Built in 1889 to accommodate the manager of the British East Borneo Company, 137 Pillars House has been restored into a 30-suite boutique hotel. The hotel's white-washed buildings are laid out in a traditional 'lanna' style and of which the former house is the centre piece, are set around a beautiful lawn on which High Tea is served every day.
Arriving at Dhara Dhevi is like entering a Thai palace, the intricate traditional design and opulent decor setting the tone for a stay at what is one of Chiang Mai's most atmospheric hotels. Over 1000 craftsmen took five years to build this tribute to northern Thailand's Lanna Kingdom preserving in the process many of the region's traditional construction skills.
The resort is laid out to resemble a village with buildings grouped around manicured gardens, tranquil ponds, trickling fountains and small rice paddies. Guests are encouraged to explore by bike with the 123 rooms divided between delicately-detailed Lanna villas and elegant colonial-style suites. The villas are set over two levels with living space on the ground floor and bedrooms and a spacious terrace above. Some also have and a private plunge pool and outdoor Jacuzzi.
There are five restaurants serving Thai, French, Cantonese and Italian food, cooking classes and daily cultural, arts and crafts activities for guests, as well as two swimming pools, a gym, tennis courts and a spa.
The hotel runs a complimentary cultural walking tour of the property every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while a shuttle service is available to take guests the short journey into central Chang Mai.
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The palatial rooms at Dhara Dhevi are divided between colonial-style suites and traditional Lanna-style villas. All feature elegant, classical styling with high ceilings, large windows, hard-carved woodwork and furniture, raw silks and locally-woven rugs and fabrics. The colonial rooms have separate sleeping and living areas with ground-floor suites offering direct access to the main pool and gardens, while first-floor rooms have spacious balconies. The two story Lanna-style villas are built in the style of traditional teak rice houses and have a living area on the ground floor and bedroom above. All have a spacious outdoor seating area and some a private plunge pool. All rooms offer free Wi-Fi.
Dhara Dhevi is located approximately 15 minutes from central Chiang Mai in a peaceful area. The resort offers a scheduled shuttle service into the city should you wish to visit the night markets and city restaurants. The international airport is also about 15 minutes away.
Food and Drink
It's worth eating at all of Dhara Dhevi's five restaurants over the course of your stay to appreciate the fine decor as well as the excellent food. A buffet breakfast is served in Akaligo, which features modern Thai-style decor and serves Asian and international dishes later in the day. The bright, high-ceilinged Allegro serves Italian dishes, Farang Ses features a menu of French classics in opulent surroundings, while Fujian serves Cantonese and contemporary Chinese food. For classic Thai and Lanna dishes accompanied by traditional dance performances Le Grand Lanna is the place to go. Succulent macarons, homemade ice cream, cake and pastries as well as fine teas are served at the Victorian-style Dhara Dhevi Cake Shop.
The hotel has a kids club and offers a babysitting service.
Facilities and Activities
Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday guests can join a free guided tour of the resort to learn about Lanna history and architecture. There is also a craft village which runs a daily program of cultural, arts and crafts activities. You can learn to cook alongside one of the hotel chefs or take part in a private rice planting and buffalo riding activity which is popular with families.
We love the way Dhara Dhevi immerses you in traditional Lanna history and culture while at the same time offering all modern facilities and comforts. Don't miss the macarons, they're widely regarded as the best in the country.
Chiang Mai itinerary suggestions
Places & hotels on the map
Alternative places to stay nearby
Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.
Located near the Ping, on the eastern edge of Chiang Mai, the Amata Lanna is a lovely boutique option if you're looking for a charming place to stay in a great location for walking into the heart of the city.
With the night bazaar only a mere 10-minute walk, this is by far the best centrally located hotel in Chiang Mai.
Located in 20 acres of gardens in the beautiful Mae Rim valley just outside Chiang Mai, the Four Seasons is one of the most luxurious hotels in the area.
A super place to experience local hospitality in the hills of northern Thailand. Friendly staff and a range of activities make it a great base from which to explore the area.
Set in a quiet part of Chiang Mai yet close to the main sights, Rachamankha is a stylishly designed hotel inspired by local culture and heritage. Traditional design and decor combine with modern amenities to create an ideal base for exploring the historic city.
This charming little property has an envious location and a good pool to cool off in after a hard day's sight seeing.
Experiences while staying here
The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.
This one day tour will take you to Chiang Mai's most popular sites but will also give you a true flavour of daily life in the city. See the old trader community of Wat Gatekaram, markets, temples and a vast array of unique 'street life'. Explore ancient ruined temples by bicycle, before boarding a long-tail boat on the Mae Ping River. End the day with a tuk tuk ride to Waroros Market to join the bustle of locals as they buy their fresh food and spices.
The Elephant Nature Foundation is a non-profit organisation that advocates and acts on behalf of rights for elephants in Thailand. The park offers visitors a rare experience to get involved with the elephants from an educational perspective.
Experience a typical day in the life of a Thai family and experience home cooking in a real Thai neighbourhood. Among other things your Thai family will also demonstrate their basket weaving skills, a tradition that has been in Thailand for centuries.