Royal Residence at Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi

  • Cynthia Rosenfeld

The Resort: Modeled after the villages of northern Thailand’s Lanna kingdom (13th–18th centuries), Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi is a 60-acre compound of tropical gardens, working rice paddies, colonial-style suites, and carved-teak structures with pagoda roofs. Activities at the 123-room resort, which is located 10 minutes from Chiang Mai’s city center, range from Ayurvedic treatments in the spa to complimentary yoga sessions in the gardens and rice-planting courses in the fields.

The Villa: High walls surround the Royal Residence, a 6,900-square-foot compound comprising six sleeping pavilions, a lounge with a grand piano, and various open-air salas. Winding brick roads cut through the residence’s landscaped grounds, which include a pond of blooming water lilies, elephant statues, three swimming pools, and gardens of rain trees and frangipani. Museum-quality Thai antiquities decorate the three silken master bedrooms.

The Highlight: Hunting for apsara and kinnaree—mythical figures from Buddhism and Hinduism—within the villa’s intricate wood carvings, an art form for which northern Thailand is rightly famous.

The Price: From $8,600 per night for as many as 12 guests. +66.53.888.888, www.mandarinoriental.com

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