Chiang Mai, Thailand: Dhara Dhevi
The holy region of Chiang Mai is laden with hundreds of gleaming Buddhist temples, cultural shrines and breathtaking natural wonders. Home to the majestic Pha Deang Mountain, Ping River, and numerous national parks, the area is heralded for its abundance of eco-tourism. To traverse the city’s terrain, tuk-tuk rides offer an authentic urban through-way across the wondrous stretches of the region from the renowned pristine food markets, conjuring every possible native concoction to the land’s most ancient sites and structures. The famed Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep temple was historically erected in the 1300’s and today serves as a golden beacon for worshipers and spiritual enthusiasts worldwide. The entire city thrives on cultural immersion and has an annual calendar brimming with festivals, culinary celebrations, adventurous journeys, wildlife attractions, live entertainment and bustling bazaars that are active throughout the day and night.
Located only 10 minutes outside Chang Mai’s center, Dhara Dhevi is very accessible yet offers a peaceful retreat from the thrilling and dense city-scape. Marked by a massive manicured setting, ornate gateways lead you through a formal linear procession to the striking entry and grandeur of the Dhara Dhevi. Surrounded by 60 acres of immaculately maintained tropical vegetation, the traditional architecture is most impressive as it intricately mirrors the sacred presence of a genuine Thai palace. With a time-honored aesthetic highlighted by classic details and delicate finishes executed in astonishing accuracy, one would be surprised to learn that the resort was constructed only 11 years ago. The interior, just as expansive as the exterior, features lofty wooden coffered ceilings and is expertly composed of museum-like furnishings radiating comfort and luxury.
The variety of accommodations offered at Dhara Dhevi impressively start at entry level with a one bedroom suite and range in diversity from decadent colonial suites characterized by fresh natural color palates, a combination of wood and marble finishes, antique floor coverings and also clean-contoured furnishings derived from English elegance fused with Asian influence. Additionally, the elaborate two-story teak villas are an exotic blend of traditional and modern tastes. Each villa is developed to embrace its own distinct character by introducing elements reminiscent of concepts like Thai rice barns, native “Lanna” style living, antique accents, or modern amenities such as immaculately spacious lavatories, plunge pools and open architectural planning.
Beauty is at the core of Dhara Dhevi’s majestic appearance and embodied by the intense wellness programs designed to magnify your own essence from within. The spa compound features dedicated areas for the comprehensive nurturing of holistic well-being. Grandiose pillars are surrounded by the soft glow of lanterns to set the mood for healing as they flicker against the large decorative lacework that wraps the walls. Entering for your session, you will encounter a display of artisan-crafted tinctures, herbs, powders and salves lining the surfaces in antique vessels for your choosing and pleasure. Each transformational journey is performed through a seamless transition from the privacy of your treatment temple to the enjoyment of the pool, lounge, salon, cafe or spa boutique for a full-service luxury experience.
There are nearly a dozen distinct ways to sample the diverse cuisine at Dhara Dhevi. A wide spectrum of gourmet flavors spanning Chinese, French, Thai, Japanese, “International” and personalized private dining encompass an array that designed to satiate your international cravings. Specialties include fresh sushi served on petrified wood accented by palm fronds, refreshing ice, herb and fruit blends at the poolside as well as a la carte servings of sweet ripened platters or themed grilled specialties to start your day. Cocktails and casual courses can be enjoyed within the hospitable quarters of the resort or on outdoor terraces, while fine dining can be explored in refined regality, posh splendor or along a latticed terrace under the stars. Each and every top-notch culinary experience is thoughtfully composed and a delight for all five senses.
Additionally, there is an abundance of amenities at Dhara Dhevi with a choice of swimming settings including the spa pool and the massive resort waterway with an integrated Jacuzzi inside of it. Surrounded by plush palapas and complemented by phenomenal service, this lounge area offers an invitation to indulge in leisure at its best. Very accommodating for both adults in search of an exotic cultural immersion with urban respite, this destination is also very well suited as an educational foray and fun-filled adventure for families with children.