Imagine arriving in an ancient Lanna estate in northern Thailand, complete with Burmese chedi pagodas, lush rice paddies, and exquisite architectural detail, and being met at the gate by a horse and carriage, which escorts you to.......a swimming pool of dreams! Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
Yes, the pool at the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi is every bit as elegant as the rest of the property, where an entire Lanna kingdom has been re-created, with 123 luxury villas, colonial suites, and signature residences set into a 60 acre hideaway just minutes from downtown Chiang Mai.
The Dhara Dhevi features teak villas made from converted traditional rice barns, luxurious restaurants, and an unprecedented amount of tropical greenery, with the suites, plunge pools, and magnificent spa spread amongst working rice paddies. But the highlight of the resort is undoubtedly its large Colonial Pool, made with blue tiles and sprawled beneath carved pagoda-like Burmese chedis and traditional architecture that towers above it.
You feel as if you're swimming in a film set capturing the elegance of colonial 1920. The pool area is made up of the Colonial Pool, along with the shaded Loy Kham Infinity Pool, and there is both a children's shallow area along with plenty of space for swimming laps. The pool at the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi gives new meaning to the phrase "the lap of luxury!"