July 28, 2019 Mary Eden

The Best of the Boutique in the North

Small really is best up north. The towns and cities in Northern Thailand have an array of petite properties – some influenced by the Lanna culture, while others are heritage buildings that have been lovingly and authentically restored. Read on and book …


Reverie Siam – Pai

Reverie Siam is located on the bank of the river just outside the small town of Pai. This elegant and romantic hideaway has been inspired by the colonial architecture and cultural fusion of South East Asia in the early 20th century. The 20 unique guest rooms are filled with Oriental textiles, curios, art works and antiques. There are two pools – one a freeform stone pool, the other a riverside infinity pool with far reaching views across to the jungle and mountains. In the evenings tuck into hearty dishes made with locally grown produce – all the time savouring those incredible river views.


137 Pillars House Chiang Mai

137 Pillars House is a collection of colonial-style suites built around a historic teakwood house, which served as the headquarters of the Borneo Trading Company 125 years ago. The original house has been carefully restored and now houses the two restaurants and bar. The 25-metre-long pool, set against a huge wall overgrown with vines, is the perfect place to chill out with a complimentary house-made sorbet. The rooms are designed to evoke a bye-gone era with four-poster beds, rattan rocking chairs, hardwood floors and colonial style claw tubs.


Anantara Chiang Mai

Located on the bank of the Mae Ping River in the grounds of the former British Consulate, Anantara Chiang Mai feels like an urban oasis yet is just a 20-minute walk away from the temples and markets. Rooms are sleek and contemporary with views of the garden or river. Suites are larger and have access to a dedicated lounge. The Service 1921 Restaurant & Bar is housed in the heritage consulate building and now serves up contemporary cocktails and cuisines, all with a British intelligence service twist. There’s also afternoon teas on the verandah and private tastings in the wine cellar.


Villa Mahabhirom – Chiang Mai

Villa Mahabhirom certainly lives up to its translated name of a ‘villa of great pleasure’! These antique teakwood houses on stilts have been meticulously restored and adorned with objet d’arts and antiques from the private collections of the three owners. The result is eclectic but charming – like staying in a living history museum. The salt water pool is set within lush gardens full of palm trees, cacti and blooms. You’ll find this hidden luxury retreat in the leafy Wat Umong area, away from the tourists, yet close enough to walk to the hot spots of Chiang Mai.


Puripunn Baby Grand Boutique Hotel – Chiang Mai

Puripunn – which means ‘land of sharing’ – is built in the style of a family compound with its thirty rooms arranged around a central garden and pool. The design has been inspired by traditional Lanna style with ceiling fans, private verandahs, painted porcelain wash basins and dark woods. Elegant high teas are served in the afternoons, while authentic Lanna dishes inspired by Royal Thai cuisine can be lingered over in the evenings. This intimate hotel is set in the heart of a centuries-old neighbourhood where a traditional way of life is still prevalent, yet the centre of town is reachable within a 15-minute stroll.


Akyra Manor Chiang Mai

Akyra Manor Chiang Mai is set on the buzz-worthy Nimmanhaemin Road, known locally as ‘coffee street’. Take in the chic boutiques, galleries, bars and coffee shops before returning to your hip hotel to luxuriate in spacious smoky-hued suites with outdoor courtyard-style bathrooms. Snack on tapas and sip fine wines and champagnes at the trendy rooftop pool and bar. The hotel staff can arrange everything from art lessons with local artists to temple photography tours and meditation retreats with a recognised yogi.