Travel: 137 Pillars House, Chiang Mai, Thailand / by Jenn Chan

 The Original 137 Pillars House, Chiang Mai

The Original 137 Pillars House, Chiang Mai

 

137 Pillars House Chiang Mai won Best Hotel in Asia from Travel & Leisure's in 2016. That is a big deal, really big! Travel & Leisure is the premiere publication for travel! It is not difficult to see why they won either. The service is excellent, the grounds are stunning and the location is prime. 

 

The incredible service started even before we graced their grounds. 137 Pillars sent a car for us to our previous hotel. A car with leather, massage seats. Yes, that's right. JC also insisted I mention the cold towel and bottles of water they provided for the ride.  Having stayed in a completely different part of Chiang Mai we were delighted to see a completely different, and significantly better, area we may never have had occasion to venture to. Nawarat Bridge is mere minutes walk away, it's beautiful, and the surrounding Ping River area is filled with shopping and great restaurants!

 

As we pulled through the gates past the unassuming, white outer walls we were floored by the elegance of the entryway and the floating reception area surrounded by water. As we were led to our villa the plush, tropical vegetation and its fragrant aroma makes you forget where you are. 137 Pillars House Chiang Mai is a self-contained, tropical oasis! The beauty of the grounds cannot be overemphasized! All 30 of their amazing villas face to the centre of the property where a Borneo Company house, built in 1889 and boasting 137 pillars to support it, stands in all of its teak splendour. Now a posh restaurant, gym and small museum it has been restored to its 19 century glory and is absolutely beautiful. They don't make them like that anymore.

137 Pillars House, Chiang Mai
 137 Pillars Grounds

137 Pillars Grounds

137 Pillars House, Chiang Mai Grounds

 

I would live in our villa. Add a kitchen in the walk in closet and the suite would sell for $1 - 1.1 million dollars in my neighbourhood. And it would sell quickly! The claw foot tub in the elegant bathroom overlooks a romantic outdoor shower. The deck, complete with ultra comfortable rocking chair, has a nice view of the croquet course and refreshing ceiling fan hums away over the plush patio couch. The bed is like sleeping on a cloud and the air conditioning was quiet and strong. So necessary in Thailand!

 

 137 Pillars House Suite

137 Pillars House Suite

137 Pillars House Suite
137 Pillars House Suite Bathroom
137 Pillars House Suite Bathroom
137 Pillars House Suite Patio
 137 Pillars House Suite Private Pool

137 Pillars House Suite Private Pool

 137 Pillars House Dining Room

137 Pillars House Dining Room

137 Pillars House Dining Room
137 Pillars House Dining Room
 Lobster Udon

Lobster Udon

 Beef Tenderloin Burger

Beef Tenderloin Burger

 

Do you think 2016's best hotel in Asia has good food? Do you? Well it does. 

Incredible food actually! We were delighted to indulge in one of the best meals of our nearly 2 month Southeast Asia adventure. We started with a lovely cheese platter; blue cheese, Brie, cheddar with plum and shallots. We also ordered the 137's chowder, assorted seafood in rich white and Truffle soup base. It was delicious and hearty and fresh as a sly comeback. Foie gras is French for fatty liver. It was very tender. Like Elvis belting out a love ballad tender. We paired everything with a Lindeman's Henry's Sons Vrut Cuvée which was the perfect compliment to the cheese platter and extended into the seafood chowder and Foie gras course seamlessly.

 

 

137 Pillars Dining Room
137 Pillars Dining Room
137 Pillars Dining Room / Piano Bar
 Cheese Plate with Wine Pairing

Cheese Plate with Wine Pairing

 137 Pillars Seafood Chowder

137 Pillars Seafood Chowder

 Foie Gras

Foie Gras

 

The main event was a Veal Angus Beef and some beautiful Lamb Chops. A filet mignon with a white truffle infused whipped potato and port wine beef jus. Picture mashed potatoes, fluffy piles of potato goodness, now add truffles and consider the awesomeness multiplies by 100. The lamb was very fresh and was amongst the best I've ever had. The dish disappeared quickly so I can only assume she concurred.

 

 Lamb Chops

Lamb Chops

 Veal Angus Beef

Veal Angus Beef

 

The service at 137 is top notch. The property is flawless, the pool is a perfect oasis and the food cannot be beaten! It is difficult to find a negative to 137. Out butler Toto was very helpful and a quick text answers all of our questions. It is amongst my favourite hotels of all time and you will not regret visiting!

 

 137 Pillars Grounds at Night

137 Pillars Grounds at Night

137 Pillars Grounds at Night
 137 Pillars Pool at Night

137 Pillars Pool at Night

137 Pillars Pool at Night
 

Words: Scott Allan
Photos: Jenn Chan