The opulent Dhara Dhevi Resort in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand is the perfect place to host a luxurious destination wedding. Raul Dias takes you on a journey through this breathtaking getaway.
The wind rustles through the emerald-hued paddy fields, lush and verdant after the previous night’s rain. The heady fragrance of frangipani permeates every nook and cranny, as the chirruping of cicadas provides the ambient sound track, competing with the gentle gurgling of a nearby brook. The sky is a shade of deep purple, speckled with golden bursts of light. You stop. You ponder. “Could this be really happening to me?” seems to be a question your mind asks no one in particular on a repeated loop. Then, suddenly, it all begins to sink in, every piece of this mind-boggling puzzle fitting in perfectly with each other…Now, imagine this very same place as the venue for that dream destination wedding. Nestled in the fecund valley of Chiang Mai, in the Northern Thailand region of Lanna, this is one getaway where breathtaking beauty and opulent luxury are a way of life. A picture postcard perfect setting to exchange those lifelong vows.
With its expansive lawns overlooked by the sacred Bo trees and a delightful Lanna prayer hall set among verdant gardens, the location of the resort offers unparalleled advantages for weddings. As a wedding venue, you can choose from a variety of wedding receptions: the elegance of a European-style white wedding or the magnificence of a Lanna nuptial ceremony, rich in ancient traditions. Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai will take great care to make the moment unique. Weddings at Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai blend ceremonial pomp with traditional Lanna rituals, bringing together Thailand’s gentle charms with the expertise of well trained staff. In the grounds, the couple can ride away on a horse-drawn carriage or drift into the sky in a hot air balloon. Banquet menus are prepared using only the freshest ingredients, while the wine and champagne list caters for the most expert palates. Floral arrangements make use of northern Thailand’s abundant roses, jasmine and strelitzia, as well as exotic orchids, for which the country is famous.
Offering some of the world’s most spacious and exclusive accommodation for you and your wedding guests, Dhara Dhevi’s 123 luxurious villas, colonial suites and signature residences have been crafted in keeping with traditional Lanna architectural styles. They feature extensive museum-quality artifacts, sumptuous Thai silks and local hill-tribe textiles, spacious terraces, some of which incorporate private plunge pools or swimming pools. The exquisitely designed interiors seamlessly blend age-old tradition with modern convenience and high technology. The resort’s unique design draws from the region’s rich architectural and cultural heritage that flourished during the Lanna period, which lasted from the mid-13th century until the mid-16th century and enjoyed a further resurgence in the last 200 years. It is these essential elements that contribute to an overall atmosphere of unparalleled luxury and serenity.
For your wedding night, the piece de resistance has simply got to be The Royal Residence. Located in a self-contained area, the Royal Residence is a small ‘private retreat’ and is ideal for guests who seek exclusivity and privacy. It comprises six bedrooms, three with a king bed and three with twin beds. The ancient palace style architecture epitomises a grandeur and opulence of a bygone age, whilst every modern convenience and facilities have been incorporated into the unit - spacious bathrooms, generous living room space, large dining room and pantry, all connected by a walkway. Three private pools and three Jacuzzis complete the picture of ultimate luxury.
Dine (and wine!) like a royal
For the other smaller pre- and post-wedding functions, take your pick from a whole cornucopia of restaurants, bars and cafes that can be found sprawled about the extensive property. Set in a cluster of traditional Lanna style buildings, Le Grand Lanna—the specialty Thai restaurant serves regional cuisine from both Northern and Central Thailand. Serving imperial Chinese cuisine along with dim sum in an elegant two-storey Sino-Portuguese style mansion, Fujian is another great dining option. Highlighting ‘French Progressive Cuisine’ Farang Ses is an opulent French restaurant serving modern French cuisine. For your cocktail evening, the Horn Bar featuring masks from different regions of Myanmar, depicting mythological characters is THE place to unwind.
Speaking of unwinding, no destination wedding experience in Thailand can be complete without a soothing spa session. And the Dhara Dhevi’s Dheva Spa and Wellness Centre takes care of all your pre-wedding beauty and grooming needs to the hilt. Spread out over 3,100 square metres, this spa is a destination in itself and features signature ceremonies adapted from traditional practices from Northern Thai, Burmese and Indian cultures. Key treatments include The Royal Thai ceremony, Lanna ceremony, Mandalay ceremony and yes, even a typically Indian Ayurvedic ceremony.