Lanna-style hotels have become a well-cemented trend in Chiang Mai, with the city and surrounding countryside now brimming full of luxurious resorts and retreats replicating the traditional design and architecture of region’s long lost past.
Translating to ‘Land of a million rice fields’, The Lanna Kingdom ruled over Northern Thailand from the 13th to 18th century. Houses were characterized by two hand-carved ‘V-shaped’ sloping roofs, made almost entirely of teak and often standing on raised stilts above the ground to protect against flooding.
Nowadays, original Lanna buildings are few and far between in Chiang Mai. However, a whole new wave of Lanna-style hotels have been popping up, offering classic style alongside modern facilities and services – see our five favourites below!
- Wat Doi Suthep & Hmong Hill-Tribe Village
- Doi Inthanon National Park Tour
- Ping River Dinner Cruise
- Khantoke Dinner with Traditional Dance Performance
- Old City Half-Day Bike Tour
- Flight of the Gibbon™ Zipline Tour
- 2-Day Whitewater Rafting & Ziplining
- Full-Day Countryside Bike Tour with Lunch
- Aroy Aroy Thai Cooking School & Market Tour
- Full-Day Excursion to Chiang Rai & Golden Triangle
The Dhara Dhevi Chiang MaiChiang Mai
This gleaming, palace-like resort, appears more like one of Thailand’s famed tourist attractions, rather than a place to actually spend the night. Spread over some 60 acres of landscaped gardens, modern Lanna-style villas sit next to old colonial houses, complete with those iconic arched roofs and stupas protruding high into the sky. True to its Northern Thai roots, the rooms, suites and villas here all go heavy on the traditional teak architecture, while there’s no shortage of onsite amenities too, such as restaurants, bars, a spa and swimming pool. The price might be budget-stretching, but the Dhara Dhevi really does fall into the once-in-a-life-time category of hotels. Read More...
The Rim ResortChiang Mai
The Old City’s Rim Resort captures the Lanna spirit with an old colonial house as its centrepiece, and the rest of the 36 guestrooms continue the authentic Northern Thai feel with helpings of local art, handicrafts and naturally sourced materials. Location is a big bonus here, sitting right next to Chiang Mai’s moat which borders its ‘old city’ area. You’ll also find a handsome swimming pool, and don’t forget to take advantage of the resort’s signature butler service either. Read More...
RatiLanna Riverside Spa ResortChiang Mai
Sat on the banks of the River Ping, this almost hidden retreat finds a perfect blend of authentic Lanna-style and contemporary facilities. The sloping, V-shaped roofs are a tell-tale sign of the resort’s Lanna influence, while the handsome teak tones and Northern Thai artwork are kept a running theme throughout. The huge swimming pool which fronts the resort is a real highlight too, and you can also dine on the waterside patio as you watch the steady river flowing past. Read More...
Priding itself on being able to ‘deliver a friendly traditional Lanna style resort right to the heart of Chiang Mai’, Khum Phaya Resort & Spa feels like one of the city’s more exclusive resorts, yet the price normally stays well under $100 for one of their entry rooms. In fairness, Khum Phaya is set a little outside the city centre, although the drive into town is quick and you’ll pass some a that lush green Chiang Mai countryside along the way. Traditional teak wood carvings feature here prominently, and you can’t fail to miss the grand Lanna house-style entrance, complete with an original 80-year-old sloping roof and surrounding green gardens. Read More...
Tamarind VillageChiang Mai
Tamarind Village is ideally located within the Old City walls, meaning many of Chiang Mai’s best-loved temples, restaurants, markets and nightlife are just a short walk away. The relatively modern hotel has been built around a 200-year-old tamarind tree (hence the name), and clear Lanna influences can be seen in the abundance of locally sourced materials and artwork, some of which have been brought in from the hilltop tribes dotted across the nearby mountains. All the rooms and suites here look out onto landscaped courtyards, and we also love the heavy-tiled flooring that keeps the room nice and cool on those hot summer days (with a little help from the air-con). Read More...