What is the Dhara Dhevi Hotel?
The Dhara Dhevi Hotel is a luxury hotel resorts the inspired by traditional northern Thailand. The entire resort maintains traditional architecture and cultural influences. The hotel is the largest in Chiang Mai.
The hotel is an amazing resort for families. They have large 2 bedroom villas that can accommodate large families with private pools. The also have one bedrooms villas with out a pool. The price is steep for Chiang Mai. But if you can afford even one night here, it is worth it! We wanted to stay here but we came during The Lantern Festival and it was sold out.
You are not allowed to come onto the property unless you are staying here. But if you make a reservation for a cultural activity then you can come. You are escorted at all times by staff. But the activities we participated in were amazing. We wanted our kids to learn some of the traditional activities of north Thai people. This was a great way to get a hand on experience.
rice planting is what first got us interested in going to the Dhara Dhevi in the first place. The only other place we found where you can do this is The four seasons. The hotel guide took us to the kids club and gave us our traditional rice planting outfits. Then she explained to us how rice is planted and what we were going to do. The type of rice that we got to plant was sticky rice. The rice that they grow on the property is donated to those in need. It was very fascinating. One stock of rice makes up to 10 lbs of rice.
We then were taken to the rice fields and we had to step into the field, it was ooey gooey mud. Aria (2) didn’t like it but everyone else had a blast. Planting the rice was pretty simple. Kate and Alyssa kept going at it.
After we were done we were taken to a hose to wash off. Then we were able to meet the resident water buffalo who is albino. Water buffalo’s were used in the past for plowing the fields but now they are done with machines so most water buffalo are now pets to wild.
After we got changed from our rice planting we were back at the kids club. We noticed they had Thai umbrellas that kids painted. Our guide kindly let us stay and paint umbrellas. This was a fun souvenir that we were able to bring home at display in our house.
We came back a separate day to do the Thai dancing, We were actually invited back and sponsored for this activity. After we had searched around and couldn’t find another place that did a one time class returning was a perfect fit. Our oldest daughter is not into girly frilly things but was a good sport. Kate (6) loved it. Kate was so focused and loved being dressed up. Since the first visit our 2 year old Aria had seen the dancing outfits and had asked everyday to dance. Once we got her all dressed up she didn’t want anything to do with the dancing. She went outside and played on the playground while the other girls had their class.
Thai dancing is very slow and is all about the hand movements. Our guide taught us that girls learn these dances in grade school.
It was a really fun cultural experience.
If you are looking for a fun cultural kids activity while in Chiang Mai, give the Dhara Dhevi a call. You can’t book online but if you call the front desk they will make a reservation for you.
Also check out the gift shop and ice cream parlor at the entrance. This shopping outlet is open to anyone. If this place in is your budget we would recommend it. If we go back we will definitely stay a few nights.
-Russ and Ashley