The opening of InterContinental Chiang Mai The Mae Ping in Chiang Mai’s historic district marks the first milestone in a strategic partnership between IHG Hotels & Resorts and Thailand’s leading integrated lifestyle real-estate group, Asset World Corporation (AWC). Today, as the contemporary escape officially opens its door in one of northern Thailand’s most enchanting destinations, travellers seeking to connect with the region’s traditional cultures can look forward to rewarding stays steeped in true luxury and imbued with a sense of discovery.
When designing the conversion project from the prestigious Imperial Mae Ping Hotel, Thailand’s leading design firm PIA Interior skilfully layered traditional Lanna heritage with the hotel’s own storied past, resulting in welcoming and engaging spaces that honour the beloved hotel that had welcomed generations of holidaymakers over its 30-year-long history.
Guests will feel an instant connection to the site as they are greeted by melodic gong chimes – a soul-setting ritual that connects them to the story of the adjoining Wat Chang Kong, a beautifully preserved 600-year-old stupa built by a local gong-making community. The manicured lawn in front of the temple will host regular dance shows and performances as part of the resort’s cultural programming.
Surrounded by Chiang Mai’s iconic landscapes and draped in greenery, InterContinental Chiang Mai The Mae Ping prioritises connectivity to nature and culture. Travellers can choose from 240 elegant rooms and suites facing the old town or the misty slopes of Doi Suthep mountain. On their doorstep, they will find a host of iconic landmarks such as Chiang Mai’s walking streets, the buzzing night bazaar and the historic Tha-Pae Gate dating back to the 13th century.
Inside the stately accommodations, soft modern minimalism meets Lanna-inspired décor. From lacquered panels and wood-carved sculptures to beaten metal accents, precious handcrafted objects commissioned from local artisans pay tribute to traditional Lanna crafts, while spacious zen bathrooms with a plunge bathtub offer a serene space to unwind. Guests staying in Premium Rooms and suites will enjoy Club InterContinental benefits, including a deluxe breakfast served in a private zone, daily afternoon tea and evening cocktails.
Flavours of the north
In addition to growing fresh produce at its own organic garden, the hotel works with carefully vetted local suppliers, including bee and cacao farms, as well as partnering with the Royal Project foundation, a Thai non-profit organisation founded by King Bhumibol Adulyadej to improve the quality of life of the hill-tribe people.
The restaurants and bars at InterContinental Chiang Mai The Mae Ping promise to be a showcase for northern Thailand’s rich flavours. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, The Gad Lanna evokes a traditional market with seasonal, organic ingredients spun into comforting northern dishes using traditional cooking methods. Overlooking the hotel’s main pool, Kam Lobby Lounge brings the spirit of Yi Peng Lantern Festival alive through evocative décor, while the menu offers light meals, coffee and organic Monsoon Tea produced in the mountains of Northern Thailand, with expertly crafted cocktails served after dark to a soundtrack of live jazz.
On the 16th floor, its signature restaurant Hong’s Chinese Restaurant & Sky Bar pays homage to the historic Lanna-Chinese trade links in décor and on the menu. Panoramic vistas of Doi Suthep and the city are paired with fiery Sichuan, Cantonese and Taiwanese dishes, while the signature Teresa Teng tea ceremony is a tribute to the famous Taiwanese singer who was once a regular at the hotel.
Chiang Mai’s cultural and natural heritage
At InterContinental Chiang Mai The Mae Ping, immersive activities layered with nuances from the local culture offer in-depth exploration on property and beyond. Experiences on offer range from tea blending workshops and local chocolate tasting to adrenaline-filled activities such as white-water rafting, jungle walks and hot air ballooning followed by a lakeside Champagne picnic. Reflecting the hotel’s goal to become Chiang Mai’s cultural hub, the hotel will also be hosting rotating art exhibitions and music performances curated by the hotel’s Concierge team in partnership with The Center for the Promotion of Arts and Culture of Chiang Mai University. Meanwhile, the brand’s signature Planet Trekkers programme for the young will offer such activities as clay figurine marking, banana leaf folding and coconut shell crafts.
For destination weddings, social celebrations and corporate functions, the hotel is opening with a collection of glamorous event venues, including the Grand Ballroom, five smaller event rooms and a verdant central lawn set within the temple grounds. Leisure facilities include an outdoor swimming pool shaded by tropical trees, and a state-of-the-art fitness centre where guests can admire décor inspired by Lanna folk play while working out. Travellers can also rejuvenate with pampering spa treatments at The li Spa, including the signature Tok Sen experience using traditional massage techniques of the north in combination with an herbal compress to soothe the muscles.