Located in the mountainous region of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai offers guests a surrounding that is completely different to Bangkok, something more unadorned, primitive, natural and beautiful. Our journey coincided with the dry season in Thailand. We came here to celebrate New Year's Eve, fortunately we did not have to endure the humidity and stifling heat of summer, and we thoroughly enjoyed the cool, brisk weather.
The hotel we chose was the Anantara Chiang Mai Resort & Spa, conveniently located next to the Mae Ping River, Night Bazaar and the famous Tha Phae Gate. All of these destinations are within walking distance of the hotel. Moreover, the hotel offers a scenic view of Suthep Mountain in the distance, making it the most convenient and pleasant five star hotel in downtown Chiang Mai.
Anantara Chiang Mai Resor t & Spa has garnered a formidable reputation in downtown Chiang Mai. Formerly The Chedi hotel owned by premier international hotel group GHM, it was refurbished by the chief designer of Aman Resorts International Kerry Hill in 2005, adopting minimalistic modern style with traditional Thai flair and a hint of French colonial colors. The tranquil, graceful character of the design has endowed every corner of the hotel with meaning. It is no wonder that it has received international hotel design awards repeatedly since its opening. This is the hotel of choice for afternoon tea in Chiang Mai.
Anantara is the premier label under worldacclaimed hotel group Minor Hotels Group (MHG), which launched its earliest hotels in Thailand. Anantara means without end in Sanskrit and water in Thai. Since establishing its first resort in Thailand in 2001, the group has regarded the element of water as Mother Nature, therefore it plays a vital part in the hotel's design. At Anantara Chiang Mai Resort & Spa, water is embodied in various magnificent forms: peaceful mirror, trickling stream or rampant rapids Not only is water an essential part of the space, the hotel's hospitality oozes tenderness, sincerity, attentiveness and warmth, these are their main service objectives.
Building on the sound foundation of The Chedi in regards to architecture and management, MHG introduced the Anantara management system to Anantara Chiang Mai Resort & Spa in 2014, maintaining the resort's outstanding reputation. To this day, it remains the premier choice among luxury hotels in downtown Chiang Mai.
Serene, elegant accommodation experience.
As soon as we entered the hotel, the exceptionally quiet interior surprised us, because the loud noise of motorcycles, tuktuks and horns in downtown Chiang Mai was excluded from the environment. We were surrounded by silence. As I looked up, the hotel's white façade adorned with wooden furniture presented an elegant presence, complemented flawlessly by the luxuriant green lawn, blue sky and refreshing riverside to paint a serene picture.
As I took the Little Princess to take a stroll in the hotel, she fell in love with the stunning, spacious swimming pool. However, due to Chiang Mai's considerable temperature variations in winter, it was too cold to get in the pool in the morning or at night, so I only took her to the pool at noon, when it was slightly hotter.
Anantara's afternoon tea restaurant specializes in elegant French colonial ambiance. We loved it so much that we frequented the establishment during our stay. Afternoon tea was ser ved by the riverside. As we Little Princess's Fantastic Journey 267 leisurely savored the delicious food, we were surrounded by peacefulness with the gentle breeze caressing our face. Little Princess was peering in all directions and smiling at people, and she ended up making many new friends from all over the world.
An exceptionally hospitable nation
One day, we came across 4 Mandarin-speaking ladies in their 30s. As we greeted and chatted, we all agreed that Thailand is a tremendous country full of kind people, friendly smiles and warm hospitality. Each Thai person we encountered emanated sincere friendliness, and this can be attributed to their religious devoutness. We also realized why we loved coming to Thailand all the time – to experience such rare sincerity and hospitality.
In order to appreciate the almsgiving culture in Thailand, we asked the hotel to take us to a nearby temple called Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.
Almsgiving ceremony began from 05:00 to 06:00 in the morning. A row of 400 to 500 monks wearing kasayas gradually descended the temple, forming a spectacular sight. At the time, a large number of people were waiting for the monks by the foot of the hill holding alms in their hands. Since the monks do not eat after noon, they have to eat as much as possible in one meal, so many people offered them sticky rice to help them last longer. Some people also offered flowers or incense. During the almsgiving ceremony, the giver and receivers would pay each other respect by putting their palms together or by kneeling down. The quiet, awe-inspiring atmosphere allowed us to appreciate the power of religion.
The hotel provides diverse itineraries for the guests. Besides bespoke services, other activities include viewing Muay Thai, Thai cooking lessons, outskirts elephant riding experience or whitewater rafting etc. The hotel's spa is well known internationally, so enjoying a comfortable afternoon at the hotel's spa center is a smart choice.
Anantara Chiang Mai Resort& Spa
Number of rooms: 84
Price: Starts at NT$9,500 per night
Address: 123-123/1 Charoen Prathet Road, Changklan, Muang, Chiang Mai 50100,Thailand