Fodor's Expert Review Anantara Chiang Mai Resort
123-123/1 Charoen Prathet Rd, Tambon Chang Khlan, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand See on Map
Set on the banks of the tranquil Mae Ping River, the Anantara occupies one of the best locations in Chiang Mai. It is situated a short walk to the famous Night Bazaar and only 10 minutes from the famous attractions of the old moated city. The location cannot be better, but additionally, the Anantara has become synonymous with luxury and service. A blend of contemporary design, colonial splendor, and traditional Thai flourishes, the vibe of the resort is one of modern Thai chic.
When you enter the lobby, you are immediately met with a relaxing bar area that hosts daily live Thai khim music and dancing.
The 84 sophisticated rooms and suites have been designed in perfect harmony with the lush riverside surroundings. Each room comes with a balcony or terrace, where guests can relax and take in the peaceful hotel gardens or the graceful river. The rooms include distinctive artisanal crafts have been finished in contemporary décor and stylish furnishings which exude authentic luxury.
The bathrooms are decorated with delightful local accents, with each bathroom offering a rain shower and expansive, freestanding tub. The higher-end suites offer a greater expanse and his and hers basins.
The reception lobby is packed with discrete Thai contemporary design touches, and draws you into the central feature: the colonial house. This lovely bar area sits at the center of the resort, the two contrasting designs offer a glimpse of the juxtaposition of the property, in which traditional sits comfortably next to the contemporary and functional décor.
The 34m pool nestles gently next to the magnificent setting of the river, offering a serene swimming or lounging experience.
The spa is one of the resort’s primary draws, there is an extensive menu of ancient wellness therapies from Thailand and across Asia. Afterwards, relax on comfy loungers with refreshments and a view of our pool and the river. The spa boasts 5 luxurious individual treatment rooms with a steam shower and terrazzo bathtub, 5 luxurious couple’s treatment rooms with herbal steam rooms, an aromatic sauna and terrazzo bathtub. Also, there is a manicure and pedicure lounge, indoor relaxation lounge (overlooking the pool and river), and a rooftop outdoor relaxation deck, which is furnished with sun loungers, daybeds, and umbrellas.
There is a well-equipped fitness center which comes complete with all modern gym essentials, including cardio machines and free-weights. Bonus: The fitness center is open 24/7! The hotel also offers guests yoga classes and fitness instructors to help with your workout.
Book your yoga class the day before. There is limited availability.
The 68-capacity restaurant offers a breakfast buffet of eastern and western favorites. For dinner, there is a traditional Peruvian experience with modern interpretations, alongside authentic Indian specialties, from the tandoor oven and other signature dishes by chefs from across India.
The Service 1921 Restaurant & Bar offers Thai, Chinese Szechuan, and Vietnamese culinary dishes in an elegant setting. Enjoy the elegance of the private dining room, wine tastings, and dinner parties in the wine cellar.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The restaurants can be pricey. For a better value, head toward the old-walled city in Chiang Mai or wander along the riverside on an evening.
The Lobby Lounge lets you enjoy moments of quiet contemplation in this open, airy space overlooking the colonial house. Daybeds with plumped cushions offer a comfy retreat to relax with snacks and cocktails.
Chiang Mai is easy to navigate, with most attractions walking distance from each other in the heart of the city. The Old Walled City and the main nightlife area are within walking distance, however, if the heat and the day become too much, taxis and tuk-tuks are easy to find and offer very reasonable prices. For attractions which are located further afield, the hotel can organize different transport options, from private car hire to chauffeur driven cars. Ridesharing apps are commonly used in Chiang Mai, also.
Dining by the river at the Riverside Bar and Restaurant (10-minute walk) is one of Chiang Mai’s must-do eating experiences. You will find a full menu of western dishes, but go for the Thai food--most locals do! Ginger and Kafe (15-minute walk) is one for the fusion foodies, offering a varied menu of Thai food with foreign flavors. This is one of the better dining experiences in the Old Walled City area.
People don’t come to Chiang Mai for the bars, but they find out when they get here that there is a lively bar and nightlife scene. The Anantara is perfectly situated to take advantage of the riverside nightlife, which boasts old-style Thai dive joints and upscale, funky vibe bars. Boy Blue Bar (12-minute walk) in the night market offers great music and cheap drinks in a packed venue. The Bus Bar (5-minute walk) on the river looks like just another dive bar, but gets busy late in the evening with folks wanting to take in the river at night.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Chiang Mai has always been on the tourist radar, mainly because it offers that unique tangle of ancient sights and modern city vibe. The Anantara puts you in the heart of the city close to all the attractions but also lets you experience the tranquillity which northern Thai life can bring with its location on the river. The hotel also offers 5-star service and doesn’t take you to the cleaners.