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“Isolated, Bad Food, Beautiful Grounds.”

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Suan Bua Hotel & Resort
Ranked #131 of 386 Hotels in Chiang Mai
Toronto, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Isolated, Bad Food, Beautiful Grounds.”
Reviewed November 27, 2007

I'll put it this way.
If you want to get away from the cities and just spend your whole trip at the resort eating not so great food then this is the place to come.
The actual resort is beautifully manicured, the gardens and outside of the buildings is stunning, but the rooms aren't that great (ours was smelly and the bed was broken).
The breakfast isn't buffet, and the choice isn't great.
It's a long way from town, and the only way to get around is to organise a car with a driver, which is EXpensive and not as fun as looking around on your own.
The spa is good but expensive, the front reception people are mostly gay, which is disturbing and the gym is small.
I wouldn't say our experience was terrible, the rooms were great value for money, but it wasn't the best we've had.

  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank hibiscusandcoconuts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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54 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Surrey
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2007

I am a bit at a loss as to why this hotel has four excellent reviews. I have tried in retrospect to look at this resort in a positive light but cannot quite succeed. It certainly has potential to be a great place to stay. it is in a scenic location and the gardens are beautiful. In fact whilst I was there the only people I saw were gardening.... It is such a shame that there werent any guests ! It is a huge resort with many buildings to stay in. However, no one seems to be staying in them. Admittedly we went to Thailand in the low season, but we stayed in two other hotels that were busy so it didn't make sense. We only saw one other couple in our two day stay. (This may have had something to do wih the fact that there seemed to be lots of construction work going on at the resort.... another reason this may not be the best place to go to relax)

Not only were there no guests but there was nothing to do. You couldnt get a taxi anywhere without phoning a few hours in advance, and you couldnt eat anywhere except the hotel (in the one restaurant). The food situation is one of the real issues I had with this resort. The staff didnt seem used to the idea of guests and hovered around looking uncomfortable and confused. We ate dinner at the restaurant and we were the only couple there all night (which is wierd considering how there are no other options either inside or outside the resort). It didnt take long though to know why.... the food is by far the worst i have ever eaten. Gritty texture, meat that seemed to only have grissle and fat in it and this strange cold processed sausage served with deep fried rind.... and i' not exactly fussy having spent the last few weeks in malaysia and thailand eating all sorts of streetfood and unidentifiable meat products (and loving all of them!) Throughout our meal five (yes five!) waiters hovered around whispering to one another and staring at me and my partner, whilst we attempted to politely gulp the 'food' down.

We left a day early in the end, much to the annoyance of the check-out staff (even though we had paid for the extra day and werent complaining or asking for any money returbed, we just said we wanted to stay an extra day in the city of chiang mai).
I really wish i had better things to say about this place as i can see a lot of potential in the beauty of the area and the gardens and the rooms are spacious, clean and pretty well decorated.

  • Liked — the gardens
  • Disliked — everything else
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank FionaSteve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 2007

Chiang Mai was our first stop on a 3 week trip taking us to many places from north to south in Thailand. After a fantastic overnight train ride from Bangkok (book 1st class sleeper it is worth it) we were taken by taxi to the resort. Please note that the resort is a good bit outside the city of Chiang Mai, up the winding roads into the mountains but transportation is cheap and as we were visiting the region and not just the city this was perfect. We rented a taxi and driver for the 4 days we were there and he was there ready to take us wherever we wanted whenever we wanted.
The hotel and resort is beautifully landscaped and the views of the surrounding gardens and mountains spectacular. We stayed in a relatively newly built double room that was huge, felt like a suite with separate sitting room, balcony and a good sized bathroom. Spotlessly clean with everything one would need for a great hotel stay. Breakfast was a buffé with chefs preparing eggs to taste. There was a pool that the kids enjoyed but this is not the main feature of the resort. The spa on the other hand was great. I have seldom had such a good Thai massage as there. And the serenity surrounding the place made me relax in a minute.
My neighbor who grew up in Thailand found the hotel for us and it was just great. Didn't seem that many other westerners had found it though as there were mostly asians staying there. This added to the feeling of being in a truly asian paradise.

  • Liked — The atmosphere, grounds, spa, luxury, serenity
  • Disliked — The pool
  • Stayed December 2005, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BaltimoreRed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2007

Loved it !! loved it !! And will go there everytime i visit Chiang Mai.

the best part was we didnt have any expectations;
-except that we knew it was 25 kms from the city up in the hills,
- cooler weather as compared to the city,
- two nice and helpful reviews on tripadvisor.
...I think i also owe both tripadvisor forums and suan bua this review.
so we landed up at the place last few days of december, the hotel was very beautiful and pleased us instantly, had nice 60's styling, my rooms were two huge suite with a small pantry, lots of old wooden furniture with nice lanna inlay work done, and all at a reasonable price.
it does have a whole wing of modern rooms, but at a higher price.... but i preferred the old structure. we had a big balcony overlooking a little stream with pleasant sounds of gurgling water, lots of greenery and flowers, beautiful.

Service was also good, for all the 4 days we stayed there, extremely friendly and helpful front desk. Other staff mostly speak thai, so find an english speaking person to help you out if you get stuck (we did)
Food was ok compared to overall thailand standards, breakfast is usually incl. and a decent spread, so no sweat, but other meals can be just about ok, also note the kitchen closes by 10. also most dishes had pork and for somebody who does not eat pork that can became a problem.
another important point, we hired a car to cover the frequent travelling back and forth to chiang mai city (in fact i was happy i didnt stay in the city) loved the drive on the winding mountain roads.
it was peak flora season and the new year combined meant all of chiang mai was chocoblock and so was suan bua, but the team worked tirelessly and we were happy with the help and support we got from the staff overall, these guys keep smiling, its so pleasant.

  • Liked — Awesome place.
  • Disliked — Food could be better
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Farawayjfk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2006

This is a resort that really gives me a Thai feeling. From the beautifully manicure garden, spa by the river, nice clean room, real northern Thai dishes in the restaurant, prompt transfer to the friendly service are all beyond expression.

To stay in Suan Bua is always a final touch to my trips to Chiang Mai, this time I stayed for 4 nights.....really relaxing. One morning, they made buffet breakfast for a group of people and I really didn't feel like to have buffet.....the chef was so nice that he came up to me and asked what I'd like to eat.....he then tailor-made a breakfast for me, nice, hot and really tasty ! I'm sure, you may not be able to have this service in a 5 star hotel, cos this is from the heart !

Definately stay there in my next visit !! Thanks for everyone there !

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank School
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
Reviewed April 6, 2006

This resort is in the hills about an hour outside of Chiang Mai. It was probably built in the 60's. The room was huge, grounds were beautiful. They had a good spa. It didn't look anything like the resort from Dirty Dancing, but somehow reminded me of it, in a strange way. The staff was friendly and great. Actually, I was impressed by everyone I met in Thailand.

My only complaint is that the food at Suan Bua was so-so. It wasn't awful, but it didn't wow me. I would stay here again, though.

Helpful?
1 Thank bbdeluca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Suan Bua Hotel & Resort

Property: Suan Bua Hotel & Resort
Address: 158 Moo 3 | Hangdong Samerng Road, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Chiang Mai Province > Chiang Mai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Chiang Mai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Suan Bua Hotel & Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 176
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Thai Lanna style - Unique traditional Lanna-style architecture. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Suan Bua Hotel
Suan Bua Resort

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