Where to stay in Chiang Rai: The Riverie by Katathani
Chiang Rai is usually overlooked in favour of its bigger neighbour Chiang Mai, as majority of people base themselves in Chiang Mai and visit surrounding area on day tours. We also stayed in Chiang Mai for one night, but one of the nights we actually stayed in Chiang Rai to get a better feel for the place.
We stayed in a new hotel, which opened its doors in September 2018, right beside the river Kok, called the Riverie by Katathani. Everything about this hotel takes your breath away, starting from a driveway to rooms, design and hotel grounds.
Weather was smiling at us on the evening of our visit and we were able to try out all the pools. Apart from the adult pool with a swim up bar, there is a great kids pool with slides, climbing frames and a slush bucket. Believe me – you would not want to be near that bucket when it overflows with water, but my kids loved it!
There is plenty of space around pools with sun loungers, so no need to get to the pool early. If you don’t like sunbathing, you can go for a walk along the river Kok and it is beautiful either in the morning or early evening, when the sun is not too hot.
When we went to our room, we could believe how spacious and well designed it was. Family suites have 2 rooms with a bunk bed for kids and a master bedroom for parents. The bathroom has an entrance from both children and parents room.
Each room has its personal TV set, so you don’t have the fight! We did not get a chance to watch any TV, as there was so much to do outside of your room too. We also had a balcony with a wonderful riverside view. It was great to sit there, while my son Luca was napping in the room.
There are 3 restaurants in the Riverie. Two are located downstairs: Blossom restaurant is for breakfast, lunch and dinner service, and China Garden serves Chinese cuisine with smarter and more formal setting.
On the upper floor, there is a stunningly beautiful The Peak Wine and Grill restaurant with its own rooftop bar, the only one in Chiang Rai.
There is also a relaxed bar/café at the reception area, where pianist plays in the evenings.
I loved the cafe as it had a contemporary feel, without feeling stuffy. Delicious cakes were on display and as it was coming up to September, they were selling moon cakes, made at the Riverie, for the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival. We stayed there for awhile to relax, listening to some mellow music.
We tried the main restaurant for breakfast and selection of dishes was enormous, you could literally stay there until lunch if you wanted to sample everything. Similar to other hotels in Asia, the breakfast choice had Asian and Western dishes on offer.
I could not resist having a pork soup for breakfast with Chinese doughnuts for the dessert. Fruit choice is plentiful and unusual: dragon fruit, papaya and pineapple.
The hotel offers a wealth of activities and is a perfect place for families. Apart from the pools, for the times when it is too cold to swim or too hot to be outside, there is an air conditioned soft play area for the kids. Extremely well maintained and full of exciting toys with climbing frames, I had difficulties dragging my kids away, when we had to check out!
For adults and children they also organise paid and free activities, like yoga, thai chi or exploring their organic garden.
Staff was extremely helpful and accommodating. Also due to the size of the hotel grounds, it felt like you were not in a city, it had a very tranquil setting. However, you still have an opportunity to go and see the town in the evening as it is an easy taxi ride of only 10 minutes or so.
We did not want to leave. Everywhere you look is pleasing to the eye and staff works hard to make your stay as comfortable as they can. From reception area with plush sofas, beautiful bedrooms and the rooftop bar to staff being dressed in a national dress, the Riverie is a stylish place to be.
Our stay was hosted by The Riverie by Katathani, but all opinions are my own.