If you read this post, you know that we ended up staying at the Holiday Inn Chiang Mai for 4 nights. I have Spire Elite status (IHG’s top tier status) with IHG and, prior to arriving, was excited to see what our experience would be like. We were upgraded to the biggest suite I have ever stayed in! They call it the King Suite. It was even bigger than our suite at the Hilton Sibiu.
The location is pretty far from the center of Chiang Mai. Luckily, the hotel offers free shuttles to the center of town (Chiang Mai Night Market) starting at 7 PM and leaving every 30 minutes. They also offer free shuttles back from the night market at 8 and 10 PM. If that doesn’t work for you, there is always a slew of Tuk Tuks in front of the hotel that will take you downtown for a few bucks.
The service was just okay. Upon checking in, they told us that the hotel had free shuttles to the night market. On our first night, we showed up to take the free shuttle at 7 PM and they said all of the shuttles were fully booked until 8:30 PM. No one told us that you needed to book the shuttles in advance to reserve a seat. Frustrated, we asked if we could book the shuttle the next night at 7 PM and they said all of the seats were reserved until the 8 PM shuttle…we were not thrilled, to say the least.
One thing that did really impress us: when we got back to our room one night, we had a platter of treats for Brittany for her birthday. The reservation was under my name and IHG number, so the only way they could have known her birthday is from when they took copies of our passports when we checked in. Really impressive!
It was a palace! My Spire Elite status got us upgraded to a suite. I’ll let the pictures explain how big this place was.
The room was dated, but we were very happy with it overall. One thing we did not like is the lack of air flow in the room. The air was very stagnant. We did laundry on our first day and hung our clothes in the room to dry and some of our clothing was still wet 3 days later when we left. The same clothes usually dry overnight in other hotels we have stayed in.
On one of our days in Chiang Mai, we were pretty lethargic and decided to just hang out at the hotel for the day. We decided to check out the pool. We do not know why, but the pool had a weird greenish hue. It was still nice for a quick dip to cool off and was very empty. The air conditioning units were right behind the sun chairs and were pretty loud. It made the relaxation a little less peaceful.
They also have a fitness center for guests to use. Unfortunately, we were bad and never made it there to check out.
Eating Around the Hotel
As I mentioned earlier, this hotel is far from the center of town. There are not many options for food around the hotel. There were some cafes in the area, but we did not check them out. There is also a hospital across the street from the Holiday Inn. During the day, there are some street food vendors outside the hospital that sell food for very cheap. We did this one day for lunch and thought the food was pretty good! Other than that, you should take the hotel shuttle or a Tuk Tuk into the city to eat.
Overall, the hotel was nice. We got upgraded to a very large room, which made this our most luxurious accommodation in Thailand. However, the location is a severe flaw of this hotel if you want to explore Chiang Mai city. The hotel should offer a shuttle to town throughout the day and have more shuttles available during peak dinner time hours. I would not stay here again simply because of the location. It was good for us because it was a cheap way to help us towards completing an IHG promotion, but I feel your money is better spent elsewhere.
Have you stayed at the Holiday Inn Chiang Mai? What was your impression?