From the moment they picked us up from the airport, to the day we left, we were treated so well by the warm and friendly staff. It was all about the little details – the things I never even thought about or anticipated, like the refreshments, magazines, and iPad provided during the ride to the resort, the lemongrass tea and mini massage during registration and check-in. While Tuk was reviewing our itinerary with us, I mentioned that I was a bit disappointed that our scheduled morning Mahout Experience did not include the river bath. Apparently, the elephants bathe in the afternoons. She immediately offered to call the camp and find out if we can change our schedule to that afternoon so that I could participate in the river bath. I can’t even begin to describe how fantastic the Mahout Experience was. This was the part of our Thailand trip to which I looked forward the most and it was every bit as exhilarating and special as I imagined it would be. What made it even better for me was Anantara’s philosophy on rescuing elephants and caring for their mahouts and their families. To be that close the elephants was so amazing – so huge, but yet so gentle. I got Poonlap (don’t know if I have the correct spelling), and she took good care of me, except that she didn’t warn me that she liked to dunk her head in the water and caught me off guard. It made for a nice little swim in the Ruak River and her mahout got me right back on with no problem. Now I have a great story to tell!
I couldn’t wait for breakfast each day, and the chance to play with Om, the resident baby elephant who greeted us each morning by the breakfast buffet.
Our three-country suite was HUGE and at the top of the hill. It’s too bad we weren’t in it very much because it was definitely a great space in which to relax and soak in the luxury. Loved the peace and quiet.
The food was excellent. Breakfast buffet was my favorite. You really can’t go wrong with anything on the Thai menu. We skipped the Italian option because the second reason we chose Thailand for holiday was the Thai food!
Our second excursion was the Golden Triangle tour. Toy our guide, was friendly and knowledgeable and navigated us through the border crossing. The program was very well planned. As I mentioned earlier, Anantara is all about the details and this experience was no different. In fact, while we were on this outing, Tuk from the hotel desk called Toy to make sure she took us to the Mae Sai bus station to help us get our tickets on the VIP bus to Chiang Mai.
On our final morning, we said good bye to Om and the other elephants, we went to the Hall of Opium across the street courtesy of Anantara, then Tuk booked our car to the White Temple on the way to the Chiang Mai bus station.
I was very sad to leave this magical place and it will forever hold a special place in my heart and my memory. While the facilities were top notch, it was the staff and the elephants that made it a five-star experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tucked into 160 acres of ancient jungle in northern Thailand, Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort rests on a bluff overlooking the fabled convergence of two rivers and three countries. The region also boasts a rich cultural heritage, as seen in the many hill tribe peoples or at the Hall of Opium Museum. At Anantara Golden Triangle, the natural and cultural merge at our unique onsite Elephant Camp, modelled on traditional mahout villages and home to the resort’s very own gentle giants. Book any of our indulgent All Inclusive Packages and enjoy the following benefits:•Accommodation with daily buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner for every night stayed•Roundtrip transfers from and to Chiang Rai Airport•Beverages (select range of non-alcoholic drinks, house wine, beer and spirits)•Internet access•In-room mini bar•One time visit to the Opium Museum•One activity for every night stayed from a choice of:oElephant Camp ExperienceoLanna Cooking ClassoAnantara Spa TreatmentoGolden Triangle Private ExcursionWhatever the experience, your Golden Triangle story begins with Anantara. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Anantara Golden Triangle Resort And Spa
- Anantara Golden Triangle Hotel Chiang Saen
- Anantara Resort Golden Triangle
- Anantara Hotel Golden Triangle
- Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort Chiang Rai Province, Thailand - Chiang Saen