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
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
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
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
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
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.