137 Pillars House
2 Soi 1, Nawatgate Road, Wat Gate
137 Pillars House has an old-world aesthetic and total exclusivity. The grounds are centered around an ornate antique teak Lanna-style house (the Lanna Kingdom ruled what is now northern Thailand from the thirteenth to eighteenth centuries) that the owners purchased and refurbished in the early 2000s. It’s worth spending several days just on the grounds. Have afternoon high tea in the house; lounge in the spacious, light-filled guest suites; and relax by the pool enclosed by a towering wall covered in tropical plants. The spa is pristinely decorated with oriental antiques. Treatments include facials and traditional Thai massage, but you can also ask the team to customize a wellness itinerary that can include a range of spa treatments, exercise programs, and healthy meals.
Anantara Chiang Mai Resort
123-123/1 Charoen Prathet Road, Chang Khlan
Anantara is a serene resort located along the Ping River with an incredible spa that’s worth a visit even if you aren’t a guest. Situated underground, its dark, simple design has a monastic feel. A clinician greets you in a candlelit room where you choose from a variety of Thai, Chinese, and Burmese treatments. Go for the traditional full-body Lanna massage—ninety minutes of restorative Rolfing, rubbing, and kneading with organic local plai oil (made from a root that’s similar to ginger). Afterward, your clinician will invite you to write a wish on a bodhi leaf, which she’ll take to one of the local temples to help it come true. For something more intense, ask the staff to create a wellness program that includes tailored spa treatments, an exercise routine, meditation sessions, and catered meals. If you can pull yourself away from the spa, explore the hotel—which feels intimate at just fifty-two rooms. Don’t miss the one-hundred-year-old house on the property with its dimly lit library and restaurant. (This is one of the best spots in the city to enjoy a cocktail by the river.) The spacious guest rooms have…
Four Seasons Chiang Mai
502 Moo 1, Mae Rim
Once you see the lush, expansive rice paddies, and the emerald grass, and the jungle mountains outlining the sky, you'll know you did something good for yourself. And then, when you see the grand rooms with huge king-size beds and rich mahogany wood, and the colossal pool that seems to go on forever, you'll never want to leave. Just taking in the views is an act of wellness. And that's before you head to the spa, which offers virtually every treatment and therapeutic practice you can think of. Tailored programs cater to specific needs, such as detoxification and rejuvenation. Visiting masters teach classes on chakra healing, acupuncture, and osteopathy, while the experienced staff hosts yoga and meditation classes.
50/1 Rajdamnoen Road, Old City
As the name suggests, Tamarind Village is located on an old tamarind orchard. It's quaint and quiet and feels like you're staying in an old, hidden Lanna village. The main building wraps around a grassy courtyard and a giant, ancient tamarind tree. It glows at night thanks to a sprinkling of twinkling string lights, visible from the guest room terraces. But the star at this hotel is the spa, which offers several traditional Thai or Chinese massages, as well as facials, scrubs, and steams. The rooms are pristine and the staff is incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. A bonus is the unexpected, totally considered gift shop that's like a mini night market. Shop here for locally made silk scarves and woven baskets.
Tao Garden Health Spa and Resort
274/1 Moo 7, Chiang Mai-Chiang Rai Road, Luang Nuea
Tao Garden Health Spa and Resort—a healing center in the foothills of the Himalayas—is a forty-five-minute drive northeast of Chiang Mai, but it seems worlds away. When you arrive, the first thing you’ll notice is the utter quiet, thanks in part to the fact that there are no televisions or electronics here. Then you’ll see green—fifty acres of lush gardens and bonsai trees interwoven with impeccably manicured walking paths and huge brick guesthouses. The rooms are austere—a simple queen-size bed, desk, bath—but you don’t come here for luxury. Tao’s draw is its clinic’s massive list of ancient integrative treatments. And they are not for the wary. There’s a live blood analysis where a doctor screens your blood for plaque buildup and other ailments. We followed this with the Chi Nei Tsang abdominal detox massage. Heads up: This is not a relaxing treatment. It’s actually quite uncomfortable. The technician rolls and rubs your belly to break up blockages. But it’s worth it for how you feel afterward: lighter than air.
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