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“Unbelievable”

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Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Chiang Saen
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Unbelievable”
Reviewed May 23, 2013

This is one of the most special places we have ever visited (and we've been to 80 countries).
With fewer than 30 guests (only 6-10 during this season) the experience is intimate and special. Wonderful care by all staff members; fabulous and authentic design and decor makes one feel like you are part of an expedition from decades ago. Great food, interesting day trips but the prime attraction here is to interact and get to know the resident elephants and their mahoots. To feed the baby elephants each morning during our own breakfast time was like no other experience! We highly highly recommend this place (if you can get by the price tag).

Room Tip: Every tent is spectacular.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank KAREN T
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 30, 2013
Thank you for the nice review and comments. I appreciate the time you took to share with us your very unique experience at our Magical Camp. I am very happy to know that you have enjoyed your stay with us, and you loved the close interaction with our gentle giants. Indeed, feeding them and getting that close, is a second to none experience.
Once again, thank you for the review, and we all very looking forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Best Regards,
Ali Mohammed
Camp Manager
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San Jose, Costa Rica
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed May 20, 2013 via mobile

The service is amazing, the location and the experience is just perfect. The level of detail and personalization is just crazy. You cant feel you are in a tent, its so luxurios! And the food was great!

  • Stayed May 2013
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Helpful?
Thank Ivonne A
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 30, 2013
Thank you for the simply spectacular review describing your very special experience at the Camp. I am glad that you have enjoyed your visit to our Magical Jungle, and you were happy with everything the Camp was able to offer, from the location, the tents, the food and most importantly, our personalized service.

Thank you for staying with us, and we are hoping to be able to welcome you back again in the future.

Best Regards,
Ali Mohammed
Camp Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 5, 2013 via mobile

My wife and recently completed a wonderful 4 night stay at the camp. While this is my first trip advisor review, we have traveled throughout the world, and this was one of the best experiences we have had - as it should be because this place is expensive.

The camp only has 15 rooms which allows the staff to get to know each guest's favorite beverages, foods, needs, etc. All of the camp staff was very friendly from the managers (who stop by regularly to check on you) to the front desk clerks to the wait staff. The "tents" are beautiful air conditioned rooms with large back patios that allow you to enjoy the tranquil scenery privately. The interactions with the elephants is great. Every morning one or two elephants are brought to the restaurant where the guests can feed them bananas one after another. You also get to ride the elephants with the assistance of the the very personable and friendly mahouts. We did two elephant treks and enjoyed both immensely - be prepared to get wet! The camp is affiliated with an elephant rescue organization that takes in elephants from the cities, and gives them a better life. You'll get to learn about the history of each elephant that you ride.

There are non elephant activities half day activities that are available as well - we enjoyed the Golden Triangle and Burma border town tours.

Food and drink are very good (though we did not try the western menu) with lots of options. Specialty cocktails are made at the Burma Bar and recipes are given upon request. And lots of cold beer - try the Myanmar and Lao beers.

If you are on the fence about going and can afford it, you should go. It makes a great segment for a larger Thailand itinerary.

Notes:

1. the camp property is pretty spread out alongside of a hill so if you have issues with climbing up steps or long walks this is probably not a good place for you.

2. when we booked four nights we were able to get two nights free at the Chiang Mai Four Seasons which was also fantastic. I think you can also get two night free at the Bangkok Four Seasons. Keep in mind, we went during low season so I am not sure of the availability of this year round.

3. you take a quick boat ride to and from the camp. While not necessary, as a road leads to the camp, it is a fun part of the trip that added to the experience.

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Will M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NY, NY
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2013

This is a place you MUST visit. From the second we arrived at the boating dock, we knew this was going to be an unforgettable experience. The whole team makes sure that your experience here feels as authentic as possible. From the car, you are taken by boat down the river until you reach the hotel. It honestly feels like there is no other way to get to the resort. Upon arrival the assistant manager of the hotel met us as well as the chef to discuss our dietary needs. The chef decided that meeting us each morning would be best to design the most perfect menus for us. We were then taken to our "tents." We have never visited Africa, but I'd assume safari hotels would be quite similar. The tents were amazing; spacious, decorated authentically and had a beautiful deck looking out over the river into Burma. We were given a personal itinerary that filled our days, but also gave us enough time to relax. Each night at sunset, the hotel guests (10 out of 15 tents were occupied) would meet at Burma Bar to watch the magnificent sunset. Every night either the assistant property manager or the property manager or both would meet and chit chat with the guests, which we found to be so hospitable. We also loved meeting the other guests and hearing about their travels. It really was a great way to end each day. The resort is so spread out and private that you could really go without seeing anyone except for at meals, but it was nice to gather together for drinks each night. The attention the staff here gives each person is beyond. I had a slight stomach issue one day, and each person there was there to offer help/tea suggestions or just check in to make sure I was feeling better (which I was!). The resort has a jeep that drives you around the resort if you don't feel like walking, but I could imagine that the many steps could be hard for older visitors or maybe some that are not in shape. We weren't sure if our parents could have visited due to the many steps. The food was great and designed for us each day/night. Every excursion was interesting from sight seeing at the Golden Triangle, Opium Museum, Chiang Rai market and one afternoon in Burma. Besides the above, the experience with the elephants was exceptional. We even got to see some hotel staff and guests playing elephant polo! They provide you with cute "mahout" (elephant trainers) outfits (new ones each day!). The elephant training and riding experience was unforgettable. Each guest had their own elephant and trainer as well as one of the hotel members running around and taking pictures along the way. We can't say enough about this hotel because it was so different than anywhere we have been. It is luxurious yet rustic. It tries to stay as authentic as possible making us question at times (esp when the elephants came to breakfast) if we were in Disney World ;) The spa was fine, very far off the beaten path, but relaxing nonetheless. I would recommend this hotel (and the other guests all were raving as well) to anyone who wants and can afford this type of experience.

Room Tip: All the tents are pretty much the same except some have jacuzzi's on the deck. Also, some tents...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Becky91681
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2013

OK, let's firstly deal with some of the 'bad' things said such as it being like Disneyland, not remote, not authentic, expensive etc. My politically sensitive answer is that it's all subjective. My real answer is that none of those descriptions (except it being expensive) ring true for me. I booked a four seasons hotel as I wanted a four seasons experience. If I wanted authentic, I would have probably looked for a local brand name and tried that - and you drive past a number of them so there were plenty to choose from. Yes, they bring you the elephants to feed at breakfast which may seem Disney-like and for kids but every adult there enjoyed it to be honest so maybe it just struck the wrong chord with some. The baby elephants were very cute and it's rare to be able to get so close and I was happy to be able to feed them bananas/ sugar cane and stroke them. In terms of remoteness and taking the boat all being an illusion; fair enough, there is a road there so it's geographically not remote but when you are in the resort, it is quiet and peaceful and you feel like you are away from it all so I don't know what else people want when they complain about it not being remote - it absolutely FEELS as if it is and that's good enough for me.

My overall experience of this place was amazing. From the moment we arrived at the boat pier to have a small entourage greet us and take us on a local speedboat to our resort, we knew we were in for something special.

On arrival, we were greeted with fresh juices, checking in mid-afternoon in the bar/ restaurant overlooking the river. Lovely dark woods/ white cushions, thai sculptures and orange umbrellas was a very tasteful setting in which to have our first meal. As the price you pay includes all your food and wine and soft drinks, they even offered us a bite to eat on arrival. All very nice.

We then had to walk from the restaurant to the room and i must admit, that was a bit of a hike up and down small undulations and across what is, for my wife, a scary (height-wise) but very sturdy bridge. All in all, if you are a bit older, or are thinking of bringing your parents who are a bit older, i would double check with the hotel that they can come pick you up most times or get a tent close to the restaurant or bar, depending which you prefer :-). The distance between the bar and the restaurant is definitely significant and a bit of a pain if you are dressed up etc but it is a very relaxed place so no real need to bring the glitter/ heels!

The room - wow, what a surprise. Lovely decor and the tent was the most luxuriously decorated tent i have ever seen. I would definitely expect the same on a super luxurious safari in Kenya or Tanzania or somewhere like that. Everything about it was great; the huge bath, the outdoor shower, the balcony (with evening lamps outside), the lovely bed, the stocked fridge. I really cannot fault it. It even had air-con and a nice ceiling fan. If anything, the walls were thin, it being a tent and all, so noise travels but it's nice to hear the cicadas outside and the weird noises of the geckos (not birds in case you are mistaken as we were).

The Restaurant and Burma bar were very nice too. Good reliable four seasons quality at the restaurant if a little underwhelming in terms of adventure and great cocktails at the Burma bar. Service was excellent as always.

In terms of activities, this for me was the most disappointing. The mahout training was one of the most fun things I have ever done and the guys helping us were amazing. My wife nearly was so panicked on our first trip, she had to come off and just follow us around on foot. However, they then took some time off later in the afternoon, when they had finished work, to try again with her and she proudly steered Phuang Phet bravely round the training ground. She had tears in her eyes at the end because she couldn't believe she had done it given how scared she was. However, that was about it. The hall of opium for me was an eye opener, and very good, as i didn't realise how much the drug contributed to China's downfall; read the stories, watch the films, immensely enjoyable if you like history and know little about the Opium wars. However, that was it. The trip to the Golden Triangle was a little underwhelming as you sit on the same boat in the Mekong and see all of Thailand, Laos and Burma; there was little to identify where you were and even less of a history lesson to educate you. There are trips to see hill tribes, waterfalls, hot springs and even a trip to go to Burma. Having been on the hill tribes tour I suspect it would just be as disappointing. I have no say on the waterfalls/ springs but a guy we know who did it whilst we were there and he said there was actually a lot of driving so that isn't particularly fun. We did do the trip to Burma and that was nothing special. You drive to the border in a very nice van, then you hop off into a tuk tuk, you hold US$70,000 (from a local money changer) in your hand and take a photo, you go around a local food market and then you head back. Not so sure I would waste the US$300-350 to do this if i was given the choice again. Should have just stayed in the resort and had a nice lunch. One thing I did do was the early morning stretching and the jungle gym (although it was just a walk up to the hill) so it doesn't take too long if you are relatively fit. I outpaced my guy and waited for him.......

One thing we did pay for which was amazing was the elephant camp dinner. Costly but well worth it as you are remote and away from everyone, you have your own kitchen staff, personal waiter and Thai musicians playing for you. I won't spoil it but they have a lovely gesture at the end which you will love.

My one gripe about this place is the price. It is extraordinarily expensive (and I think this drives a lot of the negative comments) because if you think that you can spend between $200-$300 for most 5 star hotels, you are paying between 6-10 times the price of one night anywhere else. It is all inclusive but still.

In the end, no regrets. It was a wonderful experience and one with lots of very nice memories. I would recommend anyone to save up and spend a couple nights there. Enjoy.

Room Tip: We were in tent 12 (the hill tribe tent) and we had great views across the river. I think 13 or 14...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank HKFooey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cologne
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2013

Luxury tents, overlooking natural forest with grazing elephants, or with far reaching views over Burma. A high staff to guest ratio ensuring perfect and personal service. This is not camping -- this is pure luxury.

All inclusive here really means that. From the well stocked mini bar (including 20cl bottles of Bacardi, Whiskey, Gin and Vodka) to the three regular meals, sundowner cocktails and so on, this is all-inclusive at its best. There is no way you can eat and drink everything they offer you!

Fortunately, it is a 10-15 minute walk from one end of the resort to the other (from the Sundowners at the Burma bar to the main restaurant). This allows you to burn off at least a few of the calories. However, there is also a land-rover shuttle service if this suits you better. Walk along the lower road if you want to see the grazing elephants, and the high path for losing more calories.

On arrival, we received a personalised itinerary. Changes to suit our needs were easily and efficiently accommodated (we chose more hiking, less Spa time). Ask, and you shall receive, appears to be the motto. Some guests appeared to be choosing more time with elephants, and others appeared to be avoiding the elephants almost completely.

One guest was obviously concerned about the Geckos, Snakes and other wildlife. However, we found that the patter of tiny gecko feet on the roof of the tent ceased once we switched off the lights. The call of the Toko Geckos confused us until we found out what was causing the unique noise. We certainly had no unwelcome visitors inside the tent itself.

The tents are far enough apart to be fully private. Only once did we hear a loud American guest passing our tent. It does pay to remember that sound carries a distance here, with no traffic noise and only the call of insects in the forest.

There was a small intermittent problem with the water supply during our stay, and for one day you had to catch the right time to take a shower. The management apologised profusely, but to be honest I cannot say that it negatively affected our experience, even if we did once have to bail water out of the jacuzzi to flush the toilet!

Don't expect discos and fitness rooms here. Expect peace, quiet, nature, elephants --- and one of the best luxury resorts in the world!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank david44
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, April 8, 2013
Thank you for such thoughtful and detailded review of our magical tented Camp ! We truly appreciate you taking the time to share such great review with everyone.

First, I would like to once again apologize for the water supply issue that briefly occurred during your stay, and I do offer my sincerest apologies to any discomfort you may have had to endure.

On a brighter note, I am thrilled to know that you did enjoy what our Camp offers and the inclusion of your package; as well I am glad that we were able to customize your stay up to your liking and come up with very personalized itinerary for you.

Once again, thank you for the great review, and we are all looking forward to welcoming you back to our jungle in the near future.

Best Regards,

Ali Mohammed
Camp Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 4 Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2013

If you want to do something unlike anything else, this is the place. From the boat ride into the hotel, to elephants eating breakfast with you to the snake infused rice whiskey...FS Tented Camp is one place I have told everyone they must go to at one point in their life.

One recommendation for the hotel is they can hopefully expand their services, as the elephant trek was the highlight of the trip and the other activities are a bit lack luster. If there could be a more expanded package with the elephants it would make it all that much more incredible.

The food is second to none Thai cuisine and rooms are exceptional.

Any doubts you have on price push aside and Go.

Room Tip: Try to get one of the first tents with best view of the river.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank WeGoHereNow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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: | on the Ruak River, 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:
4 Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle
Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle Hotel Chiang Saen
Four Seasons Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai Four Seasons
Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle Chiang Rai Province, Thailand - Chiang Saen

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