Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai
Travel Blogs from Chiang Mai
My flight from Australia to Thailand felt long but there were small televisions that you were available to watch movies and they were only $20 for the whole flight. This would be great for a school group. I ended up sleeping on the plane as I was exhausted from waking up early in the morning and trying to get to my flight on time. I also had a book …
Today i am visiting a elephant farm in Chiang mai at patara elephant farm and also quad bike riding back in Chiang mai which will be extremely fun! I did my normal routine of breakfast, having fresh fruit and an orange juice. I decided to meet the elephants on my first day in Thailand as elephants are a symbol of Thailand and am also doing a …
... city because their land is payed for by the government. Super nice friendly ppl. They have booths set up to sell their handicrafts. - we saw the cutest puppies there but were afraid to touch them cuz you never know if they gots rabies - aside from the long necks there are other village ppl there. Ladies with black teeth! We interacted with the cutest old lady who showed us how they get their teeth to look that way. Their were 4 ingredients. I only remember tobacco. Oops - off to ...
... built a little throne for myself to sit on. Nevertheless, the body does not naturally like sitting in that position and soon your legs start to hurt. However I made it a battle with myself to always endure the pain until the timer went. Sometime this would result in me shaking from pain and having to grind my teeth to get through it, but slowly my flexibility improved.
The conditions were basic but enough. The food wasnt amazing, but it was very ...
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TravelPod Member ReviewsDhara Dhevi Chiang Mai
Very few hotels can compare to this. The setting and buildings are delightful. The rooms in the Colonial suites are huge. The food is wonderful especially in the Thai restaurant which has a dance show every evening. We have been 3 times so far and have never been disappointed.Would highly recommend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai
Great but please heat the pool.
Stayed for 3 nights around Xmas. The resort is superb. Great service superb food and a first class spa. Only negatives are that the room was a little too dark and that the pools throughout the resort we not heated. Please heat the pools!
Top Notch Service, Good Rooms, Pricey
Spent the New Year holiday with my family of 2 adults and 2 kids in the new MO in Chiang Mai. Loved the location - very near the airport and much less travelling time compared to the Four Seasons. We were upgraded to a villa with a big lap pool. The first impression of the room was the decoration was not quite up to the standard for the price that we were paying. But the understated decoration kind of grows on you. The service standard is very high in the hotel (everyone is eager to help) and even at the airport - we were late getting to the airport on our departure and the MO staff in the airport helped us tremendously with the checkin. The spa is nice but the Four Seasons in Chiang Mai still sets the standard in terms of treatment and ambience. Staff at the kids club are very professional and tries hard to please. The kids had a great time planting rice. One final thing worth mentioning is the shopping arcade next the the hotel: it carries Thai products (silk etc) at quite reasonable prices.
As for things we do not like: too many mosquitos and this is in the dry cool season - shudder to think what the summer wet months would be like. There is just too much still water everywhere for mosquitos lava to thrive. The ground floor of the villa is an open space which feels strange. The lighting system in the villa is complicated and is too high tech to be easily mastered. Some of the plugs in the room are not properly earthed, and they mixed up the temp control and the water volume control in the shower cubicle. The hotel prides itself in a well stocked library but I felt let down by the lack of a big selection of novels and instead has too many reference books. And finally, the resort is perhaps too big compared with the Four Seasons.
The criticisms are generally quite minor and in all, this is a good although very pricey resor. The stay was very memorable especially that they did a good job with the New Year celebrations.
Agree with the previous poster
I can't agree more with the previous poster about the "amusement park" atmosphere of the hotel. We had the same accommodation, a two story villa with an open air living room below. At first we were awed by the property due to its immense size and ornate public buildings. But after retrospection at home, I came to the realization that I would rather have been in Hawaii. First of all I don't know what the big draw is to Chiang Mai. The city is not attractive per se and I was disappointed at the lack of "wow" moments that I cherish in travelling. The draw to this region (perhaps country) are the resorts, wonderful service, and good food found in Thailand. Most of Thailand is a bargain, but this hotel is very pricey. We paid $350 for the room but they add tax and a service charge that raises it to ~$415/nt. This is the least expensive accommodation.
The room is spacious and very well appointed, but somehow I felt I was in a treehouse. Although there are screens, small insects managed to find their way in and you could see them flying around at bedtime. The outdoor living room would have been great except that the heat and humidity is stifling and there is no a/c. We had to bring in a fan, but that leaves a lot to be desired. So the setting is great but you're sitting and sweating while trying to relax...Want to read upstairs where the a/c is...fuggitaboutit. The lighting, though sophisticated switches abound, is very dim. Almost impossible to shave as the light is terrible above the sinks.
There are a lot of positives though...at the time we were there the staff to guest ratio was 8:1. According to a senior staff, she stated there were 50 villas open and the staff was 400. They have been well trained as one is treated like a king...they all bow and smile as you pass...this is also true in the restaurants. We had most of our meals in the Grand Lanna restaurant which specializes in Thai cuisine. Very good, very pretty atmosphere, and very reasonable compared to costs of food here in the States. We stayed for four nights and it was very relaxing; however I have no desire to return.
Beautiful, but strange
Dhara Devi is in many ways a spectacular property, but bears some resemblance to an amusement park. It is very large and spread out with a bizarre array of architectural styles and themes. The huge expense is obvious but was a bit over the top for me.
Our villa was the smallest available at an introductory rate of $300USD+18% tax and service charge, very pricey by Thai standards. It was large and very nicely decorated, in dark reclaimed teak and silks. The key theme however was dark, even with all lights on and the drapes open it would never be mistaken for light and airy. There is a large, nicely furnished, open air living area under the unit which felt much like a carport and was plagued by mosquitos.
Our villa was backed right against a neighborhood complete with barking dogs and roosters at dawn. The more expensive villas are huge, gorgeous and further removed from the community.
Service is so attentive as to be stifling. Booking an outing or dinner is way more of a project than it needs to be and you are presented with 2-4 letters from management and satisfaction surveys per day. The staff is extremely friendly and accomodating even by Thai standards. To check emails you must go to the library which is a half mile walk from most villas.
The pool is spectacular as it gets for an inland location. Treatment costs in the spa are at least double that of other 5* properties in Thailand.
Overall the experience just didn't justify the very high cost for us although I can understand why some other travelers give it very high marks.
This must be as close to Nivana as a non-religious person can get!
Myself and my new husband stayed for 3 nights whilst travelling around Thailand during our Honeymoon. I booked as I'd read some interesting reviews in various travel supplements but on arrival this place far exceeded my expectations. I was so excited when we arrived at our Grand Delux pool villa that I found myself jumping up and down and running around like a small child!
Our villa was bigger than my first 2 bed apartment and was arranged over two floors with every possible luxury you could imagive including a piano in the living room!
It was just perfect, my only complaint, the breakfast buffet was outrageously over priced, I would definately recommend ordering room service.
Hopefully one day we'll return.......
The Mandarin Oriental in Chiang Mai is AMAZING. Truly. It is the best hotel I have ever stayed at in terms of rooms, atmosphere and service. The resort is only partially open right now because they are finishing construction (it just opened several months ago). You can only book villas at the moment, but they have introductory rates that are an incredible value. You don't even notice that the resort is not finished - the part that is complete covers a rather large area and you don't pass through any construction as you manuever around. The part that is complete will take your breath away.
The villa we stayed in was a unique 2 story indoor/outdoor arrangement. It was quite large. Inside was a large bedroom and gigantic bathroom and walk in closet. Outside was a living room with kitchenette and another bathroom, with two pavilions (one for breakfast/lunch and another for massages). Off our bathroom was a deck for sitting/reading/etc. The villa is fully outfitted and everything is high quality - luxe linens, full range of bath amenities, jaccuzi tub with colored lights, large shower, TV with DVD, CD player, etc.
The grounds are unlike any I have seen. I stayed at the Oberoi in Mauritius once and thought their grounds were amazing, but these at the Mandarin Oriental are truly special. Villas are set among a rice paddy field - there are wooden planks to walk among them. The detail of the architecture is so beautiful - intricate gilded patterns and carvings. The greenery is so lush and well done. I cannot say enough about it.
The staff at this hotel are the best and nicest I have ever encountered. Staff members that we had never met knew us by name and greeted us by name wherever we were on the resort. They took Thai hospitality to a superior level - but never in an obtrusive way. It rained in the evenings sometimes and the staff would stand there getting soaked while they held umbrellas open for us at every step we took. They were so nice it was almost ridiculous!
I took a cooking class while there and the chef was so wonderful (Khun Mam) - what a sweet lady. She gave me spices and recipes to take back after our class and sat down after lunch with my husband and me to chat for awhile.
My husband and I went on a day trek to see a hill tribe - the travel coordinator was terrific and very helpful. The guide she arranged for us was so knowledgeable. I highly recommend the trek, though it was somewhat rigorous activity so be prepared! It was about 5km up a fairly steep incline and it had rained the night before, so it was slick and muddy. It was so worth it once we got to the top. The hill people were very interesting and the view was incredible.
The resort offers free classes of various types (meditation, yoga, etc). We took an early morning meditation class outdoors on the top of a building - it was very serene and beautiful.
Breakfast is OK - if you choose the buffet, it is somewhat expensive for essentially cereal, fruit and pastries. Ordering an a la carte item from your room is actually a better deal. You can get omelets, other egg dishes, Asian breakfasts, etc.
There are a few restaurants in the resort - we went to the Thai restaurant, which was excellent, and also to the casual breakfast/lunch poolside restaurant. There are a few others, but we did not get to try them.
The pool is gorgeous - it overlooks the rice field. Two tiered with lovely lily pad stepping stones. Nice lounge chairs and waiters who are attentive and friendly.
There is a little shopping village at the front of the resort - nice things. Certainly not the cheapest you'd find in Chiang Mai, but a nice little area to walk around. Tip: The bakery has 50% discount on most items after 7pm!
It's very close to the center of town and the night market - an easy taxi ride. Also nearby are many shopping areas - silk factories, umbrellas factories, etc.
The only drawback was that the internet was not working in our room, but the library at the resort had 2 computers with high speed connections, so that made things easy. With everything available at the resort and so many activities nearby, not having internet access in the room was the least of my concerns, but unfortunately my husband needed to check in with work. The library has an extensive selection of books, movies and magazines on loan.
I would not hesitate to go back there and I would tell anyone going to Chiang Mai to stay at this resort. The photos on the Mandarin Oriental site do not do it justice. It is absolutely stunning and unlike any other hotel I have seen. I think it could easily win a #1 spot on some of the major travel magazine rankings.
Hope I return
The Mandarin Oriental Dhara Devi was a hotel like none other. We were in Thailand for our honeymoon and had only one night in Chiang Mai. We took advantage of the excellent introductory rate of $295/night. The staff was incredibly warm and welcoming. They greeted us with garlands upon our arrival and congratulated us on our marriage. The staff was very attentive to detail and to personalized attention. They are genuinely excited about this new resort and the experience they try to create for their guests. In particular, Phudit who met us at the airport was knowledgeable and helpful. He helped us back to the airport, helped us check in and even saw us off at the security gate. The resort grounds are extensive with over 50 acres of rice paddies, fields, and paths. All of the buildings are newly built but the resort is a recreation of an Asian village, with different areas representing different regions. You feel like you are worlds away from the city but it is only a 10 minute drive from the night market and city center. There is a free shuttle about 3 times a day into the city. We booked a villa and received an upgrade to a superior villa. We had an enclosed living room with a piano, TV, and DVD player. Just outside was a mini kitchenette with microwave, range and dining area. Stairs lead up to an enclosed bedroom suite. It also had an attached private hot tub and outside shower which was secluded and private. The bedroom suite was huge.
The down sides: Our villa (#37) was a little dark (particularly the bathroom area) and we usually like lots of natural light and open windows. It is the perfect villa though if you prefer a darker, cooler room. Secondly, I don't think there is internet access in the villas. The information book said there was free internet access in the library. It is surprising because it is newly built complex and I would have thought it would have at least wireless access.
I recommend that if you stay here, you stay for at least 2-3 days. There's a lot to do just within the resort itself. The fitness center is excellent with new ellipticals, treadmills, and other equipment, each with flat screen TVs. The resort offers classes on meditation in the mornings as well. Since we had only one day, we focused on seeing elephants. We arrived at the hotel at 11:00 and by noon, Phudit and the concierge staff had arranged a tour guide and Mercedes sedan to the Lampang elephant conservatory about an hour away. They didn't let us lose a minute of our short stay and we plan return to the Mandarin Oriental to do all that we didn't have time to on this trip.
A work of art
This hotel is a work of art. When we heard the owner (Thai-Chinese) spent over 100 million euro to build it, we felt every penny was well spent! We stayed at the deluxe villa with a jacuzzi, which was spacious and luxurious (over 200 square meters of space), but watch out for the mosquitos at night. There was a DVD player in the room so you can play movies that are available on loan from the hotel library.
The feeling created is one of a traditional village, so you really feel you're at home. Every morning and night when we came back to our villa, a guard greeted us at the street corner. We especially loved having breakfast on the terrace looking out to the rice paddy fields, and although it's not included in the rate, it's a must! The complimentary yoga and pilates classes made the stay more "healthy". We also recommend hiring the hotel limousine for airport pick up and drop-off service. The staff will help you with the check-in, not that you would need it, but it's nice.
Since we stayed at the hotel during the soft opening, some of the facilities weren't yet ready (not a problem though---didn't miss out). We cannot wait to go back when everything is complete. And there were also 2 computers with Internet connection free of charge. We HIGHLY recommend this place. It's not expensive when you compared to other similar properties. We loved it!
Amazing hotel with impeccable service and an amazing staff. The most difficult part of our stay was having to depart. If possible, request villa #1 as it has it's own private pool and jacuzzi overlooking the rice fields. Taking a swim in your own pool is ideal after spending the day visiting the sites. We highly recommend it and we will be back to the Mandarin on our next trip to Chiang Mai.
The Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi is an amazing hotel even though there are still construction going on (as of my stay on January 14 - 16). As you drive in you will notice lots of exotic cars lining the driveway and the parking lot of the hotel with Las Vegas style limos all belonging to the hotel and the owner - from the South of Thailand.
Beautiful replicas of Northern Thai temples, palaces, Burmese houses and wonderful Lanna style houses adorn the ground of the hotel. The trees and plants on the property are amazing. Huge teak trees and other exotic plants have been transplanted here and at night they are all lit up beautifully.
The lobby for the Villas is beautiful, constructed with large teak planks with sculpture and antiques furniture everywhere. The lobby overlooks a working paddy field with real water buffalos and scarecrows. Surrounding the paddy field are the Villas, Lobby, Infiniti pool, coffee shop and the French restaurant.
There were eight of us and we had 4 Deluxe Villas, no. 18, 19, 38 and 39. These were like the old Thai houses with a living room, kitchen, nice open area with sofas and toilet on the ground level. The upper level has a huge bedroom, walk-in closet, multi faucets shower, toilet, a big outdoor Jacuzzi for two and a outdoor shower. The bed was of a superb quality along with all the other luxury amenities plus the fact that the hotel just had a soft opening last December - everything is still brand new.
On our first night we had dinner at "Le Grand Lanna". This is the hotel Thai restaurant and I highly recommend it. You can dine alfresco or be seated in one of the nice air conditioned rooms. Food was very good with emphasis on Northern Thai food.
For lunch the next day we ate at "Fujian", the hotel's Chinese restaurant. Food was of the same quality as China House in Bangkok but service was lacking. The restaurant looks like an old Chinese house and is situated in the shopping area of the hotel with lots of wonderful shops selling very expensive silk garments.
Dinner that night we ate at "Farang Ses", the hotel's French restaurant ("Farang Ses" is Thai for France or French). We just ate at the Normandy on the 13th January enjoying the cooking skill of a visiting Michelin 3 star chef Guy Martin and I can say that the food here is definitely on par with Bangkok. There are also outdoor tables if you want to sit under the stars.
Breakfast at the coffee shop is an outdoor affair sitting right next to the paddy field by the lobby. The Buffet selections are good and the cooked hot dishes on offer are quite extensive ranging from egg Benedict with smoke salmon to Congee.
The spa was not completed but we were given a tour of the facilities. The building is a replica of a Burmese style mansion and looks lovely. I'm not sure what to make of the "hedonist" type spa since I've never been to one but the facilities looks fantastic.
We were also given a tour of the other villas and suites and the top end villas looks fantastic. The other area worth mentioning is the Gym. Fully equipped with the latest equipments but it was not that big. Next to the Gym is the pool house and upstairs are several massage beds along with complimentary high speed internet.
The only negative thing about this hotel is that it is so spread out and you will need to call the lobby for a golf cart to pick you up. Also, mosquitoes at night were everywhere and we killed about 10 in our bedroom every night.
Overall I really like this hotel. It is newer and more luxurious than the Four Seasons but the price is also higher. The weather during our stay was perfect, sunny days and cool nights in January. I'm not sure what the hotel will be like in the hot and/or rainy season.