Where to stay in Thailand’s most engaging city.
It’s Thailand’s cultural capital and tucked away in the country’s North. Chiang Mai is a treasure trove of history, architecture and also features some of the country’s hippest cafes and restaurants. Le Meridien Chiang Mai is the perfect oasis to begin your journey into Thailand’s soul:
It’s fabulously located: smack in the centre of town with heaps of restaurants all within walking distance. The hotel is also located in the heart of the city’s legendary night market; just amble down the lobby in your flip flops and you’re right in the middle of the night market. Many of the hotel’s rooms have panoramic views that also include vignettes of the Suthep mountain. The Thai Pae gate and Warorot market are close by too.
It’s home to the best Italian restaurant in town: of course you’re in Chiang Mai to sample the local cuisine. And yes there’s plenty of Northern specialities like Kôw soy on offer. But just in case you need a respite from a surfeit of Thai cuisine, Favola is a comforting option. The culinary team keeps the cuisine simple and rustic; add the 1000 plus bottles of Italian wine and grappas in their walk-in cellar and you’re more than sorted.
The rooms are well appointed: elegant and minimalist, the rooms at Le Meridien are the perfect sanctuary after a productive and sometimes tiring day spent exploring temples and outdoor treks. You could snag rooms from $130 (Rs 8,500), although we’d recommend one of the hotel’s two room suites.
Unwind options aplenty: whether you’re a spa fiend or like to chill at the pool, Le Meridien has you covered. The Spa’s signature crystal stones (Chakra Ritual) is particularly rejuvenating. One of our favourite spaces in the hotel is Latitude 18 which morphs from a laid-back cafe (the eclairs are a must try) into a chic cocktail bar and social space by sunset.
Great tips from the concierge: Chiang Mai’s streets are full of hidden treasures. Whether you’re a culture vulture or a hipster who likes to shop at local markets and sips artisanal coffee, the hotel’s concierge has some insightful tips. I discovered Ritr8to one of the finest coffee destinations in South East Asia thanks to the concierge.
Le Meridien 108 Chang Klan Road, Tambol Chang Klan, Amphur Muang, Chiang Mai, 50100, Thailand Phone: +66 53 253 666. www.lemeridienchiangmai.com