Years ago, a friend taught me that it is important to treat yourself to a little something in the lap of luxury every once in a while…even if you don’t go in for the whole experience.
This foray into a world that is a slight cut above your current situation helps you to stay true to your goals by reminding you where you are heading. Not only this but it gives you a break from penny-pinching, encouraging a mentality of abundance.
One of the ways to do this is to sneak into a 5-star hotel on some pretense or other….
However, if not done with skill, this route can have unfortunate and embarrassing consequences!
Lacking the required pretense to successfully pull off the first suggestion, cough up some cash to patronize the restaurant or swimming pool of a fancy hotel.
A couple of friends and I did this at the Veranda Resort, half an hour outside Chiang Mai.
I really had no idea what I was in for when the girls proposed the day out.
All I heard was ‘infinity pool’ and everything after that was a blur…
Getting inTo Veranda Resort Chiang Mai
At the gate we were approached by security – just tell them you are going to the restaurant and you will get in just fine.
We parked in the lot and made our way up towards the building with no clue where we were going. We found the reception area and they told us to go out front and catch a golf buggy up to the main resort, which we did.
We made our way up into the modern maze of buildings with their unusually stark, bare concrete architecture, mixed in a strangely pleasing way with touches of softer Thai design.
A very unusual combination – that ultimately works. Up on the top floor is The Higher Room restaurant and the infinity pool.
The Food at Veranda Chiang Mai
The prices were as to be expected and I settled on what was close to the cheapest thing on the menu – a starter of spring rolls for 190 baht.
Although, this was no mere starter, with 4 large spring rolls, dipping sauce and a slaw salad making up the dish. So portions are generous, despite the expense.
The service was pretty good and we didn’t have to wait too long for our food either. However, we did notice a slight language barrier, so be very clear with your food orders.
After lunch, we changed in the bathroom a few floors down and headed to the pool.
It was a pity that they didn’t have change rooms nearby, as the toilet block was quite small.
The Pool at Veranda Chiang Mai
The whole pool and restaurant area offers a vision of the surrounding mountains and the striking Wat Ban Pong temple across the valley.
It would have been truly stunning on a clear summer day, but it has to be said that the misty drizzle added it’s own ethereal charm to the experience.
Never having had the pleasure of swimming in an infinity pool before, I was curious – yet it was as special as I thought it would be; that persistent illusion of no separation between the serene pool water and the surrounding panoramic views.
There was plenty of space to stretch out around the pool, with sunchairs and other cozy day-beds to lounge on. Frangipani trees overhang the pool and left an attractive offering of flowers on the water.
The Prices at Veranda Chiang Mai
Towels are provided with the pool use fee (400 baht) and you get a mocktail to boot, so it’s not a bad deal to hang out all day at the pool of a resort, where the room prices start at 6000 baht per night.
Access to the pool is from 8 am to 7 pm so if you plan a visit here arrive early on a sunny day, and make a day of it.
An easy drive South West of the old city brought us progressively closer to the foot of Doi Suthep and outskirts of the Doi Suthep National Park. Not far into the hills is the resort sign on your right.
Be on the lookout; we drove past a fair way before retracing – despite the GPS diligently announcing the directions to us in Thai.
Just have Google Maps handy. Unlike some spots in Chiang Mai, the resort is shown in pretty close to the correct location. Not completely accurate, but you will be within a few hundred metres of the turn-off. Just keep your eyes open for the sign.
Have you enjoyed a day out in the lap of luxury – just for the hell of it? Tell us all about it