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Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort
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Reviewed January 31, 2013

We stayed at the Anantara for three nights and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The room was lovely but the bathroom was fine just a little tired. The setting is perfect and you feel that you have the whole hotel to yourself as apart from at breakfast and dinner you hardly bump into anyone. The staff and service were outstanding. There were nice touches such as cold towels brought to you by the pool along with iced ginger tea, cut up fruit and delicious chocolate icecream at various times durung the day. We did the half day mahoot training which was an unforgettable experience. We learnt simple commands and then rode our elephant through the wetlands, belonging to the hotel, down to the river. We bathed the elephants in the river, had great fun and got very wet. The hotel is quite isolated so we ate in the restaurant each night the food was excellent expensive for the area but not for the quality. Breakfast was very good. An extensive selection of delicious food along with a daily visit from a young elephant. A perfect start to the day.

Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank kay2948
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2013

Beautiful views on the Mekong river.
The resort supports a foundation for the well being of elephants and their mahouts (humans responsible of their work and care).
We were able to interact with the elephants: we were lucky enough to bathe with them and bare ride them . It was incredible .
The food is nice and the cooking class really nice (you visit a thaï market then take the class).
A really perfect place to stay.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank isecd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2013

What a truly unforgettable experience! After being forgotten at the airport, we got a taxi for the long drive from Chiang Rai - 1,000 bht. We arrived at the secluded resort, greeted with an apology, passion fruit dessert, chilled face towel and lemon tea.
The room was a little tired but large and with a beautiful view over the elephants home land. The room had the largest bath I have ever seen, was well equipped and the mini bar was stocked up with plenty of sacks and drink.
The restaurant had a plethora of food and drink for breakfast, for every nationality and a baby elephant! The food on the Thai side was well presented and extremely tasty. Like other reviews we were very impressed with the Italian restaurant too. The food and service was also very good beside the pool. I would say that the inclusive package is a must though because its very expensive to eat or drink at the hotel.
The pool is beautiful but cold, not many others dared venture in! Loads of vowels, magazines and sun lotion.
Our first trip was the three country tour - private car with chauffeur and guide for the day, very nice. Unfortunately we had the lady guide who wanted us to buy things from her friends and she seemed to get comission and payment from people at the temples she took us to. When we noticed that we moved on very quickly. Apart from her the trip was well worth it - crossing the border into Burma and the long boat up the Mekong to Laos were the best experiences.
The cooking lesson was definitely worth it. The kitchen was so professional and chef a good teacher. Mmmm the food was tasty too, go with an emty stomach! I have cooked Pad Thai and other dishes since returning.
The best experience was the Elephants - what a truly awesome awesome time we had. Meeting the baby at breakfast was our appetiser. Learning to ride and command huge Bo with her loving Mahout by her side and taking her into the Mekong river for a wash. I will remember it forever.
The tennis court is of a very high standard. The gym is definitely worth a visit, well equipped and has a chill out area with jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. All very clean.
This hotel is very very expensive but the trip of a lifetime for us. The staff are very friendly, helpful and attentive. The management are always around and keen to find out how your stay is going. They listen and are keen to make your stay the best possible.
The all inclusive option is a must because the prices at the hotel are high. If you book through the hotel (not travel agent) it is much better, they won't forget you at the airport due to bad communication.
Definitely go there if you can afford it!

Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
Thank Dena666
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2013

We are living in Bangkok and decided for the last school holiday in October 2012 to go on a little elephant "safari" in the North of Thailand.

We loved the mountains and the mist over the Mekong river in the morning. It reminded us a bit of our home countries in Europe. We also enjoyed the cooler temperatures.

The elefant camp was the best our son (9 y.) has encountered in Thailand so far. He felt in love with "Lana", his elefant for 5 days. We also enjoyed to be able to walk around the camp and to feed and observe the "baby" elephants any time of the day.

The hotel, a former Meridien, has changed in a good way. Service, food and interior are all very appealing. The Italian restaurant was surprisingly good! The greenery is designed by Bil Bensley are renowen Thai landscape designer and architect. We enjoyed all the beautiful details.

I have to admit that we got a special rate for a suite. But for normal online booking, and the elephant mahot training I deem the rates very high for Thailand.

There is not much to do outside the hotel, which is 2 hours drive from Chiangrai airport. However, I recommend a visit of the Opium Museum (a fantastic museum!) just across the street. Entrance ticket was provided by Anantara. And second, I recommend a Mekong river trip with a speed boat, just for an hour, since this is the "Golden Triangle" of Burma, Thailand and Laos! (The market on the Laos side does not really worth to visit). If you are interested in Hill Tribes, I was told, Chiangmai would be a better destination. But if you love some peaceful days and elephants - this is the place!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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Thank writing_suzie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2013

This a lovely hotel, with fantastic views and elephants at every turn. It seemed very quiet and we hardly saw any guests other than on Christmas Eve when there was a big party, and at breakfast times in general. At one point I actually wondered if we had the place to ourselves on Christmas Day because we barely saw a soul.
The hotel is pretty isolated, at a push you could walk to the nearest village but it would be a very long hot walk and we didn't do it! And basically, because eating and drinking in the hotel is so expensive, we took a taxi to said village to eat in the local restaurants there.
As previous reports say, there is little to do here except go on excursions. You can visit Laos, or Burma, and of course, there is the elephant trekking and mahout training. We didn't do this, but other guests absolutely raved about it, so I guess it is the thing to do if you love elephants!
In terms of our accommodation, the room was lovely and the bathroom had the biggest bathtub I've ever seen. And the public areas of the hotel were equally nice. One criticism was the lack of free wifi in all areas of the hotel, it was only free in the Elephant Bar, and this is a pet hate of mine!
We arrived on Christmas Eve, and hotel had organised a really special night involving canapes and cocktails up on the hilltop, with local entertainment and music, and elephants of course! Then down the hill back to the hotel for a big spread and more music and dancing. We had a great time, drank too much and were the last guests to leave the bar! Christmas Day itself was very quite and subdued, which was probably a good thing for our aching heads!
The Anantara is one of the few hotels that brews up the world famous Black Ivory Coffee, which is basically local coffee beans going in one end of an elephant then coming out of the other end (Google it)! There is an elaborate brewing process which is a spectacle to watch. I hasten to add that we didn't have this coffee, but a very kind guest on the next table did, and kindly let us try a cup!
Overall, the Anantara is a lovely hotel in a beautiful setting but 2 or 3 nights is probably enough.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Janey R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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