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  • Chiang Rai Accommodation

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    Top Hotels in Chiang Rai

    The temple-laced northern Thailand city of Chiang Rai sees fewer visitors than its provincial neighbour Chiang Mai. Thus, those who do venture here are rewarded with lush green landscapes and ancient temples, such as Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Klang Wiang. Beyond the city, the Golden Triangle – where the borders of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand meet – is home to hill tribes, elephant sanctuaries and relics of the region’s opium-era past. Guests here can experience world-class hotels that offer a slice of heaven among the backdrop of tropical jungles and mountains. Elephant camps and other jungle activities are just a few of the adventures that guests at these exotic hotels will surely remember for a lifetime.

    Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort *****

    With beautiful views of the Golden Triangle mountains, guests at Anantara will be amazed at the hotel’s location and amenities. Nestled in a bamboo forest along with lush gardens and rice paddies, it’s easy to see why this exotic hotel is one of the best to stay at. Guests here can take in the surrounding nature by swimming in the hotel’s infinity pool which overlooks the jungle. Furthermore, the hotel offers restaurants and a spa so guests can enjoy a relaxing break from sightseeing. Moreover, each room is furnished with modern Thai decor, complete with a balcony and bathtub. The hotel’s rate also includes either a spa treatment, elephant camp experience or countryside tour. Additionally, visitors can take yoga classes, go cycling, or ride a longtail boat down the Mekong River.
    • Facilities: Swimming pool, bar, breakfast, tennis court, fitness centre, spa and wellness centre.
    • Pricing: 8,318 – 104,323 Baht.
    • Address: 229 Moo 1, Chiang Saen – Mae Sai, 57150 Golden Triangle, Thailand.
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    Le Méridien Chiang Rai Resort *****

    Le Meridien Chiang Rai, like many of the hotels in this area, features northern Thai architecture and design, though there are plenty of contemporary, artsy twists that gives this hotel its sleek aesthetic and personality. The open-air lobby is a high-ceilinged space full of dark wood -- a large, eye-catching metal chandelier is suspended from above, adding a dash of modern pizzazz. Colorful elephant statues flank a bouquet of flowers at the center of the space, while contemporary armchairs and gray sofas accented by crimson pillows provide seating. A decorative art installation on the wall features bright green spirals that add a pop of electric color to the mostly dark, neutral shades. It's a fitting entry into a locally inspired luxury stay, and the resort draws a mix of clientele, from families attracted by the child-friendly features, to business travelers and Starwood Preferred members who go with the trusted name brand, to those seeking a romantic, high-end city escape.

    Le Meridien Chiang Rai is located just a 10-minute drive from the airport, and sits along the banks of the Kok River in a quiet and picturesque location. It's a great choice for scenery and serenity, and the river road out front is quiet, with minimal traffic. For those hoping to experience some of Chiang Rai's local charms, though, there's not much to see or do within an easy walk, aside from a few authentic, local eateries. Lab Sanam Keela is one of the best places to experience true northern cuisine, and it's a seven-minute walk from the hotel. It's a 10-minute drive into the city, and the resort runs an hourly shuttle into the city center and back, though it's not free. Good mountain bicycles are also available. Other nearby attractions include Wat Phra Kaew, which is a 10-minute drive from the hotel, while Wat Rong Khun -- the iconic "White Temple" on so many Chiang Rai tourist leaflets -- can be reached in 20 minutes by car. Phu Chi Fa Forest Park is about two hours away.

    Rooms here are spacious and contemporary, with chic decor that includes blonde wood floors paired with a neutral color palette of beige, black, and gray shades. It's all kicked up a notch by small details, like subtle starburst patterns in the pillow, carpets, and accent panels. Bold pendant light fixtures with black lampshades provide an almost vintage twist. All rooms have large, furnished balconies that overlook either the gardens or the river. Sleek furniture includes glass-top writing desks and sitting areas with sofas, while suites have large, separate living rooms with sofas, state-of-the-art media hubs, and dining areas. Standard amenities have flat-screen televisions, minibars, tea- and coffee-making facilities, electronic safes, and irons and ironing boards. Grand Deluxe Rooms and Suites add DVD players, walk-in closets. Wi-Fi is free in Grand Deluxe Rooms and for Starwood Preferred Guests members, but there is a fee for it in Deluxe Rooms. Bathrooms feature large bathtubs and separate walk-in showers, while the Grand Deluxe Rooms and Suites have rainfall showers along with fine toiletries including signature soaps, shampoo, moisturizers, and bath salts.

    The resort features a vast outdoor swimming pool that sits overlooking the picturesque Kok River. There are plenty of umbrella-shaded sun loungers lining the surrounding sundeck, and the pool features a large kids' section. The poolside Chill Bar serves cold drinks and snacks by day, and transforms into an atmospheric, lit up riverside hangout at night. One side of the bar shares some riverside tables with Favola, the upscale Italian restaurant that offers wood-fired pizzas, homemade pastas, immense portions of tiramisu, and a selection of fine wines. In addition to Favola, the resort's main restaurant, Latest Recipe, serves elegant buffet breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, offering a vast selection of Thai and international dishes. A la carte items are also available, but most folks come here for the superb selection of buffet items. There's also a lobby bar, Latitude 19, which serves coffee, cocktails, and other beverages, as well as Asian-inspired tapas. The breakfast selection is epic, but it's not included in most room rates. The hotel has a fully equipped 24-hour gym with weight machines, free weights, kettlebells, yoga apparatus, cardio machines, and even a Pilates machine. There's also a large spa that's situated by the river. It's chic and serene, with contemporary Asian-inspired decor, and the biggest treatment room features an outdoor bath surrounded by picturesque wooden shuttered windows overlooking the water. Various massages, holistic therapies, and other spa treatments are on offer. The hotel has a large ballroom that's popular for weddings, business and group events, and other large functions. Other amenities include a kids' club and a library with computers and a printer. Ample car parking is available, and the hotel offers a shuttle service into town and surrounding areas (for a fee). Guests can book various excursions through the hotel, such as a Golden Triangle trip, elephant trekking, and a Mae Kok river cruise. Mountain bikes are available to rent for exploring the surroundings. Wi-Fi is free in all public areas, but incurs a fee in some of the rooms -- though SPG Members receive free Wi-Fi throughout.
    • Facilities: Balcony, terrace, minibar, spa, massage, fitness centre, library, kids’ club, restaurants, swimming pool and garden.
    • Pricing: 2,251 – 3,900 THB
    • Address: 221 / 2 Moo 20 Kwaewai Road, City Center, Chiang Rai, Thailand, 57000.

  • #2
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    Athiya the Hidden Court Chiang Saen Boutique Hotel

    The unique hotel is located in Chiang Saen, a district well-known for The Temple of the Teak Forest in Chiang Rai. Perfectly representing the area’s culture, 90% of the hotel is made with teak! As soon as you step into the hotel, you will be greeted by the homely ambience rich in Thai culture. Athi Ton Kaew, a 700-year-old ancient temple, is only a short walk away. After a full day of discovering everything Chiang Saen has to offer, you may rest around our pool area or catch the sunset. A family-owned business, you can expect cosiness and authenticity.

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    The Riverie by Katatani ****

    Are you looking for luxury and exclusivity to unwind and rejuvenate in Chiang Rai? The Riverie by Katatani might grant your wish- the hotel has immaculate gardens and large romantic pools and is located on an island amid the Kok River. But worry not, you’re only 20 minutes away from the city centre to shop or explore. So, have the best of both worlds! The interior at The Riverie is something to marvel at. Each room has crisp white linens with a contemporary lotus flower pot design on each bed’s headboard, symbolizing riches and success, not to mention the big windows encompassing the river view. There are three restaurants- Thai, Chinese, and a steakhouse- and two bars in the hotel, so don’t bother travelling far to indulge in sumptuous delicacies.

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    Mora Boutique Hotel ***

    Mora Boutique Hotel offers a great starting point to exploring Chiang Rai. With convenient access to the city’s attractions, guests here can also enjoy tastefully furnished rooms. Moreover, the hotel’s onsite hot tub, fitness centre, outdoor pool, hot spring bath and spa make staying here an absolute delight. Rooms were designed to match the outdoor nature, complete with wooden/parqueted flooring and elegant Thai style decor. Here, guests can relax at the hotel’s many amenities while planning their next outing. In fact, just walking into the hotel’s lobby will transcend visitors into a classy, yet tropical world that is indicative of this amazing northern Thailand region.
    • Facilities: Fitness centre, garden, hot tub, spa, swimming pool and bar.
    • Pricing: 1,109 – 3,361 Baht.
    • Address: 648/6 Uttarakit Road, Viang, Muang Chiangrai, 5700


    • #3
      A Star Phulare Valley Resort Chiang Rai **** Farmland and natural setting for a relaxed family escape away from the city

      A Star Phulare Valley Resort Chiang Rai is a good place for nature lovers and those who don't want to be in the city. One has to drive up a dead end road to see the resort, which has an entry that resembles the exterior of a traditional northern Thai rice barn. A covered walkway leads into the lobby, which has big glass windows, bright wood paneling, and an array of rattan furniture, with the usual northern Thai Lanna decor. There is a lone computer in an adjoining room and a few other sitting areas, but mostly open space. It doesn't make a strong first impression for a place that is one of Chiang Rai's more expensive hotels, but perhaps this is because all of the architecture and interiors are overshadowed by the farmland and mountains all around. An organic strawberry farm, rambutan plantation, and orange grove are all owned by the resort, and the mountains raise up just behind them. With plenty of outdoor space here, it's no wonder this resort is popular with Thais looking to escape the city. It's a great spot for families, as little kids can pet the sheep on the farm, the older ones can ride on ATVs, and mom and dad can participate in the rice planting. In season, staff puts out plates of organic strawberries for guests to sample at the front desk.
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      A Star Phulare Valley Resort Chiang Rai is located in the countryside outside of Chiang Rai. The resort is about a 30-minute drive from the city center, and 15 minutes from the airport. It isn't far off the busy main highway running from Chiang Rai up to the border town of Mae Sai, but it lies off the highway up a dead end road, so it's private and quiet. The resort sits at the base of the mountains and is surrounded by fruit orchards and plantations, including orange trees, rambutan trees, and organic strawberry patches. It's a tranquil spot, and those who have their own wheels will appreciate it, but it is not convenient for those who don't -- there are no other facilities within walking distance around the resort. Other local sights include Wat Rhun Kung, the area's famous White Temple, which is around 40 minutes south by car, and Golden Triangle Park -- where Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand meet on the Mekong River -- which is an hour away to the north.

      There are 131 rooms at A Star Phulare Valley Resort Chiang Rai, and they come in a wide range of categories. Despite this fact, everything is pretty simple and bland when it comes to decor -- the look is generically contemporary and even a bit worn. They are all spacious, with entry-level Phuwing rooms having 47 square meters of space (506 square feet). These rooms are located a good distance from the lobby, restaurant, and swimming pool area, although there is an on-call buggy to drive guests around. Decor includes laminate wood floors, IKEA-style furniture in wood tones, and bare white walls. There are small flat-screen TVs, plus free Wi-Fi and water in the mini-fridges, as well as unfurnished balconies looking out over green rambutan plantations. Bathrooms are modern as well, with vessel sinks and rainfall showerheads in the walk-in showers. Moving up a notch, the Chalets and Premier Chalets come with safes and free minibars plus snacks. They have tiled bathrooms with walk-in rainfall showers. The only difference between them is that the Premier Chalets have views of the mountains, and the Chalets don't have views. A bit of colorful bedding helps add personality, but again, these rooms are bland and spartan. When it comes to views, the smaller Phuwing are actually a better deal, as they are far cheaper. The Pool Villas are the best option. These are spacious private villas that have their own small swimming pool in a garden, plus sun loungers set out front. The villas have both a bedroom and separate living space, which are open to each other but can be separated by a sliding panel. Each bedroom has a flat-screen TV and another 48-inch flat-screen TV in the living room. There are a large sofa and a desk. The enormous bathrooms have bright lighting and lots of glass windows, and feature a giant bathtub in addition to the separate rain-shower, plus double vanity sinks in these villas. There are also a few four-bedroom Pool Villas, which are suitable for families and large groups. They feature four villas which surround one private swimming pool in the middle of the complex.

      ​ This resort has a few features that set it apart from the local competition, but certain things are lacking that are generally standard in higher category resorts -- notably a fitness center or a spa. However, it does have a sheep farm on the premises, and the animals can be pet -- a plus for the many families that stay here. There's also an organic strawberry farm as well as rice planting, another seasonal activity. A selection of bicycles and ATVs can be rented to explore the expansive property and nearby hills. More traditionally, the resort has an infinity pool with sun loungers set up on just one side of it -- there is also a pool bar adjoining it for regular happy hours. The Ping Doi restaurant and Ping Dao bar are also right by the pool; the restaurant is housed in a long open-air building and serves a breakfast buffet, along with mostly Thai favorites for lunch and dinner. The restaurant places an emphasis on seasonal ingredients. Ping Dao bar looks like a temple and is accessed by a wooden bridge. Glass doors look out to the surrounding mountains. The resort also has a large ballroom for group functions and events and Wi-Fi si free throughout the property. There's ample parking in a large guarded parking area, from where a buggy picks guests up for the short drive over to the lobby area. Valet parking is also free.


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      Nak Nakara ***

      Nak Nakara has a large and pleasant lobby, with plenty of natural light, blonde wood-laminate floors, and bronze colored sofas and chairs. Cushions made of local textiles, including embroidered ones, as well as statuettes and paintings lend a bit of local flavor, and everything has an eclectic, homey look. The space offers a newspaper rack, a bookshelf, and a selection of DVDs for borrow, as well as a computer for guest use. As the hotel is right in the center of Chiang Rai, most guests head out for drinks and food. Still, there is a small lobby bar with some comfortable couches that's well-liked by guests -- it's a fine place for a nightcap. Overall, this is a simple hotel that attracts a mix of guests, including families and couples, who enjoy the proximity to downtown.

      The hotel is conveniently located in downtown Chiang Rai. The immediate area is a mix of residential and commercial buildings, though the closest businesses are all small shops and local business. There are plenty of restaurants within a 10-minute walk toward the main road. The Golden Clocktower -- one of the city's main landmarks -- is a 10-minute walk away. The Saturday Night Walking Street Market, which features arts, crafts, food, and more, is a 10-minute walk from the hotel, while the night bazaar is a 15-minute walk from here. Wat Phra Kaew temple is about a 15-minute walk, while the famous white temple, Wat Rong Khun, is a 15-minute drive from the hotel. Expect a 15-minute drive to the airport as well.

      There are 69 rooms at Nak Nakara, and while on the small side, they are pleasantly furnished, with the upper-category Lanna Rooms featuring brightly painted murals and northern Thai Lanna decor. These rooms have light wood laminate floors, rattan seating, desks, and large mirrors. The abundance of dark wood paneling and contemporary furniture adds a nice layer of polish as well. The entry-level Deluxe Rooms and Executive Deluxe Rooms are not nearly as fresh, with spare and simple decor (though the Executive category rooms do also have bright, hand-painted wall murals that at least add a bit of color). Details include plain tile floors, limited white bedding, and thick old-school curtains over the windows. Thai silk pillows and bed runner bright things up a bit, as do the boldly colored accent walls. The hotel has plans to renovate these rooms in mid-2016. All rooms have modern conveniences like safes, electric hot water kettles, flat-screen televisions with cable channels, mini-fridges, DVD players (with a selection of DVDs available in the lobby), and free Wi-Fi (though some guests have complained of poor service). The rooms lack balconies and don't offer much in the way of views, although all rooms do have small windows overlooking buildings and backyards outside. Bathrooms are fine, though not the nicest we've seen. We spotted a good deal of dirty grout in the Lanna Room bathroom, and the tan tiling throughout all categories looks a bit tired. Some rooms do have more contemporary fixtures, or token modern details like glazed plaster walls in walk-in showers. It's worth noting that some guests have complained about noise from both inside and outside the hotel.

      ​ Nak Nakara is a small hotel and offers just a few facilities. There's a courtyard swimming pool, surrounded by a sundeck with umbrella-shaded loungers and larger circular loveseats. The pool is well maintained, with clean water, plus there's a kids' section at one end. The hotel restaurant is located out by the street, and has both indoor and outdoor seating. The interior features red tile floors, while the outside has both rattan and bamboo chairs set out on a wooden deck. Free buffet breakfasts are served here, as well as Thai and Western dishes for lunch and dinner. There's also a small lobby bar with coffee, tea, and drinks -- it's well-liked by previous hotel guests. Other facilities at the hotel include a set of meeting rooms and ample parking in the front lot. Bicycles are available for free, and guests can book various tours and excursions at the hotel. Wi-Fi is free throughout, but some guests complain of poor and spotty service.



      • #4
        Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle
        Ultra-luxurious all-inclusive resort deep in the jungles of the Golden Triangle

        Deep in the jungle, the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle is a one-of-a-kind adventure. For those with the cash to burn, this all-inclusive luxury resort is about as exclusive as it gets. Accessible only by boat, guests are transported here on small longtail boats, and the first point of contact with the hotel takes place at an open-air bamboo hut. Here, guests are obliged to ring a large traditional gong three times: once for luck; once for health; and once for wealth. With that, the atmosphere is effectively set for one of the world's most romantic escapes. After their ceremonial entrance, guests proceed up a set of stairs to the Mai Pai Lao lounge, which doubles as both a bar and the lobby. Brightly colored pillows and cushions line sofas and seats here, along with large traditional cloth parasols and a variety of elephant statues. Every surface and corner is the definition of rustic-chic, and fits perfectly in with the secluded ambience. The grounds are large and thick with jungle and wildlife, and guests should expect long walks to get between their tents and common areas. However, the resort has a funky old jungle jeep that can be used to transport guests who don't want to or aren't able to walk about. With only 15 tents, the atmosphere here is quiet and intimate. That, coupled with the prohibitively high nightly rates, means that the clientele is limited to an exclusive set of travelers and bucket-listers. Not surprisingly, wealthy tourists are the most frequent guests here, and within that demographic, the hotel sees mostly couples.
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        The resort is located just off the Mekong River in the infamous Golden Triangle, a former site of opium trade, but now a magnet for tourism. The majority of guests get picked up at the Chiang Rai airport, 90 minutes away, and transfers are included in room rates. Guests with cars drive to Sop Ruak and then catch a longtail boat to take them up to the hotel via the Ruak River, a tributary of the Mekong. The boat ride takes about 10 minutes. There's really nothing else in the immediate area, and most guests are here for exactly that reason -- to escape everyday life.

        There are only 15 tents at the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, and all of them may have guests questioning why they would stay in a proper hotel room ever again. Each is individually named and has its own style. The Birders Tent is aimed at the ornithologist, the Cooking Utensils Tent has various kitchen items hanging on the walls, and the Burmese Tent is closest to the Myanmar border. The tent that we visited had dark wood floors, lots of rustic-chic furniture done in wood and leather, eye-catching fabrics with a tasteful elephant motif, and antique items like fans and hanging lamps. Decks are lovely and furnished, looking out to the jungle or the river. Tents come in Superior and Deluxe categories and while both have similar amenities, Deluxe units have whirlpool tubs on the decks. All tents have teak bed frames with mosquito netting, desks, and ample sitting space. The tents open on all sides and have mosquito net screens and large lockable wooden doors for the main entrance. They are also spacious, with the lower-category Superior Tents offerings 54-square-meter floor plans (581 square feet). Bathrooms are particularly lovely, though for the most part the floor plan is open. Toilets are kept separate, but sinks and gorgeous soaking bathtubs -- like the hand-crafted copper one that we saw -- sit in the main body of the room. The outdoor rainfall showers also zip off from the room for some additional privacy. Details like the ceramic jars for toiletries add a special touch, as do brass double vanities with water buffalo horn taps. All tents are air-conditioned. They also include minibars with free bottles of gin, vodka, rum, and whiskey to go with tonic water, soft drinks, and juices, plus a free welcome bottle of Champagne. Snacks and candy are also provided. Tents have safes and free Wi-Fi, but no TVs, which helps to maintain the sense of a proper jungle retreat. Guests are also provided with special mahout clothing for when they go out on elephant rides, as the elephants are more gentle and relaxed when not stimulated with unfamiliar colors or patterns. Keep in mind that this is the middle of the jungle, and you will hear the noises of wildlife all around.

        ​ Despite being in the middle of the forest, there are a number of luxury features here. There is no fitness center, but the hotel has a lovely open-air spa and a free treatment is included with every booking. Decor matches the antique elegance employed elsewhere in the hotel and guest rooms, and the views of the jungle are spectacular. The swimming pool is set among all of the lush greenery, and has a few token boulders to give it a rustic look, but it's a little underwhelming given the hotel's exclusive status, and in fact looks a bit dated. It's fine for a dip, and there is a hot tub nearby as well. Lounge chairs are set on platforms on the surrounding grass and there are umbrellas for shade. The Burma Bar, situated at the west end of the property overlooking the river, is a great place for a drink or to curl up with a book. Back near the entrance, the Mai Pai Lao lounge doubles as both the lobby and check-in area and offers various types of "yadong," a local rice liquor. The adjoining Thai and European fine-dining Nong Yao restaurant is also open-air, set in a traditional thatched roof hut. The menu consists of northern Thai dishes as well as more familiar Western options, and all meals are included in the room rates. There's also a wine cellar next door with cheese and international wines -- guests can even bring a bottle or two back to their rooms. Special events like picnics in the jungle and meals with the elephants can be arranged. Without a doubt, one of the highlights here is the hotel's elephant program. They are well treated, and while they are brought throughout the grounds each day, they may be chained at other times of day. The elephants are part of a non-profit program that works with the local community, and the resort has a strict policy of never purchasing elephants. This is meant to help bolster the country's wild population of the animals, as many that are sold into work are captured from the wild. Rates include elephant rides and treks in the jungle. Boat trips on the river and tours of the Golden Triangle's main attractions are both included in rates as well. Transfer from Chiang Rai and the boat ride to the resort are part of the hotel's packages, which must be purchased for a minimum of two nights. Wi-Fi is also free throughout the resort. The resort recommends special preparatory measures before arriving, including packing lightweight clothing as well as items for cooler nights. Insect repellent -- it almost goes without saying -- will be a necessity for most.
        • Facilities: Swimming pool, tea/coffee maker in all rooms, bar, breakfast, game room, spa, wellness centre, hot tub and jacuzzi.
        • Pricing: From 220, 410 Baht.
        • Address: 499 Moo 1, Vieng, Chiang Rai, Chiang Saen District, Chiang Rai, Thailand 57150.​


        • #5
          The Legend Chiang Rai ****

          The Legend Chiang Rai is an upscale boutique resort popular with leisure travelers. Its lobby is housed in a low-rise building with a triangular tiled roof -- like so many hotels in this part of the country, the space is built to resemble a temple pagoda. It's set back in a red-brick courtyard and there's a collection of old bicycle rickshaws out in front, along with a tall shrine-like structure guarding the entrance. The open-air lobby is filled with teak wood and rattan furniture, and the sofas and chairs are adorned with wildly colorful hand-embroidered cushions from the ethnic hill tribes that live in Thailand's north. These are in contrast to the rather soft tones created by the dark-auburn tiled floor, wooden furniture, and golden bell lampshades that hang from the arched ceiling. The setting feels intimate, both in the lobby and on the landscaped grounds and lush gardens fronting the sleepy Kok River. With this romantic vibe, it won't be any surprise that couples make up the bulk of guests here, though a few families pass through as well.
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          The Legend Chiang Rai sits right along the languid Kok River, in a lovely, quiet location outside of Chiang Rai. Just off an traffic-less street and up a short gravel entrance, the resort feels far more remote than it really is. The city center is less than a 10-minute drive from here, and the airport is only about 15 minutes away by car. There really aren't any great restaurants and shops within walking distance of the hotel beyond a couple of mom and pop places down the road. However, the resort runs a shuttle bus to the night market and also has bicycles available. Other local sights include Wat Rong Khun, the famous White Temple, which is a 15-minute drive outside of town, and Doi Mae Salong, a stunning natural area and mountain that's a 90-minute drive from town.

          There are 78 rooms at The Legend Chiang Rai, the majority of which are Superior and Deluxe Rooms, differentiated only by their location on the property: Deluxe Rooms are right in the middle of the lush grounds, while Superior Rooms are at the back of the property. All units are spacious and have northern Lanna Thai decor with rattan and wood furniture plus romantic bed canopies and plenty of hand-carved wood details. The look is rustic, with details that can include woven jute headboards, bamboo lampshades, and splashes of color in the soft furnishings. All rooms include flat-screen TVs with DVD players, safes, kettles, minibars, and even heaters, a rarity at most hotels in Chiang Rai but useful at night in the wintertime. Bathrooms include handmade vessel sinks and stucco details, plus bright blue tilework in most rooms, and massive walk-in showers with stacked-stone walls. Unfortunately, some of the bathroom handiwork and furniture in the rooms is a bit worn. Higher-category rooms come with speaker systems, elegant stone bathtubs, and even double vanity sinks. The one- and two-bedroom Pool Villas are huge, with private plunge pools and lounge chairs, and even have diaper-changing rooms. All units have furnished balconies or terraces, many with hanging swings for two.

          The Legend Chiang Rai has plenty of amenities. There is a small infinity pool in the garden with views out on the river and an adjacent hot tub and tiny pool bar. There are also lounge chairs set up right out along the river banks. The resort features a small spa as well, both with outdoor salas and indoor treatment rooms, plus a small beauty salon. The fitness center is a welcome addition, with a small assortment of modern machinery -- it's a feature not often seen in the smaller hotels in the region. A breakfast buffet is served every morning at the open-air Sala Rim Nam, followed by a la carte Thai and international cuisine at lunch and dinner. There is seating both under the roof as well as right out on the deck, which looks onto the garden and river. Next door is Wine Casa, an upmarket Italian restaurant -- one of Chiang Rai's best-liked -- with a range of wood-fired oven pizzas, fresh pasta, and antipasti. The restaurant also has an attractive bar with black-and-white photos on the wall above bright orange couches. Other facilities include a furnished garden area that becomes a riverside restaurant during the November to February high season, a reading room with a couple of computers for guests to surf internet, and even a small souvenir shop out front. There are also free bicycles for guests to use as well as a shuttle each evening out to the night market. Vintage cycle rickshaws are also available. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property.

          The Legend Chiang Rai Hotel
          This SHA Certified hotel is located directly on the Mae Kok River. The Legend’s location offers access to the area’s beautiful nature as well as being within walking distance to the city centre. Guests can indulge in the hotel’s traditional Thai herbal treatments and relax around the hotel’s lotus ponds and lush, flower gardens. The Legend’s design features Thai-inspired buildings that make up 78 rooms. Furthermore, each room is decorated with a luxurious blend of white walls and linens with beautiful wood accents. And, the infinity pool offers a wonderful escape from the heat before settling at the hotel’s La Casa restaurant for a wood-fired pizza.
          • Facilities: Fitness centre, spa, swimming pool, restaurants and garden.
          • Pricing: 1,142 – 7,592 THB
          • Address: 124/15 Kohloy Road, Tambon Robwiang, City Center, Chiang Rai, Thailand, 57000.