The Manor of Plenty

Set in Chiang Mai’s uber-chic precinct, the soon-to-open five-star Akyra Manor Chiang Mai combines plush accommodation with magnificent views, culture, fine dining and a plethora of bespoke luxury experiences.

Thailand’s Rose of the North just keeps blooming. One of the best places in Thailand where you can look back into the past with its historic temples and shrines, Chiang Mai is also where you can soak up modern Thai culture. One increasingly popular attraction is the trendy precinct of Nimmanhaemin Soi 9, also known as “coffee street”. The place to see and be seen, Nimmanhaemin Road is a bustling city centre nestled between majestic mountains and a meandering river. Named after Chiang Mai’s oldest family, it is today characterised by an infectious energy likened to the bohemian urban chic of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, with its landscape dotted by chic cafes, high-end restaurants and quaint galleries.

If you want to be at the heart of this dynamic scene, check into Akyra Manor Chiang Mai. Set to open its doors in July, this five-star luxury hotel, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, is the flagship project by Manor Group, a Singapore-based firm headed by founder and CEO John Lim with interests in property and hotel development, management and investment. You can trust a Singapore company to pull out all the stops when it comes to delivering the pinnacle of luxury experiences, but this project was also the result of Lim’s endeavour to develop Chiang Mai as a tourist destination while creating opportunities for training and employment among the local communities.

Steering the design for the 30 all-suite property is Chaw Chih Wen, the award-winning design director at Manor Studio, the group’s architectural and spatial design subsidiary. Each suite, spanning a generous 610sqft (or a lavish 1,050sqft if you check into one of the seven larger suites), was built around its own courtyard so guests can immerse themselves in the tranquil beauty of the outdoors without having to compromise their privacy.

Take a sunset soak in the bathtub, set in a private interior courtyard at the centre of your suite, while sipping a chilled glass of champagne before heading for a gastronomic feast at the hotel’s all-day banner restaurant Italics. Serving up modern interpretations of classic Italian artisanal fare, the trattoria-style restaurant is helmed by chef James Noble. With the show kitchen concept, you can watch Noble and
his team as they masterfully prepare your food before it is brought to your table by friendly staff. All dishes, from the pastas to the pizzas from the brick oven feature, are made from fresh local produce, so you’ll not only be dining in style but also with a conscience, thanks to reduced food miles.

For postprandial drinks with a view, adjourn to the rooftop bar, Rise. Set to be a gathering place for the well-heeled urban crowd and artists, this chic watering hole boasts a see-through swimming pool that’s perfect for a late-evening dip. With a blanket of stars overhead and the cool breeze against your skin, savour the romance in the air over your favourite tipple made to your exact specifications by the bartender.

Start the next day bright and early with a yoga session or hit the gym for something of a faster pace. Then, ask the concierge to arrange a car rental so you can go sightseeing at your leisure. Apart from the beautiful temples and colourful markets, you’ll also want to visit the Baan Tawai village, known for its carved wood handicrafts, and Wualai Road, home to a string of silverware shops. On the way back, make a stop at one of the cafes along Nimmanhaemin Road for your coffee fix before checking out the trendy lifestyle shops in the vicinity.

Adventure seekers can speak to the staff at the concierge about bespoke elephant rides and customised adrenaline-pumping tours, or go hiking at the lush Mae Taeng Valley, where you’ll get a glimpse of caves, cascading waterfalls, rice paddies and local villages. Birdwatchers should head to Doi Inthanon National
Park, home to many different species of birdlife, as well as wildlife, including deer and, if you’re lucky, tigers! With a host of other activities, from golf to shooting, hot air ballooning and horse riding, there won’t be one dull moment in Chiang Mai.

At the end of a day out, retreat to the creature comforts of your suite at Akyra Manor Chiang Mai, have a bottle of wine sent to your room and drink to the undeniable charm of Thailand’s Rose of the North.

AKYRA MANOR CHIANG MAI 22/2 Nimmanhaemind Road Soi 9, T. Suthep, A. Muang, Chiang Mai, Thailand
tel: 66(0) 5321 6219,

(Source: Tatler Singapore | Page 192 – 193)
Correction: Manor Studio is not “the group’s architectural and spatial design subsidiary” but rather “the group’s spatial design consultant”.