Answers from Our Experts (1)
Chiang Mai has an abundance of luxury hotels that are certain to spoil even the most discerning of travelers. Here are our Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ picks for the best places to stay in northern Thailand’s cultural capital:
1. Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai. Nestled amongst terraced rice paddies and lush green hills and marked by its traditional Thai architecture, Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai is an enchanting countryside gem offering 98 beautifully appointed pavilions and villas with teak floors, local artwork, iPod docking stations and – in the pool villas – private plunge pools. The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai is magical, as are unique dining experiences that include breakfast in a rice field and dinner at the Chef’s Table in the resort’s open-air Cooking School.
2. Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi. With a design inspired by the ancient Lanna Kingdom that you almost have to see to believe, Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi provides a memorable cultural experience that truly captures the essence of Chiang Mai. Located on 60 secluded acres of lush landscaping, this luxury hotel has 54 colonial suites and 64 lavish villas, with some of the latter built on Thai-style stilts. Larger groups can also rent one of the three opulent private residences that are favored by traveling celebrities and vacationing Thai royalty.
3. The Chedi Chiang Mai. This gorgeous luxury hideaway on the Mae Ping River is revered for its stunning contemporary design and world-class hospitality. The hotel’s ideal location near Chiang Mai’s famous Night Bazaar can’t be beat, and its excellent The Restaurant is one of the top places in the city to dine on gourmet Indian and Korean cuisine. Deluxe rooms feature a 32-inch flat-screen television, deep-soaking terrazzo tub and floor-to-ceiling windows.
4. Sukantara Cascade Resort and Spa. This small luxury hotel is set on the sloping bank of a mountain stream, with its gorgeous waterfalls, massive villas and suites and alluring Chiida Spa helping make it the perfect choice for honeymooners or celebrity visitors to Chiang Mai like Angelina Jolie. The resort’s largest suite, Suite Panorama, has a secluded location at the top of a hill and offers a large Jacuzzi, private veranda, two bathrooms and separate living and dining areas.
5. 137 Pillars House. Sophisticated elegance and pampered privacy are the calling card of intimate 137 Pillars House, which is located near the Buddhist temple complex of Wat Gate Khar Rham Temple. The hotel’s 30 luxurious suites come with personal butler service, 32-inch flat-screen television, personal entertainment system, walk-in closets and free-standing baths, and The Kitchen hosts regular cooking demonstrations from both in-house and guest chefs.