Land of Smiles is known to have some of the best health retreats in the world. We found one of Thailand’s most outstanding place to help you plan your next soul-purifying getaway.
For the past century, the rich history of Thailand’s Northern region has tended to be overlooked. Yet the North of Thailand has had a remarkable influence on many aspects of Thai culture, and in some ways, thanks to its isolation and reluctance to change, has retained some of the kingdom’s most important historic sites.
Story & Photos by Wanida Tardivel & Luxury Society Asia Team
The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai – Dheva Integrative Health And Wellness Centre is structurally jaw dropping, and to say it’s the most beautiful of its kind in Thailand wouldn’t be a stretch. Created in the image of the splendour of a palace in Mandalay, the building took Chiang Mai artisans three years to complete thanks to the elaborate motifs chiselled on the facade.
The concept at The Dheva Integrative Health and Wellness Center focuses on “Rest, Restore and Recreation”. With these three principles, people can achieve long term health and well-being.
All programs ranging from age and weight management, detoxification, medical check-up, facial enhancement and aesthetic rejuvenation are available on offer for resort’s residents and local visitors – who wish to combine their vacation with health programs, or appearance improvement in a peaceful and restorative environment.
The 11 tranquil treatment rooms, with Thai silks, polished teak wood and marble tiles, are punctuated with authentic Asian antiques and have been designed for both individuals and couples as a calming refuge from urban stress. Among its numerous unique features are soothing Vichy showers, an elegant Watsu pool and spacious hammams beautifully appointed in rich, dark wood panelled chambers.
With the emerging growth in health and wellness tourism, The Dheva’s team with medical operator share responsibilities on improving a quality of people lives. At The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai’s Integrative Health Centre, guests will be treated with the best holistic care experience using latest clinical technologies, and explore opportunities for enhancing their fitness level, learning about their self through lifestyle and medical assessment, mass therapy, healthy lifestyle education.
The menu is equally luxurious featuring homemade scrubs made from rice and herbs and ancient therapies using Ayurvedic oils. The Dhara Dhevi even offers Shirodhara, an intriguing technique from the Indian tradition where warm oil is poured onto the forehead or “third eye” in a steady, continuous stream. It’s said to improve the nervous system’s flow of impulses, while instilling a feeling of being centred.
Ayurvedic health specialist team works directly with guests during private consultations to customise treatments to meet individual dosha, or body type, needs.
The spa’s purposely-built Ayurvedic suite is dedicated to providing a wide range of time-tested Ayurvedic treatments and therapies such as abhyanga, a gentle form of massage, vishesh, a deep tissue friction massage, and the famous shirodhara, a form of therapy involving warm oil gentle poured over the forehead for a thoroughly relaxing and mesmerising effect.
No longer though, a new breed of brave hoteliers have upped the ante offering lodgings that would please even the most demanding; the product as creative as it is differentiated.
A palatial 3,100 square metre sanctuary, The Dheva Integrative Health and Wellness Center is embellished with ornate mouldings and sculptures based off of the historic palace in Mandalay, Myanmar and loyally recreated by 150 local Chiang Mai artisans.
Taking more than three and a half years to complete, the spectacular exterior is matched by sumptuous interiors where guests can enjoy impeccable service and a range of traditional and contemporary treatments drawn from three continents and more than 4,000 years.
From the mid-13th century under King Mengrai, the North of Thailand became a kingdom unto itself, the “Kingdom of Lanna”, meaning the “Land of a Million Rice Fields”, with the city of Chiang Mai as the royal seat of power. The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai’s 60-acres offer ample space for the hotel’s luxurious teak wood villas and suites perched amongst vast landscaped gardens and emerald rice paddies.
All the interiors have been sympathetically crafted by local artisans in keeping with traditional Lanna architectural styles. They feature extensive museum- quality artefacts, sumptuous Thai silks mixed with local hill-tribe textiles and magnificent original artworks.
Today, what we now term as the ‘Lanna’ rule refers chiefly to the period AD 1259-1558 when North Thailand, and in particular, Chiang Mai asserted itself as a centre of arts, culture and architecture, similar to the Italian city of Florence during the Renaissance, during an almost identical period of history.
During this time the Lanna Kingdom absorbed influences from many cultures including Luang Prabang (Laos), Mandalay (Myanmar) and Jing Hong (China). Though the Lanna Kingdom would ultimately decline in the mid-16th century, since the 18th century Lanna style has been enjoying a renaissance, seen today in aspects of Chiang Mai life.
A selection of expansive Colonial Suites and Signature Residences provide elegant private retreats with their own exclusive facilities such as a personal spa, drawing room or piano lounge. The magnificent Royal Residence includes a secluded Lanna-style palace complex with three private swimming pools, Jacuzzis and water gardens – luxuries that no other hotel in the region can offer.
The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai, a place where traditional Lanna culture and Asian colonial splendour have been carefully brought together in harmony. These essential elements contribute to an overall atmosphere of unparalleled luxury and serenity.