Four Seasons Chiang Mai
PRICE: Worth maxing out for
Once in a while comes an experience that take our breath away. Precious moments when you know things can’t get any better. But perhaps it’s no surprise that Thailand’s Four Seasons Chiang Mai (formerly The Regent), sculpted into terraced rice paddy fields in the mysterious Mae Rim valley, has left left us speechless over more years than we care to remember.
It’s a Four Seasons, so the bar is set high. But it is the environment, the way that the Lanna-style pavilions have been woven into the rural countryside that makes it so special. With three pavilion categories each with their own unique views and sense of privacy as well as a bountiful selection of pool villas, the Four Seasons is the standard bearer in the north of Thailand.
All of the suites have a common theme: rich teak floors, vibrant Thai silks liberally scattered throughout and Siamese art on the walls. This is seriously luxurious living, where the pace of life slows to the rhythm of the plantations.
You are surrounded by an envelope of perfection when you put your head on the perfectly plumped feather pillow at night. And the food is sublime. You’ll almost certainly have never tasted such intense Thai flavours, with many of the herbs, spices and vegetables grown on site. And you can choose to dine around the spectacular pool, in the elegant open restaurants or in a private dining pavilion.
The yoga – tree poses as you gaze out over the paddy fields – is phenomenal and the walks are stunningly beautiful. This is nature at its very best and will leave your senses overwhelmed.
Any visit to the Four Seasons without a visit to the exceptional spa is a missed opportunity. Inspired by ancient rituals, the treatments are divided by the social system. Our favourite, Samunprai full body massage, comes from the farmers group as it provides nourishing and groundedness to the mind and body.
On your doorstep
Doi Suthep temple was first built in 1383 and is one of the most sacred shrines in northern Thailand. Climb the 308 steps and you’ll be rewarded with breaktaking views.