CFMichaels

Good Life Finds: Chiang Mai

Thu March 27, 2014

About an hour flight north of Bangkok, where the air is cooler and you can almost wear a sweater, I’m greeted at the airport and whisked away in a vintage black mercedes, by a driver donning a smile that lights up the aged leather and welcomes me back to one of my favorite Thai towns.

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Within minutes I arrive at the place I’ve officially crowned my “go-to” in Chiang Mai, the Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel & Spa.

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The Colonial “gingerbread architecture” of Ping Nakara is the first signal you’re somewhere special.  

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The lobby is simple and intimate, with a style that tunes up my seventh design sense.  The classic contrast of dark and white is infused with a brilliant floor-to-ceiling textile and a center mosaic of hand painted floor tiles.  Only an antique crystal chandelier and glorious white orchids are used to perfect the look. 

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I’ve yet to arrive at a hotel in Thailand, or SE Asia for that matter, where I wasn’t warmly greeted, escorted to a lovely sitting area, presented a cold towel with the scent of lemon-grass, and offered a special concoction of house juice on a bamboo tray.

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This photo of the sitting area is a tad dark, but it gives a glimpse of the golden teak floor – a stunner!

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Quaint period rooms with great detailing and, always key, great bathrooms.

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Staircase to the spa.

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The poolside area at Ping Nakara is European gentility meets private tropical oasis.  From the lanai to the landscaping it’s a study in calm and cool – a great place for a pre-scout breakfast and post-scout cocktails.

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What goes hand-in-hand with a great hotel is a go-to restaurant.  Topping my list is Ginger House, with both western and traditional Thai on the menu.  And it’s all AMAZing.  Although I can’t get past the baked macaroni and cheese with smoked salmon, cream, chives and parmesan bread crumbs.

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It also happens to have a super cozy eclectic vibe where every corner has a vignette to ogle.    

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And an added treat that seals the deal, certain furniture and accessories in the restaurant are for sale, and there’s more furniture and shopping in the 4 adjoining buildings.

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I really need to explore other places, but I can’t convince myself why.

 

More information for Ping Nakara Hotel and Spa and Ginger House.

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