There’s something about Chiang Mai. This Thai hill town seems to have me in its grip. When I visited Chiang Mai with my mom last December, I didn’t know I’d be back a year later. There were no omens or portents, just the nagging feeling that I hadn’t explored the city well enough. Call it fate, call it provident, but yes, I was back mid-December 2015. And this trip was completely different from my earlier one a year ago. I lived in another part of Chiang Mai, and as a result, I got the opportunity to explore the artsy side of the city: I stayed in an art gallery just off Nimmanhaemin Road.
No, I mean hotel.
Oops, I mean an art hotel.
Art Mai Gallery Hotel houses an art gallery on the ground floor, but the art is not restricted to exhibition space- it’s everywhere… on the walls, in the corridors, and oh, in the guest rooms too. And the artsy touches are everywhere.
As you’ve guessed it, this recently-opened hotel is paradise for art lovers. From the painting exhibition on the ground floor to the art-themed rooms, you will see paintings by Thai artists at every corner you turn. I must say, this is such an enterprising way to promote Thai art to people from around the world.
The hotel’s décor was in the vein of industrial minimalism. See these exposed pipes and the shades-of-grey colour scheme?
The decorative accents blend in perfectly with this look. Like this side table.
But much as we’d like to, we can’t really sleep and shower in an exhibition. So we were assigned a room on the second floor.
Each floor in the hotel has a different art theme, and we got nude art:
Then there was this cute easel. To which S said, “Why does it say P-O-D?”
And I said, “It’s an illustration, see? They’ve drawn two eyes. They want us to draw a face around it, or a cartoon or whatever we want.” It’s an art hotel after all. I didn’t have the courage to express my (non-existing) artistic side, but it got me thinking about learning drawing again. (Maybe a 2016 resolution?).
The industrial theme continued in the room, like this old-looking desk and “aging” bathroom tiles look too, with some hints of modern design.
Anyhoo, a hotel is not just about art. So we had a large comfy bed, big screen TV (which we unfortunately didn’t have time to watch), a kettle station, mini fridge etc. Pretty much the standard stuff. My favourite amenity? The powerful shower. 😀 And my favourite service? The evening snackie the housekeeping lady left on my bed. 😀
As for food, the hotel restaurant Jarid may seem a bit on the smaller side, but they put up a good breakfast spread, making the most of the buffet table space and using cute chalkboard-style placards for dish names.
There were the usual suspects of cereal, breads, fruits, potatoes, Thai staples like rice, noodles, soup and we could ask for our choice of freshly-cooked eggs. The food was freshly cooked, packed with flavour and a very satisfying start to the day.
Just what the doctor ordered before an action-packed day in Chiang Mai- trekking, river rafting, visiting the 3D museum, shopping and exploring the boutique stores around Nimmanhaemin.
I’d stay in this hotel again if I could: tres chic, great location (in the heart of the hip part of town) and fabulous art.
To know more about Art Mai Gallery Hotel, visit the hotel website.