We arrived at the Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel & Spa. The sun shone on the whitewashed Colonial style hotel, giving it a brilliant glow that stood out against the lush green tropical foliage.
Walking into the foyer, arrangements of pure white orchids took centre stage, the crystal chandelier caught the light amid a backdrop of the reds, oranges, browns and golds of the Lanna wall decoration.
The wide plantation style verandahs filled with comfortable cane and teak seating invited us to come sit, relax and unwind. While the curio cabinets, lacquered chess set and library gave a homey feel to this beautiful boutique hotel Chiang Mai.
Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel and Spa
Over a refreshing glass of lemongrass tea, we were welcomed to the Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel and Spa Chiang Mai.
There are several boutique hotels in Chiang Mai, we chose the Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel because we loved the hotels elegant old-world style, proximity to tourist attractions, it’s a boutique hotel with spa facilities and because it is one of the top 10 hotels in Chiang Mai.
This Chiang Mai boutique hotel features 19 rooms decorated in the style of days gone by. We find boutique hotels to be more intimate and the staff more attentive to guests personal needs.
My Room at Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel
The door to our room opened onto a large marble tiled foyer. A pink orchid bloomed in the picture window that offered glimpses into our sitting room.
To the side of the foyer is a deep spa bath with pillow, perfect for luxuriating after a busy day of sightseeing. A thick frosted glass door leads into a modern shower. A complimentary Nakara Spa pack with loofah, aromatherapy bath crystals, shampoo, conditioner, bath gel and body lotion takes pride and place on the marble vanity.
We walked through plantation shutter doors to the combined sitting room and bedroom, our eyes were drawn to the soft earthy tones of the mural that is the central focus of the room.
The antique style bed was covered in crisp white bedding, there is a choice of soft and firm pillows with cushions picking up the reds, oranges, browns and golds of Nakara Boutique Hotels main foyer.
The sitting room is decorated with dark teak furnishings. A comfortable Thai lounge overlooks a desk with antique style phone and tray of complimentary Thai snacks to sample. A complimentary mini bar of non-alcoholic drinks is hidden out of sight under the picture window.
Clean white decorative fretwork adds a touch of romance to the large private balcony that looks down over the gardens, pool and restaurant.
The Relaxing Nakara Spa in Chiang Mai
Feeling stiff and tired after our long-haul flight I decided to make a hotel spa booking at the Nakara Spa.
Walking through the door, I inhaled the soothing aroma of exotic oils, the soft light and dark beauty of traditional teak furnishings welcomed me to this haven of tranquillity.
I was greeted by Nakara Spas friendly staff and settled down to choose one of the many spa treatments available.
The Nakara Lanna Experience is a 2-hour spa treatment consisting of a full body deep cleansing scrub (I chose the coconut scrub), 15-minute steam bath in aromatic steam, a traditional lanna massage using Thai herbs and a dry head rub.
How did it feel? The body scrub energised tired limbs and rehydrated my skin after flying. The scented steam of the steam bath cleared my head and lungs. The lanna massage unravelled the knots in my neck and back leaving me relaxed and pain free. All of this was finished off with a dry head rub that was pure bliss!
This boutique hotel spa took me from a jet-lagged wreck with neck and back full of kinks to feeling absolutely Wonderful! If you are looking for a good hotel Spa Chiang Mai, the Nakara Spa is the place for you, I think of it as one of my favourite Spa Hotels Chiang Mai has to offer.Chiang Mai is famous for it's Spa's and this is one of the best I've ever had.Click To Tweet
The Lobby Bar
Happy hour is between 5pm – 7pm so we decided to relax with a cocktail. I sampled the Pina Colada and I fell in love with the Chocolate Martini, both were delicious and came with a dish of bar snacks.
The bar was cosy and welcoming with a selection of comfortable chairs scattered about the room. Dark library bookshelves held a large range of glossy books and vintage style trinkets that add to the Hotel’s ambience.
Enjoy a meal at the Ping Nakara Restaurant
The Ping Nakara Restaurant overlooks the pool and serves authentic Thai cuisine, perfect for sampling the best that Thailand has to offer. If like us you have just come from a long-haul flight, the Ping Nakara Restaurant also provide a room service menu for your convenience.
We enjoyed an early breakfast in this gorgeous setting, the friendly staff welcomed us and explained the combination buffet style and menu of cooked Western and Asian breakfast options. We enjoyed a breakfast of fruit and cheese, before ordering a freshly cooked omelette, a delicious start to the day.
Relax by the Pool
The pool was an inviting aqua blue, as I walked past I grabbed one of the fluffy white towels that stand at the entrance and made my way over to one of the deck chairs that line the pool.
I love early morning swims, nothing makes you feel as refreshed and alive as a few laps in a crystal-clear pool. The heat of the morning receded as I entered the pool. The water was cool, shaded by the trees in the garden, a heavenly way to start the day.
Nakara Jardin Bistro
The Nakara Jardin Bistro is one of Chiang Mai’s favourite restaurants and is a short walk from the Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel.
Nakara Jardin has a reputation for fine French cuisine and is a popular meeting place for locals and tourists. We were here to try Nakara Jardin’s afternoon tea, a Chiang Mai institution.
Nakara Jardin is enclosed in a rich green garden, shaded by tall trees and ferns, a fountain trickles quietly amid this peaceful setting. The veranda looks out over the River Ping as it makes its journey through Chiang Mai.
We sat down and were given the tea menu, there were a large selection of Western and Asian teas, we chose Earl Grey tea. The tea arrived in an elegant white teapot and was poured into delicate white teacups.
Our afternoon tea arrived on a three-tiered cake stand and featured delicate sandwiches, savoury pastries, scones with jam and cream and a selection of fruit tarts, cakes and crème brulee. We enjoyed a leisurely afternoon, eating delicious treats and admiring this enchanting secret garden.
So, if you are looking for a place to have a traditional afternoon tea, try Nakara Jardin Chiang Mai, you won’t be disappointed.
Reasons to stay at Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel & Spa
Chiang Mai in Thailand has been voted the best city in Asia by Travel and Leisure Magazine and has been a popular tourist destination for many years.
The Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel and Spa is in a perfect location to spend a few days exploring Chiang Mai. Here are just a few of the places to visit in Chiang Mai that are within walking distance to the Hotel.
Wat Chai Mongkhol and Mae Ping River Cruises
There are so many things to see in Chiang Mai, nearby is the Wat Chai Mongkhol, a Buddhist temple that sits on the banks of the River Ping. Explore this beautiful temple complex and watch as devotees give thanks by releasing live fish and birds back into the wild.
Also located at Wat Chai Mongkhol is the Mae Ping River Cruise. Cruising along you can watch life on the river as you make your way to a local Thai farm house. Learn more about farm life, taste the fresh produce grown there or try Khao Soi a delicious Northern Thai specialty.
Another favourite is the Mae Ping Dinner Cruise, sit back and relax and watch the city lights as you drift up the River Ping.
Red Chilli Cooking School, River Market Restaurant and Iron Bridge
The Red Chilli Cooking School is an easy walk from the Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel and the place to discover the secrets of Thai cooking. You will find the Red Chilli Cooking School in the grounds of the River Market Restaurant.
The River Market Restaurant is built in the traditional Thai style and sits majestically on the banks of the River Ping overlooking the Iron Bridge. The restaurant serves a wide range of delicious Thai and Western style cuisines and is a popular Chiang Mai landmark.
The Iron Bridge is one of the best places to watch Chiang Mai’s famous Loy Krathong and Yi Peng Festivals which are held in November. Better known as the Lantern Festival, Chiang Mai turns on its charm as thousands of lanterns are released and fill the night sky, a magical sight to see.
Chiang Mai Night Markets
There are so many things to do at night in Chiang Mai and the Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel is within walking distance to the Night Markets on Chang Klan Road, a street that is transformed every evening.
Walking up Chang Klan Road takes time as you squeeze through the pop up markets that line the street. Stalls selling clothing, the brightly decorated elephants, paintings and trinkets will catch the eye as you make your way up the road.
Chang Klan Road is also home to the larger Night Bazaar, Anusarn and Night Markets which sell more traditional Lanna style handicrafts, intricately woven textiles and Thai silk homewares and clothing.
These markets are definitely in the top ten things to do in Chiang Mai. They are the place to have a laugh as tiny fish nibble at your toes at a foot spa. The place to sample International cuisines at the small restaurants that line the markets and listen to live bands as they belt out your favourite tunes.
Chiang Mai Old Town
The Old Town is a longer walk from the Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel but for those who don’t want to walk it’s easy to catch a Tuk Tuk or get around like a local in a Songthauw (red bus).
The Old Town is easily recognisable by its water filled moat. Within the walls of the moat are two of the best temples in Chiang Mai, the Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chedi Luang 14th and 15th century Buddhist temples that are simply stunning.
Exploring the Old Town, you will find many small restaurants and coffee shops serving not only Thai delicacies but International cuisines. You will be spoilt for choice at the clothing boutiques. The Old Town has bar and live music venues that offer some of the best nightlife in Chiang Mai.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel and Spa and consider it to be one of the best hotels in Chiang Mai. If you are looking at 5 star luxury hotels in Chiang Mai we highly recommend the Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel and Spa.
This is a fair and unbiased review of this top hotel in the heart of Chiang Mai.
Travelling to other nearby Asian countries? You may also be interested in our review of a Resort in Siem Reap Cambodia and our review of the Grand Hotel Saigon in in heart of Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam.