As the new year rolls in, we take a look back at 2017’s most exciting openings from Chiang Mai to Phuket
Away Chiang Mai Thapae Resort
Rate: starting B2,458/night. Your health is at the heart of this vegetarian, alcohol-free resort.The hotel inside the walled old city combines Lanna style and colonial architecture for a look of classic elegance. The 39 rooms, which surround an outdoor pool, are done in dark wood and marble that’s offset with deep blue walls and brass lighting fixtures. The hotel takes its philosophy from the five precepts of Buddhism, which means no alcohol and an adherence to body-cleansing food. That spirit is best embodied in Moreganic, the hotel restaurant, where vegetarian Western and Thai dishes are accompanied by herbal drinks. 9 Soi 1 Kotchasarn Rd., Chiang Mai, 053-904-974, awayresorts.com
Azalea Village Wellness Resort
Rate: starting B1,300/night
Located in Chiang Dao, Chiang Mai, known for its spectacular mountain scenery, the resort comprises 21 adorably old-school cottages, including four very spacious two-bedroom suites, all designed to reflect the local way of life through natural materials and Thai handicrafts. The nightly rate includes breakfast from the on-site restaurant that focuses on traditional Northern food, using only organic ingredients sourced locally. Seasonal fruits are plucked straight from the farm here and also made available for guests throughout their stay.
Three stories of Lanna-referencing accommodation stand around a stunning, open-air courtyard. Foliage cascades from every balcony down towards a central water feature where guests congregate for breakfast each morning. Standard rooms are half the rate of the big brand competition, but come with twice the attention to detail—each has its own custom artwork created by a local artist, while genuine oriental antiques dot the common areas. The location, just outside the weekend night market zone, means the best shopping opportunities are close at hand, but you don’t need to battle tourists each time you leave the hotel.
Phara Sing, Muang, Chiang Mai, 053-285-196. googl/5ML6Vz
Rate: starting B12,355/night
Chiang Mai’s most beautiful hotel opening in a long time sits not too far from Wat U Mong (Tunnel Temple), the hipster outdoor cafe No. 39 and Baan Kang Wat Community Mall. The property is made up of beautiful antique Thai houses that are over 100 years old, many of which come with a view of the swimming pool or of Doi Suthep. Each teakwood villa consists of a bedroom suite, study area, spacious marble bathroom and open-air balcony. Two to three villas can be reserved together to form a “terrace villa” or “private pool villa” that each come with a private saltwater plunge pool and garden courtyard.
Rate: starting B7,009/night. Situated right on the banks of the Ping River, X2 Chiang Mai Riverside Resort takes inspiration from Wat U-Mong, Chiang Mai’s Lanna-style temple known for its maze-like tunnels. Red brick walls and carved pathways blend with modern design elements and facilities like a rooftop gym, pool and bar with views of Doi Suthep and the vibrant city of Chiang Mai. The five-story building’s 30 rooms come in four types: Tamarind Suite (B7,009/night), View Riverfront (B8,505/night), Grand Suite River (B12,617/night) and Pool Suite River View (B21,495/night). The hotel’s riverside location places it a seven-minute rot daeng (Chiang Mai transportation truck) ride from the old city.