It is not a secret that we LOVE Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. We are always excited and looking forward to each and every stay with the property. Four Seasons is the blueprint of what a true luxury resort should be; setting in superb location, boasting its inside-out beauty with perfect blend between opulent design and authentic local influenced décor, architecture, and style, serving with warm hospitality and highly personalized services (thoughtful touches like complimentary early check-in and late check-out), offering mouthwatering fine dining cuisine, and equipped with award wining spa facility. Four Seasons Chiang Mai is no exception, that is why we have chosen to spend our new year holiday here. If your perfect holiday is to be woken up into 2016 with gentle winter breeze, living between mountains among the rice terraces, riding and playing with resident water buffalos, private reserve breakfast & dinner, and enjoying the luxurious pamper at the peacefully indulgent paradise, Four Seasons Chiang Mai is the place to be.
Chiang Mai is the northern capital of Thailand and the centuries-old capital of Lanna Kingdom. Often referred as “The Rose of the north” living up to its name by revealing its serene natural beauty (summoning traveler to explore the peaks and forest of their spectacular and various mountains), vibrant hill tribes, and rich cultures & heritage to visitors for centuries. Life in lush green scenery with blissfully calm and laid-back way of life gives Chiang Mai a distinctive charm and made it an ideal getaway destination to recharge your batteries and to unwind even during busiest holiday season. Tucked away between mountains and valley of Mae Rim, this 40 acres property is nothing short of the untouched oasis of Chiang Mai. It was everything we imagined it would be and hope to be.
Upon the arrival we were picked up by our driver in Four Seasons’ Black Mercedes c-class where refreshing cold towels, freshly iced water bottles, and in-car wifi ready were prepared for us. Once we stepped out of our car to the lobby of Four Seasons Chiang Mai we were warmly greeted by the most awesome and most definitely the cutest staffs I have ever met and would ever (presumably) do, Tone and Tong; the resident water buffalos. The check-in process was done smoothly and swiftly then we were quickly transfer to the newly renovated “Upper Terrace Pavilion Suite”. This 70 square meter suite feels exceptionally airy with high vaulted ceilings with elegant overhead fans to cool us down through out the day in both fresh air and air coned atmosphere, en-suite bathroom with double mirrors & double sinks & double closets for Mr. and Mrs., the quickly filled hot tub, and the extra large private terrace with dining area and most importantly your very own outdoor swing daybed sofa (with literally dozens of pillows, me love) overlooking elegant three-story pavilion beautifully crafted in traditional Lanna style sets amidst lush green rice terraces, small lake and pond with watermills; water was floating sleepily, and Doi Suthep as well as other mountains rising in distance as our backdrop. The interior was genuinely done with rare combination between the touch that is distinctively Thai with teak floor, exquisite silk covered furnishings, and delicate art crafts and modern luxury twist.
What I also love about Four Seasons Chiang Mai is the wide selection of complimentary activities guests can choose from Monk Offering, Morning Yoga, Rice plantation, riding and bathing water buffalos, Daily Farmer Parade, and many others. My most favorite has to be water buffalos bathing. By doing so we also dressed the part as we were given the traditional (chic) farmer outfit and the rubber boots. Buffalos are long integrated into Thai society and culture playing essential role of helping farmer plough their rice fields. They are truly our backbone and our beloved friends, so I absolutely cherish chances to interact with these adorable gentle giants. Plus this isn’t an experience that could come by everyday. It seems like Tone and Tong do have the toughest job in the resort which including greeting and posing for photographs with guests twice a day, nibbling on fresh grass and getting bathed in between, and wandering and lounging in the rice field everyday. Other things we absolutely enjoyed were the sensational spa treatment (finishing that off with bathing in red rose pedals) at the gorgeous three bedrooms residence turned Spa Facility and sipping cocktail by the infinity pool as the sun goes down at Ratree Bar & Lounge. The cocktail that blew our taste buds away is the “Mango Sticky Rice Daiquiri” a perfect blend between rich coconut milk, mango, and rum complete with a piece of marsh mellow to dip and sip away. If you are not Mango fan, don’t worry we got you covered, you can simple ask the bartender for passion fruit or strawberry daiquiri (same ingredient). They are also insanely good. For fine dining you have 2 options of Italian at Terrace (do yourself a favor and order Risotto & Tiramisu) or Thai at Sala Mae Rim (do yourself a favor and order Kaow Soy & Royal Thai Set), both restaurants offer amazing view of rice paddy field.
However, the real highlight and not do be missed function is “Private Reserve Breakfast” renting the entire rice barn for Private Breakfast just for you and your loved ones. There is no better way to start the day, celebrating the beautiful beginning and welcoming the first morning of 2016. The perfect setting of artfully set table, decorated with intricate flower arrangements, breathtaking scenery of lush green rice terrace reflecting upon the misty lake as your background, and soft music playing beautifully to enhance the ambience. This is truly an exclusive experience and the most beautiful/ romantic breakfast I have ever had. The dining table is arranged in French colonial style for extra comfort with the mixture of Thai lounging areas with soft triangle cushions perfect for sipping tea and sky gazing after breakfast Endless food and flower. The breakfast menu we went for was the healthy option with organic food (least process possible) and freshly pressed tropical fruit juice & homegrown rice milk. Our favorite dishes were Chef’s signature “Oeuf à la coque” soft-boiled eggs topped with salmon eggs and asparagus complete with crunchy brioche sticks to dip in the yolk, fruit salad with lemon jelly topped with passion fruit, and the delicious aroma of freshly baked from oven bakery. And to top it all off the service is being provided by your personal butler. What else can you possibly ask for? We can literally stay here all day.
We had such an amazing time here in the North with Four Seasons Chiang Mai. We have had it all adventure, leisure, pampering, and delicious northern food. We couldn’t have had spend our new year holiday any better than this. The hotel was extremely well managed even during the highest season you don’t feel that the hotel is overly crowded. Instead you really feel like Four Season Chiang Mai is a sanctuary of our very own. The staffs were truly remarkable and created memorable experiences. Each and everyone was very attentive warmly greeting you by your name and was caring in every way possible. As we are quite sad to leave, we know that our journey with Four Seasons endless continues. Goodbyes are not forever. It simply means “I’ll miss you until we meet again”.