New Hotel Fuses Charm And Design
The arrival of The Chedi has given the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai something it has long lacked: design-driven accommodations right on the banks of the Mae Ping River, within walking distance of the night bazaar.
Occupying the grounds of a former British consulate, The Chedi boasts architecture that stands out. The design here is not Lanna-inspired, which is clearly a strong deviation from approaches favored by the other top-tier luxury hotels in Chiang Mai, such as The Dhara Dhevi. Call it a rebel; this hotel’s exterior resembles a gigantic monolithic cube when gazing at it from the street. Once inside, the ambience takes on a different personality, a fusion of good old colonial charm and minimalist design.
The property features 52 Deluxe Rooms and 32 Chedi Club Suites, which are pricier but also twice the size of the Deluxe Rooms. Design is elegant and Contemporary-Asian. A Chedi Club Suite comfortably accommodates a family of two adults and two children and is well-equipped. Besides providing guests with a cappuccino machine and choice of tea (organic black tea, jade spring green tea and hibiscus and lemongrass) from the mini-pantry, mini-bar access is complimentary and wireless Internet connection and butler service are also on the house.
Entry to the suite is private, via a corridor overlooking the noisy street through columns of teak slats. After passing a private courtyard, the wooden door panel (easily the size of two standard doors) seals off the clamor of the town to reveal a stylishly-designed interior with handmade red-tiled walls interlaced with teak wood panels. A floor-to-ceiling window opens out onto an enormous balcony with seamless views of the resort garden, the stillness of the Mae Ping River beyond and a reed-topped spa building. The Chedi is a resort that is perfect in its simplicity but totally rich in its emotions, and its spa reflects this design philosophy.
Aside from the spa guests will also find a fitness center, yoga room, boutique and library. Baby sitting is available as well as private limo transfers to and from the airport. Dining options include The Restaurant for traditional Northern Thai specialties, and the relaxing Terrace Bar and Lounge for cocktails, snacks, a cigar menu and comfy day beds. Both have a good wine selection. Then there’s The Bar, The Lobby Lounge and the Chedi Club Lounge.
With its gracious atmosphere, great dining, top spa and wonderful services, The Chedi, Chiang Mai proves that a lavish experience in Chiang Mai does not have to be in the confines of the mountains and rice paddy fields; a touch of luxury can be found here by the banks of the good old Ping River.