Located just 15 minutes from the airport, Tamarind Village is a boutique hotel sanctuary in the heart of Chiang Mai, Thailand, close to the local bus and train links, yet so quiet it feels miles away from the hustle and noise of the city. Tamarind Village takes its name from the stately 200 year old Tamarind tree in the center of the main courtyard.
If you’ve been to Thailand, you’ve experienced the endless traffic, beeping of horns, and swarms of people, but when you take the turn to Tamarind Village set back from a busy street, you pass through a bamboo-lined shaded archway into a sanctuary, walkable to all the craziness of Chiang Mai, yet so quiet that you almost feel you’ve entered the Twilight Zone.
Northern Thailand’s Lanna Architecture
A series of garden courtyards with flowered plants, fruit trees, palms, and meandering plants embrace the hotel’s buildings, with architecture nods to the unique customs of northern Thailand’s Lanna culture, and just like the centuries old Chiang Mai, Tamarind Village is a mix of classic and modern.
Built in 2002, Tamarind Village was the first “Lanna style” hotel of its kind in the city, surrounded by ancient temples and historic sites, the buildings white-washed plaster walls are highlighted by its dark timber beams and clay roof styles striking a balance with modern polished concrete floors and high ceilings. The historic site was chosen strategically to take full advantage of the 700 year old Wat Umong temple views, ultimately awarding the architect for his visions with the prestigious UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation Award.
Scattered throughout the flower-filled courtyards are Tamarind Village’s 42 rooms and 3 suites, an oasis within themselves. Simply elegant, the interior is designed with runners and throw rugs on its polished concrete floor, and even the standard (Lanna) rooms are actually quite spacious. The white bedding is accented with Thai’s hill tribe fabrics. The rooms also feature handmade accents, such as lacquer boxes. My Lanna room was on the first floor with a garden courtyard view. The Lanna Deluxe Room is more spacious, featuring a small balcony to sit outside to enjoy the courtyard.
The larger rooms are the Tamardin Suites featuring wooden floors, separate sitting areas and large marble baths with separate bath and shower, and the Spa Suites, located near the Village Spa, with an outdoor shower, terrace overlooking the central courtyard and the towering Tamardin Tree on one side and the ancient temple on the other. This suite also offers a private staircase to the spa floor, where guests are invited to enjoy the on-site Village Spa, a full service relaxation spa with six treatment room
Casual dining is also available all day at Ruen Tamarind restaurant, featuring a variety of northern Thai, classic Thai and international dishes. The restaurant is located off the lobby and past the amazing pool in its own courtyard.
Near the lobby, you can also indulge in local shopping at the Tamarind Boutique, offering a selection of locally sourced items from jewelry to clothing.
Tamarind Village also offers guests an opportunity to explore Thai culture with a regular series of exhibitions, daily cultural activities including a neighborhood walk and an offering to the Buddhist monks at a local temple. Daily activities are also available, ranging from umbrella painting, flower garland weaving and a hill tribe weaving demonstration.
To its advantage, Tamarind Village is close enough to Chiang Mai to strike out on foot and explore the city, yet provide a distinctive quite sanctuary away from the distractions.
For hotel rates, check hotel’s website.