Chiang Mai, famous for art, craft and culture is surrounded by rice fields, jungles and mountains; what more could you want after exploring everything this historic region has to offer than to ‘Retreat into the City’ and enjoy that legendary Shangri La hospitality, whilst receiving five star service and savouring world class vegan cuisine?
Shangri La Chiang Mai is perfectly located, just a couple of miles from the airport yet just a few steps from the famous night bazaar and a 10 minute walk into the historic ‘old city’, it is the perfect luxury location when visiting the Northern Thai City of Chiang Mai; the beautifully manicured gardens provide a true escape from the busy city with an inviting and refreshing pool set amongst green lawns, mature tropical plants and lotus ponds.
Vegan Food Quest checked in to see if the superb service and first rate cuisine we had previously received from other Shangri La family properties was also on offer here…
The Vegan Food:
Breakfast was served in Kad Kafe and featured everything you would expect from a Shangri La breakfast experience, served daily from 6am you can choose to sit inside or enjoy the outdoor dining area.
Keeping it simple we started with home made muesli and soya milk, a selection of tropical fruit, iced water and a large espresso – a perfect start to any day!
There was an extensive noodle soup ‘station’ which offered non egg noodles and also vegetable stock, meaning a steaming bowl of nutritious, healthy and vegan noodle soup could be created just for you.
We opted for Pad Thai though, this was being freshly prepared and when asked, they were happy to dish up a delicious bowl of vegan Pad Thai with no egg, no fish sauce and plenty of tofu, this was served to our table with the usual condiments of ground nuts, dry chillies, sugar, spring onions and pickled chillies.
Not wanting to miss out on the Western breakfast options we also enjoyed a small serving of baked beans on toast (with vegan margarine) – purely for research purposes of course, we can report back that they were very good!
Shang Garden is the Cantonese restaurant at Shangri La Chiang Mai where we enjoyed a vegan fine dining lunch which was beautifully presented, light, healthy and packed full of flavour, a detailed review of our lunch can be found here.
We spent an enjoyable evening in the Horizons Club lounge where evening cocktails and a selection of canapes and snacks are available to guests staying in Horizon Club Rooms, this is often a good test of a hotels ability to cater for guest with dietary requirements as the offerings are not usually vegan.
Upon arrival we were pleased to find fresh vegetables and satay sauce (clearly marked as vegetarian, some vegan Thai desserts and a couple of salads; communicating with the Horizon Club staff was a pleasure, they explained that the salads contained nam pla (fish sauce) and were therefore not suitable but kindly offered to prepare “something vegan” for us.
Whilst waiting we enjoyed the ‘cocktail of the day’ which was a Caprioska, these were just great and we have to admit to having another one or two…
When our food arrived, it was lightly fried tempura with noodles, bean sprouts and tofu; the Horizon Club had certainly passed the ‘test’ in providing us with tasty and freshly prepared vegan food – thank you!
The Vegan Essentials:
Non feather pillows were available and as previously reviewed at other Shangri La properties, the bathroom amenities are not tested on animals, but we are unsure as to whether all of the ingredients are from non animal sources.
CHI, The Spa, is well worth a visit; offering therapies based on the Asian philosophy of the traditional five elements and located in a tranquil setting, the various treatments on offer ensure that any time spent here will certainly leave you rejuvenated and revived.
The health club and fitness centre offers complimentary daily activities which include body combat, yoga and aqua aerobics – these can be booked once you arrive.
The Vegan Food Quest Verdict:
Check in to Shangri La Chiang Mai to enjoy a first class luxury hotel experience in the heart of Chiang Mai.
Don’t miss out on a memorable vegan meal in Shang Garden, be sure to spend some time relaxing by the pool and if you get the chance enjoy the ‘cocktail of the day’ in the sumptuous surroundings of the Horizon Club.
We were guests of Shangri La Chiang Mai but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views.
89/8 Changklan Rd,
Chiang Mai 50100,
Telephone: +66 53 253 888
Cost From: £120 / $180 per night (May 2015)