We really splurged with this hotel as we were staying over New Years and it was very expensive. However when we got there we were delighted to find our high expectations were met. The hotel lobby and entrance courtyard are awe inspiring and you really feel like you are stepping into a different ancient world. There are statues and beautiful gardens and buildings all around. The compound is vast and has many little paths to get about; we enjoyed using the bicycles that were provided. We stayed in a traditional deluxe and it was very nice, lots of wood and it looked out onto a rice paddy. But we couldn’t use the outside areas as it was a constant battle with mosquitoes. We literally had to run from the backdoor to the Jacuzzi. The compound gets sprayed for mosquitoes twice a week I think it was but it doesn’t really help as there are rice paddies and puddles around – great breeding ground for mosquitoes. If we were to go back we decided that we would stay in the hotel building and not a villa because of the mosquito issue. Saying that we loved cycling from our villa at the back to breakfast every day. The breakfast is scrumptious with Asian and western food to a great standard. The tables looking out on to the gardens outside are particularly pleasant.
The spa was wonderful and I would recommend the traditional lana massage, my husband and I loved it! I had a French pedi and it was really good but it took over an hour. We also had regular Thai massages and they were excellent. I’d say skip the oil massages here and go with the thai ones. The spa experience is wonderful, with tea and foot washing thrown in and the building has lots of beautiful carved wood everywhere. We enjoyed the two pool areas and the gym, both fabulous with great service. We preferred the more tropical pool area with a view of the rice paddy. So wonderful to sit there and watch the beautiful birds dart around while enjoying a ginger tea.
The food at the thai restaurant was amazing and they had Thai dancing as entertainment which was a lovely touch. We booked up the cooking lesson and tried to make our own version of some of the dishes. We had two attentive chefs for the two of us and they served us our dinner as we made it. It was a great experience. We also took advantage of the dvd and book library that you could borrow from.
The New Years Eve party was something else. The setting and decoration was spectacular; there was a full brass band; a traditional thai play; singers; fireworks; lantern release into the sky (my favorite); an elephant; food, food, food! It was an amazing night under the stars with the hotel staff being as wonderful as usual and the buffet really was phenomenal! I think allot of local people attend as it was packed out.
I can recommend doing the white water rafting and the elephant trekking trips! Chaing Mai is a beautiful area to discover, we enjoyed just wondering about the city centre too.
We were sad to be leaving the hotel and the area and really hope that we will find ourselves back there again. If you’re looking for an extra special luxurious Thai experience like no other then this is the place for you.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai is set on 60 acres of verdant tranquil grounds in the historical heartland of Northern Thailand. The hotel's unique design draws from the region's rich architectural and cultural heritage that flourished during the Lanna period, which lasted from the mid-13th century until the mid-16th century, and enjoyed a further resurgence in the last 200 years. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai Hotel Chiang Mai
- Mandarin Oriental Chiang Mai
- Mandarin Chiang Mai
- Chiang Mai Mandarin Oriental