the luxury hotels of Chiang Mai

Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai
I spent three idyllic days at this beautiful resort. Out in the beautiful Thai countryside surrounding Chiang Mai, Four Seasons has created the perfect retreat, beautiful, quiet, and tranquil. The sounds of crickets and frogs at night will possibly be the loudest sounds you will hear. All of the pavilions have the same floor plan. Garden view rooms look out onto the lush landscaping of the resort. Mountain view rooms feature vistas of the nearby mountains on the border with Myanmar (Burma). Rice Terrace view pavilions look out on the green rice paddies in the middle of the resort. Considered the most desirable accommodations, you should book Rice Terraces directly as upgrades are not applied to this category. Not to be missed is the Chef’s Table at dinner. Being the only two guests to sign up for this multi-course tasting meal, we sat right by the stove and watched, talked, and ate as the Chef cooked for us.

Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi
With buildings built in the traditional architectural styles of Thailand's Buddhist temples, Mandarin Oriental has created one of the most magical settings I have ever seen. The Dhevi Spa’s ornately carved wooden building (pictured) is almost beyond belief. This resort is highly recommended for couples or families who appreciate this imaginatively recreated slice of centuries past. The accommodations are large and reasonably priced. Colonial Suites are located in gracious, high ceilinged buildings reminiscent of the British colonial era. For the ultimate in privacy, book a Deluxe Villa; the two highest categories have large round jacuzzis with multiple jets, perfect for couples enjoying a romantic getaway.

Chedi Hotel
Not a Virtuoso property, I was nonetheless highly impressed by the Chedi Hotel. My first impression on entering its beautiful lobby and savoring the simple elegance of its design was how much it reminded me of Sukhothai in Bangkok. In fact, as I learned, the same architect designed both properties. Located on the banks of the Ping River, the Chedi is an easy walk to the Night Markets. There are just two accommodation types, Deluxe rooms and Club Suites. Roughly double the size of the Deluxe room, Club Suites offer complimentary continental breakfast, round-trip airport transfers, mini bar, laundry service, and butler service.

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