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)
Parking on site
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Regal retreat inspired by Thai palaces, with a destination spa, a half-dozen restaurants and 60 acres of orchid-filled gardens
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.
The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai
51/4 Chiang Mai - Sankampaeng Road
Chiang Mai, Thailand
How to Get There
The preferred airport for Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi is Chiang Mai (CNX-Chiang Mai Intl.) - 7.5 km / 4.7 mi. Distances are calculated in a straight line from the property's location to the point of interest or airport and may not reflect actual travel distance. Distances are displayed to the nearest 0.1 mile and kilometre.