Dhara Dhevi resort is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular resort properties, and is consistently highly ranked on numerous ‘best of’ lists in some of the top travel and leisure magazines around the world.
The vast, exquisitely landscaped property, is home to nearly 70 luxurious villas, a number of fine dining restaurants, some of Chiang Mai’s premier boutiques and all the facilities you would come to expect from such a resort.
Simply walking through the giant wooden gates is a delight, to find faithfully recreated replicas of some of South East Asia’s greatest pieces of art and edifices. A team of wood carvers studied the palaces of Mandalay and has recreated it as the Dheva Spa. A group of glass mural experts were flown to Luang Prabang to recreate Wat Xiangthong’s iconic coloured glass mosaic, a superb feature to be found at the entrance of the resort’s conference room.
Then there is the delicious food. Fujian restaurant, serving authentic Cantonese and modern Chinese cuisine in a stylish Sino-Portuguese building, has recently been mentioned as one of the few Chiang Mai restaurants to receive a nod for the first time by Michelin Guide Thailand. Dhara Dhevi cake shop is also renowned for its pastries, especially its delightfully playful and colourful macarons. Allegro serves genuine Italian flavours using only premium locally sourced and imported ingredients, while Le Grand Lanna is a multiple award-winner over the years for its delicious Thai and northern Thai cuisine in an exquisite Lanna setting. And if you are lucky enough to spend the night you will wake up to Akaligo featuring generous breakfast stations that cover multiple world cuisines, as well as charming local food vendors plying local delights…like days of yore.
You will be struck by the faithful homage to Lanna culture. In the morning, men with pipes lead buffalo to the fields, as they follow an age-old tune. Time is announced on the hour by a traditional drummer by the great lawn, the deep boom echoing gently across the grounds. Guests are transported around the resort by horse and cart, as still happens in nearby Lampang to this day. Dancing troops entertain sensuously over a candlelight dinner and you can even take a variety of classes if you wish. You can get muddy in a rice paddy, ride a buffalo and learn to plant rice. You can learn how to weave a basket or how to dye clothes with natural dyes you make yourself. After all that exertion you might choose to make a traditional herbal compress. Or at least patronise a hawker carrying local delights to offer as snacks to hungry guests.
Why not make a weekend of it and check into one of the villas for some private pampering in luxury? Once the buggy drops you off at your private villa, you simply leave the world behind. Each villa is stunningly appointed and you are free to indulge in whatever takes your fancy. You can read a book in a wicker chair on the verandah, catch some rays on the sunbed, or simply gaze at the restfull, green paddy field. For exercise there’s your private pool to wrestle with or take a brisk walk In the lush and exotic resort grounds. Then slide into a Jacuzzi under the stars with a glass of wine or take a late night rain shower under the moonlight, or simply dive into the softest most heavenly bed that feels like sleeping in a cloud. It’s all just wonderful.
Dhara Dhevi Resort is currently undergoing some upgrades and changes as the hotel continues to strive towards excellence.