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“Wonderful family-owned and lovingly operated”

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Golden Cupids Hotel
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in San Sai
Reviewed May 4, 2013

The Golden Cupids Hotel feels like staying at the home of a friend, even if you have never been there before. Our family (including kids ages 5, 7 and 8) stayed there for three days in late March while we saw the sites of Chiang Mai. It was a bit out of town, but so were all the outings that we had planned. Jan was wonderful as we made reservations and transport plans, changed transport plans and outings, and changed yet again. We could tell this place was special when we were greeted warmly by the owner (Jan's mother) upon arrival, and wandered through the lush gardens that surround the property. Our room and the bathroom were large and comfortable, and easily accommodated all of us. We even had a patio looking out into the pool and garden area. Then came dinner! There was something for everyone, including both the Thai-food craving parents and our kids who were looking for something more familiar. The open air restaurant made the experience, and everything was fresh, as we knew it would be when we watched Jan get herbs from her garden to finish off cooking the meal. We ate every meal at Golden Cupids and savored everything. The only lesson we learned was to order less than we thought we wanted, as all portions were very generous.

This isn't a 5-star hotel, but it isn't trying to be. Definitely more on the "homey" side. The room and restaurant were clean and comfortable, and the family and staff was happy to help with any request we made. The only real downside we noted was the pool, which was green when we were there. It ended up having not impact, as we didn't have time to swim anyway. If we had, it wasn't so bad that I would have kept the kids from going in. But it was more green than I would have been interested in, and definitely needed some care. So I wouldn't plan a vacation around sitting by the pool here unless you have talked to Jan before arriving and gotten her assurance that it is squeaky clean. If you have that promise, I'm sure it will be true.

We will definitely stay here again when we visit the area.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Sandra S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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27 - 33 of 159 reviews

Reviewed March 15, 2013

We stayed for 16 nights in February enjoying a superb 10 day visit programme, more of which later, and 6 days of R&R. We are normally stay in big international 4* and 5 * chain hotels but had spotted the hotel in an article, I think in The Oldie, 4 years ago, booked and then had to cancel through illness but we were determined to go back and give it a try. In the meantime as my wife was recovering from her cancer Peter (Peppe’s husband) kept us in touch with life at the hotel and in Thailand and we begun to get a feel for what a remarkable family they were. Are we glad we reinstated the visit once we were able!
Initial first impressions are deceptive. We arrived after lunch had finished and apart from Jan (Peppe’s daughter) who welcomed us the place looked deserted but we had a warm welcome and shown to our large 54 sq m room on the first floor with a balcony. The room was very spacious, well furnished and more than satisfied our needs over our visit. We toured the grounds and found the clean but deserted pool area and wondered if we had come to a ghost hotel. Then found Jan collecting veg/herbs from her garden ready for dinner. We also went into the office and began to get a feel that we had come somewhere special as there were photos of a person, who we discovered was Peppe, being presented to/receiving honours from The King of Thailand and also some of the Royal Princesses. So even before we met Peppe we were intrigued.
Then it was time for dinner in the outside restaurant! As many others have mentioned, the dinners are wholesome, honest local cooking with local ingredients including some from their garden and everything is fresh cooked to order. I can honestly say that without exception we enjoyed every single meal whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner. My favourite were dishes cooked in ginger as well as the red and green curries. Peppe and Jan will alter the amount of chillies to taste – I preferred hotter, my wife a more conventional mild dish. My favourite ginger dish (pork or chicken) was 80 Baht including rice, another 80 Baht was for a large gin and tonic, so change from £4 even at our current poor exchange rate.
All food preparation is done in front of you by Peppe, Jan or Tuum (Peppe’s daughter) with the younger family members (Peppe’s granddaughters Bamboo and Sunbeam sitting, playing or studying at the table/counter and the waitresses (under training) are young girls from the Don Chan Orphanage (one of Peppe’s charities) and the eggs come from a local blind school (another of Peppe’s charities). Very quickly one becomes a member of the family and you are treated as an honoured guest and not like some blown in who is here today and gone tomorrow. The interest in you is entirely genuine and everything possible is done to cater to your needs.
As I said before we did the 10 day all inclusive Experience Programme and it was superb. Many of the visits trod the well worn tourist path but others gave a greater insight into what makes Chiang Mai and Thai people tick. Our guide was usually Peppe but on two occasions she had her Red Cross (another of her charities) duties to undertake so a car plus driver are arranged and provided. With just the two of us flexibility was the key, start when we liked and if we want longer or shorter at a visit sight then “no problem” . Peppe is an excellent guide and a first class ambassador for Thailand and the local area.
Our R&R time was B&B only but we so liked the food that we didn’t stray looking for a change of diet! We did a couple of shopping trips and Jan fixed transport for us and it all worked well with no real hassle getting back to the hotel. On another occasion Peppe swung by our shopping venue and picked us up.
It was my wife’s birthday whilst we were there and Peppe insisted on taking us out to dinner. She also took us out on 3 other occasions. No one could be more generous and there was never a feeling of customer and provider: just family.
I have mentioned three of Peppe’s charities above and it is for her charitable works that she has been honoured by The King and the Royal Princesses. There is much more to tell on this remarkable story but visit and learn firsthand for yourself! From rising in the morning until bedtime Peppe’s thoughts are with other – her charities, her guests and Peter, her sick husband. Me time is not part of her vocabulary!
Am I being starry eyed? Emphatically NO! I am a seasoned traveller, have visited over 110 countries and travel business class, sometimes first, and stay in international branded 4* or 5* hotels. This is a very different experience and Peppe, once the story of her life unravels, is a truly inspirational person. It is also excellent value for money.
The $64,000 question: will we be back? You bet we will!

Room Tip: Stayed in room 6on the first fllor with a balcony overlooking the restarant and the side of the hot...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank mikeandchrisevans253
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2013

They say a loving woman knows what her husband wants before he even knows it himself. Bear with me and you will understand the relevance to this review . . .

This hotel is run by a family ladies and four lovely girls - you see all of them working hard all of the time. The hotel is a little way away from Chiang Mai town centre, but frankly the service offered by this lovely family renders the 20 minute trip from to Chiang Mai almost a complete irrelevance - they are more than happy to stop whatever they are doing and ride you into town without notice (although as a courtesy to the family it is best to let them know your schedule in advance). We only had to pay for a taxi once and that was because we were returning from Chiang Mai late at night..

We went on a couple of the famous tourist trips (Patara elephant farm and Flight of the Gibbon). For Flight of the Gibbon, Jan dropped off at the pick up point in the morning and the family even prepared breakfast for us well ahead of the normal scheduled breakfast time so that we could start the day on time. When we returned from the trip in the afternoon we telephoned Jan to pick us up - Jan said that she was already on her way - she had asked the company to telephone her 20 minutes before the end of the tour so that Jan could be there waiting to pick us up to take us back to the hotel - absolutely unbelievable service I have never come across anywhere else.

As others have mentioned, the dinners are wholesome, honest local cooking and they are delicious. Dinner is served in a covered pavilion area in the garden - there is an open kitchen area at the back. All the family take part in the cooking - you can watch the family preparing the dinner after you order and so you know everything is freshly prepared. The younger family girls sit and play or study at their table and the older girls help prepare the meals. Everything we tried was delicious and very modestly priced (the red curry chicken in coconut was our favourite, but we had to ask Jan to tone down the spiciness a little for our palettes, but it really was delicious).

When it was time to leave, all the girls stopped their chores temporarily and all stood behind our car and waved us goodbye - it really made an impression on us.

I am very hard to please as a customer and rarely give 5 stars. The only thing stopping me giving 5 stars this time around is a niggle on the booking which was done through an afent and not directly with the hotel. When we booked through the agent we made a mistake - we booked to arrive one day earlier than we should have done. It was our administrative error, we realised our error within 4 hours of making it and contacted the agent to cancel the first day - the agent refused and said that it was their "policy" not to accept cancellations - we were not cancelling the whole stay, just the first day, but the agent refused to amend the booking and we ended up having to pay for one night for which we were not even staying in the hotel. Our mistake we know, but it left us feeling very uncomfortable that the agent would not grant us any grace - even though we contacted the agent very quickly after realising our error. This was the fault of the agent rather than of the hotel or its staff, but it impacts the rating.

Room Tip: All the rooms are equally "good" but different. Rooms on the upper floor have balconies ov...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Maximus59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2013

Stayed here with the family over Christmas. Rooms were spacious and clean - double sink in bathroom was a bonus with four in the room. The food was some of the best we ate while in Thailand and portions were huge. Many ingredients come from the hotel's adjoining vegetable garden and are fresh and organic. The welcome and hospitality provided by Peppe, Jan and the other members of the family were incredible. My kids didn't ever want to leave the hotel!

Although the location is a bit removed from the tourist attractions in Chiang Mai, the staff do an amazing job organizing drivers and tours on fairly short notice so it's not really an inconvenience. We in fact found it kind of nice to be a bit removed and have some green space to enjoy. Would definitely recommend to friends.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank globefamKL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2013

We stayed 5 nights over the Christmas Holiday and what a special experience! We are a family of 4 and had heard about the hotel through friends and Trip Advisor. Upon arrival in the late evening - almost midnight we were greeted by Jan. She's a fantastic support in planning your trip and while staying.

In the morning we met 3 other smiling and happy families plus other guests. All were interested in hearing about our plans and sharing theirs. We learned a lot from those morning chats and helped plan our stay!

Yes, it's about a 15 minute taxi ride into the city, but GC provides 1 way transport 1x each day. So this is great and about all you need. Getting a ride back wasn't too much of a hassle with the hotel provided map for the driver. And it's good practice for your bargaining skills.

Our hotel room was spacious, beds were large - queen size. They were typically firm mattresses (but we find that in all hotels in Asia). We stayed in Room 3 - I'd recommend it. It had a balcony/porch so if you wanted to watch the kids swim from the room it was possible.

The food was great! Breakfast was sit down and you could order something different each day. We had pancakes, cereal, coffee, toast, eggs in all varieties. There were also traditional Thai options. Breakfast was included. If you were around for the other meals they were equally delicious and also inexpensive. Many choices western and Thai.

The atmosphere was great. Everyone was willing to help you as needed. Rooms had a laundry basket that was emptied and laundered daily. I didn't realize there was a charge for it, but it amounted to about $3-$6 / day. I could live with that!!!

We also requested in-room massages. My husband, 2 kids and I all had that experience. The kids had the oil massage and LOVED it. The adults tried the Thai massage. It's very vigorous and I wouldn't say relaxing. The next time I would do an oil massage. But it was a good experience to try the Thai style.

As a family with a 1st and 4th grader we did - Flight of the Gibbon, Elephant Nature Park, Doi Suthep & Bhuping Palace, and Chiang Mai Zoo. We also experienced the Night Market and the Sunday Market. Although I should have allowed a lot more time for the Sunday Market. All these things were excellent. Jan helped arrange all of these things for us and they went smoothly. I would recommend all of those places to any family visiting although I'd put the Zoo lower on the priority list if you are limited in time.

We also ate at a few good restaurants. The taxi drivers and staff at Golden Cupids have great advice so you should just try their recommendations!!

Thank you Golden Cupids - Jan & Pepe for a wonderful family memory! When we went on to Phuket it was definitely a let down. Your atmosphere and clientele is top notch!

PS:in case of pharmacy needs you'll be surprised at all the western medical brands available in the pharmacies. You should definitely check them out if you are traveling throughout Asia and maybe can anticipate some medical needs. We had to use it for Allergy Pills and Dramamine. You may need both in this climate of some mountain roads and definitely blooming florals year round.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank AmyM1972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2013

We had an excellent 8 day stay and I would agree with everything by the review before this. This family run hotel really knows how to cater to families! Very friendly, helpful staff that helped us arrange our trips into town and our excursions. Yes it's a bit far from town but we liked it since the air is much cleaner in the countryside anyway. Very reasonable prices for food, laundry, massage etc. Kids really enjoyed the trip and I am seriously considering a return visit sometime. Keep it Golden!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank kha7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2013

We just returned from our family vacation to Chiang Mai and stay at the Golden Cupids, and we are all sad to be home. What an amazing trip! We cannot say enough good things about Pepe and her family. I know everyone says this, but you TRULY feel like part of the family while you're there. We have 3 children, and when we arrived in our room, they had set up a twin size bed (not a cot, but an actual bed with a headboard!) for our toddler. They had our table set for every meal, complete with a high chair and the juice they knew our children liked. Tuum is a wonderful hostess and was always ready to give us suggestions as to which meal she thought we would enjoy that day--and she was never wrong! Jan had the answer to every question, a taxi called for every occasion, and the masseuses ready at our beck and call--we were so spoiled! We made wonderful friends with the other families visiting there; there is such a sense of community there, it's hard to imagine how that happened in such a short time, but it did. Our children always had someone to play or swim with... It was truly a PERFECT vacation. I hesitate to say such good things because I want this little place to stay a secret :), but Pepe and her family deserve to be rewarded for the wonderful job they're doing.

As far as location goes, I've read reviews that complain about the distance from Golden Cupids to downtown Chiang Mai. We felt that it was the perfect distance! Close enough to get in and do whatever you want to--trips to the zoo, Doi Suthep, Night and/or Sunday walking markets were any easy drive--but far enough to feel like you were in a little secluded spot of heaven. It took us between 20-30 minutes to get into town, just to give you an idea. But GC's location is also nice because you're closer to the areas for elephant excursions, zip lining, etc. because they're all up north! So I felt like it was a perfect in-between spot.

***Just FYI, if you're coming from Bangkok, seriously consider taking the overnight train. We traveled as a family of 5 (our youngest is a toddler), and it was such a fun "adventure"!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Karen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Golden Cupids Hotel

Address: 21/2 Moo 7 Tumbol Norngchom, San Sai 50210, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Chiang Mai Province > San Sai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in San Sai
Price Range: $41 - $108 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Golden Cupids Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Golden Cupids Luxury Hotel promises a friendly welcome to Thailand and an opportunity to experience the magic of the east. Whether you wish to simply soak up the perfumed sun of exotic tropical gardens, swim in the beautiful outdoor swimming pool, relax with our professional Thai massage therapy, take various tours and activities in Chiang Mai, or retire to an English managed winter haven. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Golden Cupids Chiang Mai
Hotel Golden Cupids
Golden Cupids Hotel Chiang Mai Province, Thailand - San Sai

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