137 Pillars House 

Colonial-style chic with history at its heart

This heritage-suffused retreat provides a luxurious home-from-home in one of Chiang Mai’s most appealing districts.

Supremely camera-friendly, 137 Pillars House has won fistfuls of awards since it opened in 2011. At its core is an impeccably restored teak homestead from the 1880s that was once, briefly, the home of Louis Leonowens, whose mother was the ‘I’ in The King and I. Its wood-carved interiors shelter elegant restaurants, a clubby bar and a parlour for afternoon tea, while the 30 suites are located in harmoniously designed low-rise modern buildings that are surrounded by lushly planted gardens complete with a sleek swimming pool. It feels a world away from the bustle of Chiang Mai, though it’s actually just a short tuk-tuk hop from the Old City. Brimming with character, individuality and charm, it’s no surprise it’s a member of the 'Small Luxury Hotels of the World'.

Why we love 137 Pillars House

  • It’s in the arty, multicultural Wat Gate area, with lots of galleries, boutiques and riverside restaurants a short stroll away

  • There’s a wealth of fascinating stories behind the teak homestead at the hotel’s core and the people who once lived in it

  • The beyond-spacious suites have tiled verandas with daybeds that are almost like having an extra, naturally cooled, living room

  • If you’ve overindulged in the superb restaurants and bar, you can assuage your guilt in the pool, 24-hour gym or with a yoga session

5 stars
Oct - Apr
Bangkok 11½ hours
On the east bank of the Ping River in a quiet corner of the Wat Gate area, a 10-minute tuk-tuk ride from the old city
Approx. 20 minutes’ transfer from Chiang Mai airport
Boutique, Spa



  • Restaurants & bars
  • Board
  • Spas & wellness
  • Activities
  • Diving & Watersports
  • Sustainability

There are two restaurants and a cosy bar, all-day in-suite dining and afternoon tea in the garden or the old parlour.

The Dining Room
The main restaurant is the venue for a generous international buffet breakfast.

Open at lunch and dinner, this intimate space has an all-day menu of Western, Thai and regional South East Asian cuisine prepared with seasonal local ingredients. There's also a selection of vegetarian dishes.

Jack Bain’s Bar
Named after a former resident, this clubby bar has a superb choice of cocktails as well as non-alcoholic options from Thai Oolong tea to fresh mango juice.

After a day of exploring, there’s something wonderfully civilised about a delicious afternoon tea in a lushly planted tropical garden.

What's included

Breakfast at The Dining Room

Upgrade options

Half Board • Breakfast at The Dining Room • Dinner at Palette
Full Board • Breakfast at The Dining Room • lunch and dinner at Palette

At the Nitra Serenity Centre, the menu focuses on ‘the Seven Pillars of Wellness’ with treatments that feature natural organic products, traditional Thai techniques and modern innovations. The 90-minute Sleep by Design massage, for instance, mixes essential oils with a soundtrack of binaural beats. There's a 24-hour air-conditioned gym with cardio equipment and free weights, and yoga and Thai Chi classes on request.

Explore temples by rickshaw, learn about the history of Lampang and Chiang Mai's teak history or see Thai modern art with a visit to the Maiiam Contemporary Art Museum.

The tucked-away outdoor pool is lined by sunbeds on one side and a soaring plant wall on the other.

The hotel’s environmentally friendly initiatives include recycling initiatives, turning garden waste into compost for the organic vegetable plot and replacing plastic bags and takeaway containers with reusable mesh or wooden boxes. It also supports Elephant Nature Park, a local sanctuary for rescued elephants.