After leaving Andalusia, one of the things we missed the most was the Alfonso XIII. The hotel is the quintessential old Europe, featuring great warm service, luxurious home away from home. It’s the exact opposite of modern and trendy boutique hotels.
The Dhara Dhevi hotel, located in Chiang Mai Thailand is probably the closest you will get to live in a dream, even if for a few days.
The Mandarin Oriental property is set on 60 acres of beautiful green grounds, in Northern Thailand.
The resort was designed drawing inspiration from the Lanna period architecture, which lasted from the mid 13th century to the mid 16th century.
Each building in the complex is a small gem, usually featuring pavilions, terraces and patios, providing shade and amazing views into the surrounding grounds.
The settings are authentically Thai rural, including rice paddy fields, jungle areas and a myriad of floral and plant varieties.
The weather was perfect, when we traveled to Chiang Mai it was the end of December.
Perfectly brisk morning, sunny and dry days.
The Dhara Dhevi is one of the quietest, most blissful places I’ve ever stayed on.
The sheer size of the grounds makes it so if you decide to, you can really spend quiet time alone, walking around the place, fully immersed into nature, with no one in sight for extended periods of time.
You will think your walking to a miniature Thai kingdom stuck in time.
If you are more inclined to social activities, you will find plenty of opportunities around the two amazing swimming pools or in the shopping village or frequenting the cooking school.
The food was consistently good to great, we sampled three of the existing six restaurants.
We stayed in one of the Colonial suites, which was grandly sized and featured a separated living room and beautiful bathroom.
We received complimentary use of bicycles and whenever we didn’t feel like pedaling, a driver with an electric car was always a phone call away.
Here are the resort’s amenities:
Restaurants & Bars
Le Grand Lanna (Thai cuisine)
Speciality Thai restaurant with seating for 180. Cuisine is from both Northern and Central Thailand. Le Grand Lanna is set in a cluster of traditional Lanna style buildings. A Thai Classical Dance Show entertains guests nightly. The restaurant is open for both lunch and dinner.
Fujian (Chinese cuisine)
Chinese restaurant serving Imperial Chinese cuisine in an elegant two-storey Sino-Portuguese style mansion. Outdoor seating is available. Lunch is Cantonese and Dim Sum and dinner features contemporary dishes and a degustation menu. The restaurant seats 73 guests.
Farang Ses (French progressive cuisine)
This opulent French restaurant serves modern French cuisine including the all-time favorites such as duck ballottine, escargots, lobster bisque, chicken ‘Coq au vin’ and beef tartar. Located next to the spa reception area overlooking rice paddy fields with live piano music each evening. Farang Ses is open for dinner only. It can accommodate 45 guests.
Serving a long list of fantastic cocktails and champagnes every evening, The Rice Terrace is located below the spa reception area facing the rice paddy fields.
Loy Kham and Colonial Pool Bars (Snacks & Beverages)
Located at the pool area, both Loy Kham and Colonial Pool Bars serve snacks and beverages around the poolside.
Akaligo (Buffet breakfast & Sunday brunch)
The restaurant offers buffet breakfast and Sunday Brunch, and is situated next to the main lobby. Terrace seating is also available.
Located off the main lobby and open every evening from 6 pm to midnight, The Horn Bar serves cocktails and fine wines. The interior of the bar features masks from different regions of Myanmar, depicting mythological characters.
Located in the Kad Dhara shopping village, The Oriental Shop sells homemade products and serves cakes, coffees, teas and juices.
The resort has a range of facilities that cater to a variety of meetings and events. The Grand Ballroom can accommodate up to 500 guests, while the popular ceremonial lawn provides the perfect outdoor venue in the heart of the resort. The Lawn can comfortably accommodate a thousand guests.
Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi is the only resort in Chiang Mai that offers guests a regular daily programme for arts and crafts demonstration – basket making, bamboo weaving, rice pounding, paper cutting and flower arranging in northern Thai style. Guests can either watch or participate.
Jum Sri Hall Library
This world-class library houses several thousand volumes of books, journals and periodicals related to the region’s art, culture, cuisine and traditions. There is also a wide variety of books related to cooking, nature, health and fitness, yoga, and meditation. In addition, there is a large selection of children’s books and a collection of DVD’s and CD’s. All of these are available for complimentary use by hotel guests.
The unique brick amphitheater, surrounded by a moat and towering trees provides an enchanting venue for enjoying private outdoor music and dance performances.
Lanna Kids Club
The Lanna Kids Club is located in a one-hundred-year-old northern Thai house offering lessons on Thai dancing and music, arts and crafts, as well as traditional Thai games and toys. Children can also experience rice planting, Thai boxing, yoga for kids, paper making and umbrella painting.
Kad Dhara Shopping Village
The Shopping Village is located just inside the gate of the resort. It is a small village built in the local northern Thai style of the past, with a series of shuttered wooden shop-houses.
This unique place is home to a number of specialty shops and upscale designer boutiques as well as a coffee corner and the resort’s own stylish Chinese Restaurant. and hassle-free shopping experience.
25 spacious treatment rooms and suites , each with a private bath, steam shower, heated marble scrub table and private relaxation area
A selection of aqua therapy areas including a hydrotherapy room, Vichy shower, heated scrub table, Hammam, rhassoul and watsu pool
Two hairdressing stations
Manicure and pedicure facilities
Spa Cafe and outdoor relaxation area
Spa Boutique with range of exclusive Dheva Spa products
Spa Academy for therapist training and guest classes