Living in Singapore, Thailand is one of the easiest destinations to explore. But for some reason Chiang Mai had always eluded me. So when Centara Resorts contacted me and gave me the opportunity to visit one of their properties, the location was a no brainer-Chiang Mai. And the best part was that I got to experience Chiang Mai with my friends who were visiting Asia for the first time.
I didn’t know what to expect of Chiang Mai. I knew the major attractions-elephant sanctuaries, hill tribes, temples and shopping- but I didn’t anticipate it being such a large city. And coming from Singapore the last thing I wanted to see on my vacation was a city. Surprisingly, as soon as I stepped onto the Khum Phaya Resort and Spa grounds, the city faded into the background. The hotel itself was beyond tranquil. With the lush gardens, flowing fountains and calming music, the entire hotel seems like an extension of the spa. And coupled with superb hospitality I really didn’t even need or want to leave the resort. It made for the perfect girls trip. We were able to toast at the happy hour, sit around the pool and chat for hours, and of course eat well. It was great because my friends could try all of the local specialties without even leaving the hotel. In fact, I actually had much better food at the hotel than I did at some of the restaurants in town that we had researched and sought out.
I didn’t get to try the spa because I’m pregnant, but it was one of the most impressive spas I’ve seen. They even had a suite with its own sauna and massage beds, along with a private steam room outside (yes, so that’s one inside your room and one in the private courtyard attached to the room) and a gorgeous outdoor tub. Even my room, which was more modest, had a fantastic shower which I did not want to leave. The showerheads were strategically placed so you have complete body coverage and great pressure. So I didn’t necessarily miss the spa because the bathroom was so well equipped. I also loved that my friends and I could step into the pool right from our front porch. As a pisces who loves being in the water, this was definitely one of the highlights for me.
We did eventually leave to explore Chiang Mai, but even that was made easier by the location and services of the resort. We were able to take advantage of the free shuttle to visit the night market and that was a huge plus. We were also able to have the tour company we used for the elephant sanctuary pick us up directly from the hotel. Because of the hotel’s location there were no additional charges for transportation. And anyone who’s familiar with my love of travel knows that I’m always looking for ways to save money while traveling. Saving on transportation costs certainly helps.
I must say I had a great introduction to the Centara Resorts and this experience has made me curious about their other properties. If I received this level of customer service and was able to enjoy the property and relax even if it wasn’t in the most relaxing location, I can only imagine what their properties on the sandy beaches of Maldives, Sri Lanka or Thailand must be like.