CHECK IT OUT AKYRA MANOR CHI­ANG MAI, THAI­LAND

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

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.

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