- Detailed Review
- Facts & Amenities
If you like to stay in the heart of town whenever you travel, when you’re in Chiang Mai, look no further than 137 Pillars House, an eco-friendly resort and a verdant oasis smack in the thick of it all. Built in the late 19th century, the teak house was the headquarters of the British Borneo Company ‘till WWII. Interestingly, it was also the home of the son of Anna Leonowens (the same Anna of the King and I).
Today, the hotel restaurants are situated in the original house. The rooms, all independent suites, are located within the luscious grounds and are exquisitely furnished, like the property itself, in a style of traditional Thai elegance and a blend of colonial grace. While there are ample mod cons and creature comforts, don’t expect over-the-top luxury; it’s a welcoming and comfortable property, a great place to call home for a few days, or longer.
Situated on the west side of the Ping River in the Wat Gate area of Chiang Mai’s historic foreign quarter, the city’s night market is a 15-minute walk away. The old city can be reached easily by tuk-tuk.
But don’t stay out too long, or you’ll miss the chance to luxuriate in or beside the hotel’s outdoor pool, set against a huge living wall – gin fizz by your side. The spa is also a good idea but book in advance – it’s popular. There’s a gym that’s open 24 hours, and someone’s always on hand to put you through the moves for those feeling lethargic.
After that gin fizz, or two as there’s often a happy hour special going, choose a table at Pallet for a Western-style and elegant meal, open for dinner only. More casual comfort food or traditional Thai meals are available at The Dining Room which is open throughout the day and has outdoor seating options. Nightcaps at Jack Bain’s Bar (named after one of the house’s last residents) are essential. The retro cocktail menu, along with the live pianist who’s here every evening, beckons.
When it comes time to retire to your room, the Victorian-style claw tub in your vast bathroom may be a welcome sight, as may your outdoor shower on your private patio, which comes with a rocking chair and a day bed. Some suites have private pools and all have gorgeous teak floors, Nespresso machines, four-poster super-king beds (or twins) and beautiful, framed photos of old Chiang Mai.
How to get here
15 minutes by road from Chiang Mai International Airport