Sometimes you go somewhere and it’s difficult to really describe how amazing you feel there.
Like your first visit to Disneyland.
Seeing the great pyramids of Giza.
And now we’re adding to that list, staying at the Dhara Dhevi in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
During our recent trip to Thailand we were thrilled to spend some time at the Dhara Dhevi resort and the whole family agrees that this is the coolest place we’ve EVER stayed (and that says a lot considering how much we travel).
*make sure to read all the way to the bottom to see our video review as well*
Staying here feels like you are living in a beautiful piece of Thai history as the resort is designed to resemble the best of the ancient Lanna Kingdom. It’s a great blend of history and the ultimate in luxury that’s surprisingly family friendly.
When you first arrive, this is the sight that greets you:
This is where you check in, and get your first taste of the wonder that has been created here. At check in you are greeted by the warm staff and introduced to your own personal butler. Yes, you get a butler…though we had absolutely no idea what to use him for 😉 A stay here at the Dhara Dhevi is sure to make you feel like royalty, since that’s how the staff treats all the guests. And no matter how much we tried to convince your younger kids, they are 100% certain that a princess lives there, and we were their honored guests.
One area where the resort really shined was that here, each member of the family is a special guest, not just mom and dad. Our kids got so much attention and care from the staff here that I was simply blown away. At the pool, staff were rushing to the kids side to hand them a towel when they got out. At breakfast, waitresses would follow the kids around to help them with their plates. And my favorite were the sweet ladies who would always come over right when I was about to eat and ask if they could hold the baby for a while so that I could eat (I will love you ladies forever!!). Service is their #1 priority and everyone goes above and beyond expectations to make sure that your stay is perfect!
Once you get settled, you notice that several of the buildings resemble ancient palaces, and temples, in addition to traditional village life with rice paddies, and animals being woven into all the designs as well. Accommodations are in colonial suites or individual villas that are all simply amazing on the inside. Our villa came with both an indoor and outdoor Jacuzzi tub as well as a private pool – we were all in heaven!
What they’ve got for the kids:
- Kids Club activities and crafts
- A full schedule of planned activities as well as drop in times as well. Most of the activities we saw focused on traditional Thai activities or crafts. Our kids were able to learn about and pain paper umbrellas which this area is known for as well as make their own sa paper. This is the perfect way for the kids to make some friends and for Mom and Dad to fit in a workout class or spa treatment.
- Animals that you can visit and ride
- Our kids got to ride both ponies as well as a giant buffalo. One of the most fun things is looking out at the animals grazing during your breakfast and listening to the caretakers play the flute for them while they eat!
- Boxing classes
- In case you didn’t know, in Thailand, people are obsessed with Muai Thai. Classes are available for both adults and kids, but our kids were obsessed with this. Besides, what’s not to love about kids wearing cute boxing shorts and giggling while they try to hit things! Make sure to check out the kids boxing skills in the video below!
- Free bike rental
- The grounds are over 60 acres – they will give you a ride in a buggy everywhere but it’s much more fun for the family if you all bike everywhere. Child sized bikes as well as adult bikes with baby seats are available, which suited everyone in our family.
- Passport explorer program to earn free ice cream
- Kids can get a booklet to fill with stamps as they go around the resort and discover all of the different areas. When they complete it, they earned an ice cream at the famous Dhara Dhevi Cake Shop.
- LIBRARY with books and DVD’s to check out
- As a homeschooling mom, this was my favorite feature. It’s been months since the kids have had their hands on some old fashioned paper books (they use kindles). They were immediately captivated and everyone quickly found something that suited them. Our first night, they all read through most of our restaurant dinner, and for the rest of the stay, I regularly kept finding kids snuggled up in one of our villas hammocks, reading! LOVE!
- Rice paddy activity where the kids actually get to work in the rice fields there
- Kids get to dress up and learn what it’s like to work in one of the many rice paddies that are all over the resort.
- Thai dancing lessons
- We weren’t there on a day that this was offered, but if it was, it would have been our daughters top pick. Traditional Thai dancing is simply beautiful (make sure to check out the nightly dance performances at the Grand Lanna restaurant). Learning a new skill or dance is always one of our favorite souvenirs from visiting a new place!
Favorites for adults:
- Free classes.
- We tried out a Thai Boxing workout class, but they also had others such as yoga, partner massage, meditation, and fitness classes.
- All of the villas are very private with your own fenced grounds. This not only affords a lot of privacy but also gives a confined space for the kids to run around for a bit, which makes a trip with the kids SO. MUCH. LESS. STRESSFUL.
- Even though I didn’t have time to try it, the spa here is world class, just like everything else. Don’t forget you are in Thailand and they are famous for their spa treatments, so don’t leave the area without trying one (or two or three)
- Everywhere we looked, things were so beautiful. From the architecture, down to the gardening, and buffet tables. No detail was overlooked and it was just the sort of thing to really set the Dhara Dhevi apart from your average luxury hotel.
Clearly, the Dhara Dhevi is not your average resort – it’s a luxury experience into a beautiful ancient culture. They have so much to do there, that we highly recommend just staying here for a few days and not leaving. Staying here is something you won’t soon forget, nor will your children. Check out our full experience here in our video:
Thanks to the Dhara Dhevi for hosting our family. All opinions are our own, and yes, the resort really is as amazing as we say it is!