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Luxurious Chiang Mai at the Four Seasons

If you want adventure, culture and delicious Thai food, there’s no better place to head to than the northern Thai town of Chiang Mai.  Despite several visits last year, on my wishlist of places to stay, remains the sumptuous looking Four Seasons.  I’m still saving up for it but Celine got to stay there earlier this year and shares her review:

Four Seasons CM - Room

Who: Celine & husband and their two young sons
Where: Four Seasons, Chiang Mai – Thailand
When: Feb/March 2014 for four days

Flight Booking:
Through the Cathay (Dragonair) fanfare sale. Every Tuesday at 8am Cathay release their sale fares.

Hotel Booking:
We used Lightfoot Travel to organize the Four Seasons as I also wanted to prebook our daily excursions.  I found it really useful to have the insight of a travel agent and I didn’t mind paying extra to ensure that all our activities were sorted for the trip.

Airport Transfer:
Lightfoot organized the pick up from the airport.  It takes approx. 45 minutes to get to the hotel which is beautifully situated in the middle of the rice fields.

The Room
Rooms at the Four Seasons are located in individual pavilions and we had booked the cheapest one available.  This was on the ground floor of a pavilion (each pavilion divided into two rooms).  Ours was massive with a king size bed, kids bed and a cot which we put in the bathroom.  The major bonus of staying in a Four Seasons is that everything from bedding to eating for under 5s is free.  There was also a big outdoor terrace.

Four Seasons CM - Boys Playing

Dining
The hotel has two restaurants, Thai food at Sala Mae Rim and international at Terraces.  In the evening we would book a babysitter and go to the hotel restaurant.  The food is excellent and they will cater for all your needs plus the cocktails are great!

Facilities
Compared to our stay at the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa in the Maldives, this is not a resort tailored towards children.  Chiang Mai is the sort of place where the day revolves around excursions and you are popping in and out of the hotel in between.

Four Seasons CM - Pool 2

There are two pools, one for adults and one for kids. Although the pool is quite deep, there are some steps for kids to sit and play on. The hotel also provides balls and the staff would bring an umbrella over to make sure the area was shaded.  The pool is surrounded by comfy day beds and the pool itself is heated but not super warm.

Four Seasons CM Pool

There is also a kids club with a playroom although under 4s must be supervised at all times.  Our kids appeared to be the only kids in the resort during our stay!  There are also bikes available with kids seats.

Four Seasons CM Playground

Excursions

  • I had organized activities for every morning of our trip.  On the first day we did a trip to the Elephant Nature Park which the kids absolutely loved.  You can feed the elephants, bath them in the river and take a 45 minute elephant ride.  The elephants are well taken care of and the park is only 10 minutes from the Four Seasons.
  • The next day I took part in the Four Seasons cooking class which was fantastic (a Christmas present from my husband). The class is supposed to be from 7am to 1pm and starts with shopping at the market before you return to the hotel to help cook the food.  However, I decided to skip the early part as I was with the kids and joined the group when they returned to the hotel.  The class is in an amazing setting and you get to have lunch with all the delicious food you’ve cooked.

    Four Seasons Cooking School

    Four Seasons Cooking School

  • The night safari was lots of fun
  • We did a tour of Chiang Mai’s temples which wasn’t a massive hit with the kids but I liked it.  We took a tuk tuk around the city and the guide was really flexible with the kids and helped carry the bags for us.
    Four Seasons CM Temple
  • We went to the Tiger Kingdom which again, my 3 year old really enjoyed.  We weren’t allowed into the enclosure with the big tigers but we went and played with the tiger cubs
    Four Seasons CM - tiger

Overall

The Four Seasons Chiang Mai is a beautiful property.  When you’re surrounded by rice fields and water buffalo, you really don’t feel like you’re in a hotel.  The service is good and also flexible – I appreciated the later check out of 3pm for example.  Chiang Mai is a great compromise of a relaxing break and culture – perfect for those who are looking for something more than just a beach holiday.

Four Seasons CM - View from room

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