We might not associate Chiang Mai with sleek modern architecture or floor-to-ceiling windows, but that would be thinking behind the times. As the second capital city and an emerging creative hub, Chiang Mai is attracting more and more kinds of artists and modern thinkers to its increasingly bustling environment. And that’s what K Maison Lanna Boutique has grasped at the core of its ethos. This boutique is not the clichéed rustic, wood-panelled farmhouse we’ve become so accustomed to up in the northern lands. Instead, the penthouse-style lodgings feature clean crisp design, Japanese minimalism, and, yes, floor-to-ceiling windows.
Founded by the same creative mind behind K Maison in Rang Nam, Bangkok and the cult favourite Kay’s Boutique Café on the sixth floor Open House at Central Embassy, K Maison Lanna Boutique places the same focus on design and understated quality. With only 19 rooms, the place is cosy and intimate, ensuring you enjoy the best of tailored services and peaceful privacy.
[All images courtesy of K Maison]
If you thought modern couldn’t mean cosy, your mind is immediately changed when setting foot in K Masion Lanna Boutique — or, more accurately, when setting your foot down. Arriving at the entrance to the hotel, you descend a beautiful white stone staircase that takes you down to the even whiter reception room. It’s clear straight away that the boutique has placed a lot of effort into design, guiding you straight into a state of peace and calm with clean white panelling and sparkling chrysanthemum water. You feel cosy and safe, as if you’ve arrived at the sleekest, most modern underground bunker ever built. Once the doors (yes, they’re white too) open into the main area, your eyes are treated to lovely natural light streaming in through a small zen garden. The communal dining area, bar, and small dipping pool are all perfectly lit in the same soft lighting. “Kao Khao”, meaning white rice, seems to be a fitting name for this room.
The rooms range in sizes and designs, from the Classic Lanna for a minimal yet comfortable stay, to the special Lanna Duplex Suite that features über high ceilings and a bedroom on the mezzanine floor. There’s much to say that this place is modern and cutting edge – there’s the smart flatscreen TV, the private stand-alone bathtub, and the Japanese style in-room plant contained in glass. You’ll find little fuss and frills in these rooms – the amenities go by a refreshing ‘quality, not quantity’ mantra.
Serving on a B&B basis, the boutique hotel features a small and intimate dining area by the dipping pool and zen garden. The breakfast menu is straightforward, giving you the option between a Western breakfast and a Lanna-style breakfast. However, whichever one you go for, you’ll also be treated to the ‘Breakfast by Kay’s’ highlight: the all-time favourite Kay’s French Toast, which is served with decadent buttercream, bananas, walnuts, and bacon bits. It’s a truly indulgent way to start the day. Alongside the breakfast table, there’s also a bar counter serving Kay’s beloved coffee menu by day and some zingy original cocktails by night.
Contemporary design doesn’t mean sacrificing natural and traditional touches. Not only did we love the small and peaceful zen garden as a lovely view during breakfast, but the ‘Kao Khao’ room is also beautifully decorated with antiques and relics that were discovered during the hotel’s construction. You get the sense that even though K Maison are offering a new modern perspective on Chiang Mai accommodation, they’re still very much in touch with the city’s heritage and natural beauty at heart.
Being a boutique hotel comes with its limits. If you’re after an all-inclusive stay in Chiang Mai with in-house spa packages, fine dining, and incredible sweeping views, then this isn’t the place for you. What K Maison Lanna Boutique does offer, however, is a straightforward, great value, and great quality stay. It provides all the necessities to a high level, presented with great design and committed service. The staff are all truly determined to meet any of your requests, from booking tours to making personalised cocktails for you. More a home than a hotel, K Maison may actually be a better option for visitors in Chiang Mai who wish to spend more time exploring the local area. And, after a long day out, you’ll be glad to return to K Maison’s cosy lodgings, soothing minimalist colour palettes, and friendly faces that welcome you home.
K Maison Lanna Boutique, 67/8 Na Wat Ket Road, Chiang Mai, 50000. For more information and bookings, please visit www.kmaisonboutique.com or call 052-088-818.