Apr 19 2012

A good Chiang Mai swimming pool

Published by at 3:11 am under Sights & activities

The large monolithic red brick Chiang Mai Orchid Hotel next to Central Huay Kaew shopping mall might not look desperately exciting from the outside, but it’s a good spot to waste away a few hours on a hot Chiang Mai afternoon if you’ve no pool in your own Chiang Mai hotel. The hotel itself is actually rather a good midrange deal,  but the main attraction for non-residents is their large, clean and almost always practically empty pool.

Busy day at the pool

Busy day at the pool.

The open-air swimming pool is located on the third floor of the hotel, overlooking Huay Kaew Road, and while not exactly surrounded by a lush garden, it’s pleasant enough.

Not the Andaman Coast but nevermind eh!

Not the Andaman Coast but nevermind, eh!

Loungers beckon around the pool, a few pot plants lend a little green and if you’re lucky there may even be drink and snack service — but you most definitely won’t get bombed by obnoxious brats, have to do exaggerated zig-zag lengths to avoid other swimmers or queue up to use the showers.

Do need to get up at 6.00 to spread your towel over a lounger either

No 6:00 dash to spread your towel over a lounger required.

In addition to the pool, you can use a well-equipped gym, with staff on standby to provide assistance and both male and female saunas. The gym looks to have lots of impressive and complicated machines but we’ll admit it’s not our area of expertise, while the saunas are spacious and clean. You’ll probably have the sauna to yourself and are never going to have to wait to use one of their torture apparatuses either.

With the palm trees you could almost be at the beach!

With the palm trees you could almost be at the beach, right?

Staff are helpful, a little bit of English is spoken and towels and soap are provided. For non-guests it’s 150 baht for unlimited time, and free for kids. (We’re not quite sure how old the latter need to be to earn the free entry, but Thais usually go on height, so ask your kids to kneel down a little when you’re paying the entrance fee.)

You pay your entrance fees in the downstairs lobby then take the lift to the third floor. The facilities are open all day, every day from 8:00ish in the morning to around 20:00. The Orchid is located on Huay Kaew Road immediately next to Central and below is a photo of the outside, just so you know you’re at the right place. The rather ritzy lobby has an open-air beer garden attached, so you can re-hydrate after a sauna.

Orchid Hotel, Chiang Mai

Orchid Hotel, Chiang Mai.

This isn’t the cheapest pool in town but it’s a good deal if you do have a few hours to while away, especially with kids in tow.

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4 Responses to “A good Chiang Mai swimming pool” ...

  1. Lanion 24 Apr 2012 at 3:40 am

    They also have affordable and tasty dim sum dinners!

  2. Markon 24 Apr 2012 at 4:38 am

    good to know – thanks Lani, will give it a try sometime!

  3. thaiyaiooon 09 Jun 2012 at 3:00 pm

    If you want to avoid “the kids in tow” and enjoy a day or an afternoon of “Swimming Sunbathing and Relaxing” by the pool side. with a glass of wine and a good book to read, then Google “swimming pools Chiangmai” and click on the Centre of the Universe. Ten minutes by taxi from the centre of the city, and you are transported into the leafy, upmarket residential area of Chang Phuak Very few kids. if any, as the entrance fees deter all but the most affluent parents. The owner is an eccentric British millionaire who kicks out any noisy kids and banishes the kids and their parents for life!

    Alternatively, buy your own bottle of wine and take a taxi to Huay Kaew Waterfalls (near Chiang Mai Zoo). Entrance is free and the natural pool plunges are something else! Frequented by Chiang Mai University students as a place to hang out, you will always find someone who wants to practice their English speaking skills

  4. Harald van Gilson 04 Jan 2014 at 11:46 am

    Good tip, just had a swim. Although there is no sunlight at the end of the afternoon. So sunlovers, go early!

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