The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai
What We Love
- The traditional architecture makes this hotel feel more like a palace
- There are 60 acres to explore; start with the two outdoor swimming pools
- The Dheva Spa specializes in ayurvedic treatments and is a destination in its own right
- Le Grand Lanna Restaurant holds a nightly Thai dance show
- The library is filled with several thousand world-class books — a hint at the historical significance of this place
What To Know
- Jetsetter 2015 Best of the Best Finalist: Best Over-the-top Luxury
- The hotel is 10 minutes from town and 15 from the airport
- Le Grand Lanna restaurant holds a nightly Thai dance show
- Not a singles scene; better for couples and families (and you’ll see business travelers)
- Free WiFi
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
With architecture inspired by traditional Thai palaces from the Lanna kingdom, plus a spa fit for a queen, it’s not hard to feel like royalty at the Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai. Arriving at the lush 60-acre site, you’re greeted by a grand marble entrance and seven tiers of roof flanked by spiky pagodas that reach up to the sky. Greenery is everywhere: Orchid-filled gardens surround the white and terra-cotta buildings, and trees have been planted around the outdoor pools. The interiors are decked out in rich, Oriental colors, and there are luxe seating areas scattered around the half-dozen restaurants and bars.
Bed and Bath
The property has 123 spacious two-story teak villas, colonial suites and signature residences tucked away discreetly throughout the flower-filled gardens. All the villas have roomy terraces, many of which have their own private plunge pools overlooking an actual rice paddy. Expect split-level living, gazebos off the bedrooms, and whirlpool baths in some. Villas have alfresco massage and shower areas.
The hotel’s centerpiece is the 33,000-square-foot spa. Regarded as one of the world’s top ayurvedic centers, the impeccable building is modeled on an ancient Mandalay palace and offers such sybaritic treatments as a three-hour royal foot ritual and an 80-minute Kathi Basti warm oil massage. With more than a half-dozen restaurants on the property, you’ll have your pick of dining options. Craving Peking duck? Head to Fujian, which is styled after a 1930s Shanghai mansion. For some of the best French food you’ll find in Thailand, try Farang, where the signature dishes include duck liver prepared three ways and the wagyu steak. There are also signature cooking classes on offer (including market tours) for aspiring chefs. If you need a retail fix, head to the Kad Dhara shopping village, the on-site minimall, which sells everything from traditional crafts to luxury goods. Meanwhile, the huge outdoor pool is great for those with kids, and the daily wellbeing classes will keep yoga fans happy.
In the Area
Giddy-up at the Chiang Dao Elephant Camp and ride an elephant through the jungles of northern Thailand, visiting traditional hill tribes before wading down the Ping River. History buffs can head to one of the most beloved Buddhist temples in all of Chiang Mai, Doi Suthep, which is believed to date from the 14th century and has great city views. You can sign up for a rice planting activity, a great way to learn about Thailand’s traditions (available through the hotel), after which a water buffalo ride can be arranged — a fun option for kids (or the young at heart). Alternatively, Chiang Mai’s National Museum is well worth a stop for those craving a little culture; it features centuries-old Buddhist art, historic weapons and costumes. If you’re looking for a gift to take home, there are plenty of options. When the sun goes down the bargains come out at the colorful night bazaar in Chiang Mai, which features dozens of stalls selling everything from silk scarves and wood carvings to umbrellas and jewelry, all at rock bottom prices.
How to Get There
Had high expectations based on past reviews but the service fell short. At check in we arrived at noon and escorted to a table with nice cold hand towels and tea. We waited an hour and suddenly front staff informs us that check in is allowed after 3 pm. So we sat there with time wasted when they could have informed us about this policy in the beginning. There is also a significant language barrier among the staff.
The bungalows are poorly maintained with peeling paint, non functional electrical receptacles, cobwebs in ceilings, stained walls, dead bugs in outdoor bath tub. The food quality at breakfast buffet, Thai and Chinese restaurants on premise were superb.
The location and setting is unique with acres of various fruit trees. Free bike rental is provided but the stone pathway had potholes and almost all the building structures are poorly maintained. The rice paddies are just overgrown with weeds and do not resemble the photos on their website.
The fitness center has good quality machines but when I dropped my towel from the elliptical machine, the staff picked up my towel from the floor and just gave it to me without giving me a clean one....yikes.
At the cooking class, when a paper towel placed over the raw ingredients fell on the floor, the assistant picked it up and put it back over the plate.....yikes again.
These incredible lack of hygiene made me wonder about what is happening in the kitchen.
The most extravagant hotel I have ever stayed in. Amazing staff and service. Buggies to take you to your room, free bike rentals to bike around the giant estate. Food and drink was amazing. Grounds we're stunning, pool was beautiful. Can't say enough nice things about this hotel. Definitely coming back with friends and family!
What to say about this incredible hotel? After traveling more than 40 countries and 120 cities in the word, I can say that this place has blown my mind. It is an absolutely amazing hotel which I recommend to stay at least 2 nights and 1 full day to discover it. I know it is a bit more expensive than other great ones but it is definitely worth it.
PS: as a recommendation to the restaurants I would say that it will help to have a menu with clear indications for gluten free options.
We stayed at this hotel after reading reviews on TripAdvisor and were very disappointed. The property is very run down and seems 'tired.' When we walked up to the lobby I almost stepped on a cockroach. The hotel is so big and it seems that the staff has a hard time maintaining the property. It is very far away from the city center and is not walking distance to anything.
For the cost I would definitely not recommend staying here,
Dhara Dhevi is a wonderful hotel,very good for hamdicapped guests because they have buggies to bring people to the different parts of the hotel
very friendly service.I am a repeat guest.
differnt restaurants-not sll Michelin star level