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Reviewed September 5, 2012

First time we tried the anantara chain and felt we made a great choice. It was pure luxury! I didn't want to leave. I really had to be dragged out of there! What can I say, the rooms were royal, the spa was out of his world! Enjoyed every penny spent here! Good location and typical Thai hospitality- always with a smile! A big fan of anantara hotels now and an absolute must once in a lifetime!

Date of stay: October 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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3  Thank Wanderlusting4ever
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2012

This was our second visit to the hotel since last April. We noticed a distinct improvement in staff cohesiveness and effectiveness. This is probably due to the recent arrival of a new GM, Mr Christian Zunk, who was at various locations before, ao. the Four Seasons in NYC. His omnipresence and relaxed style has a great teambuilding effect on the staff and the overall hospitality experience for the guests. The rooms all overlook the actual golden triangle where Thailand, Birma and Laos meet on the Mekong. The facilities include a big pool with a million $ view of the area. Pool service was good but can be a bit faster. We had a very special dining experience among the rice paddies at night, which was truly magical, including buggy transport to and from and a honor guard of elephants at arrival. The restaurants have a great atmosphere and quality of food was very good and local. The bar and adjoining terrace are great places for pre and after diner drinks and conversation.
We had a suite as before, which is a great room with lots of tropical wood, wonderful deep bath and a balcony overlooking Birma and Laos. Due to the monsoon rains, the fields below the hotel are partly flooded. seeing the elephants at night returning home with their drivers is something out of a movie.
We were treated by friends to a morning in elephant training camp , which belongs to the hotel. With almost 20 elephants and 8 in our group ridden by our friends was the ultimate. You really learn how to move them forward, steer , stop and back up. A ride to a pond to take a bath with riders and all is the climax of a very unique experience. Our 6 yr old daughter had some surprises awhile swimming with this huge el;ephant, but the animals are so gentle, that she daily reminds us of the highlight of the trip. Do not wear non waterproof watches and camaras.
all in all our visit was memorable, the staff excelled in friendliness and service. We will go back there.

Room tip: There are so few great hotels in the area. When you take the effort to visit the triangle, check in a suite. We found the rooms on the left side of the hotel (higher numbers) to have even better views than the right side
Date of stay: August 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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4  Thank LeonardK504
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2012

I actually kind of hate writing reviews, but if something is THAT good, I'll do it happily! It's got to be THAT GOOD though!

Having lived in the very popular tourist destination of Phuket for about 5 years, I believe I would have a pretty good handle on what to expect as Thai hospitality - WRONG! Every aspect of service I experienced here blew me away! I've also had my fair share of experiences with world class hotels, and the service here was truly the BEST. Each and every member of the hotel's team I encountered were genuinely kind, friendly, and accommodating. But before I even got to the hotel, the driver sent to pick me up gave me an interesting history lesson on the area and those surrounding, and pointed out some sights along the way back to the hotel! All without being asked - that was a first!

My room was immaculately attended to TWICE a day (turn down service was so much more!). everyone spoke English beautifully (surprising the same is not true for Phuket!), and I had no trouble being understood, which made making requests totally stress-free.

The speed of room service gives Domino's "30 minutes or less" a run for its money - and these were full meals, not snacks!! And what can I say about the food I ordered?! Fantastic. On par with any good restaurant I've ever been to. I'm just truly amazed ... and all this is ON TOP of the wonderful experience I've had at the elephant camp! I would only hasten to add that the buffet breakfast could be improved, but that was the tiniest blip in an otherwise truly memorable experience.

Location wise? If you're looking for a place close to town, this resort is not for you. This is just one of those resorts to cocoon in - the elephant camp, spa, and yoga provides enough for those who just want to unwind and get lost in nature.

It goes without saying that for a resort to run as well as this, and to have acquired staff as kind and competent as this took an enormous amount of foresight and planning. I am in awe, Bill Heinecke! I'm making it a point to stay at all the Anantara's now!

Date of stay: August 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled solo
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3  Thank rdsukh
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2012 via mobile

Amazing hotel!! One of my favourites! loved the jungle feel decor felt quite African in the elephant bar but - loved Nuey the barman entertaining with his magic tricks - all the staff were really amazing.
Then there were the elephants ! Meena stole the show! Wong is a star too, the oldest at 54. All the mahouts are amazing an do a brill job taking great fotos of everybody on the elephants with their cameras
Would recommend the mahout training for full day get loads of time riding elephant out and amazing experience to take them into river. Full body massage at spa followed and that was amazing too fell asleep no Problem!

the opium museum is very interesting and I was surprised to find out it was soo much better than I expected!

this place is special i didnt think anything would top safari in kruger but this has :) and I would love to go back and see how the elephants are getting on :)

Date of stay: August 2012
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1  Thank highflyer007
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2012

We travel a lot, and this is one of the best experiences we have ever had. I want to say that it felt like home, because the staff was so genuine, so unfailingly friendly and kind-- but at home we have no elephants, and sadly no staff so eager to smooth our path. The Mahout Training is not to be missed -- I will never forget jostling in the water atop a frolicking elephant. Prepare to get wet! I also tried the Thai cooking class, which was fun and resulted in a great meal (despite my lack of talent) at the end of the day (and with luck some good meals while at home). We also recommend the spa for just about anything and the 3 country tour. Special kudos to the front desk staff who helped us fit in all our activities and were flexible, sweet and helpful. Our last night there was so romantic -- I don't want to spoil the surprise of a very special evening that was arranged on our last night there, but perhaps if you ask....

Room tip: Ask for a view of the spot where they bathe the elephants in the morning-- although I think most rooms have a view of them.
Date of stay: August 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Thank Pennypetetic
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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