Chiang Mai: Two Most Instagrammable Luxury Hotels & Resorts
During our last trip to Chiang Mai, we stayed at two beautiful, very instagrammable resorts - Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai Resort and Panviman Spa & Resort. I enjoyed my time very much at both places and would recommend both to everyone! Chiang Mai isn’t as affordable as it used to be, but it’s still relatively cheap compared to most places in the world, so hotels and resorts are general good value for the money. And it can’t hurt that you can get amazing pictures in your hotel!
When our Grab car first pulled up at the entrance of Dhara Dhevi, I wanted to question whether he had taken us to the right place. Why? The entrance looks like it could be a tourist attraction.
Even though the main lobby was under construction, I still had a good first impression of the hotel based on the service and how big the resort is. So much greenery surrounded by Thai-style buildings, lakes, farms, temples.....even in a buggy, it would take a long while to explore the entire place.
The resort had 3 restaurants, one of which we had lunch at while waiting for our room to be ready (we arrived an hour before check-in time). The food was decent and moderately priced for a five star resort.
The hotel had upgraded us from the Deluxe Suite to the Pool Suite, which was nice of them. Our villa was on the opposite end of the estate, so even on the buggy it took a solid 5 minutes to get there. The two storied villa had a living room, dining room, bathroom, sauna and pool on the ground floor, which were all open air spaces. The upper floor consists of the bedroom and bathroom, with a big tub and a shower. And two sinks! Our favorite thing when traveling together so we don’t have to fight for the sink in the morning, haha. The bedroom is very spacious, and the balcony overlooks a farmland. Not a joke - there’s even a goat there!
The entire resort is super Instagrammable. Every corner you walk to is a new photo-op. We basically spent the entire afternoon walking around in the resort. Alternatively, the resort offers several activities like meditation and arts & crafts during the day.
Since the resort is located around a 10 min drive away from the Old Town, it’s away from the hustle and bustle of the touristy areas. We took a Grab car to go to the night market, and it costed around 80 Thai Baht, which is not bad at all. The resort also offers free transfer to and from the night bazaar a few times a day.
The resort used to be managed by Mandarin Oriental, but it was sold in 2013. I’m guessing that it’s hard to maintain such a huge resort. It’s essentially a village by itself. We paid around 300 USD per night for our stay there. The ratio of resort staff to guests is at least 5 to 1 if not more. Pretty good value if you’re looking to stay at somewhere grand and spacious.
Away from the hustle & bustle of the Old Town area
Tropical oasis with plenty of greenery
You feel like you’re staying at an attraction
Service is good
Lots of privacy - all individual villas
Very spacious room
All the activities are during the day
Not walkable to the sights in Old Town
Some parts of the resort and room look dated
Panviman Spa & Resort
For our last two nights in Chiang Mai, we decided to leave the center of the city and go up the mountains. Panviman is about an hour drive away from downtown Chiang Mai. When we stepped out of the car and into the buggy that took us to the hotel lobby, I could already feel a difference in the air quality. Chiang Mai had air pollution when we were there, so we could feel a visible difference up the mountain. (Our noses are trained to be sensitive to air quality after living in Shanghai all these years.)
The check-in process was seamless and easy, and we were taken by a buggy to our Jacuzzi Villa. The villa features a spacious room, a bathroom with showers, a balcony and an outdoor jacuzzi.
We woke up the next morning to sounds of birds chirping. After having some wonton soup and fresh fruits for breakfast, we ventured to different parts of the resort.
Some of our favorites spots include the infinity pool and the meditation cave. The former had two layers of pools and a jacuzzi. The meditation cave is perfect for some zen time in the nature. The lobby area also had some viewpoints and lounge beds. We also wanted to join some activities offered at the resort, such as archery, pool, table tennis, yoga, and giant chess. But we were too busy spending time at the pool and then later at our private jacuzzi. Chill time is always the best time!
We had lunch at the restaurant in the resort and ordered room service at night. The food is reasonably priced and freshly prepared.
I really got to finally relax my body and mind at Panviman. The aroma therapy session definitely helped with that! John and I got the couples massage aromatherapy session. I chose my favorite scent - lavender, and John chose a scent perfect for the occasion - “de-stress.”
Panviman in Thai means “as if in heaven.” And this resort feels like heaven on earth. Unpretentious and tranquil, it’s made for city people like me that have trouble relaxing. I am so happy I took some days off from work and left Shanghai to clear my mind and relax my body. Now I feel so much more refreshed and ready to take on new challenges! An apt time to start the Spring/Summer 2020 season at adidas :)
Perfect for a getaway from city life
Unpretentious and promotes the zen lifestyle
The resort is big but not too big. You can still walk around it without a buggy, if you choose to
You could hear sounds of real waterfall during the massage
Great air up in the mountains
Various viewpoints at the resort, including the breakfast
Service is good
Good value for the money
A little far from the Chiang Mai city, but that’s kind of the whole point of staying here! The resort offers free shuttles twice a day to the city.
Note: Thank you Panviman for hosting me. All opinions are my own.