Lanna, which translates to ‘the land of a million rice fields,’ is beautifully reflected in the tranquil ambiance of the Four Seasons Chiang Mai. The resort spans 32 acres of meticulously landscaped gardens and rice fields, evoking the essence of its Lanna heritage. Its design harmoniously resembles that of a traditional Thai village, with pavilions encircling terraced rice paddies, idyllic lakes, serene lily ponds, and a fully operational rice farm and water buffalo family, meticulously tended to by a dedicated team of local farmers.
Discovering the Mae Rim Valley
Arrive by chauffeur-driven limo — the drive from the airport is around 45 mins. Take a trip into the historic centre of Chiang Mai, just 30 minutes away. The resort’s Mae Rim Valley location is secluded, yet convenient for attractions, including the nearby Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden and Wat Phra Phutthabat Si Roi. And if you fancy seeing a whole lot more at speed, Four Seasons offers helicopter transfers from here to its tented camp in the jungle, taking in the majestic landscapes en route from above.
About Four Seasons Thailand
If you are looking to tour Thailand and stay in style, Four Seasons Thailand comprises four distinct properties. Each property embodies the same Four Seasons spirit, offering thoughtful service and authentic experiences.
- Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai provides spacious Lanna-style pavilions with mountain views near Thailand’s cultural heritage.
- Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle offers a luxury glamping experience in a bamboo jungle, with opportunities to interact with rescued elephants and explore the natural beauty of Chiang Rai.
- Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui is a hillside retreat with Thai villas amid lush gardens and stunning views of the Gulf of Thailand.
- Additionally, Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River complements this collection, offering an urban resort experience along the riverfront for luxury living, dining, and entertainment.
Check-In & Lobby
The resort’s exquisite, Lanna Thai design is imbued with the rich traditions of rice planting and harvesting by local farmers. Both the communal areas and guest rooms are adorned with furnishings sourced from the region, accentuating the unique cultural and geographical heritage that celebrates the significance of rice. The open-air lobby stands as a true architectural marvel, featuring vaulted ceilings and spacious seating inspired by the captivating structures of the ancient Lanna kingdom.
Yet, the true star of this setting, even within the lobby, remains the breathtaking panoramic view. This magnificent backdrop showcases the resort’s tranquil lakes and verdant rice fields, set against the majestic Doi Suthep Mountain range. Amidst this natural beauty, you may chance upon intricately crafted mandalas, crafted from floating flowers that add to the lobby’s enchanting ambiance.
Situated in an area brimming with captivating attractions, the property presents a delightful dilemma: it’s so tempting to stay within the property’s confines, especially with the serene allure of its two swimming pools. The main infinity-edge pool, spanning 20 meters (66 feet) in length and dipping 2.6 meters (8.5 feet) deep, occupies a central, elevated position within the resort, offering breathtaking vistas of the Mae Rim Valley framed by picturesque rice terraces.
Positioned below the main pool, you’ll discover a smaller, adults-only dip pool nestled in a tranquil oasis amidst the paddy fields. Both pools are generously furnished with an abundance of sun loungers, and an adjacent jacuzzi graces the main pool area.
The Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai boasts 98 sumptuously designed Pavilions and Residences, providing both king and twin-bedded lodging options. These accommodations are inspired by the Lanna Kingdom, a historically significant era in Thai history. In 1296, King Mengrai founded his kingdom in Northern Thailand, and the rooms embrace the distinctive “Lanna” design, which harmoniously blends elements from Burma, India, China, and other neighbouring cultures.
Surrounded by tropical gardens, the pavilions are housed in two-story dwellings that are grouped in clusters of four. Guests have a choice of a Rice Terrace (at an upper or lower level, the former with especially far-reaching vistas) or a Garden Pavilion suite. Each comes with its own furnished Thai Sala (terrace) and views of the Suthep mountain range. Inside guests will find sumptuous and tactile silk and cotton textiles, down bedding, soaking tubs, Bluetooth speakers, Siamese artifacts and original paintings.
The features of each of the Pavilions category are detailed below:
- Garden Pavilion: These pavilions are nestled within well-maintained tropical gardens and provide a chance to experience the local landscape of the Resort. Guests can relax in an outdoor Thai sala and enjoy the surrounding lush flora and fauna. The interiors combine modern comforts with local accents, offering a balance of comfort and local culture.
- Upper Garden Pavilion: Designed for those seeking seclusion and spaciousness, these upper-level pavilions feature higher ceilings and greater privacy. Guests can unwind in their private outdoor Thai sala while enjoying views of the tropical surroundings. The interiors blend modern amenities with Thai design and local art, offering a luxurious and authentic experience.
- Rice Terrace Pavilion: Ideal for those wanting to immerse themselves in plantation life, these pavilions offer views of terraced rice fields, tropical foliage, and pond life from an outdoor Thai sala. The interiors are elegantly decorated with elements of local design, creating a harmonious mix of elegance, comfort, and culture.
- Upper Rice Terrace Pavilion: These upper-level pavilions provide a mix of seclusion and spaciousness, with added privacy and expansive views of paddy fields and rolling hills. Guests can relax in their private Thai sala and enjoy the picturesque scene of terraced rice fields and a pond, at the heart of the Resort’s plantation life. The interiors are adorned with Thai arts and crafts, offering a combination of modern luxury and cultural heritage.
Pool Villas and Residences
For an extra level of privacy, guests can book a private villa; surrounded by water on three sides, including a pool, with loungers and an outdoor ornamental canopy bed, and this type of accommodation is well-suited to couples. Families and groups will prefer the resort’s Residences which offer a self-contained, self-catering home from home, with plenty of room to entertain. Accommodating anything from two adults with two children through to 12 guests, these come with a Personal Residential Assistant, rosewood furnishings, an ironing service, and a complimentary 30-minute extension to your spa treatments as well as an exclusive Residence Pool.
Our Pavilion During Our Stay
During our stay, we stayed in one of the hotel’s Upper Garden Pavilions
Personal Bar and Welcome
A Farm-to-Table Food Ethos
Many of the ingredients used in the restaurants at the hotel come from the Executive Chef’s onsite garden, as well as local producers. Experience authentic Northern Thai cuisine at Rim Tai Kitchen, housed in a beautiful teak house (this also serves as the hotel’s cooking studio). North features an open-flame fire grill for traditionally cooked meats, as well as some favourite Western dishes (this space was designed by the renowned architect Bill Bensley).
Khao by Four Seasons takes diners on a journey across the country and is ideal for breakfasts and leisurely lunches beside the pool. For an even more intimate dining experience, The Rice Barn offers a private and rustic setting overlooking a lotus pond, or in-villa dining experiences can be arranged.
Wellness Dinner at North
During our stay, we experienced a Wellness set menu at North Restaurant.
Breakfast in Khao
Each morning a lavish breakfast buffet is served at Khao restaurant located one floor down from the lobby. The restaurant is L shape with tables along the length of it and the buffet tucked away to the side. There is a huge choice of buffet items as well as a nice choice of a la carte healthy options.
These were the a la carte options we ordered.
Ratree Bar and Lounge
The Ratree Bar and Lounge draws its name from a jasmine variety and offers a relaxed Thai-style atmosphere. It features an array of exquisite wines, innovative cocktails, and a delectable assortment of Thai and international snacks. Situated on the upper level adjacent to the primary swimming pool, guests to Ratree can unwind with a good book or enjoy a game of billiards during the day, while in the evening, they can congregate to savour a beautiful sunset at it made the perfect hideaway for us to enjoy a drink during a brief rain shower.
Restore and Balance
Meditate with monks, learn breathwork techniques, practice mindfulness on a terrace overlooking the water, nurture your body and engage in restorative healing at the spa. It’s hard to imagine a more calm and conducive setting for this and the team of experts can lead you through a number of different techniques. You might like to sign up for an entire programme of rhythmic balance, reset your mental equilibrium, improve your personal nutrition, find a spiritual awakening, or simply enjoy some massage rituals. Whether you’re seeking to completely shift your mindset and re-shape your thinking, give your well-being a boost, or just invest a few hours in a little self-care, the Four Seasons spa is more than ready to help.
Activities at Chaan Baan
Step into the past and experience the age-old way of life in Northern Thailand. Explore the traditional tools and methods employed in rice farming at the hotels Chaan Bann. Gain hands-on knowledge from our skilled farmers on planting rice shoots, try your hand at spinning the potter’s wheel, or unleash your creativity by crafting art on fabric using natural dyes. Stroll through the hotel’s meticulously tended herb and vegetable garden, and even lend a hand in the ceremonial bathing of the hotel’s amiable water buffaloes.
A stay at Four Seasons Chiang Mai is a grounding experience that creates a sense of oneness with the terroir. Some guests use it as a base from which to explore the area while, others remain enveloped by the resort and its wealth of amenities and take the opportunity to be cosseted, nourished, and rested. Either way, a stay here is a truly indulgent experience and one that will remain with you forever.