I look forward to warmly recommending it to any friend planning a trip to Northern Thailand.

Overall Impression The dusitD2 was a stunning study in contrasts, a harmonious balance between the latest international standards for a luxury hotel and the timeless grace of Thai hospitality; a beacon of tranquility and contemporary refinement in the heart of bustling downtown Chiang Mai. Located on an unassuming side street in the midst of the city’s vibrant Night Bazaar, the clean white stucco and glass facade barely hinted to the chic urban sanctuary within. But the lobby quickly set the tone. Its serene minimalist expanse of gleaming bleached floors was punctuated with ultra-modern designer furniture and bursts of warm, persimmon-colored accents to achieve an understated yet dramatic effect.

This up-to-the-minute flair, created by P49 Design, one of Thailand’s foremost interior design firms, carried over from the public areas to my light-filled suite. The suite offered just the right mix of Southeast Asian sophistication and contemporary comforts, including a working-size desk, ergonomic chair and reliable WiFi, to create a welcoming city retreat. I especially enjoyed relaxing there after a visit to nearby historic Buddhist temples or hours spent wandering through the maze of Chinatown market stalls. In truth, in spite of its privileged location in the center of the liveliest part of town, I found it hard to leave the cosseting embrace of the dusitD2. From its generous and imaginative breakfast buffet to its eclectic haute cuisine dinner menu, its nationally acclaimed restaurant, Moxie, easily trumped the fun of searching for local eateries.

And the spa, the aptly named Devarana (Sanskrit for Garden at Heaven’s Gate) was in itself reason enough never to leave the premises. And best of all, there was the staff. From the tooth-fairy-trained household staff who delivered a daily treat into the large Lucite box sitting on my desk for just that purpose to the pool attendant who remembered the blend of my favorite fruit smoothie, they were a gracious team of attentive professionals who never missed an opportunity to “surprise and delight” me (the hotel’s motto). The daily early afternoon change of shift was especially memorable. It was the first time I ever saw both outgoing and incoming hotel staff gather in a hotel lobby and perform a well choreographed line dance for the entertainment of the guests, and cheerfully oblige encore requests.

With its central location, sophisticated décor, superb comfort, great staff and superior service, the dusitD2 was equally welcoming to business and leisure travelers, as well as family-friendly. I look forward to warmly recommending it to any friend planning a trip to Northern Thailand.

Children The hotel welcomed children of all ages

Class Of Accommodation Five star

Concierge Khemika (Ann) Fundee

Connectivity There was complimentary WiFi connectivity throughout the property. Access from my suite was reliable and fast. Individual computer-generated secure user and pass codes were available at the reception desk.

General Manager Sukanya Janchoo

Handicapped Access The property featured a wheelchair-friendly entrance ramp and public facilities.

Length Of Stay Two nights

Location In the center of downtown Chiang Mai, a 15-minute drive from the airport.

Owned-Managed Dusit Tani PLC, a Bangkok-based hotel and resort company.

Pets Allowed No

Size The eight-story property housed all common areas and 131 rooms including 28 suites. It could accommodate up to 262 guests, and employed a staff of 140.

Year Opened-Renovated Opened in late 2006, the hotel was meticulous maintained in pristine condition.

Lobby And Common Areas The common areas occupied the entire bottom floor of the property. Their striking minimalist design played with space and light to create various functional areas that flowed harmoniously into each other. The highly polished white stone floor served as a unifying element. It reflected the muted light that filtered through horizontal blinds from the floor-to-ceiling glass front and left outer walls. This monochrome white-on-white scheme effectively showcased bold persimmon-colored accents, the signature color of the property, and geometric rosewood occasional pieces.

Walking through the double glass doors of the entrance, the eye was drawn to the extra-long, gently concave pale stone reception desk. It outlined an oval persimmon rug where concentric brown ripples evoked a peaceful autumn lake, its shape mirrored by a recessed oval in the ceiling. To the right of the reception area, two square open arches of persimmon-colored lacquer bracketed the space in front of a polished granite-topped bar. Six chrome barstools with molded rosewood seats were lined in front of the bar. Low sofas with brown upholstered seats and loose taupe back cushions were fitted within the two arches. Behind both sofas, low rosewood pedestals outlined the arches. They each held four square glass columns of various heights, filled with green fresh pears for additional touches of color. Two moveable white loveseat-sized circular hassocks and several occasional square chrome and rosewood cocktail tables completed the furnishings of the lounge. To the right of the front door, the lobby was delineated by a long rectangular persimmon rug that ran the length of the glass-walled façade. Four sitting clusters were arranged on it; each anchored by a white leather sofa with persimmon and brown toss pillows. Sculptural brown molded rope high-back chairs and moveable low occasional fireside chairs gathered around drum coffee tables clad in shirred natural linen provided additional seating.

At the far end of the hall, the elevators and staircase to the upper floors were located on either side of an overhead bridge with glass balusters. This created an unobtrusive visual divider between the lobby and lounge areas and the restaurant that occupied the far end of the main floor.

Bathroom The bathroom at the rear of the suite was separated from the bedroom by a glass wall. A connecting door and horizontal blinds could be closed for privacy. The floor and walls were tiled in cream ceramic. The back wall held a glass-enclosed shower stall. A large glass washbasin sat on the ceramic-topped vanity. Next to it, a streamlined, tankless commode and ladder towel rack were wall-hung. An oversized rectangular bathtub rested against the glass wall that separated the bathroom from the bedroom.

Room My 670 square foot (64 square meter) studio suite, Number 905, was an elegantly appointed private sanctuary. The foyer opened onto a spacious living room ahead and to the left, through a dressing room, to the bathroom. The living room and bedroom beyond formed an open floor plan that occupied the entire front of the suite. The bedroom could be closed off with an extra wide sliding door for privacy. Picture windows draped in cappuccino linen ran the length of both rooms. The floor was covered with wall-to-wall carpeting striated in various shades of brown and taupe. The white walls held tall panels painted with bold bright yellow and saffron geometric designs. In addition to a large black Parsons desk and brown upholstered desk chair, the living room had a semi-circular sectional sofa with seat and back cushions in shades ranging from natural to brown. A contemporary occasional chair covered in bright orange cloth provided an additional splash of color. A serving tray tucked into the corner under the window held a tea and coffee service and bottles of mineral water. A circular chrome and glass coffee table and a low credenza holding a panoramic flat panel television and DVD player completed the décor.

The focal point of the bedroom was the exquisitely comfortable king-size bed, with its cloud-light down comforter and gleaming white high-count cotton bed linens. It was punctuated by a witty bubble-shaped silk toss pillow in the dusitD2’s signature persimmon color. Two low bedside tables were built into the dark wood headboard. They held high-intensity reading spotlights that complemented the recessed lighting of the room. In front of the bay window, a daybed with an abundance of toss pillows formed an inviting window seat to nestle in and reflect on the day’s adventures, or catch up with world news on the wall hung television screen facing the bed.

Food And Restaurants At the time of my visit, Executive Chef Chalong Sakkapalanku and his enthusiastic culinary team were glowing with pride that Moxie had recently made the short list of Thailand’s Best Restaurants for the third time in a row in its five year existence. The list is published by the Thai edition of one of the leading international life-style magazine. I wholeheartedly concurred with this distinction. The menu offered an imaginative fusion of Thai classic dishes and international haute cuisine, and every dish I tasted was outstanding in its preparation and presentation. The entire dinner menu could be ordered from room service. My order was delivered promptly, each dish as artfully presented as in the dining room. Breakfast was equally outstanding. It was served on an endless curved buffet counter built on both sides of the open kitchen. One side offered a generous array of western favorites from freshly baked breads and French viennoiseries to large trays of excellent charcuteries and smoked fish. The opposite side featured oriental offerings such as congee soups and Phad Thai noodles, while in the center kitchen a chef expertly prepared egg dishes or Asian delicacies on demand. My own breakfast favorite was a bowl of lovely glass noodles and prawn soup, lightly flavored with lemon grass and ginger, followed by a nibble of croissant with a cup of local green tea.

The overall interior design of the hotel was subtly carried into the restaurant with clean line, neutral furniture enhanced by elegant arrangements of orchids and glass columns filled with green apples. It created an understated environment in which to fully appreciate the artistry on my plate.

Amenities Room amenities included a tea and coffee service with an electric kettle and an assortment of coffees, teas and herbal teas, and bottles of mineral water replenished every time the room was serviced. A daily surprise was delivered to the room. One day, it could be a plate of delicious freshly baked cookies, a hand-held herbal massage ball the next. There was a large electronic safe in the dressing room closet, as well as a golf umbrella, flashlight, hairdryer and two bathrobes and slippers. Toiletries included individual size house brand shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, cotton swabs, cotton pads, and mosquito repellent towelettes. In addition to these complimentary amenities, there was a well-stocked pay-for-usage mini bar.

Facilities Moxie, the restaurant, Mix, the bar, Devarana Spa, Dfit Fitness Center, a swimming pool and a conference center.

Pool The 22 by 46 foot (6.5 by 14 meter) free-form open-air swimming pool was located on the mezzanine floor of the hotel in a quiet area specifically designed so that no windows opened onto or had a view of it. I appreciated this privacy while swimming or sunning. A wide stone-paved terrace surrounded the pool, with a row of lounge chairs topped with thick taupe and white striped canvas cushions, and orange canvas umbrellas lined to one side. At the far end of the pool, a few stairs led to a sundeck lined with an additional row of lounge chairs.

Fitness Center And Spa The fitness center, DFit, was located on the roof of the property. In addition to offering of a range of state-of-the-art fitness equipment and the services of personal trainers, it also boasted a spectacular view over the rooftops of the historic city and the mountains.

My visit to Devarana Spa was a highpoint of my stay. Located on the top floor of the property, this intimate 3,500 square foot (320 square meter), five treatment room retreat felt like the contemporary version of the garden in heaven that gave it its name. In its 14 th century works, author Phraya Lithai envisioned Devarana as a sanctuary filled with natural stones and gems, glimmering silver and gold light, and the heavenly music of traditional Thai instruments, where visitors were nurtured and rejuvenated. The nurturing stared in the foyer where I was warmly welcomed by Nuradee Ruangvhaipramote, spa manager, while Kedwilai Chaitorn, receptionist, brought a black and gold lacquered tray with a refreshing scented towel, a cool herbal drink and a lovely fresh orchid. She then invited me to choose from four fragrant essential oils the one I preferred for my massage. This gracious welcome ritual was enhanced by the understated elegance of the surroundings. Two oriental lounging beds with white cotton cushions and black, purple and gold pillows under canopies draped in purple silk served as sofas and faced each other across the room. Rectangular rosewood coffee tables stood in front of the sofas on highly polished floors made of broad strips of dark and bleached hardwood. Brushed chrome cylinders held tall arrangements of bamboo stalks. The room was filled with muted light reflected from gold wall mirrors.

I was promptly introduced to my therapist Surapa Khachang, who escorted me to one of the five treatment rooms, a cocoon of luxury filled with faint harmonious music and gentle light. In addition to the ultra-comfortable treatment table, it featured a lounging bed and a deep circular bathtub filled with scented water and lotus blossoms. My Dervana signature treatment was a unique combination of the best international methods. It blended Thai, Ayurveda and Shiatsu pressures with Swedish and aromatherapy influences to produce a superbly soothing experience. Time vanished under Supara’s magic fingers. When I emerged from my blissful torpor, I was surprised to realize that I had been in this divine state for over two hours. Heaven’s antechamber indeed.

Conference Facilities There were three meeting rooms fully equipped with modern presentation and communication equipment. They could accommodate up to 16, 98 and 148 attendees respectively, and appeared to be popular with the local business community.

Cleanliness Excellent

Date Of Review September 2010

Reviewers Article and photos by Josette King

Service The room was serviced twice daily. Staff were well trained, attentive and friendly.

Would You Stay There Again? Yes

Contact Information

  • Address:
    • 100 Chang Klan Road
    • Amphur Muang
    • Chiang Mai 50100
    • Thailand
  • Phone:
    • +66 (0) 5399 9999
  • Fax:
    • +66 (0) 5399 9900
  • Website:
  • Email: