We spent the first two nights of our stay in Chiang Mai at the RarinJinda Wellness Spa Resort Hotel. It’s a luxury hotel located just outside the old city walls on the east of the northern city of Thailand.
The previous couple of days had been pretty full-on with my trip, I had stayed 5 different hotels over 5 nights, plus spent 36 hours in Malaysia. Meanwhile Raj had secretly flown all the way over from the UK on a night flight without sleeping.
The result was that we were incredibly exhausted and in much need of some rest and relaxation.
I am so grateful we ended up at the RarinJinda spa hotel for these two nights, we got exactly the rest we needed and it was the perfect location for our first trip back to Chiang Mai in 2 years.
RarinJinda, much like most of Chiang Mai, is a low-ish hotel (kind of the opposite to the high-rises of Bangkok). I don’t think it’s more than 4 or 5 storeys high and is of a traditional Thai design. Think dark wood, teak floors and furniture, accents of green and purple, and surrounded by charming landscaped areas filled with plants and flowers, and lots of palm trees.
When we arrived at the hotel we were greeted by the concierge who took our luggage, and we were guided through to the reception area. There for the check-in process we were treated to a large fresh coconut water, straight from the coconut. After a morning of travel it was a super-refreshing way to being the relaxation process and enjoy the welcome to the hotel.
Our deluxe room was on the 3rd floor with a balcony facing inward towards the pool. The room was large with plenty of space for luggage and storage.
There was a huge bed, I think it might have been super-king size, that was decorated with a simple yet elegant piece of cloth to give an almost four-poster bed feel, but lighter, airy-er.
There was also a sofa and coffee table area opposite the bed and a large balcony with seating.
The room had a massive window looking into the bathroom. Thankfully, there were shutters to allow for privacy (we might be married, but there are some things I still like to keep to myself!).
However, there is a large bath next to the bathroom window/shutter so it must be gorgeously intimate to have a bath with the open expanse of the room.
I was pleased that there was plenty of complimentary water available for us in the room, from experience I can tell you that dehydration comes quickly and easily on a tropical holiday. It’s so much easier when the water is readily available.
We also had access to a safe, iron and ironing board, mini fridge, and complimentary toiletries. All little details that totally help make a holiday easier. And a detail I loved was the aromatherapy oil diffuser that filled both the room and the hotel with a gorgeously relaxing scent.
The hotel facilities at the RarinJinda were great. The pool was a nice size, enough to swim and cool down from the hot day. My only concern was that there was no real steps into the pool, it was a rather steep concrete edge to get into the pool. This made it a little more challenging for Raj to get in and out of the pool with his bad knee.
There are about 10 sunbeds, all come with pool towels and a parasol. We spent a few hours each day enjoying the pool area. There isn’t a pool bar as such but we did go to reception to order off the snack menu. We had a couple of delicious iced coffees, summer rolls, prawn toast, and some crinkly chips (I haven’t had crinkly chips in years!).
Raj also made use of the gym just off to the side of the pool area. There are a good number of machines and some weights, perfect for keeping up with the fitness regime. I just recommend working out earlier in the morning whilst it’s still cool, as this is open-sided and it gets HOT during the day.
The hotel restaurant, called Deck1, is located just across the road from the hotel. It sounds like a faff, but it’s really not. I mean, you might get a little wet in the rainy season but there are plenty of large umbrella’s available. It’s totally worth it though as the restaurant is built on the banks of the river.
Breakfast with a view!
We ate at the restaurant 3 times in the end. The first time was late on the first evening. We went for cocktails before bed, sat outside on the giant lounging chairs underneath twinkling fairy lights. It was super chilled.
In the end, we ordered a Kao Soi Gai (Chiang Mai Noodles) to share as well. The food was good, my cocktail was a little on the small side. See photo for proof! Ha!
Breakfast both days was great. We got up super early to be first in line, not that there were many guests (as it’s low season).
The choice of breakfast food was huge. There were various tropical fruits, cereals, pastries, cakes, bread… they even had a dim sum cabinet to house the steamed dumplings. There were about 8 hot food buffet pots, plus a couple of chefs ready to make fresh omelettes or eggs however you liked.
In short, the breakfast is incredibly generous and you have plenty of choice to make up the breakfast of your choosing.
I had one treatment whilst I was at the RarinJinda Wellness Spa Resort Hotel.
The spa facility is located near the front of the hotel in a separate building. Upon checking in for my treatment I went through a process of smelling various oils to choose for my massage. It was actually pretty tricky to choose as they all smelled amazing. I think I went for the rejuvenating oil to give me an uplifting experience.
I was given a pair of spa sandals to change into and my masseuse led me up several flights of stairs to the treatment area.
At this point it’s worth mentioning that most of the spa wasn’t open when I was there as they were doing a refurbishment, so I can’t give a full review of how the spa experience would be for you.
The RarinJinda website lists a hydrapool, Japanese onsen, hot tub and luxury shower, but these weren’t available to me at the time.
I was led to the top floor of the RarinJinda spa where there was a small treatment room looking out over the city. To the right there was an semi-open air shower, and in the corner a hot tub. My masseuse instructed me to take a shower, dry off, and then change into the special massage underwear she provided me with. She disappeared for 5-10 minutes whilst I changed, put my things in the locker, and wrapped in a towel made a self-conscious dash to the shower.
There was something rather surreal about showering in the open whilst looking out over the city of Chiang Mai. I’m sure no-one could see me but I did have a certain feeling of exposure.
All scrubbed I dashed back to the massage room, dried off and squished my lady parts into the disposable underwear, which was essentially pieces of soft elastic. Felt unusual but could see their functionality.
I had chosen the Hot Stone Massage for my treatment of the day. What followed was a relaxing yet revitalising experience totally different to the usual massages I go for.
This massage uses smooth hot stones to work the pressure points and actually massage. It was a full body experience. Both when doing front and back I had several large stones placed along my spine, and the pressure of those stones was so soothing, especially given the bad back I was struggling with at the time.
The masseuse was expert and working the muscles and body into a relaxed state. She even climbed onto the bed at one point, straddling my back, to work the shoulders. The result was fantastic.
My only reservation was that despite asking for a light massage over the course of the one hour treatment the pressure did get firmer. The last part of my body to massage was my arms which have barely any muscle to them so a firm massage actually hurt a little bit. But I do find that with almost all masseuses, they veer towards firm massage.
Nevertheless, I left massage feeling buoyant and relaxed.
I was led downstairs to a relaxation lounge where I was given ginger tea and a plate of fresh mango. The room was set up with plenty of lounge chairs and foot stools with a tea and snack station in the centre of the room. It would be a great spot to retreat and unwind for a while after your treatments or during your spa day.
I was eager to get to the pool, and as the spa pools were closed, I headed straight out to meet Raj by the swimming pool so we could spend a few hours chatting, drinking iced coffee and nibbling on bar snacks.
Overall, the spa treatment was great but the rest of the spa facilities weren’t available during my stay.
The RarinJinda Hotel is located on the east of Chiang Mai city. The old city is surrounded by parts of an ancient wall and a square moat. Just beyond this on the east of the city is the River Ping, the hotel is located just across the bridge on the eastern bank.
In terms of distance to the ‘main’ city sights, the RarinJinda is about 5-10 minute taxi or tuk tuk ride away. The airport is 15-20 minutes taxi ride away. Chiang Mai is not a particularly big city so it’s relatively easy to get around.
RarinJinda Hotel Information
RarinJinda Wellness Spa Resort – 1, 14 Chareonraj Rd., T. Wat Kate, A. Muang, Chiang Mai
RarinJinda Hotel rooms start from 6,500 baht (at time of writing that is approx. £140 / US$140)
I have found deals are available if you look around or if you’re happy to travel in low or shoulder season.