Wednesday 26 January 2011

Le Meridien in Le Chiang Rai

The sparkling diamond among Chiang Rai’s new glory box of hotels, Le Meridien is best positioned as a base of creature comforts from which to explore the wilderness of Chiang Rai. 

Actually the architects have done a fine job of creating its own wilderness, with the buildings set around a sculpted lake near the Kok River, and glorious old trees expressing themselves from between the various wings.

The rooms feel more like luxury apartments in Sydney, London, or New York, with a nouveau and chic design appeal. Muted greys and browns are slick yet homely, contrasting strongly against the greenery which imposes itself through the windows.

All of this contemporary design is integrated with local touches. Witness the lobby with a fleet of what look like alien spacecraft zooming across its wall, but actually are the lids of cooking pots or somesuch. Or the landscaping from the lobby which apparently allows one to imagine Budhha's eyebrows. Jing jing! (Perhaps after a few red wines at Chill Bar.)

The latest in technology is employed, such as the Global Adapter which allows you to charge MP3 players, your mobile phone, PDA, travel speakers, etc. Practical stuff, well done, Le Meridien!

While you can cocoon yourself in its luxury water-bound seclusion, including its top-rated Parvati spa and fine F&B offerings (great Italian at Favola, anyone?), it’s also in the same street as the lively Leelavadee Bar and a number of local eateries if you want to reach out and immerse yourself into the local life.

Le Meridien Chiang Rai is, as they say in the classics, ze duck's nuts.

221 / 2 Moo 20 Kwaewai Road, Robwieng, Chiang Rai, 053-603-333;

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