Anantara Resort and Spa: Chiang Mai
Our stay at the Anantara Resort and Spa in Chiang Mai was thoroughly enjoyable. The pleasant and engaging staff, serene grounds and delicious food made us not want to leave the property at all during our stay. At night, the lotus flowers decorating almost every surface in the entire resort are replaced with candles, giving the property a quiet, romantic feel. The resort has become famous for its high tea and we can see why. Whether you are looking for some relaxing time to yourself or a tailored romantic experience, the Anantara should be on your list of considerations in Chiang Mai.
The Anantara offers a few choices for rooms. We were upgraded to a suite upon arrival, and we highly recommend this level due to the available amenities. All rooms have incredibly soft beds, private balconies (or patios), bathtubs and showers, and a minibar area. Guests staying in suite rooms have access to the Kasara Lounge where they can enjoy private check-in/out, cocktail hour, laptops and a buffet breakfast.
Given the grounds and the layout of the rooms, it doesn’t seem that any of them could have a bad view. Ground-level rooms have a private patio, but if you are looking for an especially private space, you should keep in mind that other guests may occasionally walk by your floor-to-ceiling window.
Our high tea and dinner experiences at Anantara’s restaurant still linger fondly in our memory. The high tea featured an endless buffet of tea sandwiches and homemade desserts with an option to dine by the river or inside the Colonial House. We loaded up our plates with so much that the staff giggled at us struggling with the weight. A large selection of teas and herbal infusions were served in traditional pots. The high tea experience is a unique one in Chiang Mai and definitely worth a visit if you are looking for alternative to Sunday brunch.
At dinner, we were treated to a sampling of traditional Thai and Indian dishes beginning with small bites and several dips. We got to try Chiang Mai sausage for the first time and were pleasantly surprised by its complicated flavor. Don’t leave the city without trying it!
Everything was delicious and the dinner was made even more special by the cozy feel of the restaurant and the river view. Anantara’s head chef, Prabhash Prabhakaran, is passionate and talented. Lunch and dinner menus rotate throughout the week and include Southeast Asian and classic western dishes in addition to magnificent Indian cuisine. Some dishes even follow secret recipes from the grandmother of the executive chef. Anantara also offers in-room dining or a “dining by design” experience where you can plan a special dinner anywhere on the property.
Even if you don’t end up staying at The Anantara as a guest, consider stopping in to enjoy the bar and cigar room. Plenty of indoor and outdoor seating makes it perfect for a quiet night with friends or a more intimate evening with a significant other. The few cocktails we tried were original and delicious. Chocolate lovers be sure to get the signature Colonial Martini made with chocolate liqueur in a chocolate coated glass. For a fruity (but not overwhelming) drink, try the Lychee-tini.
Right now, enjoy an extended happy hour with buy one get one free drinks from 6 p.m. to midnight.
Our traditional Thai massage was a great way to spend the afternoon. We were asked to fill out consultation cards while sipping delicious refreshing tea and then led to a private room for our treatment. There was soothing music, and like the rest of the resort, everything smelled amazing. All workers at the spa are trained according to international standards, so their traditional techniques are slightly modified to adhere to modern western medicine. (A little less back cracking, but still plenty of elbows.) I felt so relaxed at one point, I think I nodded off while she was massaging my head. After the massage, we sipped another delicious tea in a quiet, comfortable spot with a view of the pool.
The Anantara is located just east of the Old City on the Mae Ping River and you’ll have a nice of view of it from almost anywhere on the property. It is a quick taxi ride from the Chiang Mai airport and a 20 minute walk to Thae Pae Gate. Explore the area at night, or stay at the hotel and enjoy the bar like we did. The grounds are gorgeous and include several water features that are spotted with floating candles at night.
We very much enjoyed our stay and will be sure to return for high tea or a cocktail!
For more information or to book a stay, visit The Anantara Resort and Spa online.The view from our room
Poplar Travels took part in some of the services described here at the invitation of the resort. Our opinion is always our own.