CHECK IT OUT AKYRA MANOR CHIANG MAI, THAILAND
The Akaryn Hotel Group has paired with Singapore design outfit Manor Studio to develop an all-suite, five-star hotel opening in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on October 1.
In the northern city’s bustling arts and food precinct, the Akyra Manor Chiang Mai features 30 suites, each built around a private indoor courtyard, a glamorous rooftop bar and glass-sided swimming pool plus signature Italian restaurant.
Claiming an urban, design-driven vibe, the hotel has its own room fragrance and music mix and will open with an exhibition by British portrait photographer Andy Gotts, the first in a series of regular shows by leading artists.
While designer Chaw Chih Wen has created a cool, citified sanctuary, the hotel’s stylised facade is inspired by Chiang Mai’s ancient crumbling city wall. There are 23 suites at 60sq m and another seven at 100sq m with lounges and balconies. All guestrooms have a large bathroom with enormous marble tub and dressing areas, oversized towels, natural cotton gowns and locally sourced unguents. Beds are dressed in 430-thread-count Egyptian cotton; other features include LCD TV with cable stations, iPod dock, coffee machine and Wi-Fi. The Small Luxury Hotels of the World member also has a fitness centre offering yoga classes on demand.
DON’T MISS: The opening special of two nights in a deluxe suite for two, breakfast, welcome drinks, bottle of sparkling wine and strawberries and a threecourse dinner; THB12,380 ($485), to November 30.
DINING IN: Executive chef Phubase Chuprakong oversees the hotel’s RISE rooftop pool bar and Italics Italian restaurant, sourcing organic produce (augmented by a rooftop garden) to reinterpret Mediterranean classics. Signature dishes will include sea bass puttanesca, slow-poached prawns with parsley, garlic and lime, and 12-hour coffee-braised beef short rib with duck-fat gnocchi. Phuket-born and Melbourne-trained Chuprakong most recently worked under Michelin three-star chef Eneko Atxa (founder of Spain’s Azurmendi) at the Iniala Beach House, Phuket.
DINING OUT: A short walk from the hotel you’ll find Hong Tauw Inn serving traditional northern Thai food; also check out Wawee Coffee.
ASK THE CONCIERGE: Jump the free hotel shuttle to Chiang Mai’s famous night bazaar with its food, live music and handmade garments and artworks. And don’t miss sunset over Doi Suthep from the hotel’s rooftop pool bar.
CHECKING IN: Rooms from $191 with breakfast. More: theakyra.com/chiang-mai/.
ALSO TRY: The Library Koh Samui; Double-Six Luxury Hotel, Seminyak; Macalister Mansion, Penang.
CHRISTINE McCABE • Sri Lanka joins the Anantara stable later this year with the opening of Tangalle Peace Haven Resort on the country’s southern coast; set in a 17ha coconut plantation, the resort will feature 120 guestrooms and 32 pool villas • The all-pool-villa Six Senses Ninh Van Bay in Vietnam has opened a three-bedroom hilltop retreat featuring a large infinity pool and ocean views, accessible only by off-road buggy or on foot; from $US2800 ($3937) • From October 1 to December 23, Belmond (formerly OrientExpress) is offering 30 per cent off suite or premium accommodation at member hotels across Asia, including the Belmond Jimbaran Puri in Bali and Belmond Governor’s Residence in Yangon, Myanmar • Celebrating a famous former guest, Paris’s Le Meurice is offering a Pop Art package, valid from October 2 to February 7, featuring breakfast, lunch or dinner and two no-queue tickets to the Andy Warhol exhibition at Centre Pompidou; from €1040 ($1643) a night • Sofitel will progressively feature Revealed, a photo exhibition of great artists at work, in its Australian and New Zealand hotels, kicking off at Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour on September 15; it has been curated by Picasso’s grandson, Olivier Widmaier Picasso.