Stay: Onusa Retreat
Located at: Ban Mai, Sam Roi Yod, Pranburi, Prachuab Khirikhan
Room Rate: 3,500 THB / Night
Situated in the charming riverside neighborhood of the historic Wat Gate Khar Rnam (Gate Temple), the HOTEL des ARTISTS Ping Silhouette evokes Chiang Mai’s past, casting shadows of the multi-cultural hub that it once was while reckoning with the modern city that rose up in its place. Decked in “modern Chinoiserie”, the Hotel has 19 rooms to ensure an escape from ordinary life. Teahouses and taverns are blended together and each room, each aspect of the hotel carefully combines conflicting concepts (old, new; Eastern, Western) into something new, something that is both of the old worlds and stands apart from it.
When you stay here, you touch a long, storied past that stretches from Shanghai to Chiang Mai, yet the property never feels dated or artificial. You won’t forget your stay. Its long shadow will pursue you after you leave because it’s not what the HOTEL des ARTISTS Ping Silhouette strives to offer right now that’s important, but what they want to leave, lingering, in your mind: a shadow of peace, a fond memory to contemplate, a silhouette.
What I Love
- The breakfast pairs a main dish, hailing from Thai or Western palates, with a complimentary salad and a special, old-fashioned Thai-Chinese breakfast: Youtiao (Chinese fried churros)or fried dough that you dip in with condensed milk and served with soy milk.
- The interplay of daylight and the décor is striking. The hotel is based on the concept of retelling the stories of Chinese merchants hitching their horses by the Ping river so that the animals could drink while the merchants went inside the tavern to enjoy their time.
- Enjoy your complimentary afternoon tea while doing some stretching at the willow garden or by the Ping river.
- At the Café des Artists, they serve Thai-Thai food, not the watered-down flavors suitable for foreigners. It’s easy to make pad thai, but not everyone can make it! It’s raw, traditional, spicy and you shouldn’t miss it!
- There is ample space for meditation or yoga by the riverside. In the quiet of the morning or the cool of the evening, it is easy to find your own personal tranquility in this contemplative outdoor area.
What You Should Know
- The hotel is a model of exclusivity: people who are not staying at the Hotel des Artists can only enjoy the café. Of course, if they know a guest, they can accompany them to their room.
- All the Willow rooms are actually beneath the swimming pool.
- The Hotel offers an all-in-one experience. It is not necessarily suitable as a base for exploring the city. This is a place to recuperate and to enjoy the tranquility they so lovingly crafted – either alone or with a loved one. Kids would not enjoy this hotel.
- The hotel features its own private spa.
Willow Room No. 15
My room “Willow Room No. 15” with a garden view that’s close to the river. This room is best for the traveler who wants to spend some quality time alone, either reading or just relaxing after a long workweek.
There is a patio door that you can open to let the air in (day or night) – during my stay, I only used the air conditioner while I was sleeping at night. The airflow was sublime in the day time and the hotel’s atmosphere is perfect for spending my time outside.
Even though the hotel is a tranquil zone in the heart of Chiang Mai, I didn’t expect it to be so dark when I went to bed. Thanks to the clever use of trees to absorb both light and sound, there is little light pollution in the hotel. The room will be pitch black at night, which made it much easier for me to hit the sack but be sure to leave the light on if you’re not comfortable or need the light to navigate your way to the bathroom at night.
However, if you don’t need to visit the toilet, sleep sound knowing that only daylight will wake you. No loud neighbors, no annoying city sounds, just peace, and quiet – something that we all need