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Exploring our world through gay eyes

Rarinjinda Wellness Spa Resort, Chiang Mai, Thailand

The balconies of the Rarinjinda Wellness Spa Resort invite guests to enjoy the sun and relax. (c) GTH & Nathan DePetris

The balconies of the Rarinjinda Wellness Spa Resort invite guests to relax and enjoy the sun. (c) GTH & Nathan DePetris

Service is the focus of attention at the Rarinjinda Wellness Spa Resort in Thailand’s northern gem of a city, Chiang Mai. This boutique luxury five star property, winner of Thailand Tourism Awards, has been consistently upgrading its offerings and quality for many years. Wellness services and treatments are built into the experience here, blending eastern traditions and modern technology to deliver superlative and pleasurable guest stays.

All guests should indulge in half day or full day treatments, where the treatment room is an experience unto itself. Perched on the rooftop of the hotel, these exclusive treatment ‘villas’ are larger than your average hotel’s suites, and offer panoramic views through walls of glass amidst rock gardens and flowing fountains. Measuring almost one thousand square feet each, they are furnished with treatment table, sitting areas, full bathrooms, jetted tubs, their own balconies and outside areas, as well as privacy walls strategically placed to allow full meandering around your ‘grounds’ in the privacy expected by luxury spa guests. This is the epitome of a destination spa and well worth the visit to Chiang Mai by itself. The resort’s spa remains open late until midnight, taking package reservations as late into the evening.

The splashing water of the Rarinjinda's pool fountain soothes the nerves and calm the spirit. (c) GTH & Nathan DePetris

The splashing water of the Rarinjinda’s pool fountain soothes the nerves and calm the spirit. (c) GTH & Nathan DePetris

There’s also nothing standard about standard rooms at the Rarinjinda which provide a haven of wellness in a historic building. In-room ‘standard’ luxury amenities such as high end toiletries, bathrobes, complimentary wifi, slippers, fruit and water are taken for granted here; consider instead the unique additions, such as the burning diffuser of essential oils that permeates the scent of lemongrass as your enter your room, having been lit half an hour before your arrival. Or, the thoughtful selection of tea service with the delicate green Japanese-style bone china, with a lightly crackled interior and ceramic that keeps your tea heated properly. Then there’s the cold moist hand towel that you are handed when you are welcomed, coordinated in typical Thai fashion, with the same scented essential oil as the one burning in your room.

Rooms facing the inner courtyard and pool of the Rarinjinda Wellness Spa Resort have large balconies on which to relax. (c) GTH & Nathan DePetris

Rooms facing the inner courtyard and pool of the Rarinjinda Wellness Spa Resort have large balconies on which to relax. (c) GTH & Nathan DePetris

Space, the ultimate luxury at any property, is not spared here. Well laid out rooms feature an expansive bedroom with L shaped chaise lounge seating areas, an immense bathroom with a spacious shower, tub, and large sink, and finally, a balcony with soft cushioned benches overlooking the interior pool and courtyard. Silks abound in the decoration, accenting the plush cotton European duvet of the immense bed. Thoughtful touches include sliding partitions for the bathroom and closet, all wood and expertly crafted. The bathroom has window partitions which open up the space, connecting the tub and bathroom area, to the room, and by extension to the balcony and light outside through the floor to ceiling sliding glass doors.

Over the years, I’ve stayed at many resorts and visited numerous spas. Whether it’s this one’s location in Chiang Mai, itself a slower paced community that still offers all the attractions, or the well-thought-out design of the resort, I cannot say why: this gem of an enclave of serenity, however, remains one of my top favorites.

If You Go:
Rarinjinda Wellness Spa Resort
Thailand’s gay travel information website

A portion of this post’s underlying trip was hosted by the Rarinjinda Wellness Spa Resort and the Tourism Authority of Thailand. My opinions, however, are my own, and I was not paid to express any bias for or against a place or product.

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