Home Travel ReviewsAccommodation Reviews Hotel Review: Intercontinental Chiang Mai The Mae Ping Hotel, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Hotel Review: Intercontinental Chiang Mai The Mae Ping Hotel, Chiang Mai, Thailand

The brand-new Intercontinental Chiang Mai The Mae Ping Hotel offers Luxurious tranquillity in northern Thailand’s capital.

by Andy Mossack
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Intercontinental Chiang Mai

With 700 years of regal history behind it, Chiang Mai has earned its status as northern Thailand’s capital.  A perfect setting for the rebirth of the former Imperial Mae Ping Hotel into the newly opened Intercontinental Chiang Mai The Mae Ping.

This five-star luxury retreat just outside the old city walls doesn’t just celebrate Chiang Mai’s illustrious past but weaves it into its DNA. It even has its own ancient temple sitting at the back of its extensive gardens.

No sooner had I arrived I was greeted by one of the lobby team clutching a miniature gong. “We celebrate Chian Mai’s gong-making artisans. Go on, give it a hit for luck.” With the gong’s chimes resonating (hopefully lucky) soundwaves, I walked across a cavernous lobby dominated on one side by a huge floor-to-ceiling cabinet featuring impressive items of local Lanna artisanship, everything from lacquered wood to intricate filigree.

It was a theme ever-present throughout the property including the guestrooms where intricate metalwork is used extensively.

Who For

Couples looking for luxury while being close to the local markets and nearby attractions.


Rooms are classified as Classic, Premium and Suite. My 8th-floor Premium King room was quite the handsome space in cream and green, akin to a junior suite in many other hotels. A comfy two-seater couch and a table and chair sat at the foot of my king bed; a bed swathed in silky linens and puffy pillows bookended by contemporary bedside lamps. Two large windows looked out across Chiang Mai and after nightfall offered up a fairy tale view of the city sheathed in twinkling lights.

My premium room qualified me for Club Intercontinental benefits.


Some rooms have access to the Club International benefits which include, amongst numerous other things, all-day access to soft drinks and snacks, afternoon tea, and an evening cocktail between 5.30 and 7.30 in the Kam Lobby Lounge. It’s a relaxing space, the contemporary colonial ambiance decked out with rattan chairs and lantern-shaped lighting – an homage to the city’s annual Yi Peng Paper Lantern Festival.

It is the kind of hang out you can drop into any time of the day or night, with direct access to the outside adult pool area, replete with cabanas and sun loungers, and tables for eating and drinking on warm evenings. There is another pool for children.

Swimming pool

Swimming pool

There’s a fully equipped fitness centres on the second floor that’s open 24/7 and has The ii Spa on its 5th floor. The ii Spa offers treatments that cater to individual needs. I fell into a signature massage courtesy of Paula’s healing hands. A two-hour session incorporating a warm foot bath and a miniature mallet – who knew a mallet could be so therapeutic!

Food & Drink

Intercontenal bar Chiang Mai

Cocktails by mixologist Santoast

The Kam Lobby Lounge became my regular haunt, for coffee, charming afternoon tea, light dining, and of course that regular cocktail each evening.

Under the expert tutelage of veteran mixologist Santoast, he let me put together one of their signature drinks; a rum lantern cocktail – 7-year-old Havana rum, Galliano, apple and lemon juice, cinnamon, and some extravagant gold leaf. Delicious.

The Gad Lanna restaurant Intercontinental Hotel

The Gad Lanna restaurant Intercontinental Hotel

The Gad Lanna is the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant. An open kitchen and a huge buffet breakfast await offering both Asian and Western dishes, while in the evening it specialises in delivering authentic northern Thai dining.

However, in March 2024, Hong’s Chinese Restaurant and Sky Bar is due to open on the 16th floor. The Sky Bar will offer cocktails and Chinese tapas on the open rooftop, while Hong’s will deliver Sichuan, Cantonese, and Taiwanese fine dining in the elegant surroundings of an old grand mansion.

How much

Premium rooms as described above from THB 15,000 (around £335 per night).


What’s Nearby?

The Intercontinental Chiang Mai The Mae Ping is near to the old town and bustling night market is just a 5-minute walk away. Thai night markets are unmissable here. A dizzying choice of goods and street food stalls mixed with the buzz of local life.

The hotel can arrange guest excursions to local experiences, from hot air ballooning to cultural tours.  And most importantly, only partnering with approved vendors.

A master tea blending workshop at Monsoon Tea was my first outing. Tea entrepreneur Kenneth Rimdahl has pioneered the cultivation of naturally growing forest tea into a successful chain of tea shops across Thailand. Having discovered assamica tea growing wild naturally in the northern mountain forests, he saw an opportunity to market fully sustainable organic wild tea. It was a fun workshop experimenting with different blends and you’ll get to take your chosen blend home with you.

Another unmissable excursion was in the mountains to the Elephant Rescue Park an hour’s drive from the hotel. The hotel has exclusively partnered with this 40-acre park because, unlike the many less noble elephant parks in the region, it is fully focussed on rescuing elephants from mistreatment and forced labour giving them safe sanctuary for the rest of their lives.

There are currently ten elephants at the park, and it was a privilege to be with them all day. You get to feed these beautiful creatures, walk with them and even bathe and brush them in the park’s lake. A very tasty lunch was also provided, along with a personal guide. A truly memorable day out.

Chaing Mai is a very walkable city, and the hotel is situated just by the historic city walls of the old town. It is an easy orientation marker for wandering around the city’s jewels; over 300 temples (wats) await with Wat Doi Suthep, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh, and Wat Sri Suphan (also known as the Silver Temple) the highlights for me.

VERDICT: After an excellent stay I tapped that gong again as I left to return home. Well you never know, 700 years of good luck might hopefully follow me back.


Intercontinental Chaing Mai The Mae Ping, 153 Sridonchai Rd, Chang Khlan, Chiang Mai 50100

T: +66 52 090 998   E: [email protected]



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