Set inside a lush garden in Chiang Mai’s leafy Umong area, this small but opulent property consists of 23 historical Thai houses sourced from villages in the central region.
Unlike most luxury hotels in Thailand’s second-largest city, you won’t find any Lanna architecture at Villa Mahabhirom. Instead, the hotel pays homage to the rich history of Central Thailand. Set inside a lush garden in Chiang Mai’s leafy Umong area, this small but opulent property consists of 23 historical Thai houses sourced from villages in the central region. Each one was dismantled, then meticulously reconstructed and fitted with mod-cons such as Italian marble bathrooms with high-tech Toto toilets. All villas feature their own open-air living areas, and two or three can be booked together to form a private garden courtyard and saltwater plunge pool. Surrounding the villas, a carefully selected mix of antiques, contemporary furniture, and artworks from the owner’s private collection adorn the common areas. Look out for the commissioned sculptures by Mae Rim’s Thongma studio, several of which take pride of place outside the lobby. On-site dining options include the chic Mahabhirom Tea Room and the Krua Mahabhirom restaurant, specializing in Thai home-style cuisine with a focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The hotel’s khao soi, a northern Thai coconut curry soup, is delectable—even by Chiang Mai standards.
66-53/271-200; Villa Mahabhirom; doubles from US$317
This article originally appeared in the October/November 2017 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“The Luxe List 2017: Villa Mahabhirom”).