Le Meridien Chiang Mai lobby
Chedi Chiang Mai exterior by night
Veranda Chiang Mai High Resort poolside dining
As the biggest and, arguably, most culturally significant city in northern Thailand, there are plenty of offerings for luxury family holidays in Chiang Mai. This 700-year-old city is famous for trekking, sightseeing, shopping, spas, 300 historic temples, and some seriously stunning mountain resorts. With elephant rides, play time with monkeys, boutique shopping and multitude of authentic Thai restaurants, what’s stopping you packing up the kids for a luxury family holiday in Chiang Mai? The bigger hotels are very family-oriented in Chiang Mai and the Thais are wonderful with children, so you won’t have a problem finding childcare services.
The Chedi Chiang Mai
The Chedi Chiang Mai is a five star global staple complete with private butler treatment.
The Chedi Chiang Mai is a five-star hotel along the Mae Ping, where you can watch the traditional fishing boats floating past from your luxurious suite, or as you lounge by the riverside swimming pool. Just five minutes from the local and extremely enticing night bazaar, The Chedi is the place for you and your family...Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
Dusit D2 Chiang Mai
Dusit D2 Chiang Mai offers mountain views and luxury a mere 15 minutes from the airport.
The five-star Dusit D2 Chiang Mai hotel, just off Chang Klan Road, offers modern interiors set against touches of traditional Thai décor. It puts you right near Chiang Mai’s bustling night bazaar and you’ll love coming home to the sight of the beautiful outdoor pool and twinkling lights. The Dusit D2 is also just...Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
Veranda Chiang Mai High Resort
Luxury and family fun off the beaten track defines the Veranda Chiang Mai.
Surrounded by hills, mountains and forest, you and the family will find a heavenly stay at the Veranda Chiang Mai High Resort. The height of both opulence and service, this hotel is memorable with its beautiful swimming pool, rooms and gardens surrounded by gentle rice and tea...Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
Le Meridien Chiang Mai
Le Meridien Chiang Mai is a glorious example of Lanna Thai luxury in the heart of the downtown area.
Blending beautiful European design with Lanna Thai luxuries, the gorgeous, five-star Le Meridien Chiang Mai is every family’s dream in the downtown neihgbourhood, just a hop, skip and jump away from Thapae Gate (Chiang Mai's main entrance to the old walled city) and Warorot Market. You’ll love the views of Doi...Baby-friendly / Family-friendly Spa / Pre-Teen friendly / See this Hotel & Book »
The Salsa Kitchen
26/4 Huai Kaew Road
Acid-bright colours, bursting bright flowers, and a bustling, friendly atmosphere combine at The Salsa Kitchen to make you forget you’re in Chiang Mai – you could, instead, be holidaying in Mexico. As one of Chiang Mai’s most popular family-friendly restaurants, you’ll find plenty of happy clans devouring the restaurant’s excellent Mexican soul food at all hours of the day. Try the shrimp tacos or the San Francisco, Mission-style chicken burrito over a cold lime margarita. Children adore the cheese quesadilla.
Khaomao Khaofang Restaurant
Ratchapruek Road, Hang Dong, Chiang Mai, 50230
Just ten minutes by taxi out of town along the Hang Dong Road, the slightly surreal dining experience at Khaomao Khaofang Restaurant is one your kids will be talking about for months afterwards. The whole of Khaomao Khaofang Restaurant is themed like the jungle, complete with bridges over streams, a carp pond, waterfalls and a large lake. The way the water streams from the taps in the bathrooms will fascinate them too – we won’t spoil it here. There’s almost always a Thai birthday party going on, which only adds to the fun atmosphere; kids will love exploring the jungle-themes space as much as you will love the Thai food. Do try the Pad Thai.
The Fish Restaurant
Canal Road, opposite Mae Hia market junction
You can tell The Fish Restaurant is good because of the abundance of Thai locals filling up the tables every night. Anywhere the locals eat in Thailand is usually a sensible place to head if you want authentic cuisine. Kids will love the indoor play area and ball pool, and they’ll be happy to play with the other children after enjoying veggie omelettes or fried rice and fish dinners. For adults, the steamed fish options are delicious and the crab is highly recommended. Sit outside by the lake, order an ice-cold Chang beer and relax.
Chiang Mai Elephant Nature Park
Nothing is going to inspire a young wannabe vet or animal-lover more than spending a day as a volunteer with Chiang Mai’s elephants. Get up close and personal as you feed them, bathe them and learn about the difficulties faced by many elephants in Southeast Asia. Mae Taeng, to the north of Chiang Mai, is home to a wonderful, sprawling 70-hectare rescue and rehabilitation center called Elephant Nature Park. Here, you’ll find 35 free-roaming elephants in a sprawling 70-hectare rescue and rehabilitation center, all of whom were rescued from a life of abuse.
Chiang Mai Zoo and Aquarium
Popular with locals and tourists alike, the Chiang Mai Zoo is a fantastic place to while away a day. Children can learn all about over 7,000 animals housed here. There are live animal shows throughout the day and a particularly good seal exhibit. The chance to play with rabbits in person will thrill little children, while those who are big enough can enjoy a pony ride. Look out for the famous pair of pandas, given to Chiang Mai Zoo by the government of China.
Chiang Mai Monkey School
Your little ones will love playing around with monkeys at this school, run by ex-army official, Sergeant Tawee. He once trained two monkeys to help him pick tamarinds and decided to launch this Chiang Mai Monkey School. Today, there are more than 30 monkeys and gibbons, all trained to pick coconuts, play basketball and even ride bikes. Children can hold them, there are plenty of baby monkeys (always a big hit) and even watch the monkeys being trained. Most importantly, all of the monkeys are very well cared for here, so no need for concern.
Dial 1669 for an ambulance and emergency medical assistance in Chiang Mai (this is a nationwide number). The best private and award-winning hospital in town is Chiang Mai Ram Hospital (Tel: 053 920 00). There you will find English-speaking staff, great services, doctors, facilities and location. Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai (Tel: 053 947 000) is one of the top government hospitals. Medical care in Chiang Mai is second only to the capital, Bangkok, and you’ll find comparably reasonable prices for anything medical-related.
When to go
Although temperatures in Chiang Mai are often above 30°C throughout the year, the best to time to go is from November until February. The hot season, from mid-March until June can be very humid and uncomfortable, especially if you’re traveling with small children, although there’s plenty of sunny weather from March to May. April is considered the hottest month, so if you can’t handle the heat, make sure you book a hotel with air-conditioning. The rainy season in Chiang Mai lasts from July to October and heavy downpours are the norm, although these rarely last all day.