Set in the tranquil northern Thai countryside, this thoroughly modern resort manages to evoke a time when agriculture was a way of life. Hotel rice paddies tended by farmers with water buffalo encircle the 60-acre property, while a profusion of gardenias, jasmine and ylang-ylang (Cananga odorata) shaded by coconut palms, banyans and ficus fill the gardens within. An 80-year-old nutmeg tree marks the entrance to Dheva Spa, featuring an elaborately carved teak exterior reminiscent of the original royal palace in Mandalay, Myanmar. Offering an array of soothing Asian, Indian, North African and European treatments, the spa stands crowned by a magnificent seven-tiered roof — a fitting reminder that even the most world-weary traveler who sojourns here will have no trouble ascending the seven steps to nirvana.
Try this: Let your mind and body drift back across the ages by taking part in an ancient lanna, or northern Thai ritual, during which your muscles are first rhythmically tapped with a stick made of tamarind tree bark, then gently kneaded with comforting herbal oils and warm compresses. mandarinoriental.com