A Small Luxury Farm-to-Hotel in Chiang Mai Invites Guest to Harvest Rice in Its Rice Terrace| BANGKOK FOODIES
The practice of sustainability into their business models is more widespread nowadays; growing fresh produce on the premises is one of the methods many restaurants have adapted, in an attempt to help “save the world” or appear to, but also aids to help save them costs. There are plenty of restaurants around the world that are farm-to-table but restaurants aren’t the only establishments that grow their crops and vegetables but hotel brands have begun to follow the ideology of growing their produce on-site, and have been referred, by the buzz word, a ‘farm-to-hotel.
Of course, Thailand hates to be left out of anything, we may be slow on the up-take for some trends but there are several luxury hotels and resorts that have been practising some level of farm-to-hotel principles for some time. Mostly, hotels from large hotel groups, like the Anantara Group, Six Senses Hotels and Resorts, Banyan Tree, and Four Seasons. Albeit, Bangkok Foodies managed to discover a small luxury hotel in the centre of Chiang Mai, representing small chain hotels, which have found a way to incorporate the natural, rural landscape and agriculture into their sustainable model.
The Chiang Mai OLD TOWN Hotel is situated on Ratchamanka road, inside the Chiang Mai’s Moat, aka, Chiang Mai Old Town. This hotel owns a rice terrace and sometimes lets their guests cultivate their crops every October. “Apart from Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, The Chiang Mai OLD TOWN is a hotel that owns a rice field but the Four Seasons Chiang Mai Resort is located outside the city centre. We are the only farm-to-hotel in Chiang Mai that grows organic rice in the heart of Chiang Mai.” said, Sarinda “Nan” Techosiripat, the hotel’s Group Operation Manager. She continued, “We want our guests to feel relaxed and get in touch with Northern Thai culture or Lanna culture without cliché elements as you can see (from our hotel) the rice terrace and adaptation of Lanna red brick and Lanna twist architecture.”
This farm-to-hotel plant it rice in June. the rice takes 3-4 months to grow and when the rice is ready this hotel in the Chiang Mai City Centre invites its guests to harvest the rice. “It’s the good old days when Thai people from the same neighbourhood come and help each other harvesting rice which is called Long Kaeg (ลงแขก) and this tradition is fading from Thailand.”
The Vorra Bistro is the hotel’s all-day dining concept, where guests can enjoy this hotel in the Chiang Mai City Centre’s homemade bakery with Northern Thai twists. Capellini Aglio e Olio with Sai Oua (290THB) is the signature dish everyone must try. Sai Oua [ไส้อั่ว] is the classical Northern Thai or Lanna spicy sausage which contains minced pork, herbs, spices and Keang Khua [แกงคั่ว], vermillion curry is also mandatory for foodies seeking out the best of the best to offer here. These herbaceous and spice-forward ingredients give this sausage a distinctive odour and flavour, which goes surprisingly very well with the Italian-style pasta, Aglio e Olio. At Vorra Bistro, they add fresh Thai basil to enhance the Lanna essence of the Sai Oua.
In the afternoon, guests may enjoy The Chiang Mai OLD TOWN’s Afternoon Tea (500THB/pax, 900THB/2 pax) from 2 pm – 5 pm which comprises pastries, dessert and jam of local produce. The kitchen continues to update and change the Afternoon Tea menu according to what is in season. Bangkok Foodies favourites were the cranberry scones, mango panna cotta and grape & prune jam, simply amazing. It is evidently clear how fresh the fruits were, before being transformed into delectable treats.
In the morning, although breakfast isn’t included in the room rate, The Chiang Mai Signature Breakfast Sets (249THB/set) is a relative bargain. This farm-to-hotel in Chiang Mai provides you with a tower of homemade bread and fruits and that’s to start.
Guests then have a choice of Western or Thai style meals. The Western-styles are The American breakfast of eggs with ham, sausages and bacon or American pancake served with yoghurt and muesli and waffles served with yoghurt and muesli.
The Thai styles which comprise sets of boiled rice or a range of Congees and a meal set called the “Taste of Lanna”, accompanied by Keang Hunglay [แกงฮังเล], a Lanna pork belly curry; Namprik Ong [น้ำพริกอ่อง], a red Lanna spicy minced pork relish; boiled veggies and skewed pork with sticky rice.
The Deluxe King (5,760++THB) room is highly spacious, complete with an (a sick ???) awesome walk-in bathroom and closet. Here you can take the time to soak up all the roominess, to forget all the hustle and bustle and cubicle workspaces of Bangkok. The room is well equipped with smart devices. The stereo system is one amongst many which you may sync with your smartphone via Bluetooth and it can also wirelessly charge your smartphone. And guys, this is just a Deluxe Room, imagine what other higher-priced room types would be like!
Wine lovers would be further equipped in this hotel in the Chiang Mai City Centre because every room provides a mini wine fridge. And inside? 3 kinds of wine to which you can sip at the cosy balcony. Yes, there will be a bill for that though upon check out.
If you feel like a refreshing activity, take a splash in the pool. Chilling poolside whilst being served snacks and cocktail refreshments from the kitchen and the bar is not a bad way to spend your afternoon.
When you’re ready to step out and discover the town, It’s an easy commute from the hotel to tourist attractions such as Wat Phra Singh Woramahawihan, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Lok Moli, Three Kings Monument, WuaLai Walking Street and famous cocktail bars.
The Chiang Mai OLD TOWN Hotel provides guests with the charm of contemporary Lanna but with the comfort and luxury of being in the middle of the city.
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