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  • Chiang Mai Deluxe Hotels

    Deluxe Hotels and Resorts in Chiang Mai

    If you haven’t tasted Khao Soi or seen the view from Doi Suthep, you haven’t been to Chiang Mai.” This famous Thai saying clearly rings true, as visitors to Northern Thailand will find that there are certain things to try in order to fully experience the city. Chiang Mai is definitely more relaxed than Bangkok, and its northern mountain air definitely offers respite from the country’s normally hot and humid weather.
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    Anantara Chiang Mai *****

    Step off a busy Chiang Mai road into the serene world of Anantara Chiang Mai, a wonderfully understated urban retreat on the banks of the Ping river. This contemporary-style property with minimalist touches, arranged around the former British consulate, offers stylish, retro-fitted rooms and great facilities. The hotel is located on historic Charoen Prathet Road, not far from the Governor’s Residence. The night market is a five-minute stroll away, while Tha Pae Gate and the old city can be reached on foot in 10 minutes. A taxi to the airport takes 15 minutes. Anantara Chiang Mai goes for minimalist aesthetics. The main three-storey building housing the rooms, all sheer white walls and dark wooden cladding, stretches at a 90-degree angle around the resort’s architectural centerpiece: the 100-year-old former British consulate. Rectangular ponds and wide walkways offer a sense of space, enhanced by the gleaming river views.

    Staff are friendly and forthcoming, yet quite formal, while facilities are geared towards adults. The rectangular pool runs parallel to the river and is 34 metres long, while the gym is well-equipped with the latest state-of-the-art fitness technology. The spa offers a cannabis oil (CBD) range of treatments – a signature theme of Anantara Chiang Mai – that includes massage oils, essential oils, scrubs, herbal balls and cannabis tea. For anyone still restless after a spa session, there’s complimentary morning yoga. The 52 spacious Deluxe rooms all look out over the river and garden. Wooden floors and wall cladding, simple wooden furniture and sparse Northern Thai style décor continue the retro-minimalist feel. Bathrooms have free-standing tubs and rain showers, separated from the bedrooms with sliding wooden doors. The 32 suites repeat this ambience on a larger scale. All rooms come with balconies equipped with daybeds and good views. The only complaint – due to the 90-degree shape of the main building, it is possible to see into some lower rooms from rooms on the upper floors when the blinds aren’t lowered.

    ​The Service 1921, a British Secret Service-themed restaurant housed in the beautifully restored British consulate, serves a winning combination of Northern Thai and Chinese Sichuan cuisine. The cannabis theme continues with several tasty main dishes – the stir-fried beef tenderloin with sesame, capsicum, coriander, garlic, chili and cannabis is a spicy proposition. The Restaurant, right by the river, serves an excellent breakfast buffet that’s trumped by a wide range of à la carte Western and Asian choices. There’s avocado feta salad, a cheese platter and vegetarian options include scrambled tofu and eggplant bruschetta. The bar, also in the heritage building, goes for a crime theme with a photo montage of notorious 1920s gangsters and serves a number of cannabis-laced beverages – the Genmicha cannabis latte is not bad.
    • Address: 123-123/1 Charoen Prathet Road, Changklan, Muang, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand. Phone: 00 66 53 253 333​
    • Website

    Chiang Mai Accommodation

    Akyra Manor Chiang Mai *****

    The artsy Akyra Manor is Chiang Mai's hippest boutique hotel, luring in visitors and locals alike with its chic rooftop pool and bar, buzzing restaurant and top location on Nimmanhaemin Road. Art installations, curvaceous sofas and designer lighting embody contemporary Chiang Mai chic. Around a 15-minute drive from the airport, on happening Nimmanhaemin Road, an area renowned for its alfresco coffee shops, independent boutiques, food trucks and live music venues. The city's main attractions – temples, night markets, the Ping River – are all within easy reach. A great choice whether you’re in Chiang Mai for the night or hanging out for a week. Art installations, curvaceous sofas and designer lighting that mimics the famous Yi Peng lantern festival – Akyra Manor embodies contemporary Chiang Mai chic. The rooftop pool is a welcome to retire to after a hard day's sightseeing, with the adjacent bar adding some extra pizazz. The hotel’s popularity with locals means there’s always a pleasant buzz about the place.

    For a hotel of this size the facilities are excellent. Aside from the rooftop pool (the only one in Chiang Mai), there's a small gym and spa treatments can be arranged in your room. Keeping their finger firmly on the city’s creative pulse, the hotel’s excellent English-speaking staff can arrange everything from art lessons with local university professors to temple photography tours and cooking classes. Guests can also take advantage of complimentary bicycles. The 30 suites are spacious smoky-hued sanctuaries with hardwood floors, mirrored walls and sumptuous beds wrapped in Egyptian cotton sheets. Each also has an outdoor courtyard-style bathroom (within the room, but with a floor-to-ceiling window and pebbles underfoot). But, as stylish as they, being overlooked by nearby residential buildings means that you’ll have to close the blinds to use the tub – which kind of defeats the purpose of having an outdoor bathroom. Being at the epicentre of a thrumming neighbourhood will be a draw for many, but light sleeper should be aware that the surrounding bars and clubs play loud music until midnight – ask for a room at the back of the building to avoid being disturbed.

    Breakfast is worth getting up early for – a moreish mix of tropical fruits and freshly-baked breads and pastries from the buffet and hot dishes from the a la carte menu. The hotel’s only restaurant, Italics, serves mainly Italian cuisine throughout the rest of the day – delicious and well-priced. End the day with a cocktail at the rooftop bar Rise, watching the sun sets over Chiang Mai’s twinkling spires and rooftops.
    • Pricing: 3,500 - 11,500 THB
    • Address: 22/2 Nimmanhaemind Road Soi 9, T. Suthep, A. Muang, Chiang Mai, 50200 Chiang Mai, Thailand. Phone: 00 66 53 216 219​
    • Website
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    The Inside House *****

    Step into a Lanna Colonial-inspired fairytale at The Inside House, the Old City’s most lavish boutique accommodation and among Thailand’s most photogenic hotels. Of the 31 light and luxurious rooms and suites, 13 come with marbled private pools. Design lovers: Prepare to be wowed by this opulent urban oasis. Based in Old City’s southwest quadrant, The Inside Hotel stands out like an expensive sore thumb along Samlarn Road. It sits two blocks from a tiny cluster of hipsterfied venues such as the acclaimed Nophaburi Bar; further exciting city life can be found along Ratchamanka Road, a two-minute walk in the other direction. Chedi Luang Temple is half a mile away, and a five-minute stroll heading north or south will bring you to the Wat Phra Singh or Buak Hard Public Park, respectively.

    A whitewashed reverie. Stirrings of awe are elicited from the moment one enters the high-arched, intricately carved wooden façade and through to the courtyard, where an outstretched Bodhi tree lends shade and serenity. A consistent white-and-green palette with dollops of gold cloaks the Lanna Colonial-style property. Though a compact hotel, there is a judicious amount of traditional Thai details and artwork to keep the eye busy, but never overwhelmingly so, and the ornate patterned carvings and room mouldings seem to draw from upper crust Arabic and Indian influences. Despite a few hiccups on my visit – an afternoon tea sitting where the server knew not of what finger treats were presented to me, for instance – staff interactions were friendly and accommodating.Guests not staying in the coveted pool suites can still dip in the attractive outdoor communal pool one floor above the reception wing. There is a restaurant and a multi-purpose lounge room, but it is surprising that a hotel of this calibre (and region) does not have a spa.

    The delight is in the details in each of the 31 individually designed rooms and suites. Guests are given proper keys (a nice old-school touch) to access their room, and all enjoy terrace space, a complimentary minibar with snacks, an espresso machine, bedside plugs/ports and lovely jade-coloured ceramics and tea set which match the floor tiles. Bathrooms have L’Occitane toiletries, a separate shower and Victorian bathtub and marble-topped vanities. Rooms face the main courtyard or their genius 10 metre-high vertical garden filled with green flora. Of the 13 palatial pool suites, three are The Inside House’s star attractions, and consequently the most in-demand for the Instagram-literate. These are: Top floor’s Doi Suthep Pool Suite – a glassed-walled beauty with a seven metre-long private pool overlooking the broadened peaks of Doi Suthep National Park – and the ground level’s two Waterfall Pool Suites, the largest of the bunch, tropically themed in their outdoor portion with low-hanging ferns and faux-rock waterfalls streaming next to their personal pools and outdoor showers. Children are permitted, but the hotel’s more suited to coupled adults. Cribs are free, babysitting services are available and additional charges apply for kids older than age six. Since a lion’s share of rooms come with a pool, you’ll have to keep a watchful eye on any little ones.

    There is one restaurant, Ghin, a bijou space open for breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner. Northern Thai dictates the breakfast and dinner offerings, the former with a set menu – featuring the likes of fried egg with nam prik ong and spicy sausage – complemented by buffet selections of charcuterie, salads, fruits and other continental bits. A generous if not uneven afternoon tea spread is complimentary for guests. An extensive and classic-leaning dinner menu has several satisfying variations of satays, curries, soups and stir-fries available. For a more fun and offbeat beverage experience, order one of their signature cocktails like the Dragon House (tequila, lime, passionfruit syrup, triple sec, soda) which appears in a large, hollowed dragon fruit.
    • Pricing: 2,800 -8,100 THB.
    • Address: 56 Samlarn Rd, Tambon Phra Sing, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand. Phone: 00 66 53 904 699​
    • Website
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    Four Seasons Chiang Mai *****

    This stunning Northern Thai Lanna-style retreat is set amidst a luscious garden dotted with lily ponds. With wonderful hospitality, two pools, two restaurants, intriguing on-site activities and opportunities to explore the countryside, guests may choose to forego a visit to town altogether. The resort is located in the pretty Mae Rim Valley, a 30-minute car ride from the centre of Chiang Mai. A taxi to the airport takes 45 minutes. The resort offers half or full-day bicycle tours through the surrounding landscape of rice fields and hilltop pagodas. The tone here is set by the huge garden, the placid ponds, the rice paddies surrounded by turreted pavilions. Four Seasons Chiang Mai is a contemporary Lanna-style resort, where traditional wooden furnishings and décor with plenty of nods to country life and history are well paired with modern amenities. Despite the natural surroundings, the resort is quite formally designed, as if every tree knows its place.

    The key pillars of Four Seasons Chiang Mai are wellness and agriculture. Besides two pools – the larger one just large enough for a proper swim – there’s a well-equipped gym and the Wara Cheewa Spa with seven treatment rooms set up for couples. Multi-day wellness packages include a naturopathic consultation and a programme of spa treatments, yoga activities, meditation and a plant-based diet for those looking to cut out sugar and carbs. Then there’s Chaan Baan, a recreation of a farmer’s terrace that offers immersive experiences designed to introduce guests to traditional rural lifestyles. There is an introductory class to pottery, guests may be able to plant rice seedlings, and the bathing of four resident water buffalo is a favourite choice for child guests. Masterclasses in ceramics and tie-dye are refreshingly unusual, and there are cooking classes on offer.​

    There are 66 pavilions that form the heart of the resort and stand clustered around the central pond. Upstairs and downstairs rooms are identical with beige and brown tones dominating the décor, furnishings, huge beds and spacious bathrooms with tubs and rain showers. All have outdoor salas, which are wonderful spaces to while away hours of quietude – those on the upper floors are definitely preferable. There are also 12 larger pool villas that offer more privacy but lack the open vistas of the pavilions. A number of two- and three-bedroom residences with shiny hardwood floors offer plenty of space and seclusion.​ Children will find plenty of things to do. Besides the popular water buffalo bathing, there’s rice planting and visits to a seedling house, perfect for young visitors to Thailand. Families will love the residences, which come with kitchens and private pools.

    North, designed by Bill Bensley, is an open-air terrace restaurant with an impressive wood-fired grill and great views across the central pond. The menu is a little short, divided into Western choices, particularly pizzas and pasta dishes and a number of Northern Thai standards. The fettuccine carbonara is indescribably rich, although steaks imported from Australia that sizzle on the grill are the North’s culinary highlight. A few vegetarian choices are also on offer – the quinoa salad with fried pumpkin is delicious. Kao serves a great buffet breakfast with healthy fresh juices, cold cuts including salmon, cheeses and meats, eggs in all shapes and forms and pancakes, as well as a plethora of Asian choices.​
    • Address: 502 Moo 1, Mae Rim-Samoeng Old Road, Chiang Mai 50180, Thailand. Phone: 00 66 53 298 181​
    • Website
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    Last edited by Topgun; 01-13-2023, 10:20 PM.

  • #2

    Chiang Mai Accommodation

    137 Pillars House *****

    This is Chiang Mai’s most exclusive hotel address: 30 opulent, colonial-inspired suites built around a late 19th-century teak residence once home to the son of Anna Leonowens (depicted in The King and I). Its immaculate grounds feature a vine-walled lap pool, two restaurants, a spa and exquisite gardens. Located on the Ping River’s east bank, the hotel’s immediate surrounds are hushed and residential, but is a two-minute walk from a host of the Wat Gate area’s charming boutique galleries, shops and riverside bars. The old city can be reached by car or tuk tuk in less than 10 minutes. The Wat Ket Karam temple and its towering bronze-clad chedi is a few hundred steps away.

    Entering the grounds feels like walking onto a colonial-Thai movie set: past the entrance flanked by vintage tuk-tuks is a towering white reception pavilion ‘floating’ on water. The stone pathway leads to a lush corridor of birds of paradise and other lovely tropical flora before revealing the Baan Borneo House, a restored Anglo-Malay-style homestead built in the late 1800s. Nods are given to its Borneo Trading Company headquarter roots in framed photographs and suite categories named after the former enterprise’s founders. Every nook of the hotel drips with classic polish and wealth. The uniformed staff is as professional and polite as you’d expect at one of Chiang Mai’s most luxurious hotels. The main building houses a 24-hour, glass-walled gym, a library and a small museum detailing the property’s history - with a few artefacts - on the ground level. The compact spa with steam room is worth a treatment booking, but the hotel’s star amenity is the 25-metre long pool, flanked by a fleet of loungers and a bar on one side and a wondrous three-story wall of verdant vines on the other.

    The 30 suites are enormous, each containing a patio/outdoor space with a daybed and rocking chairs and a supremely comfortable four-poster king or super king bed. Pillows, seating and mat boards of framed vintage photographs dictate either a teal- or red-accented suite theme. Amenities include a pillow menu, a fruit basket, a sleek television unit, robes and slippers and a fabulous Art Deco minibar cart. The David Fleming Macfie Suites, introduced in 2019, contain a versatile conservatory area which can be converted from an enclosed air conditioned room to an open-air veranda. Two suites of the highest category have personal plunge pools. Bathrooms are epically proportioned: beyond the elegant dressing area and dual marble sinks are indoor and outdoor showers, along with a freestanding bathtub. Though the hotel’s atmosphere is relaxed, families are welcomed and taken care of. Baby cots, tubs and other amenities are complimentary upon request, and all can enjoy the pool. Daybeds can be converted into sleeping beds for children older than six at an extra charge. Babysitting services are available.

    There are two restaurants and a bar based in the teak homestead. The Dining Room divvys Thai cuisine in a space where teal, tasseled lamps dangle from a soaring teak ceiling. If you aren’t averse to pork, the tender kurobuta-grilled pork neck starter (‘kor moo kurobuta yang’) is sensational. The more intimate and Western-focused Palette restaurant serves the likes of pastas, salads, lamb chops and burgers. The comprehensive breakfast served in the Dining Room is among the best in Chiang Mai: the buffet contains Western, Thai and Chinese foods with an assortment of fresh juices and healthy elixirs, while the cooked-to-order menu include crab meat omelettes, buttermilk quinoa pancakes and traditional Thai congee. The Jack Bain’s Bar, named after a Scot and former resident who helped run the Borneo Company, sports a British gentlemen’s club theme in its decor and whisky-forward bar menu. An elegant afternoon tea is available in The Parlor or the open-air lawn.
    • Pricing: 8,900 - 28,500 THB
    • Address: 2 soi 1, Nawatgate Road, Tambon Watgate, Muang, Chang Moi, 50000 Chiang Mai
    • Website
    Chiang Mai Accommodation
    Ratchamankha *****

    The Rachamankha is one of Chiang Mai’s best designed and most graceful properties: a 25 room boutique extravaganza furnished with antiques that looks and feels like a heritage hotel but is actually a very modern, hyper peaceful garden retreat for couples looking for privacy in stylish surroundings. Rachmankha is located in the heart of the old city, near the historic Wat Phra Singh temple and a 15-minute walk from historic Tha Phae Gate. A tuk-tuk ride to the night market takes about the same amount of time and a taxi to the airport takes 20 minutes. The old world ambience of the Rachamankha works perfectly well. Stepping into the resort’s near silent courtyard, the bustle of the city recedes and one has the feeling of having entered a monastic sanctuary. Rows of rooms protected by a low tiled roof and fronted by antique trunks, interspersed by neatly cut lawns and a common seating area perfectly exudes luxurious tranquillity. An equally well-designed two-storey building houses the suites and library. The artworks distributed throughout the property - statues and exquisite furnishings, both antique and contemporary, from Europe, Africa and Asia - are well chosen to create a wholly self-contained leisure-cum-heritage aesthetic that is quite unique. Children under 12 are not allowed. The many valuable baubles and overall sense of calm are not really conducive to families with young kids. Older children will find the pool a delight and the three suites feature a second bedroom.

    Service is friendly and extremely forthcoming, if a little formal. Facilities are simple but perfectly adequate. The 20-metre pool, set in its own courtyard, is ideal for a relaxing swim. The adjacent spa has just one treatment room on the first floor. It’s open to the elements, so a little hot on summer days. The library contains an excellent (and partly antique) collection of several thousand titles, a real gem. Above the restaurant, a small museum displays a selection of 19th-century swords and statues from Thailand and Burma. The Rachamankha’s owner is an architect and it clearly shows. The rooms are flawlessly elegant, compact, comfortable, though perhaps a little dark. The priceless antiques look very much at home amidst lime plastered brick walls, hardwood or tiled floors, high ceilings and modern amenities – air conditioning, television and DVD – that never intrude on the heritage or ambience. The bathrooms are spacious and spotless. The three huge and bright suites are exceptional leisure spaces.

    The restaurant serves Thai and western dishes including a large selection of vegetarian offerings, though steak lovers won’t feel alienated either. Particular emphasis is given to northern Thai, Shan and Burmese cuisine. Diners are unlikely to find the more obscure but tasty dishes like tea leaf salad anywhere else. If the weather allows, guests may dine in a beautiful court yard, with a fireplace for winter evenings, sometimes accompanied by low-key performances of traditional music.
    Breakfast is à la carte and, given the otherwise meticulous eye for detail, needs improvement.
    • Pricing: 3,900 -13,900 THB
    • Address: 6 Ratchamanka 9 Alley, Tambon Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200.
    • Website


    • #3
      Chaing Mai Accommodation Thailand

      Na Nirand Boutique Hotel *****

      This spectacular garden property, located on the banks of the Ping River, is close to the night market but in a world of its own. Splendid rooms in colonial Lanna style are clustered around a pool, along with four sumptuous faux-colonial suites right by the water, all in the shadow of a giant rain tree. Right on the banks of the Ping River and watched over by a 100-year-old tree, this quiet garden property could hardly be better placed for those seeking a getaway right in the city. The night market is a five-minute walk away and the old city centre can be reached by a 10-minute tuk-tuk ride. By taxi it is 15 minutes to the airport. This lovely resort is built around a beautifully restored teak Lanna-style house, which now serves as lounge and library and houses the resort’s small spa on the ground floor. The rooms, in attractive white-washed two- and three-storey villas, are clustered around a cute swimming pool. A small amphitheatre used for weddings and other events spreads by the water’s edge below the raintree’s grand foliage, giving the property a private and romantic ambience.

      Service is great; personal but never intrusive. The spa has two treatment rooms and a steam room, while several state-of-the-art fitness machines have been stationed in front of the house. The pool, framed by sun-loungers, is likely to tempt some guests to forego their sightseeing. There’s also a library, though it’s home to few books (but there are a couple of computer workstations). Bikes can be rented free of charge for three-hour stretches and a two-hour picnic cruise along the river and a cooking class can be arranged. The 39 rooms are spacious and beautifully furnished with dark Lanna-style teak and rattan made by local artisans. The walls are graced by beautifully mounted Lanna textiles and beds are supremely comfortable. Bathrooms are spotless and just as stylish as the rooms. Four stunning colonial-era suites are housed in a separate building right by the water’s edge, fronted by their own small pool. They come with similar furnishings, a clever television that rises out of a teakwood cupboard at the press of a button, and enormous bathrooms with freestanding tubs and rain showers. There are some ramps and one of the buildings has a lift but getting to the river is a bit of a chore for those with limited mobility. While the Na Nirand is clearly a romantic getaway, families are welcome and benefit from interconnecting rooms, extra beds and cots, and a nanny service.

      The TIME Riverfront Cuisine & Bar, decorated in a vintage industrial style (more comfy than it sounds), serves a great fusion of northern Thai and Western food, right by the river. The traditional starter of pork sausage, crispy pork skin and steamed vegetables with chilli dip, and minced pork in tomato dip, is tasty without being too spicy. Somehow the Lanna-style hot dog with northern Thai sausage also works. Several vegetarian options include asparagus with shiitake mushrooms, and the healthy juices are excellent. The breakfast buffet offers both Western and Asian choices, a live cooking station for egg dishes, fresh yogurts and fruit juices. If the weather plays along, sitting outside under the rain tree is a sublime way to dine.
      • Address: 1/1 Soi 9, Charoenprathet Road, Changklan, Muang, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand. Phone: 00 66 62 8752401​
      • Website

      Thailand Chiang Mai Hotels

      Panviman Chiang Mai Spa Resort *****

      This sprawling resort, spread across the steep forested hillside of a horseshoe-shaped valley an hour from Chiang Mai, offers sumptuous villas, spacious rooms and cute Star Domes, with a plethora of facilities, a great restaurant, fantastic views and a meditation cave straight out of a fantasy movie. Located on the touristy Mae Rim road, but far from the madding crowds and monkey shows, Panviman is a world of its own. Guests will need their own transport to explore the area’s attractions, such as the nearby Queen Sirikit Botanical Gardens. It’s a one-hour drive to the centre of Chiang Mai; 15 minutes longer to the airport. The resort is situated in a stunning narrow valley with great views of verdant hills and foggy mountain ranges beyond.

      Bombastic, slightly otherworldly, yet very traditionally Thai, Panviman marries architectural elements of Thailand’s classic Ayuttaya period with local Lanna culture. Heavy teak wood and high gables reminiscent of temple roofs dominate the resort’s main building, which towers over a park-like landscape dominated by a large pond, beyond which lies a somewhat strange meditation cave with piped music and a waterfall. The forest-style garden around the pond and the two large pools are interspersed by myriad sculptures, and there are walkways and salas all over the property where guests can relax and enjoy the incredible views.​ Service is friendly and switched on, and the facilities are outstanding. The two free-form pools, one for children, are both large enough for a swim. Guests are unlikely to get bored thanks to the spa, open-air gym, putting range, archery target, giant chess set, mini-golf course, petanque, a boutique selling locally sourced souvenirs, table tennis, table football, pool table, darts board and a decent library.

      There are 71 rooms and villas spread across a huge area, giving a real sense of space and seclusion. The rooms in the main building are spacious, hardwood floor affairs with classic Thai touches, comfortable seating areas, spotless bathrooms with tubs (and, curiously, carvings of topless long-necked women serving as towel stands) and the usual amenities – air-conditioning, televisions, DVD players, coffee and tea-making facilities, safes, and minibars. The larger villas convey a real feeling of privacy, but the particular highlight is the set of six Star Domes – spacious, transparent plastic bubbles erected on narrow terraces at the top end of the resort, which command incredible views and a sense of romantic intimacy. Hugely popular, they nevertheless go for the same rate as regular rooms.​ Children will love the enormous pool and the kids’ club. Some of the villas are two-storey affairs, perfect for families.

      The restaurant is in the main building and has great views over the valley. Guests may sit on a terrace outside or in a bright, air-conditioned dining room. The extensive menu is divided between a wide selection of Thai dishes and a decent choice of Western fare, the latter including salads, pizzas and pasta dishes. The food is good but not flashy, which is reflected in the modest prices. Amongst the starters, the chilli dip with minced pork and vegetables and the spicy northern-style sausage salad are both very good. Deep-fried ruby fish with mango salad and fried chicken with passion fruit sauce are standouts amongst the intriguing selection of main dishes. Breakfast is a buffet affair with the usual choices of English breakfast and Asian soups. The best spot for a pre-dinner cocktail is on the terrace overlooking the valley.​
      • Address: 197/2 Moo 1 Tambol Pongyeang, Amphur Maerim, 50180 Chiang Mai, Thailand. Phone: 00 66 053 879540​
      • Website
      Last edited by Topgun; 01-13-2023, 10:20 PM.


      • #4
        Thailand Hotel Accommodation

        Villa Mahabhirom *****

        Villa Mahabhirom – Thai for ‘villa of great pleasure’ – is a delight indeed for boutique-loving travellers in search of high style and comfort. The antique-chic wonderland boasts 14 restored century-old homes-turned-villas sourced from Central Thailand and a labyrinthine layout full of zen gardens and artworks. Based in a residential neighbourhood about 400 meters from Chiang Mai’s airport grounds (the hotel’s vehicles have privileged road access, which curbs transport time). It’s not in a ‘happening’ part of town - urban buzz is found in Nimman via 10 minutes' driving and in Old City within a 15-minute drive - but this is a plus for seclusion seekers. The nearest attraction is the lovely Wat Umong temple, reached by a 10-minute walk. One would think that banding together gabled, century-old teakwood homes from central Thailand on grounds lined with Asian antiques would produce an Old World look, but the result is anything but. Vintage elements are enlivened by modern furniture, contemporary paintings and sculptures, mismatch chandeliers, and a lush assortment of palms and cacti – it’s the stuff of Vogue photoshoots. In a town without lack of identikit heritage hotels, Villa Mahabhirom is a true breath of fresh air.

        The service experience was on point, with staff catering to requests and issues with a smile. Rotating art exhibits line the winding halls of the central area, and there’s a tea room, meditation/yoga room and other quiet hideaway areas. The hotel’s centrepiece is the outdoor main pool, laden with sparkly midnight blue tiles; its perimeter is where you’ll find most guests enjoying al fresco meals, having a drink at their stylish bar, relaxing on loungers or taking social media snaps. Expert spa treatments – facilitated in a Spa Suite whilst the main spa complex is being refurbished – are mostly Thai-inspired, and range from the relaxing Oriental Oil Massage to the Bhirom Ritual, involving heated pumices and herbal steam sessions. Low point: Wi-Fi during my stay was frustratingly jittery, to the point where I needed to go off-campus for reliable internet.

        One- to three-bedroom dark, chocolate-coloured villas stand tall on stilts and style quotient. All but one villa are two-storey accommodations, with a wall-less ground floor living room with plush furniture and antiques, and the main quarters on the upper floor. Staying true to the restored traditional Thai housing, the main rooms are dark and the small windows don’t bring in sufficient room light during the day. However, modern comforts like iPhone dock speaker/radio, ample outlets, television, luxurious Pañpuri toiletries, high-tech toilets and freestanding marble bathtubs (with separate shower) are welcomed updates. Select villas, configured in compounds, come with a private pool. While children aren’t banned, the hushed atmosphere and the fragile antiques and sculptures around the property suggest a more adult-oriented stay. There are no children’s activities on offer, but extra beds/cots are available.

        Meals are Thai or international; there is a tiny open-air bar and indoor dining areas, but most enjoy mealtimes and drinks along the pool terrace. Delicious breakfasts are comprised of four set menu choices, including American-style, Northern Thai (chicken curry noodle soup) and the hotel’s signature Mahabhirom Breakfast with a rice soup topped with prawns and luscious sea bass; each come with fresh fruits and breads. Exquisite afternoon teas – with the teas made from Thailand’s sole organic tea plantation – take place on a first-floor balcony overlooking the pool area.
        • Address: 62 10 Suthep Rd, Tambon Su Thep, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand. Phone: 66 53 271 200​
        • Website

        Thailand Hotels and Resorts

        Veranda High Resort *****

        Nestled in a densely forested valley, Veranda Chiang Mai Hi Resort is in a world of its own. Comfortable rooms with balconies in apartment-style buildings are well integrated into a wonderfully landscaped garden with two pools and great family-friendly facilities. It makes for a luxurious haven from the bustle in town. Veranda High Resort is located near Hang Dong, a 30-minute ride to the south west of Chiang Mai (the resort provides a shuttle to town and back). It’s a 20-minute drive from the airport. Hardy trekkers looking for a challenge can take a three-hour hike through the jungle to the summit of Doi Suthep (1,676m).

        Guests enter through a large courtyard before heading to the very contemporary open lobby with its impressive, bulging ceiling of woven wood. There is a pleasing mix of modern and traditional elements throughout the resort – while the main buildings are square concrete blocks, brick walls reminiscent of Chiang Mai’s famous city ramparts delineate parts of the property, while the garden, dotted with wooden platforms and ornamental pools, is inspired by Thai heritage. The resort’s main facilities are housed in one lodge-like building. A well-equipped gym can’t compete with the popular four-room spa, or the long infinity pool with its fantastic views across the valley to Loha Prasat, a large white chedi poking out of the forest across the valley. There’s a complimentary guided hike to the chedi, 999 steps from the foot of the valley and 30 minutes’ walk from the resort, and guests can also book yoga, Thai boxing and cooking classes as well as guided bicycle tours. It’s also possible to rent decent mountain bikes. Staff are helpful and ever-present without being intrusive.​

        Rooms are split across several buildings and because they don't face each other, feel very private and almost villa-like. Rooms and suites in the Residence building are more international in style while the Valley Deluxe and Pavilion rooms have Thai-style décor and traditional hill-tribe art on some of the walls. Most rooms have bathrooms which open out to the room with enormous baths and separate showers, plus large daybeds and separate dressing alcoves. Pavilion rooms feature larger terraces with outdoor whirlpool tubs or private plunge pools. Veranda High Resort has great facilities for young guests – a kids’ club for youngsters between four and 12, a play pool, and a children’s menu.

        ​The all-day Higher Room Restaurant offers outdoor al fresco seating with views over the pool and the valley, or, if it’s too hot, air-conditioned indoor comfort. The Rabiang Cha Restaurant is a collection of intimate, air-conditioned pavilions reminiscent of local rice granaries. There’s Northern Thai cuisine with a modern touch on the menu, as well as Western dishes, particularly pasta and pizza. The pomelo salad with grilled pork and rice crackers is a great starter, while the chicken fried with macadamia nut sauce, chilli paste and mushrooms is a commendable - if explosive - main course. Breakfast is a modest poolside buffet affair with a focus on Asian choices, including green curry, fried rice and congee as well as the usual egg choices, along with pastry, cereals and fruit – but no fresh juices.​
        • Address: 192 Moo2 Banpong, Hangdong, Chiangmai, 50230, Thailand. Phone: 00 66 053 365 007​
        • Website

        Last edited by Topgun; 01-13-2023, 10:37 PM.