Visiting this brand new hotel in its opening week, we sensed that it is aimed squarely at a new kind of visitor to Chiang Mai – those not necessarily looking for authenticity, but a luxurious home-fromhome. Design-wise, there were no lashings of teak or local artisan touches typically found in Thailand – but instead, monochrome designer furniture and black and white pictures of Paris. Our self-contained suite included its own kitchen, complete with a contemporary crystal chandelier, which dominated the large open-plan living space. It also boasted a spacious balcony with chairs overlooking the sleek communal pool. Located a few kilometres outside of Chiang Mai with very little to do in the surrounding area – it’s a hard sell. If you’re the sort looking to enter a resort and not leave, then this is the property for you (once it’s fully operational), otherwise you may feel a little cut-off – taxis are necessary for every journey. When we stayed, there was no restaurant on site, but breakfast was served (albeit cold – thank God for the in-room microwave) each morning by room service. A very ambitious opening – and we can only hope that it’ll get better with time.

www.thechiangmai.com