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“Fantastic Hotel”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of 137 Pillars House

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137 Pillars House
Ranked #1 of 375 Hotels in Chiang Mai
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Fantastic Hotel”
Reviewed June 30, 2012

Pick this hotel for my honeymoon. We went travelling around Thailand and this was by far the best hotel we have ever been. The hotel itself is great. The staff is incredibly pleasant. I wish I was there now...

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Domenico C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (169)
Date | Rating
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English first
London
Level Contributor
45 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2012 via mobile

We stayed here for 5 nights in June, supposedly the low season, but had great weather and very little rain. It's an oasis of tranquility, beautifully designed, incredibly comfortable and the staff are super nice. It felt like a private villa that a few other people happened to be staying in as well. We seek out smaller hotels and this is definitely one of the best we've stayed in. We spent hours chilling out by the pool (and were always the only ones there) or sitting on our day bed on the balcony. We had a private yoga lesson one morning on our balcony which was a great start to the day.

Only only recommendation is that the kitchen needs a little bit of work still. The food was good but didn't quite match the quality of the surroundings. We had pad Thai one night that had no spice or flavour at all. But given you're so close to a number of great restaurants along the riverside it definitely not put you off. Breakfasts were delicious. The hotel would also make that tiny step forward by having one of the many staff that are around come and bring cold water to the pool or check if you wanted anything whilst by the pool- we had to go to the bar each time to order, but definitely not an inconvenience.

All in all a super place to stay and we're looking forward to returning soon.

Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank wurlycurly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
singapore
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2012

Stayed there for 2 nights - didn't opt for higher end rooms, just the standard room - but loved it totally. I been travelling for work and leisure a lot and always stayed at 5 stars hotel - 137 pillar is truly a rare found gem. The decor is modern colonial style, all the materials used in the room are top notch, spacious room, beautiful floor and lighting. My favorite is the big balcony - I love sitting there reading and enjoy the peace of chiang mai.

The location is great too, close to a very happening street, yet quiet.

breakfast venue is beautiful and the club house is brilliant.

didn't want to leave, i still think about the beautiful properties from time to time!

Room Tip: normal/standard room is good enough, no need to go for higher tier room. But 2nd floor is definitely...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank lostkitty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
23 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed June 21, 2012

There's nothing wrong I could say about this place. They offer airport transfers because it seems that the airport and the hotel are a good 15mins apart. The Rajah Brooke suite was the humblest among all the hotel rooms but there is nothing humble about it: luscious bed, his & hers sinks, dresser, a really nice tub, outdoor & indoor showers, and a veranda overlooking the property. Everything is simply exquisite. I was glad to see a bottle of Shiraz waiting for me when I arrived.

The food is fantastic. I'm glad to stumble upon probably the best Tom Kha Gai ever, better than anything I've had. Make sure to order their crepes for breakfast, they are lipsmacking good. The service is even better.

If there's anything, it's probably the location of the hotel from the city's center. The hotel is tucked away on the opposite side of the Mae Ping river, so going to and from the Old City can be a bit of a hassle. But if you're after privacy, plus excellent food and a very nice hotel staff, this is the place to be. Really looking forward to coming back!

  • Stayed June 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank suman_monster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed June 19, 2012

Staying at 137 Pillars House from 17th to 20th June 2012, in rooms 15/18/19. This is a long review, but I'm keeping this as detailed as possible to give you a better picture of the hotel.

First, we (group of 6) phoned the hotel and check the rates via internet. Got a good deal with the 3 for 2 package (paying for two nights and staying for three). We called about 3 hours before arriving for a airport pickup, and the hotel obliged. One of the front desk staff waited at the arrival hall, greeted us and accompanied us to the hotel, about 20 mins from the airport. Welcomed by three staff, giving us each a jasmine garland. Check in was quick, and each one had to provide passport, signed a consent form and off we go to the rooms.

Rooms are clean with private balcony, overlooking to a central hotel courtyard, nice pool, a grassy patch, restaurant etc. First word of advise, the hotel is not handicapped friendly. If you're on a wheelchair, try getting from the entrance to the restaurant. My group consist of my parents and my in laws, all in their 70s. luckily they are healthy enough to thread through the steps and stairs. At night, its even more challenging when it gets dark. We trip a few times. I wonder they expect us to use a torch light to walk to the restaurant. I will come to that later in the review.
[Remember : no go if you're on a wheelchair or need help]

We booked the van for sightseeing, and driver is courteous, knowledgeable. One thing that was a nuisance is the turndown service. We had sightseeing trips until 3pm, and when we just showered and wanted to have a short nap, the turndown service knocked on our doors (on day two and three) at about 5pm - 6pm. I would have expected them to turndown a bit later when we go out or to the restaurant. Disrupted nap makes me feel even grumpier. Giving me two lumps of chocolates, smiling innocently makes this a SLH experience any better !
[Advise : Please provide a small sign to say "do not disturb" for us to hang on the knob like a non-SLH hotel is a good start]

Speaking about the chocolates, first day was with an orchid. When they woke me up on subsequent days, it was two lump of coal. somehow, i guess the missing orchid doesnt matter.

Rooms switches are quite complex. You never know which position is "on" as the light switch springs back to the same position irrespective "on" or "off" confusing. you press a few times, and try to make it "work". To make matter worst, there is a "master" light around the place (a few of them) which turns off all the lights. This is cool, as there is a 3 seconds delay. Turning of the master switch, you look around, thinks that you haven't turn it off, quickly press it again. In the process, you turn on - off - on again without even realising it. This is another "over the top, looks cool but not practical feature".

The good part about this complex system is whenever the door to the balcony is open, a timer will turn off the air con to minimise power wastage. This is a good "green" feature.

The restaurant is the worst thing that can happen to this property. I would rank around the standard of a tourism school training restaurant. Where do we start? They'll try to get away with bad practices. remember this is a "boutique", "luxury", "exclusive", "branded" hotel.

1. As a small LUXURY hotel, water is either served sometimes from a pitcher or from the nice glass bottle you get by the roadside stalls. See picture as attached. You get 137 Pillar custom filled bottled water everywhere, and glass refilled bottles at the table. I would expect slightly better of a SLH restaurant. if I wanted to save cost, I'd fill the pitcher with glass refill bottles and don't do it at the table in front of your customer (and get caught). By the way, everywhere else, the plastic "sealed", "hygenic" hotel bottled water are give free.

2. Please try the famous thai spring rolls. We were served with the plum sauce and some "lump" of papaya/mango/funky ball of fibers? Here's a picture. This shows that no QA whatsoever for the food served to the clients.

3. Satay is another challenge, peanut sauce served after satay is 75% finished (3 out of 4 sticked finished).

4. Serving appetiser without plates. When asked for plates (on a table of 6 guest), the first reply was "how many plates you need?" I was wondering should I say 16 plates or common sense would prevail, and waiter would actually bring six plates to six guest.

5. Can't find the waiter to order food, had to go out and get the F&B manager to take orders. That's a first for me. And we were one of the three tables occupied. I wonder if they had six tables full of guest, probably need to get the general manager. Either they are playing hide and seek or waiters are doubling up as cooks.

6. Food quality is not the best. But it varies from person to person, which I will not comment. I will attest that it is quite fresh. Please note that when you order a strawberry ice cream, you will get a strawberry sorbet. The staff probably does not know the difference. (day 2 experience)

7. Breakfast time : half boiled egg mean HARD boiled egg here. Fried rice noodle (same wording as menu) mean Fried rice.

8. The restaurant turns on the air condition (AC) during one out of three nights. I wonder is it due to energy saving policy or just too little customer to justify using AC?

There's another point that the last evenings, the table in the courtyard have lights,first two nights was pitch dark. The key to a good hotel service is consistency, which is lacking. I would almost bet that one shift is trained well, and another is quite untrained/complacent.

Anyway, I would say this is an average 4 star hotel, with mediocre restaurant, not very well trained staff. I will consider twice if I have to recommend others as this hotel does not meet the standards required for a SLH hotel.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank LCW0ng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, General Manager at 137 Pillars House, responded to this review, June 21, 2012
Dear Mr. Wong,

Thank you for taking time to let us know your experiences during your stay.

I am, of course, not happy to read about how you felt about our services. Without giving excuses, please allow me to quickly reply to each of your mentioned points.

You are completely right saying that the hotel is not suitable for handicapped guests, and there is no mention about 137 Pillars House being a handicapped friendly hotel. It is in the nature of our grounds and architecture that guests in wheel chairs will find it rather difficult moving around. I regret this, since we certainly do not want to discriminate, and I will look into ways of making the hotel public areas more accessible for people with disabilities.

Turn-down service: Since we do not only turn-down the bed, but provide a more comprehensive service in the late afternoon, we do need to start around 5:30 in order to service all occupied rooms. During the period of your stay, the hotel was fully booked, thus, our Housekeeping department had to start at that given time. I do apologize for the absence of a do not disturb sign, they are currently being produced by a local woodcarving workshop in order to comply with our efforts of sustainable practices. Unfortunately, the work takes longer than expected. You have been served dark chocolate pralines during turn-down with our compliments, I much regret that they were not to your liking and I will happily review recipes with our Pastry Chef.
Regarding your valuable concerns about our restaurant The Dining Room, I have noted that you have been our guest for dinner on three consecutive nights. I do agree with you that our service did not perform up to par on the last night, for which I profoundly apologize. It seems to me, however, that you did enjoy your meals on the twp previous occasions?

You were also referring to the lighting on our outdoor tables, mentioning there is in inconsistency in set-up standards. Please kindly note that the lamps are rather sensitive tot he weather, thus, they are being collected whenever our Managers in charge think that rain is imminent.

Dear Mr. Wong, by no means I forget to also thank you for your positive remarks about the hotel and our services, and I wish to welcome you back in the near future to present you with our generally high standards of service.

Again, thank you for taking the time to write to us.

Respectfully yours,

Manfred ILG, General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed June 19, 2012

We booked this hotel thru Agoda, so we not only got $149/night w breakfast but also scored a third night free. The hotel opened in March, so everything is brand new! It was obvious that it was planned with a great deal of TLC...like it was someone's personal project. Even the fire extinguisher was covered in a fancy burlap! We booked two rooms as we were traveling w our children (age:10). Our rooms connected via the outdoor balcony which worked out well. Staff spoke good English, and were both friendly and helpful. When we did not have hot water, it was resolved albeit it took 3 goes. It is slightly off beaten path, but as a family, we preferred the quiet of suburbs. They even have their own lovely veggie garden!

There are only 30 suites, so it really feels like a high end guest house. Our only complaint would be the overpriced mani/pedi which came off within the day...but that could be just humidity related...it really is a must-stay in Chiang Mai!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CAtwinmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed June 16, 2012

One never knows what quite to expect with 'boutique' hotels these days and I am glad to say 137 Pillars Hotel shows how it is done right. It is an intimate project with only 30 villas on the property built around an old teak house.

We were nicely surprised by unusual species of flora on the grounds, other than the de rigeur frangipanis. Priority was given to what was originally on the property, for example, they paved the path around the root of the old banyan tree.

As heritage buffs, we loved reading about the history of the hotel in a specially published coffee table book and appreciated the process of sensitive refurbishment and conservation of the original house on the property. All the details were well thought through especially the playlist on the iPod nano in every villa. It was certainly a labour of love for the owners. We hope to be back soon.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank S F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HappyGMinAsia, General Manager at 137 Pillars House, responded to this review, June 17, 2012
Dear Friend of 137 Pillars House,

Thank you very much for your kind words about our services. I am thrilled to learn that you appreciated the details in the rooms as well as the gardens and the hotel in general.

The team and I look forward to welcoming you back again in the near future.

Respectfully yours,

Manfred ILG - General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 137 Pillars House

Property: 137 Pillars House
Address: 2 Soi 1, Na Wat Gate Road | Wat Gate, Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Chiang Mai Province > Chiang Mai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 375 Hotels in Chiang Mai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — 137 Pillars House 5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This luxurious 30 suite boutique Hotel is built around a colonial teak homestead built in 1880s. It is located in a leafy residential enclave a few minutes walk from the historical Wat Gate Temple, Ping River and boutique shopping area. Four stunning suite types range from 70 -135 square meters; two with small private pools. Tiled verandas, cane shades, rattan furniture and free standing Victorian baths are reminders of days gone by, blend with modern facilities including outdoor gardens showers, flat screen televisions and wi-fi. A range of bespoke dining options include the Jack Bain's Bar, Parlor, Wine Cellar, The Dining Room, Palette, Kitchen and Private Dining, using organic ingredients from the Hotel's garden.Recreation facilities include the Spa, Gymnasium and Swimming Pool. ... more   less 
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