It’s one of Chiang Mai’s longest-established luxury 5-star hotel and one of its most beautiful, with ancient palace-like structures, a wonderful spa and 69 teak villas set among 60 acres of fragrant, flower-filled gardens on the outskirts of the city.
Hemmed in by rice paddies and hidden behind high white walls on the eastern outskirts of Chiang Mai, the Dhara Dhevi’s dreamy location is designed for cosseting. And although we may have this feeling of being stashed away in the middle of nowhere, the airport is only 20 minutes away by car, while the city centre can be reached in 15 minutes via the hotel’s complimentary shuttle bus.
With its gilded spires, ornately-carved pagodas and glittering mosaic walls, the Dhara Dhevi looks like it’s been torn straight from the pages of a fairytale. Across the expansive grounds, stone paths lead through gardens hung with cotton puffs, purple orchids and pink cannonball flowers, wooden bridges veer across moats and rice paddies, lotus ponds twinkling in the sunset. Interiors are adorned in rich jewel-like colours, with hand-crafted furniture and traditional South East Asian art scattered around.
The Dheva Spa, its architecture echoing Myanmar’s Mandalay Palace, is a real highlight, with 18 lavish treatment rooms, highly experienced therapists and extensive range of both traditional and holistic treatments. The silk-clad staffs are courteous and professional.