The new project, with just 10 tents, aims to deliver a holistic and immersive holiday experience combining cultural and nature activities, high-end northern Thai culinary fare—much of it organic and sourced on an adjacent farm—and luxury tents in four categories. Twelve more luxury tents will be added to Visama Lodge this year.
The tents are set on raised platforms in a peaceful hill country setting, and range from 516 to 860 square feet, including a 129- or 215-square-foot veranda. The largest ones have two bedrooms; in-room facilities include air conditioning, an espresso machine, French press coffee pots, Wi-Fi, rain showers, a bathtub and 24-hour concierge, to name a few.
Activities such as pottery, painting, foraging, picnics, arts and crafts workshops, cooking classes, discussions with guest speakers, plantation drives, and spa and wellness experiences will be central to the lodge’s diverse offerings, alongside private trips to heritage attractions such as the opium museum, Doi Mae Salong and Chiang Rai’s White Temple.
Local produce will be used widely in dining options. Chef Suphannat “Miu” Amnuayrit and his team have crafted a menu for the Reu Doo Gaan restaurant based on both traditional Lanna cuisine of northern Thailand, nutrition-rich international comfort foods and local specialties based on produce from a neighboring farm.
A resort highlight will also be The Ambalama, a fireside gathering place for storytelling and talks by authors and historians. Along those lines, the property also has a community purpose. It will support the neighboring Friends of Thai Daughters foundation, which seeks to prevent child trafficking by empowering girls from hill tribe communities. The foundation is registered in the United States as a not-for-profit and was created by its current directors, Patty Zinkowski and Jane McBride. Three hill tribe girls from the foundation are already working in the resort.
Visama Mae Chan will also host a farmers’ market once a month that will be open to the public. A proportion of the income from the market will go towards the hill tribe foundation, besides income from plantation drives that the lodge will offer to guests.
“We aim to provide direct income, vocational training and sustainability benefits to the local community,” said Christopher Stafford, co-founder of the lodge. “Visama Lodge will also proactively involve itself in nature conservation and the promotion of local Lanna culture.”
The property is a 40-minute drive north of Chiang Rai International Airport.