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Reviewed September 24, 2012

I live in Chiang Mai, Thailand and have stayed at a dozen luxury hotels in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and elsewhere. Yet, this remains my hands-down favorite resort hotel in all of Thailand.

I love the hotel rooms, 60+ acre grounds, and pool overlooking three countries at the same time: Thailand, Burma, and Laos. The staff offer impeccable service. The Dahlia Italian restaurant is a gem hidden in the secluded Golden Triangle. Who knew? I had the seafood hotpot four days in a row. I've had the pasta in a cheese wheel and caesar salad, and they are delicious as well. My friend said the Anantara special fried rice was the best fried rice she's ever had: red jasmine rice, chicken, prawn, pineapples, raisins, and more in a healthy, delicious mix. The Anantara's Italian restaurant has become my favorite Italian find in country.

The elephant trek was authentic. Our elephant "cookie" let us know he was hungry. He was not used like other elephants are overly used for tourist treks elsewhere. I rode a complimentary resort bike every day: to the elephant camp, around the resort, to the Opium museum across the street, and even to the Golden Triangle one day to catch the longboat to the Laos shopping island. So much fun, and I cannot wait for a future stay.

Absolutely highly recommend to whoever is considering a stay at this lovely secluded luxury resort to relax, unwind, and enjoy the Golden Triangle. I look forward to coming back to this resort again - hopefully sooner rather than later.

Date of stay: September 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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7  Thank ttran1390
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2012

Wow experience is all I can say, the family of 4 spent 3 nights at this resort located up in the hills of the Golden Triangle. Spent probably one of the best days of our life doing the Elephant Mahout training. Swmming in the river with elephants and riding them through the rainforest is just amazing and the kids are begging to go back.

The restaurant and in particular the Italian was excellent with live cooking at the table. Drinks in bar early evening were fun and the overall atmosphere in the resort was relaxed with a great service culture. Well doen the General Manager and his team.

Room tip: Elephant Mahout Training is a must do.
Date of stay: August 2012
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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3  Thank DJGLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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