The Reverie by Katathani is not the most search-friendly combination of words when looking for a hotel. Not to pronounce for a non-Thai speaker either. But this is the relatively new name of what earlier was Dusit Island Resort on an island in the Mae Kok River in Chiang Rai.
I have a long and deep affection for this place and have stayed here many times since 1998. In the 1990s, Dusit Island Chiang Rai was a state-of-the-art resort used for all kinds of important occasions and, as the name reveals, a paradise.
Dusit is the Hindu heaven where the god Indra resides with his heavenly nymphs and dancers. At the time of construction, it was controversial in Chiang Rai that this hotel was built on a popular picnic and relaxation spot for the local Chiang Rai inhabitants. But over time, I guess people saw the benefits to the economy.
Dusit Island aging
Then with time, it gradually became a bit old naturally, but with that perfect built-in hotel culture where all the routines work like a Swiss clock. I could still have the same room service menu for 20 years. An upgrade by the Reverie was a good thing, though. It gave new vitality to the hotel, renovated rooms, and sayonara to the old carpets. But the good parts still stay the same.
It is an oasis on this little island in the Maekok river. I am enjoying sunsets and sunrises over the river for breakfast. Staying here in December or January could be a slightly cold experience, and grabbing a rice porridge cooked to perfection while watching the steam of it and a long tail boat passes by in the river is a wonderful way to start the day.
On many occasions, I have either arrived or left this hotel on a long-tail boat coming to or heading from Thaton. It is a beautiful ride through the karst landscape and hill tribe villages on this tributary to the Mekong.
For our city programs in Chiang Rai, we have also started from here with a sailor tour to explore the historical temples of Chiang Rai as well as its great morning&daymarket that sees a lot of tribe people coming down from the mountains to buy their daily needs.
I stayed in Dusit for Christmas with the family and for New Year with groups. And even though I tried other hotels in Chiang Rai. Dusit and now Reverie would be my first choice. The fantastic Hmong man was still standing by the lift pressing the buttons, when I went there in 2020. The breakfast still had a traditional Thai section outside and some of the best Bircher Muesli in Thailand.
The swimming pool
The swimming pool was always huge here. On one occasion, I even had a client that skipped the day trip to the Golden Triangle. He said that with this kind of pool, “my golden triangle will be the bar, pool and the room”. No excursion can beat this!!
On another occurrence, Queen Margarethe of Denmark was here, and we met Prince Henrik in the pool.
With the brand change, the pool got upgraded with a water s
lide which makes the place even more family-friendly.
In 1998/1999, I would frequent the small English bar they had in the basement at the time and head to the top floor for a US Steak with a view. Or drown in the dessert selection of the buffet. I’d rather have room service or head out to some restaurant nearby. But it is still enjoyable and full of memories to come here.
The location of the Reverie by Khatathani is here.
I hope to be back in a not too distant future!