51/4 Moo 1, Chiang Mai-Sankampaeng Road,Chiang Mai Thailand
Been a while since your tots and you were wowed? The dream-like Dhara Dhevi was designed to do exactly that. Here’s a chance for the kids to experience what an ancient Thai kingdom may have looked like, complete with wooden bridges, moats, amphitheaters, Buddhist prayer halls, fortified walls, market place, rice fields and so much more. Throw in ponies, buffalo rides, alpacas, horse carriages, rice planting, Thai kickboxing for kids and a kids’ club in Chiang Mai – you have here a little piece of family-friendly heaven, where your kids (and you) may just never want to leave! I know we didn’t.
- Baby cot
- Bottle sterilizer
- Baby bathtub
- Child menu
- Child toiletries
- Doctor on call
- Interconnecting rooms
- Babysitting services (THB 400/hr; additional charges after 9 pm).
- Child DVDs for rental. The library at this hotel deserves its own post – it houses the most extensive collection of DVDs and books I have seen at any hotel, including titles for kids.
- A unique family-friendly activity (or just for the kids if you don’t enjoy wading through mud) is rice planting in the hotel’s private paddy fields. We donned traditional farmer clothing and also learnt about the lifecycle of rice. The kids loved the fact that they were officially allowed to wade through mud and plant saplings. They finished off with a ride on a water buffalo. This private activity is priced at THB 1200/adult and THB 600/child.
- Fun Runs! Pony/buffalo rides for kids at the Colonial Gardens every morning.
- To their sheer delight, kids feed Heng Heng and Hunsa, two Alpacas (llama resembling animals) at the kids’ club.
- Ride in style! Complimentary horse carriage rides for kids and families.
- Two (beautiful, if I might add) pools to choose from.
- The hotel’s shopping village is home to the famous Dhara Dhevi Cake Shop, a macaroon factory and an ice cream factory with daily changing flavours. Can the children (or the child in you) ask for more?
- Indulge in a special family picnic in an area designated for picnics, surrounded by lotus ponds and paddy fields. To top it off, the hotel has a special picnic basket service with interesting options like the healthy Spa Picnic menu.
- Swish around the resort in buggies, always a treat for little kids.
- The hotel has bikes for the entire family, including adult bikes with child seats for toddlers and bigger bikes with side pedals for slightly older children.
- Lanna Kids’ Club (9 am – 5 pm) housed in a century old Thai house, is a fun place for the kids to hang out. Here you will find wooden toys, books, puzzles, a colouring station, TV, little swings and slides, as well as a little herb garden for children where they can snoop around for horn beetles.The kids’ club offers a number of fun activities for children, including Thai dancing, yoga for kids, Thai boxing, sand art, mulberry art and more.
- Complimentary tennis and chargeable Muay Thai lessons for adults and children.
- Complimentary classes for adults throughout the week like Thai herbal compress making, yoga, Thai yoga, pranayama, partner massage and more.
- Each room comes with its own butler, a handy service that parent’s find themselves getting used to rather easily.
- There are spas and then there is the Dhara Dhevi Spa! The resort houses the most beautiful spa I ever laid my eyes on, offering a number of exquisite therapies to match.
- Complimentary shuttle service throughout the day to the famous Chiang Mai night market.
- Apart from a very extensive collection of DVDs for adults, the library also houses a few thousand books, all complimentary to in-house guests.
- Chiang Mai International Airport – 11 km
- 123 suites, villas & residences
- 4 restaurants
- 3 bars
- 2 pools
- Fitness centre
- 2 Tennis courts
Mandy’s Tip: Even the Colonial Suite (lowest category room) is enormous, with very spacious bathrooms and perfect for families.
Parents who require highchairs must be warned that the ones at this hotel are more like high wooden seats without straps or an attached table. However, I noticed booster seats strapped to chairs that did the job too.