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“Elephants up close and personal!”

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Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Chiang Saen
Certificate of Excellence
Somerset, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
113 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Elephants up close and personal!”
Reviewed March 10, 2013

What an amazing place. Breakfast for you - and for you to give some your elephants. Then elephant trekking, swimming and amazing views of the golden triangle. Mynamar is a stones through from your tent, literally over the river. Great Bar, wonderful food and truly brilliant and accommodating staff. We have travelled a fair bit and this takes some beating. The tents are amazing, loads of room, great facilities, wonderful spa tent - I could go on

Room Tip: 14 is one of the furthest from restaurant which was a great for walking off meals. Nearest the Burma...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank PaulFarrer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ali M, Camp Manager at Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, responded to this review, March 19, 2013
Thank you so much for such a passionate review and I appreciate the very thoughtful description of our Magical Camp.
I am thrilled to know that you have loved the Camp, the tent, the food, and most importantly, our team.
It was a complete privilege having you with us, and we are all looking forward to welcoming you back to our Magical Jungle in the near future.

Best Regards,

Ali Mohammed
Camp Manager
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English first
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
35 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2013

Stayed here February 11 - 14. Stayed in Tent # 12, which is a bit of a trek from the lobby, but very close to Burma bar at the far end. One can easily grab a car that will take you back to the lobby and vice versa. Felt sorry for the tents in the middle ( 6 - 10) which are equal distnace from the lobby or the Burma bar. They have no choice but to walk in the hot humdity either way. The tent was nice but did have 2 gecko incidents due to holes in the roof of the tent. They did fix the holes once they were advsied of them but would suggest that they do more inspections to avoid small animals from entering then tent.

The elephants are definitley the reason to come here, our Mahout training was awesome. We did our training in the afternoon so it was a bit hotter. We arrived at the elephant camp and were able to feed all of the elephants sugar cane before our training started. The showed us the basics of getting on and how to sit. they then took us on our elephants, while the trainers walked along side to a large clearing. here we learned all the commands, different ways to get on and off. After 20 minutes of practice, we went on a long 2 hour trek through the jungle, again with the trainers walking alongside and letting us command the elephants. Our guide, Somkid was holding on to our camera and must have taken over 400 pics of us during the trek. In addition to riding the elephants, you can feed smaller baby elephants in the morning. We found that many guests did not seem interested in this so we were able to get a lot of quality time and great pics with the elephants. We did go into the river and got a bit wet but were not fully submerged. My wife got soaked as her elephant tended to throw water over her back while mine did not.

Food wise, we did 3 private dinners. The first and probably the best location was the elephant camp. We arrived to the elephant camp to be greeted by two elephants who we were able to feed, then we were led to an eclosed area that was decorated with many candles, a private table for two and a fire to keep us warm. Just behind us was the kitchen and 2 thai musicians. The food was great and they are more than happy to accomodate your menu. At the end of the meal we were given 5 floating lanterns to release in the air. Our waiter was San and he was excellent in every way. The second night was the cellar. This is more intimate as there is no one else around except the wait staff who comes and goes with your food. This is also air conditioned. We also were given 5 floating lanterns to light and release into the night after dinner. The final meal was at elephant peak after we did a blessing wedding ceremony. This was a very special event for us as we had a blessing by a village elder and did a traditional thai string tying ceremony with the help of several camp employees, Tak the food manager and Ali the hotel manager. Dinner was excellent and this was followed by the release of 10 floating lanterns. This location had a better view but also more bugs as it is more in the open, also the washroom is more "rustic" with no running water. Out of the three locations, I would say Elephant camp is more romantic, if you have to pick one, I would recommend Elephant camp as it has the best ambience. Taksani was the food manager and I must thank him for helping me arrange all the meals and our wedding ceremony and dealing with my numerous emails and queries.

If one is just coming here for the mahout training then I would suggest that you can do this in 2 nights. Our first day was sort of boring, as we were left to just relax. We did the tour on the morning of our 2nd day and then mahout training in the afternoon. The third day was a massage in the the morning and then nothing for the afternoon and then our ceremony in the early evening. If we were not here for our wedding then I would say that you could get away with everything in 2 nights versus 3 nights. But otherwise, this is definitely the experience of a lifteime and if you can afford it then I would definitely say do it, you will not regret it.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Cantquittravelling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ali M, Camp Manager at Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, responded to this review, March 19, 2013
Firstly, I would like to congratulate you on your wedding ! I am very happy that you have decided to spend such a very special occasion with us, and we all have taken great deal of pleasure sharing this special day with you.

Thank you for taking the time to write such great and detailed review, and I am very happy to know that you have enjoyed your stay with us, specially your interaction with our gentle giants.
As well, would like to take this opportunity to once again apologize for the inconvenience caused by having 2 of our nature friends walked into your tent, and while I am saddened to know that you have been troubled by Geckos, I am glad that the team have responded swiftly to your concern of having 2 Geckos inside your tent.

We all have enjoyed reading your review and we truly appreciate your feedback and comments.
Once again, congratulation on your recent wedding, and I am hoping to have you back with us may be for your first Wedding Anniversary.

Best Regards,
Ali Mohammed
Camp Manager
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
140 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
Reviewed March 3, 2013

The best part about this hotel experience is that it is truly an experience where everything is scheduled for you, maybe a bit too scheduled. You do have a choice to opt out or adjust the schedule of those activities which have been pre-arranged for you; however, it is clear that there are other guests who have also been scheduled and the hotel is not large enough to accomodate activities such as elephant riding whenever you would like to do it. In fact, it is important to know that although we opted for the 3 night package (there is also a 2 night option), we only had 3 hours in total during the entire visit where we learned about, were trained on, rode and bathed (literally in the river!) the elephants. We had expected more riding although the other activities which had been pre-arranged for us, such as a visit to the Golden Triangle and the Opium Museum, were unexpected and very worthwhile. We had pre-booked a special dinner just for the 4 of us who were traveling together to celebrate two 50th birthdays and this was held at the Elephant Camp so an unusual and intimate setting. We paid extra for this which was worthwhile to be able to dine on our own with a lot of privacy. The tents are very spread out and the steps and walkways require a reasonable level of fitness, although the hotel provides rides on their 4 wheel drive vehicle for those who would prefer not to walk. All in all, I would say that if you want to experience something unusual, love or are open to learning about and experiencing elephants, and want to do this with a Four Seasons level of comfort, luxury and cost, then this is worth a visit. However, note that the cost will mean it is one of the most expensive per day experiences you are likely to have anywhere on earth.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank ExperiencedBusTrav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knoxville, TN
Level Contributor
61 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2013

If you want to really get away from it all and live luxuriously in the jungle, this is the place. And it that is not enough, simply go there for the elephants -- a truly exceptional experience.
With only fifteen tents, this a small resort, but the level of service, accommodations, and food could not have been better.
The tents leave no need or luxury unattended to, and yet you are perched on the side of a hill overlooking the river with Burma on the other side.
Eat only Thai from the menu! The food is great and they can take care of allergies and preferences on the fly and still keep it Thai. We took a cooking course with Chef Pison which we highly recommend.
The stars of this camp, though, are the elephants. The experience you have with these wonderful animals is life changing. And the mahouts are all excellent. I would be remiss not to mention Seng, a mahout how trained us to ride the elephants, and then ran along side of us with all our cameras taking fabulous pictures. He is a wonderful person and became a good friend while we were there. Included in the package is one session with the elephants, but we would highly recommend going on another trek.
Ali and his staff do a great job. Kookai, our concierge was a delight. She greeted us in a long tail boat as we arrived (you arrive and leave the camp only by boat), arranged changes to our plans, and saw us off in the boat as we left. Tak also gets a shout our for tended to our needs in the restaurant.
This is a wonderful place, and we were sad to leave.

Room Tip: Some tents have a better view of the river than others. Tent 13, where we stayed, had great views.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank davidknoxvilletn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
25 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2013 via mobile

For those looking for an authentic animal encounter or adventure the price of this stay easily compares favourably with the best safari lodges in Africa. Therein lies the conundrum for those contemplating a trip here. The elephant encounter and overall feel of this camp is so far removed and sanitised from anything authentic that you might be forgiven that Disney Engineering have been involved. From the faux journey on the river to reach the hotel (while your bags travel by road) to the Mahout training when in reality the elephants just follow the instructions of their handlers, everything is superbly stage managed to provide guests with photo opps that suggest something more adventous than the reality.
So to focus purely on the hotel experience than i would say the service, accommodations and food are indeed world class. The attention to detail amongst staff and management is fantastic. Spending a birthday here was a delight - coming to breakfast to find "Happy Birthday" written in chalk on an elephant was probably the most creative birthday card ever.
The tents are palatial and sun downers at the Burma Bar magical.
There are no TV's in the room but wifi - I would have enjoyed the option of a stereo to play music though.
The camp requires you to be active with plenty of steep stair ways.
Everyone we met were visiting the resort for 2/3 days and my suggestion would be to not stay longer as outside of the half day elephant experience your activity options are limited and their are better value options to sit around a pool.
A one off experience that will make you glad you did it but not wish for a return would be my conclusion.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank smcp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knoxville
Level Contributor
101 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2013

We just got back from our trip to Thailand and loved our stay at the Tented Camp. It is a once in a lifetime experience that I can't wait to do again. Riding the elephants was incredible and Seng, our master mahout and super-nice guy, did an excellent job of making us feel comfortable and taking professional quality pictures with our cameras.

You don't expect food of this quality at a jungle camp. We enjoyed it even more than the food at the Four Seasons in Chiang Mai. Tak did a great job juggling my food allergies and making us feel very special.

From our first contact, Kookai greeting us with a warm smile at the longboat, until the sad day we had to leave, the service was friendly and impeccable. The setting really encourages making friends with other guests and that made it extra special.

We loved our tent and enjoyed the lovely views of the Ruak River and Burma.
Best advice? Go ahead and book your tent. Yes it is a splurge, but one that you won't regret. After all, when was the last time you had breakfast with elephants?!

Room Tip: If you have mobility issues, ask for a tent either near the check in or the Burma bar. There is a fa...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank LisaKnoxville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Billings, Montana
Level Contributor
286 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2013

This is a special place. Over the years, we have stayed at a number of Four Seasons hotels and resorts. We have come to expect exceptional service and top of the line facilities. So, when we went to Tented Camp, we went with high expectations. I am pleased to tell you that --on virtually every level--our expectations were not only met, but exceeded. The staff, the food, the service, the facilities---everything was as close to perfect as we could imagine. We had the trip of a lifetime. We particularly enjoyed getting to know the staff, including General Manager Ali. They did everything they could to make our visit memorable. We had a private dinner one night in the wine cellar. It is an evening my wife and I will never forget. This was not only the best meal that we have ever had---anywhere, it was also the most romantic. This was our best vacation ever!

Room Tip: There are only 15 tents. They are all wonderful. Our tent was nicer than our home. We didn't...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MontanaSplash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ali M, Camp Manager at Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, responded to this review, May 7, 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to write the review. I am happy to know that we were able to meet your expectation. We are all delighted to know that we have managed to make your stay a memorable one.

It was great pleasure having you with us and we are all looking forward to welcoming you back to our beautiful jungle and to the Magical Camp in the very near future.

Best Regards,
Ali Mohammed
Camp Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle

Property: Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle
Address: P.O. Box 18, Chiang Saen Post Office, Chiang Saen 57150, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Chiang Rai Province > Chiang Saen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Chiang Saen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle 5*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Escape to the natural wonders of Northern Thailand, just south of Burma, west of Laos, for an unforgettable experience. On our unique min 2 nights stay excursions, you'll have the adventure of a lifetime trekking elephants through lush jungle and spectacular mountain trails. Unwind in our superb luxury tented accommodations, which feature stunning views and Four Seasons luxury. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle Hotel Chiang Saen
4 Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle
Four Seasons Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai Four Seasons
Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle Chiang Rai Province, Thailand - Chiang Saen

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