A Monochrome Woman and a Customizable City Fall in Love on the rooftop
From the terrace of The Ritz-Carlton, at 465m, the city of Chiang Mai, Thailand, is as close as the window. With 90 minutes of calm from sunrise until the pre-dawn moonlight curling through the mountains, the open sky and clouds can be a beautiful source of light in a city of deep shadows.
The Ritz-Carlton, however, began as a luxury suite in Shanghai in 1927 — as one of the first newly constructed luxury hotels in Shanghai in the aftermath of the Second World War — and the penthouse suite on offer this month (from May 12 to May 21) celebrates its 70th anniversary. Its total roof terrace panorama offers 360° panoramic views of the city, interspersed with pools and bars and made possible by the energy-efficient solar power of the rooftop, which covers 80 per cent of the hotel.
The rooftop structure of the hotel has been reconstructed using cutting-edge techniques: the iconic staircase has been rebuilt in higher steel and reinforced concrete, which helped to protect the monument from the seismic shift caused by the earthquake last year. Artisans in an ancient temple were employed to recreate the columns and architectural features on site. The tripartite rooftop garden is made from engineered stone, lit from within by a special LED installation.
With each guest staying in one of the exclusive Ritz-Carlton Suite Villas (available, as standard, from £1,015 per night; with a terrace suite from £2,990 per night), the view is now served by customisable plants — some locally grown — which can be arranged using AI.
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