Travel

If there is a hotel in heaven, it might be Raya. It’s light and airy. The guest rooms have gigantic cushy beds with pillows as soft as clouds and large terraces that overlook the river and greenery. (And if you’re willing to splurge, your own private pool.) Walk into the lobby—a breezy, bright room where the staff brings you blue herbal “butterfly” tea, a Thai specialty—and you’ll want to sit there for hours. But then there’s the spa. Without overstating things: It will change you. Sit in the steam room filled with herbs native to northern Thailand and let your muscles relax. Then go for the Bamboo Massage, especially after a long flight. A spa therapist rubs you with a heated bamboo stick, just hard enough to release tension. At night, eat at Khu Khao, one of the three restaurants on-site. The basket lights hanging from the ceiling cast a warm glow that makes the already gorgeous room even more inviting. Order the khao raem fuen sai ga, a spicy organic grilled chicken and rice salad; sit back; and realize it’s not a dream—you get to stay here and do it again tomorrow.

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