Best of Two Worlds
Chiang Mai with a population of 150,000 is both compact and hospitable. At the heart of this charming town is the buzzy night market, a languorous stretch of bright lights and stalls peddling snacks, handicrafts and t-shirt appropriations of last season’s Supreme collection.
Amble 15-minutes down the main stretch, is the Shangri-La Hotel, Chiang Mai. The 277-key property’s tropical garden environs has charmed many a guest. They come for the seclusion as well as for the family-friendly setting. There is a mini kids’ amusement park by the pool with water slides to keep the young ones occupied as their parents catch up on their holiday reading. Other efforts designed to attract Shangri-La’s youngest guest demographic include tippy tents (blue for boys and pink for girls), giant teddy bears, cartoon pattern bed sheets, and elephant soft toys.
While Chiang Mai is becoming renowned for its growing number of vegan cafes and coffee bars, the hotel’s China Kitchen – the city’s only Szechuan restaurant –might be the best place to host a business lunch or a celebration. Its star attraction, the six-seat chef’s table fronting the lively open kitchen, is perfect for sealing a deal or two. To counterpoint the clean eaters amongst us, the restaurant also offers a daily dim sum buffet that’s big on value and taste.
At Chi, the hotel’s spa, with its collection of spa villas, located near the herb garden, is the tropical paradise in which to sample the signature Lanna blend treatment. The massage combines Thai and other regional techniques to refresh and restore one’s body and mind to prefect equilibrium.