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Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group to Manage the
142 villa Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi in
Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand


HONG KONG, Feb. 17, 2004 - Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group announced that it will manage a luxurious hideaway resort that is under development in Chiang Mai, the cultural and historical heart of Northern Thailand.  Designed to appeal to internationally sophisticated travelers in search of innovative ways to restore balance in their lives, the retreat will provide a holistic approach to the rejuvenation of body, mind and spirit.  At the same time, it will offer a series of authentic culinary, educational and adventurous experiences on site and in the surrounding region.  The resort is due to open at the end of 2004.

Mr. Patrick-Denis Finet, who has been appointed General Manager of the resort, has a wide variety of luxury resort experience in Europe, the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean.

ďThis hideaway, with its serene and tranquil setting, will provide an exhilarating and authentic cultural experience.  With Mandarin Orientalís award-winning levels of service, exotic accommodation, innovative dining and holistic spa and wellness, Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi is set to become an internationally recognized oasis offering an enriching experience.  It will also be the perfect retreat from which to explore the regionís rich heritage,Ē said Edouard Ettedgui, Group Chief Executive of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.

Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai is spread over 52 acres of serene, natural landscapes, incorporating picturesque rice paddies, tropical hardwoods and exotic plantations.  The resortís design draws heavily from the architectural and cultural influences of the historic Lanna Kingdom that influenced the region for 300 years from the end of the 13th century.  Featuring 142 villas and over-sized suites, this secluded retreat will provide some of the largest and most exclusive resort accommodation in the world.  Offering the ultimate in privacy, each villa and suite has been locally handcrafted in keeping with traditional Lanna architecture and will feature extensive museum-quality artifacts and antiques. Spacious open terraces, some of which feature private plunge pools, exquisitely designed interiors and seamless technology will further enhance the guest experience and contribute to an overall atmosphere of luxury and serenity.

Two large swimming pools have been landscaped into the spacious and tranquil grounds.  Formal gardens and expansive lawns blend into a background of ancient, towering trees and colorful tropical flora.  Nestled into the grounds is a traditional Lanna temple, featuring extensive hand carvings and religious artifacts.  Visitors will be presented with a wide choice of contemporary and traditional dining experiences with four separate restaurants and lounge bars.  These include Le Grand Lanna, which is a specialty Thai restaurant set into a cluster of reconstructed teak Lanna buildings, each one replicating a unique component of Lanna history and decorated with authentic antiques and handicrafts from the region.  A cooking school, following on the successes of the Thai Cooking School at The Oriental, Bangkok, will provide further education and entertainment, as will performances in the resortís own amphitheatre.

The spa, at over 10,170 square feet, is a destination in itself, and has been modeled on the ancient palaces of Mandalay in Myanmar.  A group of gilded buildings, housing specialist spa rooms and private treatment suites, are dominated by the seven-tiered spa lobby, which rises majestically above the resort and provides a serene environment for guests to relax, rejuvenate and re-energize.

A traditional Lanna building, incorporated into the site but exclusively separate from the resort, houses a grand ballroom equipped with state of the art technology, which can accommodate up to 600 people.  This is complemented by a variety of smaller facilities ideal for conferences, banquets, meetings and private entertainment.

The overall development is a ten-minute drive from Chiang Mai International Airport and the city center of Chiang Mai. 

Complementing the resort facilities will be Mandarin Orientalís acclaimed levels of gracious service and in particular, the 130-year old legendary Oriental hotel in Bangkok will bring their operational expertise and knowledge of Thai hospitality to this exclusive destination. 

Mandarin Oriental is the award-winning owner and operator of some of the worldís most prestigious hotels and resorts. In total, the Group operates 18 luxury hotels in key business and leisure destinations with a further five hotels under development: Washington D.C. (opening spring 2004); Chiang Mai (opening late 2004); Hong Kong (opening 2005); and Tokyo and Boston (opening 2006). Mandarin Oriental now operates more than 7,500 rooms in eleven countries with twelve hotels in Asia, eight in The Americas and three in Europe. Mandarin Oriental International Limited is a publicly listed company and is a member of the Jardine Matheson Group.

Jill Kluge
Group Communications Department
Tel: (852) 2895 9288
Also See: After Ten Years of Successful Four Seasons Management, Regent Properties Become Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok and Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai / December 2003
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts Planning Hotel Developments in Chiang Mai, Thailand and Chengdu, China / November 2003
Imperial Hotels Group Investing billions of Baht in Two Hotel Projects in Thailand; Planning to Enlarge a Five-star Hotel in Cambodia / November 2003

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