Perched on a ridge overlooking the hills of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos, the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort offers the chicest of accommodations at reasonable rates: about $850 per night for all-inclusive amenities. (Hint: The next-door Four Seasons is often double the price tag.) The hotel boasts nature-chic guest rooms, meals, drinks, and a bevy of excursions. Here, a peek into this premier property.
What’s Hot: This Thai hotel is located within a speedy drive or boat ride to Myanmar and Laos, giving visitors the opportunity for a three-punch country visit — and bonus passport stamps.
Best Feature: Hands-down: the elephants. The hotel’s Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation was established in 2003 as a traditional mahout (elephant owner and caretaker) village, and works to facilitate street rescues and provide employment and a comfortable life for the elephants and their entire mahout families. Guests can experience daily activities (included in the price) that range from a walk with the gentle giants to learning professional elephant commands.
The Rooms: Room categories range from a country view (great for a budget), a suite (perfect for honeymooners), and the family suite (works well for a group or family). Each are designed with rich Thai furnishings — think: local silk materials and drape-y gauze canopies, teak wood, and a knock-your-socks-off view. Pro tip: Rise early and watch the sunrise over the foggy mountains of Myanmar and Laos.
The Food: Included in the rate are meals, which start with a lovely breakfast buffet. Here, you’ll be greeted by the elephants with your morning coffee. Guests will also have the chance to indulge in the famous northern Thai green curries, and are taught to make the popular dish in a cooking class that takes place at the hotel’s top-notch learning kitchen. Don’t miss sampling the surprisingly good Thai wine — best sipped in front of the lobby’s cozy fireplace.
Who Will Love It: Everyone. We encountered canoodling honeymooners to happy kids on our visit.
Who Might Not: From families to animal-loving couples, this resort is for everyone. Even the tech-obsessed get perfect WiFi.
Nearby: Chiang Rai, the Northernmost region of Thailand, offers a myriad of experiences. Mae Fah Luang Art and Cultural Park, Chiang Saen, Wat Rong Khun, and Hall of Opium, Golden Triangle Park are just a few nearby attractions.
Deals and Special Offers: The hotel has a handful of special offers, like the Wellness Meets Nature package that includes a healthy menu along with elephant yoga.
Getting There: Fly into Chiang Rai Mae Fah Luang International Airport (CEI); a 45 mile-drive from the resort.