Chiang Mai is a jewel in the mountains of northern Thailand! From the ancient, walled 'Old City' to the Riverside district to the mountainside temples overlooking the Valley containing the city of Chiang Mai, the sprawl of which would have awed its founders in 1296! There's a thousand and one things to do and restaurants to try. The experience has been described by people who have travelled more throughout the country as authentically Thai.
Travelling by scooter is about 5 times faster than travelling by car. And on this morning, I left Jenn and a taxi driver, and the charming doormen at Akyra Manor in charge of the luggage, and took off on the scooter for a short tour, and STILL beat Jenn and the taxi to Akyra. Not having any documentations to check in to the room, I headed straight to the renowned Rise Rooftop Pool Bar, famous for its glass-sided, Aquarium style pool where swimmers become an aquatic mealtime show.
Akyra Manor Hotel is one of the top luxury hotels in Chiang Mai! As you walk in the front doors, you're struck by the irregular, birds nest like embellishments that crown the exterior. Once inside, modern furnishings meet kitsch meet ten foot candelabra chandelier, and a full sized horse lamp. As we were whisked what would turn out to be a futuristic, jetsons-like slice of modern luxury, we were ushered down curtained hallways, lighted from behind, giving the effect of a movie theatre atmosphere.
The door swings open to our suite and were greeted with a plush looking, leather bench, overlooking an 8-foot fishbowl tub, which sits outside on the patio. Above it, a chandelier of softball sized ball bearings dangle preciously, illuminating the bamboo growing on the outer edge of the patio, providing privacy for the bathers. A right turn into the suite, leads you into a bathroom fit for a 5 star luxury spa. A large sliding window leads you to a tiled path surrounded by small river stones to the outdoor tub. A symmetrical sliding door on the other side is a shortcut to the master bedroom. The centrepiece of the master bedroom is a slick double-sided wardrobe. One side conceals a large flatscreen TV facing the large King sized bed, the other side sports a halo lit mirror vanity and small seating space. The bed is a plush pillow top that comes with a pillow bar menu, which allows you a choice of 7 different types of pillows; seriously. We rang the front desk and asked for one of each and tested them out. A smiling staff member was at our door with our pillows within a few minutes and shared a good laugh with us having ordered all of them. On the wall behind the bed, inside the built in cupboards, are the master controls to the room, doing everything from dimming the lights, to closing the drapes, to turning off the tv. We slept well.
A breakfast buffet at italics is included with every stay at Akyra and the food is very good. Fresh pastries, delicious tropical fruit, delicious coffee, fresh squeezed juices and a selection that will make sure everybody will find something they will like. Every night they drop off a cocktail of the day for you to make yourself in your room. All the non-alcoholic ingredients are included free of charge, and there's an option to add the corresponding liquor at a very affordable price. Taking everything into account: the modern rooms, the world class rooftop pool, excellent food, perfectly adequate gym and beaming staff make Akyra an excellent choice for your stay in Chiang Mai!