After slowly driving through the gates and making our way past the temple, the spacious lawn and the horse cart, I immediately knew this was no ordinary luxury hotel. We weren’t in (Ar)Kansas anymore. After check-in, we drove via buggy to our sprawling villa on uneven roads. Roads weren’t meticulously paved way back when, so they weren’t meticulously paved now. Dhara Dhevi doesn’t miss a detail.
The property currently has 123 rooms spread out over 60 tropical acres with two main room categories of Colonial Suites and Private Villas. That’s the equivalent of choosing between Beyonce and Jay Z. You can’t go wrong. The only thing that could’ve made our Deluxe Villas with outdoor jacuzzi any better would’ve been if Bey and Jay had actually been partying in said jacuzzi upon arrival. Le sigh. Perhaps in another lifetime…
Ever wanted to take a rain shower after relaxing in a whirlpool tub after having a couple of Thai beers in an outdoor jacuzzi while getting excited to practice your rendition of ‘Mary had a Little Lamb’ for the family that night before slipping into an impossibly comfortable bed that evening? PHEW. That was a mouthful. Good news. Dhara Dhevi is your place! My private villa was spread over two spacious floors that included a kitchen, living area, piano and patio downstairs with a generously sized bedroom, beautiful bathroom and balcony upstairs. Can we talk about this beautifully tiled floor for a hot second, too? NEED.
Due to the sheer size of the resort, each guest is given a bike for the duration of their stay. While we chose this option most of the time in order to get around, the hotel’s buggy option was also ideal for getting from point A to point B while not breaking a sweat in the Thai heat!
Farang Ses should be on everyone’s dining itinerary when in Chiang Mai whether you’re staying with the resort or not. While my lobster was delicious, the interiors were even better. Set in a beautifully restored Lanna building with vaulted wooden interiors and sculpted chandeliers overlooking rice paddies, it was a memorable dining experience to say the least. Also highly recommended is Dhara Dhevi’s Cake Shop where macarons reign king.
Mom, dad, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, baby, dog, cat, alpaca…the list goes on. Dhara Dhevi has something for everyone, and I mean everyone. Let’s start with the youngins’ since it’s no secret that Dhara Dhevi caters to families with their full-service Kid’s Club. Witnessing this in person made me want to be four-years-old all over again. The brightest, most colorful games were staring my in the face. Arts and crafts were around every corner, and a few alpacas even showed up for an impromptu petting zoo. Ahhh to be four-years-old again. The hotel also offers a baby-sitting service. It’s no wonder that The Bucket List Family turned me onto this one. Many thanks to my friends Jessica and Garrett!
Okay okay, now for the adults. If you’ve never tried Muay Thai boxing, Dhara Dhevi’s boxing pavilion is calling. I thought I was in shape, but oh my goodness no. Just no. Once you’ve pranced up and down a padded hallway with a pro boxer asking you to hit him as hard as you can, you haven’t really worked out a day in your life.
Alright, now for the fun stuff. With two palatial pools, fitness center, spa complex that’s out of this world, open-air shopping village and rice fields, you could shop activities ’til you dropped. My favorite was rice planting purely because I was able to put on full denim in 100 degree heat 😉
More in Chiang Mai
What’s an adventure in Thailand without elephants?! Bobby’s Water Runner Camp holds a special place in my heart ever since I visited while in Chiang Mai. With nine elephants and one baby (awww), the camp is small operation with a lot of love to give. Bobby didn’t agree with circus elephants, so he was able to rescue most of them from circus torture or logging. Only allowing about 20 visitors per day, the camp’s staff uses language and food to keep order and communication with the gentle giants.
Mae Ploy, my new BBF, is 30 years young. Originally from Myanmar, Bobby’s Water Runner Camp rescued her from logging and carrying wood her whole life. She’s the biggest elephant at the camp which means she has the most love to give!