"Hey Blue, I love you…"
A love letter to one of our favorite hotels in the world… Rachamankha, Chiang Mai, Thailand
"I live in NYC, but Thailand is my spiritual home. A country where the soulful coexists within a delicious mélange of monks and markets. True faith and fun as one. In Bangkok it’s great to go hotel hopping, stay at the Four Seasons, The Eugenia, or a friend’s guest house. Bangkok is nicknamed the Big Mango for a reason. Juicy, ripe and ready; it’s the core of Siam. When getting away from the magic madness of this sprawling city you can go south, to one of the heavenly Koh’s, to laze amongst the absinthe Andaman Islands, or to the ‘Jewel of the North’, as Chiang Mai is known. Cool, mountainous, tribal, Chiang Mai is verdant Asia lined in gold.
Rachamankha, a former Buddhist monastery, is where I stay. There’s a reason why Angelina Jolie chose one of the suite’s to live in while being yantra tattooed. Rachamankha is real…really real. A library of first edition art, fashion, and architecture books and novels, with forty-year-old scotch ready for slow sipping; a museum worthy collection of Buddhist artifacts along the outside, terracotta tile covered halls; a serene maze of silent atriums for meditation and lounging. Five star amenities. Luxe private personal invisible service. The freshest local ingredients on a menu that would impress David Bouley. The biggest bathtub and most comfortable bed. Ever.
But the thing that makes this hotel the best I’ve ever been to, is that it doesn’t feel like a hotel. Yes, everything you could desire is available and, the key… things you don’t even know that you may want. The sound of rain as respite when reading. A 15th century wooden trunk nestled in the corner of a garden. A dog’s paw print forever caught on the edge of the cerulean pool. Nectar delivered to your room at dusk. I could live here. And not leave. And my friends and family could come visit. And stay. And Rachamankha would continue to feel full of life, and secluded, solitary, empty in the best way possible, at the same time.
It’s a place of peaceful luxury, an oasis, yet stimulating, cerebral, and smart. The décor is gorgeous, super chic, local yet also slightly foreign; Modernism meets The Met. One has the sensation that the hotel itself is ever evolving, almost alive, the ideal convergence of the old and the new, a mirror for the traveling eye. Quelling the restlessness by fulfilling it, the nomad in me is sated here.
Exactly what a perfect hotel should be.”