There are few places in this world as special as the Four Seasons Golden Triangle. Take it from me, someone who has been fortunate enough to experience many of the world’s most magical destinations and luxury hotels, this particular property is the crème de la crème. So, what is it like to check in to the Four Seasons Golden Triangle? After my recent visit, I can tell you exactly what to expect from this luxurious getaway in Thailand, overlooking Myanmar and Laos.
The Golden Triangle
If you aren’t already privy to the region, the Golden Triangle is a small pocket where three neighbouring countries collide on the Ruak and Mekong rivers. Those countries are Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. Three extremely unique cultures that share also some similarities, making this a very unique place to visit.
Before I visited the Golden Triangle, I had little clue what to expect. I was picturing a jungle-like backdrop with elephants roaming in the distance, with humid days and epic sunsets. All of these were true and so much more.
In many ways, the experience feels like a Southeast Asian version of a safari, particularly in recent years as this area in Northern Thailand has become a sanctuary for elephants. There are now many elephant sanctuaries in the area, as well as a small handful of luxury properties offering elephant engagement in a respectful, educational manner.
There’s also a seemingly endless supply of temples to wander around and learn the history of in Chiang Rai, the main township in Thailand’s pocket of the Golden Triangle.
The Lodge: Checking in to the Four Seasons Golden Triangle
If you come all this way into the depths of the jungle of Northern Thailand, you’re going to want to stay at least four or five nights to make the most of your efforts. And if you choose to stay at the award-winning Four Seasons Golden Triangle, believe me when I say you will not want to leave!
This property has been on my hotel bucketlist for a while now, having first lusted over images of the property in travel magazines many years ago. But with its isolated location far from anything, it wasn’t until I was planning a larger trip throughout Thailand that it made sense to visit.
Compared to some safari style properties in Africa, the experience at this lodge is not dissimilar. Here you find yourself in the middle of the jungle, far from civilisation, but also never far from life’s modern luxuries. An all-inclusive mini bar, for starters, which is replenished daily.
The lodge itself is quite an oasis. There’s a main pool area with multiple pools and day beds tucked away for guest privacy. It is also here where you will find the main restaurant, serving breakfast lunch and dinners daily. But should you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere for a sundowner, then you can’t miss the chance to watch sunset at Burma Bar, which is located at the other side of the property facing Myanmar.
Inside the Safari Tents
The safari tents are the furthest thing from a tent. For starters, they feature polished floorboards and luxurious oversized bath tubs. And I don’t know about you, but for me, sleeping in a tent on camping trips growing up in Australia does not look even remotely similar to this luxurious canvas tent!
All of the essentials are taken care of – including multiple doors and fly screens to prevent jungle critters from entering the room. There are also block out canvas windows which allow for a sleep in should you prefer, however when the lodge is offering daily breakfast elephant feeding at the restaurant, it’s a little hard to ever want to lay in bed.
As I mentioned earlier, the mini bar is stocked with snacks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks daily. There’s even dried lemon slices for your afternoon gin and tonic, which is best enjoyed on the oversized deck out the front of your tent.
Inside the canvas tented rooms you will find your choice of indoor bathtub or outdoor shower, both of which are worth enjoying during your stay. And take it from me when I say the rooms are so well equipped, you’ll never want to leave. But those who do will be rewarded with wildlife encounters like walking with elephants, or a safari-style sundowner in a vintage Land Rover Defender.
The Spa at Four Seasons Golden Triangle
One of the highlights of my stay (though there were many), was a luxurious afternoon at the spa for an indulgent 90-minute full body massage. This isn’t any old hotel spa. This is an experience in itself. The spa is nestled well into the forest and takes at least five or ten minutes to walk to, meaning you will have complete privacy once there. You will be greeted by your therapist and an oversized outdoor bath tub, which can be enjoyed before or after your treatment. The setting is a complete fairytale – wind lazily blowing the trees in the distance, birds singing, and the addition of a soft fan to keep the humidity at bay.
Breakfast with the elephants
Another highlight of my stay was the morning ritual enjoying breakfast with the elephants who call the lodge home. Northern Thailand has become a haven for elephants in Thailand, with many sanctuaries located in Chiang Rai and the surrounding villages. And the lodge has made it possible to encounter these elephants in a meaningful way, learning about the life of elephants while feeding them breakfast or watching from afar while you eat yours.
Food and Dining at the Four Seasons Golden Triangle
And of course, the food. Many of you who have been following my adventures over the years will know that food and dining is one of my key measures of a hotel. There’s just so much to be said about encountering a foreign cuisine, and I truly believe that on the plate you can experience so much of a culture.
Of all the meals we enjoyed during our stay, lunches were my favourite. In the heat of the day there was nothing I felt like more than a cold, fresh salad. And it never ceases to amaze me how fresh and flavoursome fresh produce is here in Thailand.
Dinners and Breakfasts were also memorable experiences, with many delicious Thai curries on offer if you fancy something local, or a Western menu if you’re feeling nostalgic for home.
Over all, this was an incredible experience and will certainly go down in World of Wanderlust history as one of my favourite hotels in the world. This is certainly my top pick of hotels in Thailand, so be sure to add it to your travel list!
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