Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel & Spa
What We Love
- Just 19 large guest rooms, each decorated with handcrafted furniture and Thai silks
- A spa that specializes in Ayurvedic treatments
- Relaxed French dining in the Nakara Jardin, thanks to a Cordon Bleu–trained chef
What To Know
- The airport shuttle fee is $20 (one way) per vehicle
- Children 12 and under stay free in their parents’ room
- Pets are not allowed
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
One of Chiang Mai’s loveliest colonial-style hotels, the Ping Nakara is a vision of graceful gingerbread architecture with fretwork made of the teak that gave the city its colonial-era wealth. The designers made abundant use of natural materials but added modern conveniences and comforts like free minibars and WiFi throughout. The restaurant specializes in high-quality renditions of traditional Thai fare, and by request, the chef can prepare a special tasting menu of dishes that date from the Teak Wallah period. A second restaurant in a garden specializes in French cuisine and pastries.
In the Area
The hotel is centrally located in Chiang Mai near Wiang Kum Kam, the recently restored ancient capital city (abandoned more than 700 years ago), and the Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Centre, the modern city’s premier museum. It’s also near the Tha Phae Gate, a historic site that’s also home to a worthwhile night market, and the Meng Memorial Bridge. Any visit to Chiang Mai should include a day or half-day trip to Wat Pra That Doi Suthep, a temple on a hill about ten miles from the city, that’s sacred to Thai people.
How to Get There
There are few hotels that have an interior and exterior that are so well balanced. You can feel (and see) that every little detail mattered. It gives you a feel that the old days were better. This by using the best elements from the past and enrich it with the comforts of today. Next to that a very friendly and competent staff.
I’m posting this review as a long repeat visitor to the hotel. It’s intended for those looking to discover the advantages that a frequent guest can get in a high end boutique like this. There are already enough reviews such that I can avoid the usual first-time descriptions- the focus here is on service and perks.
For me, these start on arrival at the airport. I don’t have to chart through an endless parade of hotel drivers holding up signs; the driver usually recognizes me as soon as I’m in the entrance Hall. The chopped liver experience I often have on the flight quickly gives way to VIP treatment as I’m taken to the hotel in one of their head turning 60+ year-old Mercedes.
Ping Nakara combines the charm of a young, eager and superbly trained staff with the experience of an American ex-pat manager who knows more about CM than most locals. Nowhere is this more evident than with the helpful, unobtrusive front desk “customer reps.”
The security staff deserves special mention. Throughout the country, people of their ilk are usually known for anything but the infamous Thai smile. Here, they are genuinely welcoming and helpful every time you arrive or depart the hotel. (I’ll keep it secret but frequent visitors can get perks from these folks that I couldn’t imagine being extended to first-timers.)
The same goes for the breakfast crew. They learn your tastes very quickly. With each successive visit, I have to order less and less; the things I like just show up on my table. Want something special that’s not on the menu? Usually, no problem. Even the cleaning staff has a sensitivity that’s hard to match. If you have a visitor, extra minibar items and towels can quickly be had.
As someone who loves jaunting around Southeast Asia’s busy cities, I appreciate a quiet gem like this where I’m actually treated like a guest, not just a client.
We just returned from a stay at the Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel. We spent a total of 3 nights at the property.
We had a wonderful experience from start to finish with the property and staff, everyone was welcoming.
We did utilize the airport transportation that is offered by the hotel, and we greatly recommend. It was punctual and efficient. Plus, how fun to ride in a vintage Mercedes!
The room was well appointed, fantastic amenities and comfortable.
The breakfast included each morning was delicious and definitely a highlight!
The pool courtyard and seating surrounding is an oasis and you don't realize the city is right outside your door.
Overall, such a great experience and we can't recommend enough.