HIGH ON HOTELS: 137 Pillars House,Chiang Mai

Well, for all those who have been waiting for the latest post in our “High on Hotels” section- the wait is over!!! And we are certain that you would be quite pleased with what is coming your way… Thailand is a favourite with many of us, and this time around we have explored a beauty in Chiang Mai called 137 Pillars House. Towards, the close of this post- we are certain that you would agree that it is a beauty with a difference! Here is all that we found out…

Q: Why a stay here would prove to be the most memorable one?
A: In addition to the naturally gracious Thai hospitality, exquisite cuisine and sensational spa treatments, the boutique experience at 137 Pillars House is unique due to its rich colonial history as it is built around an original teak homestead that dates back to the late 1800’s which has been lovingly restored.  It evokes an experience that goes back to a bygone era which is still evident throughout the house.  As the winner of the coveted Travel + Leisure’s Best Resort in Asia Award which is voted by the readers, this perhaps is a testimony to its memorability; together with its high year round occupancy and a high percentage of return guests.

137 Pillars House Chiangmai , Thailand 17-1-12

Q: What all facilities would you find in the room?
A: 137 Pillars House has 30 suites all of which are white, contrasting with the rich wooden teak homestead and furnished with rich Jim Thompson silks and fabrics in a deep green, a vibrant red or a dark teal.  Suites have high polished wooden floors, black and white mosaic tiles in the bathroom, a deep soak standalone claw footed bathtub, outdoor showers, large verandahs complete with the signature 137 rocking chair and exquisite furnishings throughout, with stunning orchids and bespoke amenities. Modern comforts and a contemporary interpretation of colonial design that marries the old and new.

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137 Pillars House Chiangmai, Thailand 18-1-12

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Q: Elaborate on the facilities in the hotel for in-house guests?
A: The hotel houses the Jack Bain Bar, Wine Cellar and Dining Room among others.  Recreation facilities include the Spa, Gymnasium and Swimming Pool.  The hotel’s cooking classes are very popular and guests find it hard to stop at just one spa treatment! Although an intimate footprint guests can immerse themselves in the resort with in-suite dining, multiple dining areas and cuisine options, spa, wellness programs and classes.

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137 Pillars House Chiangmai, Thailand 19-1-12

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Q: A must try restaurant in the hotel and why?
A: The hotel has two restaurants and they both offer different experiences, one with Thai food which is hugely popular worldwide and which most guests want to experience and keep coming back for more (as well as doing the cooking class so they can recreate their favorite dishes when they get home for their family and friends).  Palette – a intimate dining experience for up to 20 people, also exhibits local artworks and offers exquisite western food options and daily specials, using organic ingredients.

137 Pillars House, Chiangmai, Thailand 20-10-12

Q: Please throw some light on the USP of the hotel?
A: Rich Colonial History, gracious Thai hospitality, bespoke experiences such as- delicious cuisine, the spa –actually hard to name just one.  Also, a great location in an historic area of Chiang Mai and within literally 5 minutes walking distance of upmarket boutiques, galleries and restaurants along the river. Personalized guest experience with all guests assigned a butler who remains in touch with guests both on property and off property. Thoughtfully designed, spacious suites and balconies offering guests a “private residence feeling” instead of a guest room. It is an Oasis in the city or even, a Sanctuary in the city.

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Q: Could you share a little about the connectivity of the hotel?
A: Guests who stay in a hotel of this caliber prefer to use the hotel transportation, but the hotel is easily accessible by those who want to use the local tuk tuks and other local transport options.

Q: Further to the earlier question, what is the easiest way to get to the hotel from the airport?
A: By hotel limousine which even has free wifi and is a seamless, relaxing and elegant way of getting in and out.

 Q: For all the prospective guests and shopping lovers, please tell us about the closest shopping hub to the hotel?
A: Literally around the corner from the hotel is a renowned artisan store -Villa Cini showcasing the best of Thai silk products, ceramics and weaving (bespoke handbags, lifestyle items) then, vintage and traditional Thai sarongs at  Fai Sor Kam and Sop Moei Arts for handicraft items. The street offers wonderful colonial era architecture.

Q: Lastly, if one got back at 2 am to the hotel, what is it that one would get to eat?
A:
Currently the kitchen closes at 11.30pm and re-opens at 5.30am as there has been no demand in the last 4 years of operation – but this is also under review to consider some menu options to be made available at such hours.

Pictures Courtesy: 137 Pillars House

 

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High on Hotels: Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives

Hello! So it is that time again when we further apprise you with an absolute stunning and top quality property from around the World. This time around, we shall be getting enlightened about a space that is nestled in a dream destination for many- Maldives.

Without much ado, here is all about Gili Lankanfushi… Whether you are planning for your honeymoon or that milestone anniversary, we are very sure- this property will truly prove to be breathtaking.  And what’s more is that a little birdie told us that this place been the preferred choice for global icons like Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Q: Why a stay here would prove to be the most memorable one?
A: Gili Lankanfushi is an intimate coral island that has a Palm Beach with an expanse of white sand beach below a blanket of stars and a horizon beach that is overlooking the quiet bay of the resort island. With many coral gardens around, we have a habitat of marine life living in the lagoons circled around the island and house reef on the borders of azure waters of the island of Lankanfushi.

Q: What all facilities would you find in the room?
A: Here are the details:

– Large open-air living room with day beds and dining area
– Roof-top terrace with day-bed and dining facilities
– Overwater sun deck with sun loungers
– Semi open-air private bathroom with separate glass-walled shower area
– King-sized bed

Gili Lankanfushi Resort Maldives


Q: Elaborate on the facilities in the hotel for in-house guests?
A: The Services and facilities include:

-Friday Concept: Named after Robinson Crusoe’s loyal friend, Mr. Friday makes guests’ stay as pleasant as possible. Day or night, the Mr. Friday will swiftly answer any request in mind. Even keeping the little ones entertained with storytelling and activities while parents spend some romantic time reconnecting with each other.
-Meera Spa offering holistic treatments with facilities including yoga/meditation champa, steam and sauna rooms, as well as a relaxation area.

GLM_Meera Spa Treatment Room

-Ocean Paradise Dive Centre offering PADI course and diving sessions to several dive sites including the world famous Manta Point.
-Fitness Centre
-Organic Garden
-Wedding Pavilion for celebrations of memorable milestones.

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-Library offering an extensive selection of easy reading and reference books.
-Poolside offers the perfect location to soak up the sun, relax on loungers, stargazing into the night or to sit beside the traditional Maldivian fireside “Alifan Fenda”.
-Boutique shop selling authentic Maldivian items and handmade items form the resort
-Leisure activities include sunrise yoga, meditation sessions, variety of water sports, tennis court, volleyball, table-tennis, petanque, jogging, pool table, a large selection of board games, movie screenings at the Jungle Cinema.
-Other activities that can be organized upon request are guided snorkeling trips, water skiing, sunrise/sunset dhoni cruises, sandbank picnic, dolphin cruise, excursions to the capital city, private movie screenings at your location of choice and special entertainment programs for kids by our Mr. Friday.

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Q: A must try restaurant in the hotel and why?
A: Our destination dining experience at locations such as One Palm is a must try, as it provides you with a unique Gili Moment and an endless choice of romantic destinations to escape to. By the Sea presents a Japanese Culinary adventure combined with breathtaking views of the ocean. Our newly refurbished and air conditioned Sushi Counter and brand new Teppanyaki Counter has only added to our guests’ culinary experience.

GLM_Destination Dining at Palm Beach

Q: Please throw some light on the USP of the hotel?
A: Here is an insight into the USP-

-Private Reserve: The largest standalone over water villa in the world standing at 1,700sqm featuring a private spa facility with sauna, indoor and outdoor treatment pavilion, gymnasium, private cinema on the 2nd floor of the central living area, an infinity pool, resident Mr. and/or Ms. Friday on call 24hours, fully equipped gourmet kitchen, a waterslide installed from the top deck into the coral pool. Additionally, there are also sea level sundecks with sun loungers with clear views of coral gardens and amazing marine life. Dining spaces include roof-top terraces with daybed and two outdoor dining pavilions.
-Luxury of reconnecting with nature in a natural environment with our “No Shoes, No News” philosophy, and doing as much or as little as you want at the resort.
-Mr. Friday Concept about which we shared above.
-Eco-friendly concept focusing on sustainability in all activities that we do with/for guests and internally with staff. Activities include organic garden farming, producing our own water, an in-house eco-center to recycle and reuse materials – turning them into new items, more significantly our coral line project, where our marine biologist grow these corals.
-Exquisite dining experience which includes:

  • Main Restaurant offering a great buffet and a la carte breakfast. Daily changing gourmet experience for dinner as well as theme nights such as Mediterranean Spice Souk, Asian Street Market and Passage to India evenings.
    GLM_Mediterranean Spice Souk
    Gili Lankanfushi Resort Maldives
  • By the Sea presents a Japanese Culinary adventure combined with breathtaking views of the ocean.
  • Over Water Bar offering a casual menu that features a wide selection of fresh salad leaves from the garden, sushi. Mediterranean delicacies, daily catch of fish, imported meats as well as local spices and herbs.
  • The Underground Wine Cellar and Chocolate Cave.
    GLM_Underground Wine Cellar
  • The in-villa dining experience.
  • Destination dining offering a slice of paradise with an endless choice of romantic destinations to escape to.

Q: Could you share a little about the connectivity of the hotel?
A: Our Island is located 20 minutes away from Male International Airport.

Just seeing this place in pictures has been such a delight, imagine what the up-close experience would be like!

 

Pictures Courtesy: Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives

For the love of wines…

We love our wine. This drink is our most preferred especially in moments of celebrations and merry-making. And one is constantly trying to develop a nose for good wines. Lately, we came across a bottle of joy worth mentioning. Beringer Founders’ Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, a carefully crafted wine made with deep berry, toasted oak and vanilla spice flavours. Time to thank, Aspri Spirits, one of the leading importers and distributors of premium wines and spirits in India who have also got in the Beringer wines.  One was supremely thrilled to treat oneself these winters with this wine comprising of one of the world’s most widely recognized red wine grape varieties.

It undoubtedly made for a smooth drink and worked well to sooth one’s taste buds.

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Few other wines of theirs which deserve a mention here:

  • Beringer White Zinfandel Sparkling-

Lovely floral notes that are reminiscent of the wonderfully refreshing Spumante of Italy, with citrus and strawberry fruit nuances. Mexican and Thai food have the perfect amount of spice to be paired with the wine.

  • Beringer Pinot Grigio-

Aromas of lime and apple with just a hint of honeysuckle are complemented by the nectarine and apricot components on the palate.It works well on hot days and warm summer nights as a pre-dinner sipper or how about pairing it with some fresh salads and grilled chicken.

 Beringer Pinot Grigio.JPG (Classic)

 P.S. Not to forget mentioning that none of these quality wines are going to pinch your pockets since they are priced rather well.