Chiang Mai has no shortage of posh resorts, but most of them are either miles out of town, or are missing that boutique-y touch that makes a hotel stay so memorable. 137 Pillars House, however, delivers effortlessly on both fronts.

The resort’s location is hard to beat: set along a quiet street in the Wat Ket area, it’s surrounded by smart coffee shops, quirky boutiques and fantastic riverside restaurants. And, more importantly, far away from the maddening tourist crowds in the Old Town and Nimmanhaemin areas.

Surrounded by high walls and strategically positioned vertical gardens that keep the neighbouring buildings out of sight, a garden dotted with ancient banyan trees, blooming orchids, and blissful daybeds offers the feeling of a sanctuary amidst Chiang Mai’s often hectic streets.

Surrounding it all are a dozen or so whitewashed villas. It’s an all-suites affair, so whichever room you book, you can be sure of heaps of space complemented by marble-accented bathrooms with Victorian bathtubs, indoor- and outdoor showers, double vanities, stupidly big four-poster beds, and secluded private balconies or terraces. Jasmine-scented Panpuri amenities and modern-day mod cons like Nespresso machines and enormous flatscreen TVs complete the package.

137 Pillars House Chiang Mai Review

The suites are not as glitzy as the ones at the resort’s much flashier sister property in Bangkok – but that’s a good thing. They deliver colonial splendour with dark wooden floors, sultry red accents, and black-and-white photographs adorning the walls. We particularly loved the decorative pillows and curtains printed with little elephants – a delightful local touch.

The beautiful teakwood 137 Pillars House (also known as Baan Borneo, it served as the headquarter for one of Chiang Mai’s first foreign companies) is the resort’s pièce de résistance and is home to two restaurants: chic Palette is a white tablecloth, silver cutlery affair turning out European classics like an excellent French onion soup, a feta-flecked beetroot salad, and grilled salmon steak (but a so-so hamburger) – all made extra special with the live piano music playing at dinnertime.

137 Pillars House Chiang Mai Review

The ornate backroom hosts The Dining Room, an elegant Thai restaurant where Northern Thai specialities dominate the menu – mostly drawing on organic produce from around the region. Cap off the night at Jack Bain’s Bar, a gentlemanly cocktail spot where the resort’s rich history is clearly visible.

Crowning it all is an army of well-trained and genuinely friendly staff that cater to guests’ every whim. An on-site butler was available throughout our stay and was just a text message away to help out with dinner reservations and cleaning baby bottles.

137 Pillars House Chiang Mai Review


  • Littered with pillows and loungey daybeds, the balconies at the 2nd-level suites make for great lazy-afternoon relaxation spots. They also offer a little more privacy than the suites on the ground floor.
  • The vibrant Warorot Market (a perfect spot for quirky cheap Thai souvenirs) sits just across the Ping river, a leisurely 5-minute walk away from the hotel lobby.


2 Soi 1, Nawatgate Road,
Tambon Wat Ket,
Chiang Mai

Rates start at US$358/night (including breakfast) – Check availability

This stay was hosted by 137 Pillars House, but expressed opinions are 100% our own

Hotels, Thailand, TravelChiang Mai, Hotel Review, Thailand

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