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Reviewed July 27, 2012

Oh dear,

My wife and I booked the Centara Duangtawan for our honeymoon. We were going to stay there for 6 nights in total. It was recommended to us by Virgin Holidays as the best they had to offer in Chiang Mai but it wasn't in any of their brochures. we did request that we wanted nothing lower than 4 star accommodation as it was our honeymoon and wanted it to be special.

I had read reviews on trip advisor with reference to this hotel and to be honest, I wasn't expecting much. I did hope that the reviewers were "whiners" and that the reviews where they were complaining were a little too extreme. I was hoping that our experience was going to be a lot better.

Let me start by describing the appearance of the hotel: to say it needs updating is an understatement. It felt like the decor was taken inspiration from the movie "The Shining". I didn't get a very warm feeling walking in through the door. After my experience there, I wished that was my only complaint.

We arrived there at around 10:00 am. I know that this is early so we had to wait fora hour before our room was ready. We were given a drinkif fruit juice and told to sit in reception while the "honeymoon" room was made ready for us. This made me a little more optimistic that the initial appearance of the hotel wasn't going to be a representation of it's experience.  While we were at the front desk checking in I wasn't impressed. The desk looked like chaos. There were scribbled hand writtend pieces of paper all over the desk with keys left all over the place. It looked like nothing was organised. The girl who was attending to our check in served another 4 guests during our interaction which I felt was a little rude. One guest was asking for his room key which she had a big problem in locating.  It didn't inspire much confidence. Still, they were getting us our "honeymoon" room ready so it could only get better.

While waiting in the lobby for our room to be ready I witnessed staff spending most of their time making themselves coffee from the bar. I'm a coffee geek so the noise from the bean to cup machine was easy for me to recognise. No one noticed that my drink had remained empty for over50 minutes while I waited. Still, I could have got up from my seat and got a drink myself so it's hardly a complaint. What I wasn't impressed with was witnessing a tourist with his Thai "girlfriend" enter the hotel together. They stood waiting for the lift while they tried to overcome the language barrier between them. It seemed their only way to communicate was to canoodling and slap each others bums. I'm not a prude, I'm only 31 years old, I play in a rock band - I like to think I'm still cool. It was blatantly obvious that this was a relationship based on prostitution. I know that Thailand has a liberal approach to this but the girl in question looked to be no older than 14 years of age. I felt saddened by the behaviour I'd witnessed and a little sick that such was tolerated in the hotel I was to spend 6 nights in.

After waiting an hour (which is what they told us to expect) the girl from reception came to see us, telling us tht our honeymoon room was ready.  She briefly explained where to go for breakfast etc and pointed to towards our lift.

We arrived at our room expecting a nice experience. Oh dear. The rooms require an urgent update. But that's not where problem lies in this hotel. It's the cleanliness. There were four pillows on our bed.  All with stains on them. Yuck. The bed sheets had marks on them and were ripped at the corners. The curtains were drawn in the room on our arrival. When we pulled the back to see the view of Chiang Mai we realised why they were drawn. The windows are caked in dirt. Plus there was rubbish from the previous guest left on the windowsill. The tea station in the room was covered in dust apart from one corner which was covered in a sticky substance. This hadn't been cleaned in a long time. The walls had marks on them, the toilets hadn't seen bleach in years and there was litter left underneath the chest of drawers. There was a seat in the room which was covered in stains which did nothing but remind me of the child prostitute I had seen in the lobby. This was also the only hotel I'd stayed in where condoms were provided to you in the mini bar. The final straw for cleanliness came when we opened a drawer in the room to find human nail clippings. If you're wondering what a honeymoon room is in this hotel, its a dirty room with a few rose petals laid out on the bed in the shape of a heart.

My wife was disgusted. We were gutted that we had been recommended such a hotel. And we had to stay there for 6 nights. When I looked through the key pack they had provided I could see that it never had my name on it. It was that of another customer. A ha! It's the wrong room!  We went back to reception to explain that we were given the wrong key. No, we hadn't. The room was correct, she had filled in the wrong customer details.  We made the trek back to the 8th floor to be met with the porter braying on our door with two suitcases. Two suitcases which weren't ours. We mentioned this to him and he left to find the correct ones. We waited 15 mins for the correct cases to show up. We had been awake for a long time so were desperate to rest. The only bit of good customer service we experienced was when we got a phone call to apologise for the case mix up. The cases eventually arrived so we got some sleep. 

On waking the realisation set in that we had to spend nearly a week here. 6 nights of our honeymoon in the hotel from The Shining. We went to go on the internet to seek alternative accommodation then realised that we had to go to reception to purchase a wifi card. We went to Starbucks with the iPad.

Adding a huge expense to our trip we sourced alternative accommodation and arranged to move the following day. We only had to spend a night there and at least we'd get to experience breakfast. When going for breakfast I can recommend taking the stairs.  We waited 3 mins for a lift that never arrived, seeming to stop on every floor. I can only assume that when it did arrive I would have witnessed some kind of record attempt when the doors opened.

The breakfast experience is similar to that of driving in Bangkok. If you don't have your wits about you, you will be involved in a crash. People rush at you from all angles and are livid when you're stood getting food that they want. That's nothing to do with the hotel though. The food on offer is poor. Poor is not the word I wanted to use, but I don't want to offend anyone on here. It made me realise that the choice to move was a good one.

We had a day of activities planned so moved hotels when we returned later in the day. I thought we'd have some trouble checking out as we had another 5 nights paid for there. I was going to have to explain why we were leaving early and I didn't want to make anyone uncomfortable. I neednt have worried.  They didnt ask if everything was ok during my stay. They never asked why I was leaving after one night. They simply didn't care.

If you're backpacking around Thailand then the Centara Duangtawan Hotel is ideal. For what I wanted from a hotel it was a huge let down. I experienced poor service and was provided with a dirty room. I never gave the hotel an opportunity to put it right as when the room had been cleaned for the second day the nail clippings were still in the drawer.

I'll be claiming some money back from Virgin Holidays for this hotel that they provided us with. I hated every single second we spent there. 

Date of stay: July 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Dave H
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Centara D, General Manager at Duangtawan Hotel Chiang Mai, responded to this reviewResponded August 8, 2012

Dear Davecaplyn,

We sincerely apologize and regret to know that our facilities and service did not meet your expectation.

Your kind advice and comments were brought into our attention.

Thank you for your time to write us your value feedback

Yours sincerely,

The Management

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2012

I stayed at this Hotel for 4 nights from 7th July to 11 July 2012. Whilst the location of the hotel was very good with its proximity to the night bazza and other shopping hubs, I foudn the hotel itself very tired looking and good do with a good scrub.
Staff performance was very average and the facilities not all that great. THe breakfast was abysmal.

Room tip: Club room failities was a tad better.
Date of stay: July 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
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Thank irv789
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2012

This hotel is conveniently located in downtown city centre and right at the night bazaar. It is also an aproximate 10 to 15 minute walk to the Sunday Market. I have stayed there on numerous occassions which indicates that I was pleased with the hotel. Staff are good and helpful. Breakfast was good too. The rooms require some upgrading though. Would not mind staying again.

Date of stay: January 2012
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1  Thank Dezign99
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2012

This hotel is located in the hart of downtown Chiang Mai, the name Centara Chiang Mai refers to it's location in the center of Chiang Mai. It's just a short walk to the Night Markets or a quick Tuk Tuk to anyone of the attractions in town you may want to see.
The breakfast in this hotel competes with some of Bangkok's finest hotel. The rooms are large, clean and comfortable as are the bathrooms.
The cook and I just keep coming back.

Room tip: The Club Rooms on the 23 floor are the poo
Date of stay: May 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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3  Thank inaspin
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2012

This hotel is just so pleasant to stay in ,pool is awesome and staff are friendly,hotel and rooms are very clean

Room tip: Any room would be fine in this hotel ,as the cleaniness of the hotel demonstrates the quality of rooms they lease ,my room was on 3rd floor on the poolside and it was always quiet
Date of stay: May 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
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Thank Aldo C
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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