Search Tours

Na Nirand Romantic Boutique Resort

By Nicole Long

We have a new signature hotel partner in Chiang Mai – the Na Nirand Romantic Boutique Resort.  This resort offers everything our guests are looking for – a charming boutique property near the historic part of Chiang Mai along the Ping River waterfront, with good service, and a traditional aesthetic.

Nestled down a small soi (street) on the Ping Riverside, next to the Chai Mongkon Temple and a 5-10 minute walk from the Night Market, is a charming hideaway – the Na Nirand Romantic Boutique Resort.  This newly opened boutique property (Dec 2016) is half-wood Lanna-Colonial style and reminiscent of the traditional Thai house design from the late 19th century.  Forty-one out of the 45 rooms have a private balcony that overlooks the hotel’s tropical gardens and tranquil swimming pool, which is in view of the 100 year old Rain Tree.   The rooms are beautifully decorated with wood and rattan furniture, with accents of local textiles and handicrafts.  The four colonial suites are located in a heritage style house, with a private infinity pool and overlooking the Ping River.  They are individually themed (British-Indian, Burmese, Chinese and Siamese) and provide a private balcony, separate living space and a giant, luxurious bathroom with dual sinks, a rain shower room and a freestanding claw-foot bathtub.

In addition to the pool, the resort’s facilities include a full service spa, outdoor gym, library, conference rooms and laundry services. The Time Riverfront Restaurant, which includes a 360 degree rooftop bar, offers afternoon high tea and Thai Lanna/International fusion cuisine. The restaurant, located next to the 100 year old Rain Tree and the Ping River, gives guests one of the best views for breakfast.  Make sure to arrive early in the morning to sit at one of the much sought after riverside tables – you won’t regret it. The majority of the staff have worked at 5 star properties in Chiang Mai so you can be assured you will be receiving excellent, personalized service.

The resort is definitely what it claims to be – a romantic boutique hideaway.  Guests are given the opportunity to feel and experience the surrounding nature, traditional Lanna culture, warm Thai hospitality and ultimate relaxation.

From the Ground: The Siem Reap, Cambodia Boutique Shopping Tour

By Jay Austin

We always provide our guests with ‘Cheat Sheets’ that list our favorite shopping and restaurant suggestions.  However, we’re taking it to the next level!  Our new Siem Reap Shopping Tour is a great way for guests to experience the boutique side of Siem Reap.  This tour provides the perfect ‘girls’ day out’ which begins with cocktails before stepping out for some serious shopping, and is led by either Jay or Naida – Siem Reap’s shopping experts!

Here’s what the new Shopping Tour looks like:

Your driver will collect you from your hotel at 2pm to begin your boutique shopping experience.  This afternoon you will have the opportunity to visit some of Siem Reap’s finest boutique stores and experience creativity inspired from across the globe. You will begin your afternoon with a visit to the trendy Kandal Village, a street lined with boutique stores of all types and tastes from clothing to homewares.

From here you will move on to visit the Eric Raisina Couture House where you will find some of Asia’s finest textiles.  Eric Raisina is a world renowned textile designer born in Madagascar whose career has included highlights such as producing textiles for Yves Saint- Laurent and Christian Lacroix.

From here you will return to the center of Siem Reap city to visit the well populated Alley West, a small laneway in the center of town offering a diverse range of boutique stores from fashion, to ceramics, to swimwear.

Your final stop on this boutique exploration is the Kings Road complex, a newly developed shopping area housing photography galleries, vintage stores and in the center of it all lies the Made in Cambodia Market offering a range of individually styled souvenirs to suit all tastes. The Kings Road complex is home to some of the restaurants on our cheat sheet if you would like to stay for dinner or you can have your driver take you back to the hotel with all of your purchases.

Why we love Kralanh Petite Villa

Kralanh Petite Villa celebrating having been open for one year – Photo Credit: Courtney Ridgel

By Courtney Ridgel

At Journeys Within, we believe that philanthropic travel – where travelers actively contribute to improving the communities that they are visiting – not only helps the local communities in the countries we visit, but also creates incredible experiences for our travelers.  With this philosophy in mind, we seek out hotels, restaurants and experiences that support and give back to the local communities to include in our itineraries.

Ruat’s beautiful smile greets guests every morning at breakfast – Photo Credit: Courtney Ridgel
There are many lovely little touches around Kralanh Petite Villa that make it feel welcoming – Photo Credit: Courtney Ridgel

So, it was with great pride that this philosophy allowed the tour company to grow to a point where the company was able to invest in the Journeys Within team members to make sweeping changes in their own lives.  One such investment allowed Linda Chhay to design and build her own boutique hotel from the ground up – Kralanh Petite Villa.

Guests celebrating Kralanh Petite Villa’s one year anniversary – Photo Credit: Courtney Ridgel
Kanha helps keep everything running smoothly at Kralanh Petite Villa – Photo Credit: Courtney Ridgel

Linda has worked tirelessly at Journeys Within behind the scenes for over a decade, and she put her vast experience to use in planning the perfect retreat for travelers.  Chances are, if you’ve traveled with Journeys Within, then Linda helped put your tour together.  We are so grateful to have her as part of the Journeys Within team, and are so proud that she is now a business owner in her own right – with two enterprises!  Linda owns a flower shop and Kralanh Petite Villa.

Linda celebrating Kralanh Petite Villa’s one year anniversary – Photo Credit: Courtney Ridgel

We love sending our guests to this hotel because it not only supports a local Khmer-owned and run business (and Linda of course!), but also because we know our guests will be treated like family.  They will be warmly cared for by the incredible staff, many of whom including Ruat and Kanha, originally worked for Andrea over a decade ago at the Journeys Within Boutique Hotel.  This small property is particularly great for families as the rooms are spacious and there is a Family Suite option.  A relaxing dip in the pool feels perfect after a warm day out at the temples.  For families with younger kids, there is a Kid’s Club with games, and baby-sitting services available.

Kralanh Petite Villa has large spacious rooms, perfect for families – Photo Credit: Courtney Ridgel
A dip in the pool is the perfect way to relax at the end of a hot day – Photo credit: Courtney Ridgel

And while the location is not centrally located downtown, we feel that this adds to the charm – you’ll be able to sit and enjoy breakfast while watching the local neighborhood come to life around you – children riding bikes to school in their neat navy and white uniforms, motos and tuk-tuks taking people to work, and neighbors fishing in the canal next door.  And in the evenings, Ly, the resident tuk-tuk driver will be standing by to take you into town to explore the night market and Siem Reap’s delicious food scene.

Looking out over the neighborhood canal in the early morning light – Photo Credit: Courtney Ridgel
Folded lotus blossoms – Photo Credit: Courtney Ridgel

You can read more about Linda’s story in this Huffington Post article, where she, Kralanh Petite Villa and Journeys Within were featured.

Jay, Naida, Makara and Narla enjoying Kralanh Petite Villa’s one year anniversary celebrations – Photo Credit: Courtney Ridgel
Photo Credit: Courtney Ridgel