CHIANG MAI, Thailand (June 29, 2023) – Meliá Chiang Mai brought home two coveted accolades last week when it won “Best Hotel Lobby Interior – Thailand” and “Best Hotel Spa Interior – Thailand” at the prestigious Asia Pacific Property Awards 2023.
Hosted annually by the International Property Awards, and judged by a panel of more than 100 industry experts, Meliá Chiang Mai, which celebrated its grand opening just 16 months ago, scooped two of the leading interior design prizes in the Asia-Pacific region.
“We are honoured to receive such international recognition,” said Meliá Chiang Mai General Manager Mr Marc Selinger. “So much of the credit goes to our interior designers, PIA Interior, who have masterfully contributed to what is truly a landmark hotel here in the heart of Chiang Mai.”
Lead designer on the project, Mr Songsak Rungkiattiwong of PIA Interior, said he and his team are “incredibly proud” to have won the awards.
“We embarked on a mission to rejuvenate one of Chiang Mai’s most iconic hotels, previously known as Pornping Tower Hotel, which has stood the test of time for nearly 50 years,” he said. “The hotel’s rich history inspired us to infuse the refurbishment process with an element of fun. My vision was to breathe new life into the space.
The lobby’s aesthetic centrepiece is undoubtedly the tung sai moo to which Mr Songsak referred, an objet d’art which sits in the centre of the foyer. Its shape will be familiar to many visitors who have experienced the wet and wonderful Songkran festival in Chiang Mai, at which colourful tung flags are on display at almost every Buddhist temple. In this instance, the tung is encased in a solid silver chat, the symbolic umbrella that sits atop temples throughout Thailand, offering protection.
Above the tung art piece is a ceiling designed with celestial silk Chinese lanterns, or kom, often identified with the Loy Kratong festival. Meanwhile, the walls surrounding the spacious interior of the lobby are lined with teakwood panels, all engraved with geometric patterns woven by the region’s hill-tribe peoples.
Leading downstairs from the lobby lies the YHI Spa and its seven treatment rooms. With a cool ambience suggestive of an underwater theme, the mazey corridors of the spa pay homage to another Chiang Mai landmark, the ancient Wat Umong or Tunnel Temple, with its arched low doorways seeming to burrow deeper into a blissful netherworld of Thai massage and aromatherapy treatments.
“For the Spa, the inspiration struck me during an evening walk at Tha Phae Gate [in Chiang Mai], where I witnessed the captivating contrast between the deep twilight sky and the brick walls of the city gate,” Mr Songsak recalled. “Drawing from this experience, the spa’s layout was intentionally designed to evoke a sense of peace and tranquillity.”
Towering over the city’s famous NIght Bazaar and the Ping River, this 260-key hotel is arguably the freshest addition to the Chiang Mai skyline in years. Its jewel in the crown is the rooftop bar Mai The Sky Bar – the highest in the city – sitting majestically on the 22nd floor, and with a glass bridge commanding 360-degree views as far as the eye can see.
Facilities at the resort include Meliá’s signature YHI Spa, a fully equipped fitness centre, a swimming pool, a ballroom, a kids’ club, and three restaurants with a dedicated focus on Mediterranean and Lanna (Northern Thai) cuisines.
Owned by Thailand’s leading integrated lifestyle real estate group Asset World Corporation (AWC) and launched by Spanish hotel group Meliá Hotels International (MHI), Meliá Chiang Mai is the first five-star hotel to debut in Chiang Mai since the onset of the global pandemic.
The group has recently developed luxury properties in several key destinations in Thailand, beginning with the launch of Meliá Koh Samui in January 2020, and closely followed by the opening of Meliá Phuket Mai Khao on the Andaman coast.