On a five day trip to Chiang Rai, Thailand with my parents recently, we stayed at the Dusit Island Resort Hotel just on the outskirts of the city. We traveled to Chiang Rai with a large American tour group, and the Dusit Island Resort Hotel was the hotel included in the tour.
We had been lucky with hotels all over Thailand before this so, when we arrived in Chiang Rai, were looking forward to seeing the Dusit Island Resort. Pulling up at the front entrance, then being led into an enormous foyer with an incredible view over a huge, blue swimming pool, we certainly weren’t disappointed. The Dusit Island Resort Hotel was not only a pleasure to stay in but also a pleasure to review.
It’s an older hotel, but beautifully maintained, with lovely staff, nice rooms and offers a peaceful, serene holiday right next to the lovely Kok River.
Location of the Dusit Island Resort Hotel – If you arrive at the Dusit Island Resort Hotel during the day time, the first thing you are amazed by is the location and the view. The Dusit Island Resort is next to the Kok River, where you’ll see colorful longtailed boats floating by all day long, as well as has one of the largest hotel pools I’ve seen in Thailand. Add mountains in the background and, in the early morning, a lovely mist that creeps out over the fields beyond and this really is a magical place to stay.
It’s also only five minutes outside town, with a quick tuk-tuk or rickshaw ride getting you there, so you get the close proximity without all the noise.
Staff at Dusit Island Resort Hotel – For Thailand, we found the staff to be a little low-key. Definitely friendly and incredibly helpful, many of them seemed quite shy and kept their distance, which was a little strange for Thailand. Once we got used to it though, and also experienced this a little bit in town, it became obvious it was just more of a northern Thai way of relating to people and, quite frankly, pretty sweet.
But, if we needed anything, it was delivered to our rooms quickly, service at the reception desk was wonderful and the dining hall staff was also efficient and helpful.
Rooms at Dusit Island Resort Hotel – As the Dusit Island is an older hotel, the rooms were a little old-fashioned but still spectacularly clean. We stayed in Superior King rooms which came with a coffee maker, satellite TV and Internet.
My only disappointment was that the hotel charged for the Internet. A little bit stingy to say the prices per room are upwards of $100 a night, which is expensive for Thailand. The bathrooms are large, the room is enormous and the views over the pool and towards the mountains were superb. My parents did tell me however that the rooms have been renovated since I was last there, and that they were absolutely lovely.
Food and Drinks at Dusit Island Resort Hotel – Because the hotel is a few minutes out of town, we always stayed in the hotel for breakfast. Included in the price of our tour, we heard from other hotel guests it was not, which again for $100 a night is stingy. We loved the buffet breakfast with both Thai and western choices, especially the fresh fruit bar and pastries, but I doubt we would have paid for it if it wasn’t included in our room.
We also had coffee and cakes at the hotel’s Island Cafe, which were delicious. But the piece de resistance is the Cellar Pub, a British-style pub in the basement of the hotel that was dark, cozy and definitely fun to hang out at. We had drinks down there almost every night of our stay, played darts and dominoes and had a great time doing so. We also enjoyed cocktails out by the pool every day, which was incredibly relaxing.
Facilities – There’s an excellent hair salon, where I had the best haircut I’ve had in Thailand, a boutique, swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi, jockey track, laundry, gym, yoga, massage, boat pier and even golf nearby. There are also four restaurants, a cafe, a pub, and 24-hour room service.
Price – The only thing I have to write negatively about is the price of the rooms at the Dusit Island Resort Hotel. Beginning at around $100 and going up to more than $500 for the Princess Suite, they’re far too expensive for this area of Thailand, particularly as there are many other hotels in Chiang Rai offering lovely locations and rooms too, and for a much cheaper price. So, unfortunately, I’d probably stay at one of them on my next visit.
If you’re looking for a quiet, relaxing hotel in a superb location in Chiang Rai however, and you don’t care about price, you’ll love the Dusit Island Resort Hotel. My parents and I felt like we were movie stars in a secluded hideaway, and you probably will too.