Chiang Mai, Thailand, July 3, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / 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.
“In the Lobby, our welcoming space draws inspiration from various sources. The symbol of fortune takes centre stage, incorporating elements from the spiritual journey of Wat Umong. Additionally, we have incorporated the charm of tung, a symbol of good fortune, and the lanterns of the Yi Peng light festival. These elements come together to create an immersive experience that sets the tone for the guests’ journey of discovery in Chiang Mai.”
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 with 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 the geometric patterns woven by the region’s hilltribe 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, swimming pool, 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.
PIA Interior is also working on the latest Meliá hotel in the country, the 33-storey INNSiDE by Meliá Bangkok Sukhumvit,, which is due to celebrate its grand opening in the Thai capital next month.
Meliá Chiang Mai also won an award this month presented by Australian travel magazine Holidays With Kids, in which it was named No 10 in the Thailand’s Best Family Resorts category for 2023.
About Asset World Corp Public Company Limited
Asset World Corp Public Company Limited is a holding company under TCC Group operating leading integrated lifestyle property development in Thailand. The company has two main businesses consisting of the Hospitality business managed by top hotel executives of world-renowned hotel brands such as Marriott, The Luxury Collection, Okura, Banyan Tree, Hilton, and Sheraton and Retail, Wholesale and Commercial properties whose projects include 1) Retail and Wholesale including lifestyle travel destinations, community shopping malls, community markets, and wholesale business real estate. Popular real estate projects consist of ASIATIQUE the Riverfront Destination, Gateway at Bangsue, AEC Trade Center – Pantip Wholesale Destination, and Tawanna Bangkapi and 2) Commercial buildings including the famous Empire Tower and Athenee Tower located in Bangkok’s central business district.
About Meliá Hotels & Resorts
Meliá has 125 hotels in Europe (57), America (19), Cuba (15), Africa (5) and Asia (29). We are present in 31 countries and currently have 24 hotels under development in 10 countries. At Meliá Hotels & Resorts, we stand out for our unique Spanish style in the hospitality industry and for our warmth, closeness and passion for service. This means that we offer our guests a unique wellness experience. Our Spanish warmth and spontaneity are part of our Mediterranean roots and are always present in the Meliá experience. An experience that is enriched by providing thoughtful extra services. Paying attention to the smallest details and providing personalized experiences for each guest. We see wellness from an innovative perspective. It is not wellness applied only to nutrition or wellness services, it is 360º wellness. The wellness we want to convey is global. You can find it in all aspects of the brand from different perspectives: physical wellness, spiritual wellness, leisure wellness, social wellness, occupational wellness, environmental wellness, financial wellness and nutritional wellness.
About Meliá Hotels International
Founded in 1956 in Mallorca (Spain), Meliá Hotels International has a portfolio of more than 400 hotels (portfolio and pipeline), throughout more than 40 countries, and 10 brands: Gran Meliá Hotels & Resorts, The Meliá Collection, ME by Meliá, Paradisus by Meliá, Meliá Hotels & Resorts, ZEL, INNSiDE by Meliá, Falcon’s Resorts by Meliá, Sol by Meliá and Affiliated by Meliá. The Group is one of the leading companies in resort hotels worldwide, while also leveraging its experience to consolidate the growing segment of the leisure-inspired urban market. Its commitment to responsible tourism has led the Group to become the most sustainable hotel company worldwide, according to the last S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment, and it is also a “Top Employer 2023” brand in Spain, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Italy and Germany. Meliá Hotels International is also included in the IBEX 35 Spanish stock market.