#173 - Rachamankha in Thailand
Boutique Hotel in Chiang Mai... with Welcoming Statues!
You have to love stone creatures that greet you from the wall and steps when you arrive!
In late December 2017, we spent a few nights in the historic city of Chiang Mai, in North Thailand. We were traveling with new family! Our group of 9 included the best tour guides and hotel pickers ever! It helped that our daughter-in-law (of one month!) and her family, have a home in Thailand. They picked the lovely Rachamankha Hotel.
We arrived early, before rooms were ready. No problem.
There were welcoming drinks in the lounge. The windows and doors opened out to a lovely courtyard.
We had lots to toast. The Newlyweds had been married just over a month. However, they were married again... just days earlier, in a lovely Buddhist ceremony.
And then we had our daughter and fiancee to toast, since their wedding was coming up in 3 months. What a relaxing atmosphere after all the planning and celebrating!
We left the main building and headed past 2 more welcoming statues, towards the rest of the hotel.
Flowers and Trees
Once again we passed 2 perfectly posed little critters (I couldn't always tell what these creatures were) and paused to take in all the lush growth that surrounded us.
Scott posed with his now mother-in-law, in the same spot where they posed, on his first visit to Thailand five years before.
Gray and Green
The skies were a little gray during our visit, but the trees and vegetation made us forget the weather.
We passed the towering palms and headed towards the open air lounging area in the center of the courtyard.
The shady space looked like it would be heavenly during Thailand's hot monsoon season.
Lovely Under the Roof
Once we stepped under the roof, it felt like we were in a grand museum.
The red pillars held up the high ceiling, allowing lots of room for artwork. Cushy chairs and bright flowers helped us forget the gloomy weather.
The large garden area was surrounded by covered walkways, leading to the 24 guest rooms.
I loved our hefty wooden door to our room, #6.
The raised ceilings made the room feel light and spacious. The yellow dragon rug added a little soft, to the smooth wood floor.
There was some fruit to welcome us and a nice teapot with 2 elephant shaped mugs. I did have to laugh at the printed rules, though. We followed them and did not bring Thailand's stinkiest fruit into our room.
The double doors to the bathroom were impressive and the exotic design above the doorway added a nice touch. But I must admit we did have shower issues.
The water went from scalding to icy cold upon 2 occasions. I'm not sure if our daughter next door heard me yelp, but she said they had the same problem one time. Of course the shower didn't act up when the maintenance man came.
We've had many curious locks and bolts with all the historic and curious hotels that I've blogged about. But the bathroom door was a new one for me, with its locking peg.
The main door had 2 sturdy bolts that made me feel like I was in a castle. I was a little sad to learn our hotel was not actually an old building. But great care was made in designing the complex, to blend with the climate and culture of historic Chiang Mai.
We had no urge to swim, but the pool area did have nice seating. We could have used a towel and cozied up with a book...
Fire in the Courtyard
But we found a cozier space.
By evening, the dining courtyard with fireplace, was peaceful and cozy.
Drinks & Music
We enjoyed some drinks and live music from the nearby stage. I'm afraid I don't know the name of the instrument.
We had other dinner plans, or I could have sat there all night.
Besides the courtyard, there was a narrow dining room where complimentary breakfast was served in the morning.
There was a huge display of fruits, meats, breads and sweets that would have been enough.
But we also had lovely service. Coffee and cream arrived on a silver tray and menus gave us numerous options, as well.
Eggs Benedict was a treat, as well as French Toast. We ate too much.
Our last morning, I made a dash up those stairs just outside the dining room. I had heard about the hotel's museum which houses a great collection of historic treasures and art.
It's tempting to add "I slept in a museum" to my odd overnights. But I guess that's stretching it a bit.
Our hotel was a peaceful oasis in a great location. The grounds were surrounded by white wall, with dragon-like stone guards... as well as real security.
The location of the hotel was ideal. We were within the old walls of the Old City, which means we were in walking distance of wonderful restaurants, shops, foot massage parlors!
So I will remember the cozy, classy feel of our hotel. We were surrounded by luxury within the walls. Outside of the hotel walls, we were surrounded by history.
The city's oldest temple was just steps away... if we were able to leap over the wall. I'll always remember hearing the voices of the monks chanting. That was lovely and notable!
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My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!