Unveiling the essence of Asia

Dive into Thailand’s Hidden Paradises: Secret Retreats, Secret Cruises, Secret Journeys, and Secret Tables – Part 2

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Journey into the Heart of Thailand Part 2

In this week’s newsletter we will take you on the second part of our journey, where we continue to unveil the secrets of Thailand discovered by Secret Retreats and shared with you in our Secret Retreats, Secret Cruises and Secret Tables.

Northern Thailand:

Secret Retreats

Vana Som – Chiang Mai:

Located in the foothills of three mountain ranges, just a few miles from the ancient capital of Chiang Mai, this countryside retreat invites you to embrace Northern Thailand’s rich heritage and traditions. Originally established as a family’s winter escape, the property offers an ideal location for exploration, whether through gentle hikes, trips to visit the highlights of Chiang Mai, or wonderful hilltop sunset picnics overlooking Chaing Mai’s mountain scenery from Vana Som’s own farm. Vana Som Villa presents an imposing example of Lanna-style architecture, seamlessly blending contemporary comforts with timeless Northern-Thai charm. The three-unit residence, adorned with antiques and a remarkable collection of Sukhothai and pre-Lanna porcelain, along with Buddha statues from different periods, provides a unique synthesis of tradition and modern luxury for discerning travelers.

Ahsa Farm Stay – Chiang San/Chiang Rai:

Embark on a journey into the heart of rural Thai life with a stay at Ahsa Farmstay, where community engagement is a cornerstone of the experience. Guests are warmly welcomed to join the family in the serene ritual of giving alms to monks during their early morning rounds. Exploring the local market is always a fun activity, offering a firsthand glimpse into the vibrant tapestry of rural living. After an active and lively morning, venture out on a guided trek through the scenic hills and countryside, followed by a return to Ahsa Farmstay for indulgent moments—a traditional massage or a serene session in Ahsa’s inventive take on a herbal sauna. This rural Secret Retreat invites guests to unwind and savor farm-to-table delights, providing a glimpse into the slower paced life of Thailand’s country folk and a welcome respite for the traveler from the hustle of modern life.

Secret Tables:

Blackitch Artisan Kitchen – Chiang Mai:

Chef Black, a self-taught culinary virtuoso with a deep passion for Thailand’s diverse local ingredients, is the creative force behind Blackitch Artisan Kitchen. This exclusive restaurant, hosting a maximum of 16 guests per seating at two intimate tables, offers a distinctive dining journey comprising nine exquisite courses from the Chef’s ever-changing tasting menu. With no fixed cuisine, each dish is a reflection of Chef Black’s daily inspiration drawn from the freshest seasonal and foraged produce he can gather, and always promising a novel culinary adventure with every visit.

Terra & The Farmers’ Bar, Chiang Mai

Terra blends the best of Mediterranean and Northern Thailand cuisine, sourcing much of the produce from local farmers and growers. This enchanting restaurant is located just across from the Four Seasons, in the scenic Mae Rim district, 15 km north of Chiang Mai. Within the restaurant’s mature gardens, The Farmers’ Bar offers a unique experience where guests can choose to enjoy tapas and drinks served from a beautiful hand-carved 129 year-old wooden bar.

Central Thailand:

Maduzi Hotel, Bangkok

Unwind in contemporary luxury at Maduzi Hotel, strategically located in the heart of modern Bangkok. Each room is a sanctuary of style and comfort, providing the perfect base for urban exploration. Set right in the centre of Sukhumvit in Bangkok very close to the best shopping, restaurants and night life, this exclusive luxury Bangkok hotel that evokes a feeling of being at home, showcases Thai heritage with modern convenience throughout its 40 guestrooms. Aside from its unique design and décor, the hotel offers the ultimate privacy and tailor-made services. Warm, elegant and classy, Maduzi Hotel is one of the best modern boutique hotels in Bangkok.

Secret Tables:

Haoma – Bangkok

Haoma – pronounced ha-o-ma – is named after a divine plant venerated by ancient human societies. The restaurant is located within a charming, old-world colonial wooden house hidden away from the busy Sukhumvit road. At the heart of the restaurant, a large greenhouse wraps around the two-storey structure, giving guests the impression of sitting within a rainforest. Chef DK’s deep respect for nature is delivered through his mission to be waste-free and carbon neutral, serving what they grow from within the urban farm backyard in certified organic soil. He brings the freshest organic Thai produce and high-quality sustainable meats to your plate, with impeccable flavours and plate presentations inspired by Chef DK`s Indian roots. Part of the sustainable dining experience is to enjoy a walk through the urban backyard and explore Haoma’s garden of delights.

Restaurant Potong

Delight your palate at Restaurant Potong, where traditional Thai flavors are reimagined with a modern twist. This hidden Bangkok gem promises a culinary journey like no other. Chef Pam, who has created a decadent 20-course tasting experience at Potong, named her restaurant after the pharmacy her Hokkien great-great-grandfather founded when he settled in Thailand 130 years ago. One of the most renowned chefs in Thailand, Chef Pam was named in Forbes magazine’s Coveted 30 under 30 list, and Potong was listed as one of Condé Nast Traveler’s “Best New Restaurants in the world: 2022 Hot List”. This renowned Thai-Chinese restaurant is situated in the heart of the bustling city and combines tradition with innovation.

Northeastern and Eastern Thailand

Secret Retreats

The Spa Koh Chang – Koh Chang

Located on the tranquil east coast of Thailand’s Koh Chang Island, The Spa Koh Chang Resort beckons and tempts travelers with their idyllic eco-wellness retreat of charming cottages and pool villas. Ideal for seekers of both relaxation and rejuvenation, this resort is set against the pristine backdrop of Salak Kok Bay, and is surrounded by unspoiled nature, lush forest, and mangroves. While not directly on the beach, the resort is a short drive from Long Beach, a sandy haven for swimming. Perfect for a yoga and wellness retreat, The Spa Koh Chang is meticulously designed to foster and promote health and wellness, offering a harmonious blend of natural beauty, rejuvenating activities, and enriching classes.

Secret Tables:

Khao Kwan – Koh Chang

The fact that Khao Kwan is situated on the stunning island of Koh Chang (Trat Province) is reason enough for a visit. But to visit and then find such an inventive and refined restaurant as Khao Kwan on the island, was nothing short of unexpected and this restaurant wows from presentation to every spoonful. By utilizing regional produce and techniques, and presenting her dishes in novel and artistic ways, Chef Ya transports her diners on a gastronomic adventure with every meal. Memorable experiences are guaranteed. The food here tastes just as amazing as it looks, making it by far the most inventive and creative restaurant on Koh Chang. So, on your next visit to Koh Chang, going to dine at Khao Kwan is a must.

Southern Thailand:

Baba Ecolodge – Koh Phra Thong

Discover the secluded gem of Ko Phra Thong Island with a stay at BABA Ecolodge, situated within the Mu Ko Ra–Ko Phra Thong National Park. This off-the-beaten-path Thai paradise is celebrated for its untouched nature and distinctive ecology. The island’s interior boasts golden savannas home to rare deer, endangered lesser adjutant storks, and majestic hornbills, while tranquil beaches serve as nesting grounds for turtles. Amidst this pristine environment, BABA Ecolodge offers an eco-luxe haven for nature enthusiasts and those looking for a truly Thai off the beaten path tropical island experience. Every one of the resort’s 19 villas is unique, and either set under trees a few steps from the sea or literally beachfront on the island’s 12km of soft, sandy, quiet beach. Baba Ecolodge is a Thai island paradise like no other.

Stay tuned for the third and final part when we will unveil more secrets of Southern Thailand and share with you some of our tailor-made Secret Journeys that have been crafted by our local Thailand travel experts. Thailand’s diverse landscapes, rich culture, and hidden treasures are just waiting to be explored by you. Contact the Secret Retreats Concierge Team today on dream@sectret-retreats.com.

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