Tranquility envelopes you even before you enter the spectacular new three-story, 9,000 square-foot Lanna Spa at the 20-acre Regent Resort in this northern Thai town. The peak-roofed building, inspired by Buddhist temples, nestles among fragrant frangipani. You take a ten-minute stroll from your villa past tropical flower gardens, blossom-filled spirit houses, lily ponds, and bamboo groves, and arrive at the spa in a state of bliss. A Thai masseuse offers refreshing ginger tea, then leads you to your private domain—a treatment suite exquisitely turned out with Thai paintings and sculptures, with picture windows overlooking the garden. Your prelude is thirty minutes of meditation in an herb-infused steam room. A 90-minute traditional Thai massage follows. Wearing loose-fitting handwoven Thai cotton pajamas, you're gently stretched, smoothed, and soothed into a state of relaxed contentment, perhaps even brief slumber—it feels magically calming and invigorating, like passive yoga. You might then transfer to a sun-dappled sofa or a soaking tub—and just let go.
There are seven treatment suites, including a penthouse with views over the treetops to the Doi Suthep Mountains in the misty distance. Each suite has an individual shower and changing room, and most have an aromatherapy steam room, garden-view relaxation patio, and hydrotherapy tub. The Prae Suite has a private garden with its own plunge pool. A beauty salon offers a range of Thai-herb-based hair treatments—using lemongrass and wild lime essences—along with manicures and pedicures. The spa is open until 9 p.m., so late-arrival jet-lag treatments or special-occasion hair styling can easily be arranged. Over 30 treatments available, including a four-hour body ritual invigorator, $165; two-hour Thai massage, $85; one-hour aloe-and-lavender herbal facial, $50. Mai Rim-Sameong Old Road, Mai Rim, Chiang Mai, Thailand; 800-545-4000, 66-53-298-181; fax 66-53-298-190.Member of Fine Hotels, Resorts & Spas