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On what was once the site of the venerable British Consulate, The Anantara (formerly The Chedi) is a luxurious oasis facing the scenic Ping River. Because of that location, and the hotel’s pretty lawns, it brings a resort feeling to downtown Chiang Mai. The Anantara’s rather daunting exterior of minimalist wooden slats gives way to a crisp interior of large reflecting pools and polished concrete paths leading to a gem of a colonial mansion, a pleasing mix of modern and colonial. Rooms are not all that Thai looking, but rather contemporary (lots of polished woods, and neutrals interrupted by pops of color), and all offer a private courtyard entrance. The glassy pool is lovely, and the spa boasts an expert staff (I had one of the best massages of my life there).