The Rachamankha is one of Chiang Mai’s best designed and most graceful properties: a 25 room boutique extravaganza furnished with antiques that looks and feels like a heritage hotel but is actually a very modern, hyper peaceful garden retreat for couples looking for privacy in stylish surroundings.
Rachmankha is located in the heart of the old city, near the historic Wat Phra Singh temple and a 15-minute walk from historic Tha Phae Gate. A tuk-tuk ride to the night market takes about the same amount of time and a taxi to the airport takes 20 minutes.
Style & character
The old world ambience of the Rachamankha works perfectly well. Stepping into the resort’s near silent courtyard, the bustle of the city recedes and one has the feeling of having entered a monastic sanctuary. Rows of rooms protected by a low tiled roof and fronted by antique trunks, interspersed by neatly cut lawns and a common seating area perfectly exudes luxurious tranquillity.
An equally well-designed two-storey building houses the suites and library. The artworks distributed throughout the property – statues and exquisite furnishings, both antique and contemporary, from Europe, Africa and Asia – are well chosen to create a wholly self-contained leisure-cum-heritage aesthetic that is quite unique.
Service & facilities
Service is friendly and extremely forthcoming, if a little formal. Facilities are simple but perfectly adequate. The 20-metre pool, set in its own courtyard, is ideal for a relaxing swim. The adjacent spa has just one treatment room on the first floor. It’s open to the elements, so a little hot on summer days.
The library contains an excellent (and partly antique) collection of several thousand titles, a real gem. Above the restaurant, a small museum displays a selection of 19th-century swords and statues from Thailand and Burma.
- Room service
The Rachamankha’s owner is an architect and it clearly shows. The rooms are flawlessly elegant, compact, comfortable, though perhaps a little dark. The priceless antiques look very much at home amidst lime plastered brick walls, hardwood or tiled floors, high ceilings and modern amenities – air conditioning, television and DVD – that never intrude on the heritage or ambience. The bathrooms are spacious and spotless. The three huge and bright suites are exceptional leisure spaces.
Food & drink
The restaurant serves Thai and western dishes including a large selection of vegetarian offerings, though steak lovers won’t feel alienated either. Particular emphasis is given to northern Thai, Shan and Burmese cuisine. Diners are unlikely to find the more obscure but tasty dishes like tea leaf salad anywhere else. If the weather allows, guests may dine in a beautiful court yard, with a fireplace for winter evenings, sometimes accompanied by low-key performances of traditional music.
Breakfast is à la carte and, given the otherwise meticulous eye for detail, needs improvement.
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