Chiang Mai’s smoky burning season is almost over, and luxury hotels and resorts in Chiang Mai with swimming pools are beginning to look attractive again.
At the time of writing, all options below have swimming pool day rates so you can forgo staying the night if it’s out of your price range or you’ve got other accommodation.
Social Engineering for the Cause
Note from Mike: Oft times you’ll need to do a little social engineering, as nothing worth having comes easy (especially in Asia).
We tried to play by the rules when we initially wrote this post, but if you take a look at the comments below you’ll find some patrons have been turned away because they asked in advance.
I’m not encouraging anyone to break any laws, but I’m of the mindset that I act first, ask questions later.
I do my best not to give others the opportunity to say no in the first place.
Customer service often comes second after one’s own job security. No one wants to put their neck out and ignore a policy like “we don’t allow the use of our swimming pool to those who aren’t staying at the hotel” –even if the a particular Chiang Mai swimming pool is empty– because you put them in a position where they have to enforce it, just because you asked.
There are times in life when you must ask. Obviously. But is chilling out in an exquisite Chiang Mai swimming pool one of them?
What would Ferris Bueller say?
I’ve been doing this a long time, and I’ve never been thrown out. The key is to take the least awkward path –don’t ask, don’t tell, buy something.
Instead, you might consider “acting as if” –as if you are a patron of the hotel.
So be a patron. Buy a nice lunch at the restaurant, ask if they can serve you a drink next to the pool. Or just spoil yourself, throw the naysayer in front of you a curve ball, and book a night.
In either case –ask the right question, act as if, and lady luck might smile on you. The spontaneity of it all is what makes it more rewarding.
It’s not like you walked in the front door at 9am for a free continental breakfast.
Now, back to Oshin’s article.
Top 10 Swimming Pools in Chiang Mai
Despite there being an absence of nearby beaches, Chiang Mai is home to many hotels, resorts, spas, and apartments with swimming pools. No need to fly out or drive to the quarry when you can take a refreshing dip right within Chiang Mai.
Even with the abundant selection of places to swim in Chiang Mai, only a few are dedicated to providing working nomads and tourists with a truly unforgettable experience.
If you’re headed to Chiang Mai or you’re already in the city, these are the best swimming pools that you should give a try –if only to pay their daily rate just to access their swimming facilities and skip the nightly stay.
The hotels we mention here are spacious enough that you can feel truly relaxed while taking a dip, along with accommodations that are clean and hospitable ad ideal for digital nomad families. We have stayed in some of these places while others have been recommended by friends and fellow working nomads.
The Imperial Mae Ping Hotel
Address: 153 Sridonchai Road, Chang Klan, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
The Imperial Mae Ping Hotel features a spacious pool with just the right amount of privacy and shade to cool you down. It’s got a lovely pool bar and sun loungers to enjoy the stunning surroundings.
More privacy can be found on the second floor which has a smaller adult oriented pool. The hotel also has diverse dining options including Thai food, Japanese dishes, and international cuisine.
Khum Phaya Resort & Spa, Centara Boutique Collection
Address: 37 Moo 5, Chiang Mai-Lampang Road | Nongpaklang, Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand
Khum Phaya Resort & Spa, Centara Boutique Collection features a tropical landscape with a lagoon style pool stretching at 100 meters in between villas and islands.
Ground floor rooms have direct access to the pool and at the very end of it is a fantastic pool bar with snacks and drinks available for guests who want to take a break from swimming. There’s a shallow area in the pool for kids of digital nomad families, and sun loungers are spread throughout the island so you can relax while keeping an eye out for them. If you want something more private, you can opt for a room with a private pool.
Siripanna Villa Resort & Spa
Address: 36 Rat Uthit Road | Wat Kate, Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand
Located at the outskirts of Chiang Mai is Siripanna Villa Resort & Spa featuring an infinity pool in a relaxed garden setting.
The whole resort is surrounded by manicured landscapes providing you a sense of relaxation and privacy. The pool is big enough for you to do laps and if you want some variety, you can go to the jacuzzi.
There is a bar at the center of the pool where you can order some snacks and drinks. Once in a while, a waiter will come out to check and see if there are any guests who would like a drink. Sunbathe in one of their lounge chairs with towels ready in case you want to go for a dip.
Le Méridien Chiang Mai
Address: 108 Chang Klan Road, Chang Klan, Chiang Mai, 50100, Thailand
Sun worshippers will love Le Méridien Chiang Mai as it is one of the tallest buildings in the area facing the west. You can sit in one of their loungers by the pool and witness Chiang Mai’s notoriously beautiful sunsets, along with spectacular views of the city and the mountains.
The infinity pool has a bar where you can order snacks and cocktails and their diverse food buffet will fill gaps in your palette. Local markets are nearby from the hotel as well.
The pool often hosts parties like Glow In The Dark (New Year) and Aloha (summer, around June) which you can attend if you happen to be booked in the hotel at the right season.
Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel & Spa
Address: 135/9 Charoenprathet Road | Changklan, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel & Spa is a colonial style hotel located in a quiet area in the city. The sparkling pool is situated in the courtyard which is overlooked by the restaurant, so you can order your meals and cocktails there or enjoy them while relaxing in one of their comfortable sun loungers.
They also have an excellent breakfast buffet with a variety of dishes to choose from. The hotel is mere blocks from Chiang Mai’s Old City so there’s always an opportunity for you to go out and explore the nearby markets, restaurants, and attractions after a dip in the pool.
Rarin Jinda Wellness Spa Resort
Address: 14 Charoenraj Road | Wat Kate, Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand
RarinJinda Wellness Spa Resort is located on the less touristy side of the Ping River so you are guaranteed to have a relaxing time while you’re here. The outdoor pool is perfect for both adults and kids to swim in; if you want something more private, you can book a room with an indoor pool.
The pools aren’t heated so this is the perfect place to go if you really want to cool down. Rooms have huge balconies where you can lounge and enjoy the view of the pool or you can also relax in one of the pool’s loungers.
The resort’s main attraction is their spa, so if you’re needing an extra stress reliever, feel free to visit their unique spa which is a hydrotherapy pool and onsen (Japanese hot spring).
Anantara Chiang Mai Resort
Address: 123-123/1 Charoen Prathet Road, Changklan, Muang, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
Anantara Chiang Mai Resort is a hotel overlooking the Mae Ping River. The pool boasts a serene ambience bordered by a koi pond and surrounded by beautiful gardens.
Each wooden sun lounger has an umbrella to keep you protected from the sun, with staff floating around to take your order of fresh food or cocktails/beer. If you ask, you can book a room with your balcony facing the river –or better yet, have a try at their restaurant’s diverse culinary selections which include Indian, Thai, and Western cuisine.
Rati Lanna Riverside Spa Resort Chiang Mai
Address: 33 Chang Klan Road,Pa Daet, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
Rati Lanna Riverside Spa Resort Chiang Mai features a 25-meter swimming pool which overlooks the Mae Ping River. You can easily relax without being bothered by your surroundings as the huge pool rarely gets crowded. Sometimes, a pianist will pay music from the piano so you can enjoy tuning to music as you swim or sunbath. Order your refreshments at the swim up bar or better yet, go to the terrace of the hotel where you can eat your lunch or dinner while enjoying a view of the river. The resort is away from the city so you may need to take a cab or rent a motorcycle to get there.
137 Pillars House
Address: 2 Soi 1 Nawatgate Road, Chiang Mai, 50000, Thailand
137 Pillars House is a charming hotel featuring a stunning pool surrounded by beautiful landscaping. You can enjoy a light snack and tea or take a sunbath in one of the relaxing chairs facing green cascading vines and landscaped shrubbery.
The thoughtfully designed rooms each have their own personal terrace which offer priceless views of the lush airy gardens while providing enough privacy so neighbors don’t catch you trying to take Instagram photos of yourself in a bikini. Old Chiang Mai is right nearby, where you can explore charming streets, markets, and temples.
The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai
Address: 51/4 Moo 1, Chiang Mai – Sankampaeng Road | Tha Sala, Chiang Mai 50000, Thailand
The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai features one of the most amazing pools in Chiang Mai with royal Thai style architecture serving as the backdrop for their expansive 50-meter colonial pool. Another pool with a multi-level design is situated in the Health Club where you can enjoy breathtaking views of nearby rice paddies. Besides the two main pools, the 60-acre property also boasts several swimming pools spread throughout its peaceful and meditative lands.
Should you need protection from the sun, their accommodating staff will provide you with SPF 30 sunscreen. By the time you wake up, you are welcomed by an extensive breakfast buffet which ranges from Asian cuisine to Western favorites. For the exploratory eater, there’s the French and Japanese restaurants.
Are there other swimming pools in Chiang Mai you can recommend? Let us know in the comments. We’ve got more Chiang Mai digital nomad posts, check ’em out!
Article images sourced directly from the facilities presented with permission.