A new luxury tented camp in the hill country of Chiang Rai in northern Thailand has launched. Visama Mae Chan comprises 10 luxuriously appointed tents, and aims to deliver a holistic and immersive holiday experience combining cultural and nature activities, high-end northern Thai culinary fare, and fully-appointed luxury tents in four categories.
Each accommodation category has a hill tribe name such as “Akha”, “Yao”, “Lahu”, and “Lisu”. The sumptuous tents, set on raised platforms in a peaceful hill country setting, range in size from 48 to 80 square-metres, including a 12 or 20 square-metre veranda. The largest tents have two bedrooms, suitable for families.
Amenities include air conditioning, espresso machine, French press coffee pots, Wi-Fi, rain showers, refrigerator, bathrobes and slippers, bath-tub and 24-hour concierge, and more
Activities for guests range from pottery making, painting, foraging, private picnics, arts and crafts workshops, cooking classes with Lanna-Thai recipes, discussions with guest speakers, tree planting, body and mind sessions, and spa and wellness experiences. There are also private trips to heritage attractions such as the opium museum, Doi Mae Salong, and Chiang Rai’s aesthetically stunning White Temple.
“What sets Visama Mae Chan apart is our ability to fill multiple-day immersive experiences that leave an unforgettable impression on guests, the local community and the environment,” said Mark Remijan, Lodge Co-Founder.
Local produce features widely in dining options, with menus based on both traditional Lanna cuisine of northern Thailand, nutrition-rich international comfort foods and local specialties based on produce from a neighbouring farm. Much of the culinary fare at the Reu Doo Gaan – “seasons” – restaurant will be organically farmed from around the resort, including “Khao Rai” traditional rice, locally picked teas and herbs.
The property also has a community purpose, support the neighbouring Friends of Thai Daughters foundation, which seeks to prevent child trafficking by empowering girls from hill tribe communities.Registered in the United States as a not-for-profit, the foundation was created by its current directors, Patty Zinkowski and Jane McBride. In a statement, they said: “We are grateful that Visama Mae Chan will provide sustainable income for the foundation and employment opportunities for some of our girls. We look forward to a long and productive partnership with Visama.”
Three hilltribe girls from the foundation are already working in the resort.
“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,” he said.
Those behind the new camp have a successful track record in operating multiple award-winning retreats such as Cardamom Tented Camp ecolodge in Cambodia, the Anurak Community Lodge in southern Thailand, and the 137 Pillars Hotel in Chiang Mai, also in northern Thailand.
Twelve additional luxury tents will be added to Visama Lodge in 2024.
“Visama Mae Chan is a holistic experience. We give guests the opportunity to learn from northern nature and culture, embrace the art of living well, and at the same time give back in a meaningful way to the local community,” Stafford added.
The lodge is also available for exclusive private event buyouts by families or groups of friends. Companies can also take it over for private business meetings.
Visama Mae Chan is a 40-minute drive north of Chiang Rai International Airport.