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“Heaven on earth”

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The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai
Ranked #2 of 381 Hotels in Chiang Mai
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
44 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Heaven on earth”
Reviewed 29 September 2013

Granted we haven't been here in a while but I doubt heaven on earth could changed very much. We had a 2 story "hut" with our own pool. I would wake up every morning to the sound of a flute playing the most beautiful music. When I peeked through the brush on our patio to find out where it was coming from I saw the most beautiful ritual between an ox and his keeper take place every morning in the middle of the rice field. There are many beautiful things and people I experienced at the MO but I would have to say the hardest part of leaving was missing that morning ritual. Our room was great, the environment was great, the food was great, the cooking class we took on premises was great, my Thai massage was great, I can't remember anything that was just as perfect as a vacation to be. I'm hoping to go back this December.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank stylnz8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Phuket, Thailand
Level Contributor
156 reviews
76 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 September 2013

We stayed here sometime ago. It was an amazing experience and perhaps a perfect visit, when it comes to service, design, pool, lounges, artwork, staff performance, food and drinks, what ever. Of course it is expensive but worth every penny.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Stisse23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
US
Level Contributor
45 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 September 2013

Arriving at Dhara Dhevi is magical. When driving up the driveway to the main entrance, you begin to see the scope of the facility and the absolutely unique architecture and charm of this hotel. We stayed 3 nights here and really just began to explore its 60 acre landscape.
We had arranged pickup and return to the Chiang Mai airport and it was flawless and our driver provided cold towels and water for us on the 15 minute drive. Upon arrival, we were greeted warmly by name, seated in comfortable chairs, and provided lots of information while checking in. We were very pleased by the service and hospitality.

We booked the hotel when it was under the management of the Mandarin Oriental group. Before our arrival the hotel reverted to its original ownership which has plans to further develop the property. The facility is showing a few signs of wear and tear and the upkeep must be huge. But, there were workers everywhere, and we hope that the hotel will continue to be a top level luxury hotel.

We had booked a villa with whirlpool and were taken by golf cart to the villa. It was a two-story affair near the pool and had its own swim pool which was on one level lower than the main pool. Unfortunately during the day and evening, we experienced significant privacy problems from the bar next door and from the pool. A large family was screaming and jumping in the pool, but worse, came to the edge of the pool and stood staring at us while we tried to relax on our patio feet away. We could not use the outdoor whirlpool because of their constant staring. (I might add that this family also caused an issue in Farang Ses restaurant that evening – see my separate review under Farang Ses in TA). This villa did not have a bathtub, but only a shower which required us to walk outside to use it. We could not take a shower without people in the pool seeing us going to and from.

To their great credit, when we mentioned the privacy issue the next morning, we were immediately moved to a two-story villa with plunge pool which had great privacy and more room. We were very pleased by the prompt reaction of the staff to our plight. We greatly enjoyed the villa the remainder of our stay. One tip if you are staying in a villa: bring a flashlight as the rooms, as mentioned in previous reviews, are very dark. In our first villa, in the evening, it was difficult to see the stairs or furniture placed in the way without a light. Even with the lights on it was difficult to read. Our flashlights made a difference.

Housekeeping was excellent, the villa clean and beautiful. It had an outside staircase that was used to get to the second floor bedroom and bath. There was a steam shower on the main floor as well as a plunge pool on the patio. A small kitchen with coffee maker was a wonderful touch. There was a lovely wooden gazebo overlooking the rice paddies outside the villa. The bed had mosquito netting and the hotel does provide an herbal bug spray as well as fog the grounds three times per week. We did not experience any mosquito issues.

Dhara Dhevi consists of many villas, colonial suites and residences. Everywhere you turn there are beautiful buildings, carvings, temples and gorgeous landscaping. You are transported from the outside world the minute you step in. And for transportation on the property, you only needed to ring for a golf cart and one appeared in minutes with a friendly driver to take you wherever you wanted to go within the grounds.

Breakfast every morning was a buffet with a huge selection and wonderful fresh fruits. It provided a nice beginning to the day. We tried Farang Ses the French restaurant one evening (see my separate review in TA) and it was the only real disappointment of our stay.

The shops at the hotel, including a tailor, jewelers and bakery were really wonderful and very fairly priced.

This was our first time in Chiang Mai and we took taxis from the hotel to town or to Doi Suthep in the mountains. This was the only concern that we had because the hotel is a distance from the city, and one cannot hail a taxi or find a taxi stand on the streets. There also was a language barrier. It was necessary for the concierge to negotiate with the driver to come back to pick us up once we were in town. They always did (even 5 hours later) and were reasonable, but it would have been nice to have a number to call or a car and driver from the hotel. The hotel did not mention that one was available, but perhaps they are. At our hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia following this stay in Chiang Mai, they provided a local cell phone with numbers plugged in to the hotel, concierge, driver, and 30 minutes local calling etc. This provided us with peace of mind. We would suggest that the Dhara Dhevi consider this as an option for travelers like us who wanted to visit the city.

Overall because of the wonderful staff and beautiful grounds, we enjoyed our stay at Dhara Dhevi. The people make the difference.

Room Tip: Book a villa away from the main swimming pool.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
10 Thank robbinbobbin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
76 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2013

Stayed in Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai just before the owner took over the management from Mandarin Oriental. As many of the reviews have already indicated that the service is really MO standard. Although the architecture is stunning, some of the buildings particularly the colonial part need some touching up. Rain stains on the white wash walls are visible. Stayed in the colonial delux suite, the big is rather big and comfortable with a large balcony.
The ground is huge but signage is not good at all, took me over 15 min to find my way to the north paddi field. The villa section and the paddi field are segregated from the colonial portion of the hotel ground. Tried to book a bicycle and took them 3 days to inform me that the bicycle is available for collection from the gym.
The hotel management should have thought about facilitating accessibility particularly in such a big compound.
Great hotel for families, particularly with children.... the suites near the main pool are noisy with lots of kids running around right outside the colonial suites.

Below are some of my observations:
PROS
- Good services and friendly staff;
- Suites roomy and tidy; a good team of housing keeping staff;
- Thai restaurant is great, great food and friendly staff;
- Friendly and helpful pool staff
- Spa is great

CONS
- Huge compound and not very accessbility. Long waiting queue for free bike.
- Vacation hotel for large families with kids. If you are expecting a hotel for winding down, skip this one. Hotels with villas in Bali are more for relaxation and winding down. This is more for a family vacation.
- NO free wifi for hotel of this rate and standard; cost about US$20 per day.

If you have a large group or family with children, this is the hotel for you.

Room Tip: Stay away from the main colonial pool, unless you don't mind noise and kids. Suites on the grou...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank HKG_Traveller2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
34 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 September 2013

This beautiful resort is really a piece of paradise here on earth. We celebrated our 30th Wedding anniversary here and was allocated a double storey deluxe villa with plunge pool, the back of which faces the rice fields. There is nothing to fault the villa. It is complete with free wifi, and all the modern amenities one can ask for. We could have stayed in all the time but the grounds are so serene and beautiful we had to explore this magnificent property. Breakfast was so fantastic, there is every imaginable fine food one could ask for all cooked to perfection. We also had an in-villa lunch. Service was impeccable, food was delicious.
We tried Farang Ses (French) and the Grand Lanna which was their Thai restaurant. Both were excellent. After staying here I don't think there is any other property that can come close to this in luxury.
We also tried Dheva spa. What can we say ? Pravi the therapist was knowledgeable and skillful in his job and my husband had nothing but praise for his service. The spa? A definite MUST TRY!!
The food at Farang Ses is worthy of further mention. Chef Carlos knows his stuff. Hailing from La Normandie, Bangkok, he brings with him the best of what French cuisine can offer. The food was not only great for its flavours, but was so pleasing to the eye. Almost too beautiful to eat. A culinary adventure indeed.
All in all, a fantastic anniversary celebration. Most unforgettable and we will surely return!
Thanks to all the staff who made our stay so special.

Room Tip: The villas are the best
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Lin5858
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
36 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2013

Each time you're driven into the main lobby building, there is a feeling of amazement at the beauty of this hotel. The entire experience of my stay here was out of this world. The staff are extremely warm and helpful, upping the Thai hospitality standard to another level. The restaurants are all worth trying. Lanna Thai restaurant provides comfort Thai food, cooked to perfection. Definitely order the Panang Kai, which is a Thai red curry with chicken and lychees (giving it that sweet + tangy taste) and also the Somtum Farang which is made using fresh guava, is an amazing spin on the original somtum. Fujian does a Dimsum buffet and everything on that menu is worth trying (especially the egg tarts). The cake shop smells like butter when you enter and everything in the display calls out to you (go after 7pm and you get 30% off everything). If you visit during the right season, you're able to enjoy breakfast out at the paddy fields, which is really lovely. Best part of Dharadevi is that you don't even need to step out of it and discover Chiangmai city, because it encapsulates everything you need and want from a holiday, under one roof. Definitely the best hotel option in Chiangmai if you're willing to spend a couple hundred more bucks than the usual hotel rates.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank wanderluster_rs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Limassol, Cyprus
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2013

This is a unique sanctuary on the outskirts of Chiang Mai .The architecture is breathtaking and uniquely beautiful .You feel you are in a Thai or Burmese palace .The welcome is very warm and personal and the lobby awesome .From hereon in the staff know you by name .The hotel grounds are huge and beautifully kept and the hotel facilities fantastic .The villa in which we stayed was beautiful ,spacious ,clean and very well equipped . The SPA was amazing and its architecture nowhere else to be found .The food was excellent albeit a bit pricey which one would expect from a place I would rate as six stars .Needless to say that the staff was warm ,caring ,respectful and attentive . At last I have found my sanctuary of peace and tranquility . What more can I say ,this is probably one of the best places I have ever stayed in and I have stayed in more than a few.

Room Tip: Choose a villa near the paddy fields for more privacy
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Nikolas N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai

Property: The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai
Address: 51/4 Moo 1, Chiang Mai - Sankampaeng Road | Tha Sala, Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Chiang Mai Province > Chiang Mai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Chiang Mai
#1 Family Hotel in Chiang Mai
#1 Romantic Hotel in Chiang Mai
#1 Business Hotel in Chiang Mai
#2 Luxury Hotel in Chiang Mai
#2 Spa Hotel in Chiang Mai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai 5*
Number of rooms: 123
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai is set on 60 acres of verdant tranquil grounds in the historical heartland of Northern Thailand. The hotel's unique design draws from the region's rich architectural and cultural heritage that flourished during the Lanna period, which lasted from the mid-13th century until the mid-16th century, and enjoyed a further resurgence in the last 200 years. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai Hotel Chiang Mai
Mandarin Oriental Chiang Mai
Mandarin Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai Mandarin Oriental

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