a variety of gardens and a lake. Like a previous reviewer I was impressed with the care taken by the staff to keep the place neat. The rooms are pleasant and kept very clean. I had no problems at all with the quality of the food, for sure it is not gourmet but I ate a mixture of simple Western and Thai and enjoyed what I ate. I also enjoyed that breakfast is freshly cooked. While I was there a survey was being undertaken with every guest using the restaurant, one for breakfast and one for other meals.
The resort is out of town and really not a good choice for shopaholics or people who want a hectic night-life but for quiet, relaxation, clean air and a view of the mountains it is excellent for a base to explore the many attractions of the area.
What I like most about this resort is the seemingly natural friendliness of the staff, I especially enjoyed the service from Ree in the restaurant who acted like nothing was too much trouble.
I will return to this resort and maybe use a bicycle for more than local snack shopping.

Room Tip: I like the lakeside rooms, the canopy bed but most of all the lakeside terrace
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank John T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bluweyze, Owner at Suansawan Resort Chiang Mai, responded to this review, May 4, 2012
Thank you for coming back to our resort, I am so pleased that you enjoyed it. I like to give some complimentary benefits where it can be done hence the items that we now provide free of charge.

The reason that we are surveying all guests in the restaurant is in response to some poor reviews, we try to listen and take corrective action (that is why there is so much new outside furniture in the resort in response to a previous comment); so for the restaurant we are researching the detail of the problem, then we will act to attempt to make it what guests want.

I am especially pleased that you compliment the staff and your comments regarding Ree will be passed on.
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Additional Information about Suansawan Resort Chiang Mai

Property: Suansawan Resort Chiang Mai
Address: 43/1 Moo 6, Mae Rim-Samoeng Road | Maeram Subdistrict, Mae Rim 50180, Thailand (Formerly Away Suansawan Chiang Mai)
Location: Thailand > Chiang Mai Province > Mae Rim
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Mae Rim
#4 Luxury Hotel in Mae Rim
#5 Spa Hotel in Mae Rim
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Mae Rim
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Suansawan Resort Chiang Mai 4*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
It is a relaxing, boutique, garden resort situated in the beautiful and tranquil Maerim Valley, a 30 minute drive from Chiang Mai International Airport and in the centre of the wide range of Chiang Mai's attractions. Offering a full range of recreational activities the facilities include two swimming pools, a beautiful Thai spa, a fitness centre, a sauna, and a lakeside relaxation sala with library These facilities are surrounded by the finest relaxation environment and nature. The resort features 47 understated rooms & villas in huge sub-tropical surroundings with approximately 1,000 trees, an impressive lake, 3 fishponds and many garden areas with relaxing garden salas. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Away Suansawan Centara Boutique Collection Hotel Mae Rim
Suansawan Resort Chiang Mai Chiang Mai Province, Thailand

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