The iconic The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai, situated on a peaceful 60-acre estate in Northern Thailand, offers a magical backdrop in which children and adults alike can absorb Thai culture with a fantastic range of experiences, guaranteeing lasting memories for the whole family.
This fantastical resort, conceived as an ancient walled city, offers a sense of place like few others and this is reflected in its carefully curated activities, designed to immerse guests of all ages into local culture. Perfect for all the family, from little ones to adults, the resort’s Art and Craft Village offers an array of creative craft activities, from umbrella painting and paper making to bamboo weaving, which is led by a group of local village women who will help guests create beautiful artefacts and traditional toys from the plant’s leaves.
Housed in the same building, The Lanna Kids Club is open every day from 9am-5pm and offers half or full day programmes for children from 4 to 12 years old. The building’s tiny resident petting ponies and llamas are sure to make a great ice breaker for children who can then choose from a varied range of activities to stretch and stimulate them mentally and physically, whilst offering an insight into traditional Lanna (the ancient kingdom of northern Thailand) and Thai culture. Classes include Thai dancing and music and traditional Thai games and toys – children can also benefit for Thailand’s rich culture of wellness with mini Thai kick boxing classes and yoga for kids.
A must-try for visitors of all ages is the rice planting: donning a traditional protective tunic, the instantly recognisable Non La hat and waterproof socks, the session will teach budding rice farmers how the grain is grown from seed to harvest and includes the opportunity for all to wade into the squidgy warm mud and plant a few rows for themselves. Children will adore riding the water buffalo, which will obligingly walk little ones through the plantation.
Meanwhile adults can enjoy the Dhara Dhevi Cooking Academy, which stages daily Thai cooking classes, relax in the Jum Sri Hall Library, with one of its 5,000+ books, browse the 20 boutiques in Kad Dhara Shopping Village, or unwind and reboot at the Health and Fitness Centre and legendary Dheva Spa where in depth Ayurveda-based programmes are carried out in 11 spacious treatments suites.
Parents keen to make the most of the wide array of gourmet eating and drinking options at the resort can book the baby-sitting service, which is available on request. All tastes and nationalities are catered for with international cuisines of the highest calibre, from Japanese dishes at the light and airy Ren; Chinese at Fujian, formal French at Farang Ses and contemporary international cuisine at the Akaligo, which offers views through wall to ceiling windows. There is even a Victorian Style tea salon, the Dhara Dhevi Cake Shop which caters to the sweet toothed serving decadent treats. Fabulously chic watering holes include the louche Horn Bar, an after dark cocktail bar, the al fresco Loy Kham Bar which overlooks the serene infinity pool and the Colonial Pool Bar, which centers around the heart of the resort, the spectacular and imposing blue and white tiled swimming pool.
Easily accessible via a 15-minute car transfer from Chiang Mai International Airport, the Dhara Dhevi makes for an immersive cultural experience perfect for crafting lasting family memories.