Room Key: Anantara Resort & Spa Golden Triangle
Address: 229 Moo 1, Chiang Saen Chiang Rai 57150, Thailand
Phone: (011) 66-5378 4084
Fax: (011) 66-5378 4090
Reservations: (800) 525-4800 (Small Luxury Hotels of the World) or through Web site directly.
General manager: Caroline Dey
Rates: Seasonal. Superior, $188 to 288; deluxe (better view), $213 to 325; suites, $480 to 738. Add 7% government tax and 10% service charge.
Rooms: 90 (23 superior, 54 deluxe, 13 suites)
Commission: 10% with bonuses. Packages are commissionable (elephant camp, spa package, etc.)
Facilities: Data ports, satellite TV, in-room safe, air conditioning, ceiling fans, minibar, coffee/tea bar, hair dryer, bathrobe and slippers, room service, library, business center, meetings rooms, spa, pool, Jacuzzi, fitness center, nature trails, mountain bike rentals, kids club, child-care services, handicraft shop, concierge services, tour desk.
Noteworthy: Many accolades for decor, service and setting.
Not worthy: A lot of steps and no elevator, but manageable.
The Golden Triangle in northern Thailand,
once a region of mystery, intrigue and devious doings, now has
beautiful sights and interesting people, but that trace of mystery
still whispers in the background.
The name stems
from the confluence of three countries where the opium trade once
thrived: Thailand, Laos and Myanmar (still called Burma in these
Golden refers to
the golden poppies that supplied a profitable livelihood for drug
In case you
missed the road sign identifying this now-peaceful land, long rows
of tall, black lampposts, adorned top and bottom with gold trim,
will clue you in.
Thanks to the
diligent efforts of the Thai Royal Family, several initiatives
supply a living to the hill tribes, turning the spigot of the poppy
trade to a mere trickle.
curious are free to wander the mountains of Thailand without fear
and visit projects begun by the kings mother, Princess
Srinagarindra, in 1988.
The first was the
Doi Tung development, deep in the border highlands. The focus was
to reforest great sections denuded by logging and replace poppy
fields with enterprises to support the people.
A garden high on
a mountainside, a seed and plant business, a tea plantation, tours
through the royal villa, tribal villages in the hills and the
markets are all contributing to a legitimate life for
Srinagarindras endeavors culminated in the opening of the Hall of
Opium in 1994, where visitors take a graphic tour that relives the
tortures and profit of the opium and heroin trade, cleverly done in
a mood setting.
lighting, artwork, tools of the trade and Opium Wars photos detail
the magnitude of the regions plight, while the Hall of Reflection
encourages all to help in the eradication efforts.
Elsewhere in the
Chiang Rai-to-Mai San neighborhood, serene waterfalls, caves,
brightly costumed tribal people, several Buddha statues, temples
and chedis (towers containing relics of Buddha) vie for visitors
attention along with vibrant street markets and new food
To give your
clients this experience without the hassle of finding each site,
send them to the magnificent Anantara Resort & Spa Golden
Triangle, where every possible tour can be booked. Many are
The resort is a member of Small Luxury
Hotels of the World. Its spa is an ideal spot to unwind after a
And right on the
resorts grounds is a fascinating and popular elephant
three-day adventure, guests learn the signals of the elephant
driver, feed and bathe the animals and trek on the backs of these
Anantara also has
cooking classes that begin with food shopping and end by enjoying
the lunch you cooked.
tree planting and early-morning meetings with monks who come for
food are a few more unusual adventures available at the resort, not
to mention the comfortable accommodations, excellent service and
Thai touches that center around elephants.
Cuisine is both
Thai and Western and served in two restaurants, by the infinity
pool or at a special barbecue for two on your balcony.
Italian restaurant has backlit brick walls and its own
glass-enclosed wine-storage room.
spread the length of the living room and bedroom, with sliding
doors from each. Two balcony divans
have netting drapes plus typical Thai backrests.
separate showers and the signature tub with sliding doors that open
up to a view of the outdoors.
A new package,
Islands and Highlands, offers seven nights at the recently opened
Anantara Resort and Spa Koh Samui for beachside romance, and three
nights at Anantara Resort & Spa Golden Triangle to chill out
commissionable price is $1,500 for two, plus taxes, sharing a basic
room. The price includes daily breakfast and airport transfers at
the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to [email protected].