This luxury resort continuously reinvents itself with new experiences such as the Jungle Bubble
Just a 75-minute drive from Chiang Rai International Airport, the resort is situated in a jungle in northernmost Thailand. Brimming with nature, wildlife and culture, it is in the district Chiang Sean, previously capital of Thailand’s ancient Lanna kingdom.
The suite was an expansive space of 64m² with high ceilings, where relaxing on the ultra-long balcony is an experience in itself. The greenery of the pool area, the grassland beyond it, and the meandering Ruak and Mekong rivers are calming. Across the rivers are Myanmar and Laos.
The room is well-maintained, ultra-comfortable and authentic to Lanna design and decor. With lots of teakwood used in the hotel, it is strong as an elephant and very much loved.
At the time of visit in late April, only the main restaurant, Sala Mae Nam, and the Elephant Bar and Opium Terrace were open for business. The thin-crust quattro formaggi pizza and a Thai dish called ngob talay (mussels, prawns and seabass grilled in banana leaf) were the most delicious, having had them for dinner two nights in a row. The third dinner was butler service at the five-star Jungle Bubble.
That’s the beauty of an all-inclusive plan – the food, and each signature experience that is included for every night’s stay, has to be exemplary.
Land is not a problem here. The fitness centre has a Muay Thai boxing ring of its own. With a huge garden blossoming with herbs, plants and fruits, and even a mushroom hut, these are all part of the resort’s sustainability drive.
The experiences had their own facilities. The Jungle Bubble was a sight to behold – the transparent domes were finely equipped like any plush bedroom and living room, on a raised wooden platform in the jungle. On deck were a jacuzzi, outdoor dining table and a lounge area. Talk about glamping reaching new heights!
It was sheer luxury to watch two elephants grazing on grass a stone’s throw from the living room or bedroom of the bubble.
But the most exciting part for me was the Walk with Giants experience that brought me close to the elephants. Camp manager, Ooh, gave interesting insights on elephant biology and behaviour during the one-hour walk. Swimming in the river, one of the two jumbos was playful, while the younger elephant climbed on the back of her older best friend – what a photo opportunity.
My third experience was the Royal Enfield Sidecars, an amusing twist to elephant riding. Riding in a Royal Enfield, the oldest motorcycle brand in the world, I was taken to tour the village and paddy fields.
When I arrived, a staff beat the Lanna gong at the entrance, which was a rousing welcome but also a neat way to alert the house about an arrival – within minutes the general manager came to greet me and the staff were ready for my check-in.
While all the staff I met made me feel very welcomed, I must say that Fon was the most cheerful, helpful receptionist I had ever met.
Rare that a hotel is not just an accommodation, but the attraction.
Number of rooms 55
Tel: +66 053 784 084