Downright spectacular boutique style hotels are among the best reasons to visit and stay in the North during the coolest season of the year.
by Rich Kantitta.
With its long history and tradition, Chiang Mai is certainly one of the most attractive regions in Thailand. It inhales Nature and exhales Art and Culture, in a manner of speaking. Chiang Mai is home to a diverse range of attractions that make it a very exciting destination – and these days, with some of the coziest boutique hotels in the country waiting to provide guests with some of the most memorable holiday home experiences ever, even more so. Let us take a look at some of these delightful boutique and luxurious properties: each one distinctive and unique, each promising a wonderful stay whatever your taste, budget, and purpose of travel; and each allowing you to easily take in the beauty and wonders of the charming destination.
Travel back in time with the colonial style Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel & Spa (Charoenprathet Rd, Chanklan, 053 252 111, firstname.lastname@example.org). The hotel took inspiration from the early 1990s when Chiang Mai was the center of the teak industry. Its sophisticated daisy white gingerbread architecture stands elegantly by the Ping River, with only 19 rooms, each designed with handcrafted furniture and decorated both in the interior and the exterior with the highest quality materials. There’s a pillow menu for a personalized comfort, ranging from Hypoallergenic Micro Fiber for sensitive sleeper to Japanese Buckwheat, and Soba pillow made to perfectly fit the contours of your head, neck and shoulder.
Located near one of the city’s most famous temples, Wat Phra Singh, Rachamankha Hotel (6 Rachamankha 9 Rd, Phra Singh, 05 390 4111, email@example.com) recreates the traditional essence and heritage of Chiang Mai, especially through the Chinese influence courtyard-style houses with separate doors and walls of different areas. Every entrance is aligned with each other, following the Chinese belief in feng shui, to create balance and a harmony in the complex. There is a library with a remarkable collection of over 2,000 books that can give deeper insights on Thai history, art, and culture. The short walls that stand around the hotel, in contrast to the tall hotel building, were patterned after the traditional walls of the temples and palaces circa 1200s, making a walk in the hotel complex feel like you’re inside a period film.
Tamarind Village (50/1 Rajdamnoen Rd, 023 011 8613, firstname.lastname@example.org) takes its name from the 200-year-old tamarind tree that stands tall in the hotel grounds, embracing and giving it a restful shadow during a sunny afternoon. Themed around authentic Northern Lanna Thai arts — fabric, patterns, and design from the local tribes – the place will be enjoyed by vintage enthusiasts; every aspect of it. With only 45 rooms, this small boutique hotel provides a perfect sanctuary for those in search of tranquility, and those who enjoy a slower pace of life than many us are accustomed to.
At the very heart of the old city and indeed an aorta of the Lanna tradition, Makka Chiang Mai (18 Soi 8 Phrapokklao Rd, 053 281 6368, email@example.com) executes exemplary elegance in the traditional boutique design hotel. Within a theme of black, white, and gold, the hotel gives a spacious and relaxing feel in every corner. The Makka concept translates the Buddhist art of letting go into its homey spaces to give guests a feel and sense of peaceful belonging. The hotel lets in as much natural light as possible within its courtyards and gardens.
On the east bank of the Ping River, Sala Lanna (49 Charoenrat Rd, 053 242 588, firstname.lastname@example.org) is stylish and minimalist, with a design theme in simple white and wooden tones that well, warms the heart. The entrance does not do justice to the luxury awaiting you on the inside, though. With a rooftop bar and a pool that overlook the mountains and the city, guests at the low-rise hotel are always surrounded by both the serene Nature and the lively, energetic Chiang Mai city vibe.
Another hotel that sits along the river is Anantara Chiang Mai (123-123/1 Charoen Prathet Rd, 053 253 333, email@example.com), which stretches long with its white bricks and wooden assembly in a contemporary setting. This East-meets-West architectural marvel blends colonial influences with traditional Thai elements. Every room has a private balcony to enjoy the sunrise or the sunset. The blend of culture is also obvious in the service and facilities of the place.
But for something “Orient-meets-Modern,” perhaps nothing translates the idea like this relatively new luxurious boutique hotel called 137 Pillar House (2 Soi 1 Nawatgate Rd, 053 247 788, firstname.lastname@example.org). This property with “home-style residential concept” offers an ideal experience of a traditional Lanna Thai living. Different houses stand side-by-side in a typical layout where Thai families traditionally live among each other. Around the hotel are small, relaxing salas to sit in and enjoy the wonderful view. The “best-kept-secret” of the place, if ever there were one though, is the pool within the ivy-covered walls. Taking a dip in this pool is like swimming right by a secret pond hidden among the mountains, which definitely takes your stay here on a high note.
And these are just but a few!