Happy return to this oasis in the northern hills

This is my second visit to the Reverie Siam, and I loved it just as much. Delightfully, this time I felt no obligation to go and do any tours, and so I lazed my days away at the hotel, which it is certainly designed to support. There are two pools, a traditional rectangular one and a more family friendly organic shaped one, which some of the rooms can step straight out into. The buildings and grounds are all charming, a successful mix of Mediterranean planting and colonial “Indochine” architectural style. The rooms are spacious, comfortable and elegant. And the riverside pavilion is unbelievably peaceful (and barely used!). The breakfasts are included in the room price, and very generous (I learnt from last time not to have all the courses offered!) The bar itself is pretty well stocked, has a surprisingly good selection of spirits and wine. And the food is Mediterranean inspired (which I have to confess would be my one wish: if they also had some delicious Thai options on the menu, to me it would be perfect!). They offer free shuttles into town, but if only takes 15 minutes to walk in. The quiet little hamlet the hotel is attached to, just outside Pai, seems to be developing as a more independent hub – there are a few decent cafes, though bafflingly they all shut firmly by 6pm. (Why?!) However, there are worrying signs of development all around, and a large new ugly market building, hope they’re not going to build too much round here. Note: once in the hotel, you can’t see or hear any of this, it’s all at a slight remove. Overall I loved my trip, you won’t regret booking here. Want to give a shout out to Tida Massage on one of Pak’s main streets (a few doors down from Charlie & Lek restaurant), it’s not listed on TripAdvisor and I can’t add it. Run by two lovely ladies (and their cheeky cat), really great massage – and I have easy access to good/cheap massage living in China, so am not easily won over. I happened to try them out on my first day, and went back every day, sometimes twice. It’s a very simple place, not fancy spa. But Miss Oi (excuse spelling) is a magician and has an infectious laugh. One hour/200baht, a bargain!