Trip Report: Thailand (part 14) Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Introduction
United Airlines 747 First Class Chicago (ORD) to Frankfurt (FRA)
Lufthansa Senator Lounge Frankfurt (FRA)
Thai Airways A380 First Class Frankfurt (FRA) to Bangkok (BKK)
Thai Airways 737 Business Class Bangkok (BKK) to Koh Samui (USM)
Conrad Koh Samui
Mae Koh National Park Boat trip and Chaweng Beach
Bangkok Airways Economy Class Koh Samui (USM) to Phuket (HKT)
Naka Island a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa
James Bond Island and Little Island Boat trip
Phi Phi Island Boat trip
Patong Beach and Bangla Road
Air Asia Economy Class Phuket (HKT) to Chiang Mai (CNX)
Four Seasons Chiang Mai
ELE (Elephant Life Experience) Elephant Camp
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple
Bangkok Airways Economy Class Chiang Mai (CNX) to Bangkok (BKK)
St. Regis Bangkok
Dinner at Vertigo at Banyan Tree Rooftop
Chatuchak Weekend Market and Wat Pho Temple
Cathay Pacific Business Class Bangkok (BKK) to Hong Kong (HKG)
American Airlines First Class Hong Kong (HKG) to Dallas (DFW)
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Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Four Seasons Chiang Mai entrance

We took a cab from the Chiang Mai airport and wow cabs are cheap in Chiang Mai.  After about a 45 minute drive and around 600THB we arrived at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai.  The alternative option that could be booked through the Four Seasons was an airport transfer of 2800THB+7% tax per car per way which compared to a normal cab was quite high in our opinion (no mention of what type of vehicle they use for the transportation).

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Four Seasons Chiang Mai signage (in Thai letters) and security check office

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Driving up to the Four Seasons Chiang Mai entrance

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Driving up to the Four Seasons Chiang Mai

When we arrived we were greeted like rock stars although they didn’t know we were on our way.  They grabbed our bags and welcomed us in to the lobby.  We were greeted by about 5 or 6 of the staff no less! When arriving to the lobby you will notice the front desk on the left and a concierge desk on the right although they aren’t clearly marked it can be assumed the concierge desk is the one with chairs.  We were seated on a couch in the lobby and presented with a scented cold towel and a lovely glass of fresh mixed juices.

The lobby was somewhat dark and simple but did a nice job of incorporating Thai elements and was aesthetically pleasing to my eye.  After going over the details of our reservation on the couch the concierge explain what type of activities they offered on the resort and some things that could be booked off the resort.  They also confirmed our upcoming elephant adventure excursion that we booked prior to our arrival.

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Four Seasons Chiang Mai lobby and front desk

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Four Seasons Chiang Mai lobby and concierge desk

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Four Seasons Chiang Mai welcome display

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Flowers floating on water in the Four Seasons Chiang Mai lobby

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Four Seasons Chiang Mai welcome drink and refreshing towel

We were escorted by a guest services employee through the lobby and on a mini tour of the resort as we passed by points of interest on our way to our room.


Rice Terrace 
Pavilion 1403

I had booked the standard lead in room (read: cheapest) through our Virtuoso agent. I did not ask for an upgrade while checking in and just left it up to fate in this case.  I did however mention prior to arrival via email that I would be celebrating my birthday while in Thailand (but not while in Chiang Mai) to see if that would help with any type of upgrade.  When we stopped at the building in which our room was housed there were two options: stairs leading up and stairs leading down.  I was hoping for the stairs leading up to be on an upper level room however we were on the ground floor.  I am not complaining as we were upgraded two levels from a “garden pavilion”, past a “lanna pavilion” to a “rice view pavilion”!  It would have taken another level of upgrade to get the “upper rice terrace pavilion”.  The rooms are identical in the pavilions but the views and where you are situated within the resort are the key differentiators.

As we entered the pavilion my wife stated, “ahhh here we are back to luxury” as she felt like The Naka Island resort we stayed at just prior wasn’t up to snuff in terms of hard product.  We are both fans of the Four Seasons.  The room was spacious at 750 square feet and just gives you that comfortable luxury feel that you cannot deny when you are able to unwind at most Four Seasons.  There was a rather large complimentary basket of a variety of fruits native to Thailand. In front of that was a welcome letter from the resort and a thank you letter from our travel agent.  The room allowed for plenty of light as there were several windows with views facing the rice patties or out towards an outdoor patio.

The bedroom consisted of a wonderfully comfortable king bed with matching nightstands, two large plush chairs with a table separating them, and a desk area with plenty of power outlets, some with North American outlets for our convenience (no adapters required).  It also had a decent sized flat screen TV and a mini bar area next to the entrance.

 

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Entrance to our rice terrace pavilion at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Minibar area

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Bedroom Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Bedroom Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Welcome letter and complimentary fruit awaits us in our room

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Bedroom Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Bedroom Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Four Seasons Chiang Mai bedroom

The bathroom was very close to the same size of the bedroom and separated by a sliding door if you needed for additional privacy. There was plenty of space in the bathroom for both of us to comfortably get ready in the morning. There of course was a separate bathtub (be it a bit small in my opinion) and shower stall area. The rainfall shower head installed in the shower was installed a bit low. I could barley fit underneath it and I am 6’1″ tall, any taller and you would have troubles fitting below it without bending your knees. To avoid any head clearance issues I simply used the handheld shower head instead. The water pressure was amazing and the Four Seasons Chiang Mai uses L’Occitane soaps and amenities which are good. The closet was large and included an iron and ironing board and safe if needed.

DSC08570 Four Seasons Chiang Mai bathroom

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Four Seasons Chiang Mai Bathroom

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Four Seasons Chiang Mai bathtub

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Four Seasons Chiang Mai shower

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Four Seasons Chiang Mai water closet

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Four Seasons Chiang Mai bathroom

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Four Seasons Chiang Mai Closet and bedroom

Attached to our room was walkway leading to our own outdoor private Thai sala (terrace). This was a nice feature of the room to give us some nice outdoor space! There were privacy blinds that could be lowered if you needed and there was also a ceiling fan to keep any mosquitos at bay.  On the sala there was a decent sized table with seating for four and an additional couch if you wanted to lay down and read a book.  The sala afforded nice views of the property and the rice patties. We enjoyed a nice breakfast out there one morning and I would recommend that as the prefect place to enjoy your breakfast every morning.

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View of our outdoor patio from the bedroom

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Outdoor patio area of our room

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Outdoor patio area room

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View of the rice patties from our room at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Four Seasons Chiang Mai room keys and map

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Exterior view of the rice view pavillions at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Exterior view of the rice view pavilions at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

Of course a full video walkthrough of our rice view pavilion below:

 

Food and Beverage 

We enjoyed several meals over the course of our three night stay at Four Seasons Chiang Mai.  Most of them were breakfast but we did have a few other dishes outside of that timeframe. The food is really good here and my wife had her favorite most flavorful meal of our two week trip here!!

Room Service

We ordered room service our first night at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai and well actually my wife did as I was not feeling well and did not want to even smell or look at food. I had picked up some sort of 24 hour stomach bug somewhere along the way. I think it may have been something I ate or drank while in Phuket the day before. Anyways my wife ordered some sort of salad with an order of Khao Soi Gai.  She loved her meal!! She was trying to encourage me to have some and I was getting annoyed just smelling the food as I was laying in bed trying to sleep.  I did have her order me a banana smoothie (since I became addicted to them while at the Conrad Koh Samui).  The smoothie was good (not as good as Conrad’s) and went down great thankfully.

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Room service salad

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Room service Khao Soi Gai (my wife loved it!)

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Room Service setup

On another evening we ordered in some dessert! We had the coconut ice cream and a banana smoothie and they were both good and hit the spot!

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Coconut flavored ice cream kept cool in a frozen pineapple and a banana smoothie
Sala Mae Rim Restaurant

Sala Mae Rim is the restaurant where breakfast was served. They also serve food throughout the day and is a more casual type of establishment. We enjoyed breakfast here on two mornings.  They have the buffet setup here and we had the choice of buffet or any made to order options or room service as part of our complimentary breakfast benefit by booking through Virtuoso.

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Sala Mae Rim seating at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

The buffet had just about anything one could want. A good mix of Thai, Asian and western options were available.  Of course they could make you any type of eggs at the egg station and pancakes or crepes as well. It was a pretty quiet and peaceful setting to enjoy our breakfast.  The food was good and the staff was great at taking care of us and proactively offering us juice refills and coffee.  I tried the buffet one morning, I tried a few of the made to order menu items another morning and one final morning we ordered room service to be eaten on our sala (our preferred method for having breakfast here). Whatever you do please try the corned beef hash with fried egg and apple chutney! AMAZING!  Breakfast is served 7-10am so late sleepers be warned.

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Breakfast buffet setup at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Breakfast buffet setup at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Seating and view from Sala Mae Rim at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Hot item breakfast station at Sala Mae Rim at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Breakfast buffet setup at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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View from our table at breakfast

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Raisin cinnamon french toast at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Vanilla pancakes at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Thai set breakfast at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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In-room breakfast setup on our outdoor patio at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Made to order breakfast menu at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Corned beef hash with fried eggs and apple chutney (amazing!)

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Coconut pancake with mango and pumpkin seed

 

 Terraces Restaurant

We didn’t have the opportunity to eat at Terraces Restaurant but it appears to be a slightly more fine dining establishment than compared to Sala Mae Rim.  It also has great views of the entire property and surrounding mountains if you get a seat by the railing.  They serve lunch from 11am-4:30pm and dinner from 6pm-10pm.  At night they light up the tiki torches and it really makes for a nice scene.

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Seating at Terraces Restaurant at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Exterior of Terraces Restaurant at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai

 

Health Club Facilities

On our last morning while my wife was having a spa treatment I figured I would grab a quick workout.  The health club is sort of located under the swimming pool area and can be tricky to find in my opinion.  On my way to the health club I noticed a bike rental area in which you can rent bikes for the day if you want to explore outside the property. I am not positive if this is a complimentary service or not.

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Complimentary bike rentals at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

As I entered the health club there is a checkin area staffed by two people. He asked for my room number and that was it. To the right of the checkin is the actual fitness area with several cardio machines and resistance machines along with some free weights and other odds and ends. They do have a nice towel area with some cool refrigerated scented towels and plenty of bottled waters.  There were no other people in the fitness center while I was there making it a good size. However if there were 6 or 7 people working out at one time it would seem too small in my opinion.

I completed 30 minutes on the elliptical machine and about 5-10 minutes of free weights and I was done.  The machines are all in good condition and everything was clean and organized well.

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Health Club activities at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Workout room at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Four Seasons Chiang Mai workout room

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Four Seasons Chiang Mai workout room

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Four Seasons Chiang Mai gym

Just a few steps outside of the fitness center were some plunge pools and steam rooms and sauna’s.

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Cold plunge pool at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Cold plunge pool at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Steam room at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Four Seasons Chiang Mai steam room (blurry iPhone photo)

Not situated by the fitness center but sports and fitness related were two flood-lit, synthetic grass tennis courts.  Racquets and balls were available and for a fee they could provide you with a hitting partner/instructor per hour. The court was open from 6am-9pm although we did not use it during our stay.

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Tennis courts at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Tennis courts at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

There is also a world class golf course at the Summit Green Valley Country Club located about 10 minutes drive from our resort but we are not big golfers so we didn’t check it out.


Pool(s)

We enjoyed a few hours by the pool one afternoon.  The Four Seasons Chiang Mai has a main pool that is a decent size and then down a deck lower they have a smaller adults only pool set amongst the rice patties. Looking at a picture of the lower level pool set amongst the rice patties was one of the things that sold me on the property!   During our visit there were two other adults in the main pool and we had the lower pool all to ourselves. We walked into the pool area and were greeted by a pool boy that told us to sit where ever we would like. We walked down to the lower pool and he set up our chairs for us and water. He then advised he would be happy to get us a beverage from the menu. We took him up on that offer of course! About five minutes later we had our drinks!  The wifi worked well at the pool area as well as in the room. Sometimes at some resorts wifi can be spotty but here it seemed to be good (except there was a 4-5 hour timeframe during our second day where the wifi actually went down they admitted and was shortly fixed a few hours later.)

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Upper pool at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Cabana like seating at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai pool

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Lounge seating at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai pool

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Upper pool at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Bar at the pool at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Upper pool at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Lounge chairs at Four Seasons Chiang Mai pool

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Beverage menu at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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View of the rice view pavilions from the lower pool

It was a great experience to have the lower pool to ourselves with our cocktails.  It was like our own private pool and it was just a very relaxing experience.  I will also say that drinks are very reasonably priced for a Four Seasons!! Most drinks were around  $10-12 for cocktails which compared to our visit to the Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay in Bali where drinks around double that, was a steal. The cherry on the sunday is they even brought out a complimentary round of drinks!! Yup mango martini’s with actual vodka in them 🙂

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Adults only pool at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Adults only pool at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Adults only pool at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Me at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai lower pool

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My wife at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai lower pool

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Four Seasons Chiang Mai lower pool

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I am relaxing in the lower pool at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Straight chllin in the Four Seasons Chiang Mai pool

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Drinks at the pool and complimentary snacks

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My wife enjoying her drink (the “Must Try” if I recall) at the pool
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Vacation!

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Four Seasons Chiang Mai rice farmers playing music signaling the end of their work day

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Four Seasons rice farmers on with a musical walk through the property

DSC08783   Complimentary poolside mango martini’s at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Hot tub area at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

We capped off our pool time with a 15 minute dip in the hot tub which wasn’t that hot but had strong jets and was very relaxing! The hot tub is easy to miss as it is off to the side before you get to the main pool. Make sure to ask if you don’t see them!


Spa

My wife used our $100 complimentary spa credit which we obtained simply by booking through our Virtuoso travel agent. She ended up getting her first traditional Thai massage which she thoroughly enjoyed!!  She chose the 90 minute treatment which was just under $150 or around 4700THB so we were still on the hook for $50 which is a good value. She was nice enough to snap some photos for the blog since I didn’t visit the spa during our stay.

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Spa reception with cold towel and refreshing drink

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Spa reception area at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Massage table at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai spa

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Massage room at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai spa

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Four Seasons Chiang Mai spa waiting area

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Entering your private room at the spa suite (shower, steam room, dressing room)

 

Around the Resort

Four Seasons Chiang Mai resort map
Four Seasons Chiang Mai resort map

The grounds are somewhat expansive and its a good idea to take a full walk around to get acclimated to the surroundings.  I took some photos of some points of interest while walking around.

I have heard that the cooking school they offer here at the resort is top notch and my wife wanted to participate however it consumes a large part of the day and is expensive. I told her she could do it by herself and I would find something else to keep me occupied but she wanted me to participate which would have been too much.  The cost was 6300THB. I remembered while in Thailand each 100THB = $3.12 so 6300THB per person was around $200 per person not including the 17% tax.

Ok I will let the photo’s and captions below tell the story of some points of interest around the property that perhaps we didn’t spend time with.

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Wine room at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Four Seasons Chiang Mai grounds

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Exterior shops at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Entrance to Four Seaons Chiang Mai cooking school

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The rice barn private dining table setting

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The rice barn private dining setting

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Views of the rice view pavilions from the far side of the Four Seasons resort

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Orchids

 

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Rice fields

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Children’s play area at Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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View up towards the lobby of the Four Seasons Chiang Mai

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Four Seasons Chiang Mai rice terrace pavilions and rice fields

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Four Seasons Chiang Mai with mountains in the background

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The house bulls in front of the Four Seasons Chiang Mai

Before departing my wife was determined to try to get a photo of the bulls that live with the rice farmers near the property. The bulls have been born and raised on the resort and are friendly we were told.  We checked the schedule and they are scheduled to be outside the lobby in the morning and in the late afternoons most days.  My wife was happy when we ran into them while checking out!! The albino bull is huge and a beaut!

PointsPinnacle Breakdown

We did not use any points for our stay at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai.  The Four Seasons doesn’t offer a redeemable points program or loyalty program in the traditional sense (I wish they did though!)  We chose to just pay cash for our room. However in order to get the most bang for our buck, most Four Seasons properties have promos that run throughout the year. We chose the “stay longer” promo in which you stay two nights get the third night “free” (nothing is really free).  This brought the average nightly rate down a decent amount so that it is one of the few Four Seasons properties in the world that is affordable to us (although still more expensive than a normal hotel in Chiang Mai).

We booked the stay through a Virtuoso travel agent.  The benefit in booking through Virtuoso is that they are a preferred partner with Four Seasons and we get extra benefits! The benefits for our stay were:

  • Room upgrade of one category, based on availability at the time of check-in (excluding signature villas and suites)
  • Daily full American breakfast for two people per bedroom, served through in room dining or in the hotel restaurant (including buffets)
  • Complimentary high speed internet
  • Spa credit of $100usd once during stay (cannot be used for products)

We had a fabulous stay at Four Seasons Chiang Mia! Well worth the splurge to treat ourselves during our vacation.  We work hard so its great to refresh and reenergize with an amazing luxury property like Four Seasons Chiang Mai!!!  Thank you too the entire staff at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai! Kudos!

Let me know if you have any questions! Thanks for reading!

-pointspinnacle


 

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