“Tranquil and romantic hotel with superb service, just steps from the heart of cosmopolitan Chiang Mai”
Each of the rooms is individually decorated, with thoughtful use of natural materials and a distinctive style. All are spacious, and gleaming dark wood floors and quality teakwood furnishings reflect colonial traditions. Most have a private balcony.
Heavy cotton bathrobes, towels and slippers, plus the finest bed linens and duvets, are standard. The pillow menu is a nice touch, letting guests order the perfect combination for their perfect night’s sleep, from soft to firm, feather to soba, full-body pillows and even anti-snore versions. Bathrooms all have a shower and tub, and there are natural bath and beauty products from the Nakara Spa.
Each individual room is named after and trademarked by the artistic renderings of tropical flowers on the walls, hand-painted by local Lanna artists. A choice of kingsize or twin beds is available. Deluxe Rooms and Grand Deluxe Rooms are cheaper, but they're nice and big and the latter have balconies. Royal Grand Deluxe Rooms all have large balconies, plus sumptuous Jacuzzi baths for the indulgence of an in-room spa.
Guests get unlimited morning-fresh coffee or tea, internet access, and free cold drinking water. Other amenities include a safe, a CD/DVD player and a widescreen TV with satellite/cable. A central elevator serves all 3 floors of the hotel.
The Ping Nakara restaurant sits right next to the pool, a lovely setting for breakfast or dinner. The white marble expanse of the veranda coupled with the soothing bamboo that surrounds the blue water insulates you from the rest of the world.
The full gourmet breakfast (both buffet and a la carte) offers all the Western standards you would expect, from omelettes and waffles to fruits, meats, yoghurt and juices. But there is also a choice of unusual selections prepared daily from both Western and Asian recipes.
Outside of breakfast, the restaurant is available for all day dining until 11pm and has an all day menu of Thai dishes. The kitchen can prepare a range of gourmet meals at any time - the Kao Soi is their signature dish, and the Plaa Salmon fried with local herbs and spices is also popular as is the Ping Nakara platter of local sausages and meats. An authentic Thai dinner is also on offer. This is a multi-course, traditional meal, and although the menu itself is a surprise, the recipes date back to the Teak Wallah period.
Special dinners and events are held frequently in the adjacent gardens; when I stayed over the American Thanksgiving holiday, a full traditional Thanksgiving buffet dinner was on offer. It was a delightful setting, with musicians playing in the background and beautiful white lights strung throughout the trees.
The hotel has a full bar and wine cellar, and free coffee and tea are available throughout the day.
Ping Nakara is walking distance from a plethora of restaurants, pubs and bars. Nearby eateries include Ping Pong, Whole Earth (vegetarian), Giorgio (Italian), and Jia Thong Heng (Chinese) - but take your pick of nearly any cuisine and you'll find it in Chiang Mai!
Children are welcome at Ping Nakara and it is a very comfortable place for families, although the place is much more geared toward quiet romance for couples. Baby cots are available, as are extra beds in most rooms.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
All rooms can hold an extra bed and baby cot. Deluxe Rooms have no balcony so are safer for babies and small children, and they can also interconnect with neighbouring Grand Deluxe King Rooms. Otherwise go for one of the Royal Grand Deluxe Rooms as they are the most spacious.
The pool is unfenced as it is the centrepiece of the hotel, with the dining terrace on one side.