The heart of Thailand beats thunderously for its elephants, at least that is what history and folklore have demonstrated. The relationship between the Thai people and these gentle giants features heavily throughout much of Asian iconography. But there’s more.
Nestled atop a placid ridge in Northern Thailand, overlooking the borders of Myanmar and Laos, sits the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort, an expansive hotel and spa that features awe-inspiring views and one or two other surprises. Boasting 40 rooms and 15 suites, Anantara is also home to about 60 elephants, many of which have been rescued from city streets and now roam freely throughout the lush grounds.
Guests can immerse themselves in the tranquil jungle landscape and experience first-class dining and amenities – with the added, otherworldly bonus of sharing the space with peaceful pachyderms.
Most intriguingly, Anantara has designed these luxurious geodesic domes, called “Jungle Bubbles,” in which visitors can experience the utmost in leisure by camping out under the stars, dining in-room, and watching in amazement as majestic herds saunter by.
And that’s not all. There is also the immersive “Walking With Giants” guided tour. Guests are accompanied by experts, including veterinarians and biologists, who are keen to share insights and dispel myths surrounding the nature and behavior of Asian elephants. Audiences even gain insight into the costs associated with nurturing and feeding creatures of such size and stature and can choose to learn more about donating or sponsoring their very own elephant.
The cost of spending a night in one of these 236-square-foot geodesic bubbles is about 17,700 Thai Baht ($570) for two guests. And it does not replace the cost of standard, overnight hotel accommodation. However, for an experience, this singularly rewarding and rare, how could anyone pass it up?