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Chiang Mai Marriott Hotel revamped for sustainable comfort in contemporary design

by Mahmood Hossain

Relax yourself sustainably in modern style, inspired by historical art.

By Mahmood Hossain

Chiang Mai always welcomes visitors with warm smiles and an even warmer embrace. A sentiment that is shared with the brilliant Chiang Mai Marriott Hotel, a homage to the ancient city it resides in. Recently revamped to offer a haven of revitalisation, I couldn’t help but jump at the chance to return to such an affectionate town and in the security and comfort of a hotel with an alluringly new face. The city itself is a favourite of mine, for its centuries-old charm, modern café scene, and steady pace lifestyle. It can be seductive for a lifelong city boy who desperately seeks solace. And when you have the grand gestures from the likes of Chiang Mai Marriott, why not stay an extra day or two?

Recently rebranded from Le Méridien, we had the pleasure of being invited to the Chiang Mai Marriott Hotel on an exclusive media trip. Situated at the heart of the city, this premium 5-star hotel under Marriott International has quite a challenge on hand in a city like Chiang Mai. With so many exquisite, fun and unique boutique hotels around town, one would wonder how a juggernaut like Marriott could offer something different. Simple, deliver an authentic Chiang Mai experiences all in one place. Well, it’s easier said than done, but that’s why we were treated to this special tour of what makes this particular hotel stand out from the rest. The entire Chiang Mai Marriott Hotel team went out of their way to show Masala and others a new way of experiencing this wonderful city.


The moment you pull up to the driveway toward the entrance of the hotel, you are welcomed by an opulent fountain with two, nearly life-sized, elephants facing each other in grand fashion. Any passer-by would be transfixed by its palace like structure, which so happens to complement what lies beyond the main doors of the hotel. Every detail, from the first steps into their stunning lobby to the intricate floral patterns strategically incorporated throughout the hotel’s design, was inspired by Chiang Mai’s recent history and the remnants of the ancient Lan Na Kingdom. If you find yourself in one of the rooms I enjoyed staying in, you’ll also have one of the best views in town, looking out into the Chiang Mai mountains.

The design not only creates a sophisticated sense of home but serves as a reminder of the artistic integrity of the ancient quarters of the city and the lands that surround it. For example, the headboard above the bed and the air conditioning vents in my hotel room were inspired by centuries-old wooden-made window sills in the absence of glass and curtains, sliding from left to right to open and close. To see the design details and engineering of Lanna architecture at work, we were swept away on a day trip to the 166-year-old Wat Ton Kwen (Wat Inthrawat). It’s a magnificent stroke of genius to see how the littlest details can make a significant difference in the way we perceive aesthetically pleasing comfort. The folks at Marriott made sure to deliver this in abundance in the most pleasant package.


For a 5-star establishment, certain expectations and standards need to be met. A more meaningful approach would be to provide guests with the inner workings of a sophisticated kitchen, stewing and brewing some of the most mouth-watering dishes you can find in town. That is exactly what the hotel had to offer. Our first proper meal at the hotel was at the brilliant The Ping Cuisine and Bar restaurant, dishing out Thai cuisine, spearheaded by Northern Thai influence.

The hotel wanted us to see the entire process from farm to table, empowering us to grab our own fresh produce from the local Plernjit Rimtan Organic Farm & Café. In turn, with the same chosen ingredients, we were directed by The Ping’s executive chef to create our own Chiangmai Wrapped Organic Salad Rolls with sausages and spiced wild honey aioli. Yes, it was as delicious as it sounds. They take pride in partnering with local businesses and advancing their sustainability movement while giving back to the community they collaborate with. I believe it goes without saying but the cooking class was a success. I just wish I had an organic farm as my source of sustenance.

The restaurant also delivers on the high-quality standards of Chiang Mai’s khao soi. Personally, I find that the best-tasting and brilliantly executed bowls of khao soi are in Chiang Mai. Call me biased. Among the many other delicious items on the menu, yet again, the khao soi stood out as the best. It should also be noted that The Ping also has great options during breakfast hours. The restaurant not only keeps up appearances but also maintains consistency with each and every meal. It’s fine dining all day, in the lap of its luxurious interior décor.

Our second dining experience came in the form of Favola, an Italian restaurant that, according to the staff, happens to be a favourite among the locals. This dinner had us properly stuffed, from staple pasta dishes to wonderfully cooked salmon and lamb shanks. Fortunately, they provided us with an exquisite, medium-body bottle of red wine to wash things down.

In our third and final dining foray, we received an exclusive visit and taste of HAN Chinese Cuisine restaurant before its grand opening. Listed in the Michelin Guide 2024 and as the name suggests, HAN serves up authentic Chinese dishes that are wonderfully plated and taste even better. We were pleasantly surprised by the beautifully braised pork spare ribs, balanced flavours from the jellyfish, and a stewed fish maw soup with crab meat that was heavenly. Not a single dish felt out of place; one simply elevated the next.


One of the more enticing features of Chiang Mai Marriott is its top-of-the-line fitness centre, which isn’t exclusive to hotel guests. If you’re looking for something less intense, there’s always the hotel pool right next door, conveniently accompanied by the Pool House bar. This might be the ideal time to wind down with one of their delicious cocktails and a poolside sunset; an experience you don’t want to miss. To turn things down a little further, you can always indulge in more rest and relaxation in the hotel’s exquisite Quan Spa.

Aside from wellness and activities, the hotel also possesses an impressive 1,717 square meters of total event space, with the largest space holding a capacity of 1,050. Celebrating and putting together wedding events can be both intimate and grand throughout the 10 event rooms. Be it a wedding or more of a professional gathering, the hotel makes sure your event goes without a hitch, from their dedicated catering team to their personised planning crew, they’ve got you covered from conception to completion.

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