Pai (Thailand) – May 18, 2015 – Reverie Siam is committed to providing employment and engaging in sustainable tourism that gives back to the local economy. The resort was constructed by local builders whom later stayed on as employees. Receiving training as gardeners, housekeepers, porters and divers, Reverie Siam also provides English lessons twice a week.
Situated in northern Thailand, near the border of Myanmar, where the tops of golden pagodas glitter, the small, artsy town of Pai offers an idyllic adventure escape. Laden with tropical foliage, and enhanced by a delightful jasmine aroma, the owner of Reverie Siam celebrates the heady days of romance, exploration and elegance from the early 20th century. His chic resort is the perfect reprieve for even the most imaginative dreamer. Sitting in its enchanting gardens, with a glass of brandy in hand, English playwright and novelist Somerset Maugham would have found a true source of inspiration for his work here.
The bohemian atmosphere at Reverie Siam is self-evident from the start, highlighted by a vintage piano, retro chairs, wooden cameras, a Stetson hat and walking cane, and an old gramophone ready to play a Mozart masterpiece. It is the art of the journey itself that embodies the Reverie Siam. Lazing on a lounge adorned with plush pillows, I sip a creamy coffee with fresh cardamom, eyes turned toward the salt-water infinity pool laced with a lovely stone edge. Affable and ever pleasing, the staff makes visitors feel like they are guests in a private home.
My sumptuous villa smells like fresh wax and teak. A small library contains old books covered in fabric. Its gleaming parquet floors are adorned with rocking chairs and a four-poster bed. I take a quiet stroll along the riverbank to absorb the picturesque views of the Pai River and surrounding mountains. Later, I sit to dine in the quaint restaurant. Light and appetizing, the kitchen at the Reverie Siam serves Mediterranean cuisine made with local ingredients including kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and ginger. I savour subtle tapas and a glass of delicious red wine, then return to my quarters and fall into a deep slumber.
The next day, I trek around the national park to glimpse at the abundant wildlife and beautiful landscapes. I soak in the nearby hot springs, wander around the countryside, and spend uplifting afternoon riding on an elephant. This valley is so peaceful.
French poet Charles Baudelaire once wrote: “Common sense tells us that the things of the earth exist only a little, and that true reality is only in dreams.” Often true, but at Reverie Siam, I have found my dream.
To discover more, visit Secret Retreats website at www.secret-retreats.com