Vol. V No. 45 - Saturday November 25, - December 1, 2006
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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


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Three days of celebrations mark the completion of Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai

Three days of celebrations mark the completion of Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai

HRH Princess Soamsawali presided at the official opening of Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai’s Colonial Suites.

Thai royalty, VIPs, and celebrities converge at Mandarin Oriental’s luxurious Thai hideaway for a series of exultant celebrations.

On November 10, the Mandarin Oriental in Chiang Mai celebrated its entry into local society with three days of lavish events, including a private gala attended by more than 400 VIPs, local celebrities, and dignitaries.
The events were held to officially mark the opening of the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai’s Colonial Suites, and thus the completion of this inspirational retreat. Located in five two-storey buildings, the spacious Colonial Suites draw on the architectural grandeur of Asia’s 19th century, blending design elements from palaces and treasured artefacts found throughout Asia and the sub-continent. All of the suites offer easy access to the resort’s award-winning spa, authentic restaurants, and tempting pools.
The festivities began with a private prayer ritual led by Thai monks who blessed the property in traditional style. This was followed by an official royal visit from HRH Princess Soamsawalee, who honored the resort by presiding over further ritual proceedings. She then joined the guests on a short tour followed by a sumptuous Chinese lunch at Fujian – the resort’s Shanghainese-inspired restaurant. 
The candle-lit gala dinner held on the grounds was entitled ‘One Night in the Lanna Kingdom.’ There was a breathtaking display of entertainment that included both musical and cultural elements. Guests toasted the evening with champagne, while fireworks and hot air balloons were released into the sky. The elegant sit-down dinner culminated in a celebratory cake parade, led by elephants and Thai dancers.
Guests and dignitaries included HSH Prince Bhisatej Rajani, Chairman of the Royal Project Foundation, H.E. Dr. Suvit Yodmani, Minister of Tourism and Sports and Khunying Songsuda Yodmani, Mr. Vilas Rujiwattanapong, Vice Governor of Chiang Mai and Mrs. Sriwan Rujiwattanaphong, Mom Thada Khunsukmengrai, Sir David Davies, and the Ambassadors from Austria, Argentina, Brazil, Brunei, Finland, and Greece. Many chose to prolong this memorable evening well into the early hours by dancing in the hotel’s Horn Bar.
True to its authentic Lanna heritage, a series of artistic and cultural displays were held around the resort over the three days of celebration. These included traditional Lanna flower arrangements, music, and displays of royal silverware and embroidery. In the working paddy fields that surround the resort, guests were treated to traditional water ceremonies and displays of kite flying and rice planting.
Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, with its serene and tranquil setting, provides an exhilarating and authentic cultural experience. With Mandarin Oriental’s award-winning levels of service, exotic accommodation, innovative dining, and holistic spa and wellness, this hideaway has become an internationally recognised oasis offering guests an enriching experience. It is also the perfect retreat from which to explore the region’s rich heritage.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is the award-winning owner and operator of some of the world’s most prestigious hotels and resorts. They currently operate 21 luxury hotels with a further nine under development in Riviera Maya-Mexico, Hainan Island-China, Barcelona (2007), Boston and Grand Cayman (2008), and Dallas, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Macau (2009). In total, Mandarin Oriental now operates, or has under development, almost 9,000 rooms in 16 countries, with 13 hotels in Asia, 12 in the Americas, and 5 in Europe.

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