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Mandarin Oriental, Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai 

51/4 Chiang Mai-Sankampaeng Road Moo 1 T. Tasala A. Muang
Chiang Mai
Thailand 50000
Tel: 66 53 888 888
view web site ›'s insider take:

A successful truck dealer with a taste for art, Suchet Suwanmongkol underwrote the $75 million dream of a young, unknown architect to build an ancient Asian city within the confines of Chiang Mai. The resulting 60-acre confection of the now-famous Rachen Intawong quotes some of the most iconic structures in Southeast Asia, including Wat Xieng Thong in Luang Prabang, Laos. The 123 suites nod to colonial mansion style, and the individual villas encompass various Thai vernaculars. At the heart of the resort is the sumptuous Dheva Spa, a glowing, multi-tiered Xanadu with 18 treatment rooms and five residences. Throughout, the bedrooms are huge: 16-foot ceilings are the norm in the colonial wing, as are private verandas and adjoining living rooms, all lavishly fitted with silk-covered chaise longues and hill-tribe textiles. Superlatives extend to the two pools (enormous) and library (more than 5,000 books and 1,500 DVDs). Kids can learn muay Thai boxing, plant rice, and even care for an elephant. As for service: Not only does the staff know the name of the flowering trees outside the Akaligo restaurant (raintrees), they also quickly produce the Thai name (jamjuree) and Latin genus and species (Albizia lebbeck). Now that's precision.

From the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:
Drawing from the region's architectural and cultural heritage, this "breathtaking, restive retreat" reimagines an ancient Thai city. Rooms are filled with artifacts, Thai silks, and local hill-tribe textiles. The 33,000-square-foot Dheva Spa and Wellness Centre is "surely the finest of any hotel." Service was "especially extraordinary in every facet," reflected in the perfect score.

(123 rooms)
—2011 Gold List
Overall Score: 96.2
  • Design: 97.1
  • Food: 95.6
  • Location: 91.3
  • Rooms: 97.1
  • Service: 100.0

Also appeared in the Gold List in 2010, 2009, 2008

Amenities: Pool, Spa, Tennis

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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
This 60-acre property's 405 rooms represent more than a dozen different decorative approaches. By far the most successful are the northern Thai–style villas, with private plunge pools and whirlpool tubs overlooking working rice paddies. Teak floors and stunning teak-paneled sloping ceilings offset a mix of antique and contemporary furnishings and huge bathrooms with whirlpool tubs. The appeal-to-all-tastes approach continues in the resort's two pools: one intimate, the other enormous and kid-friendly. Mandarin Oriental levels of service and pampering prevail, including complimentary yoga classes, a spectacular spa, a cooking school, and a superb range of restaurants serving Chinese, French, Thai, and international cuisines.—2005 Hot List

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