Built 125 years ago as the headquarters of the Borneo Trading Company, the 137 Pillars House is a beautiful teak wood building that has been carefully restored to reflect its 19th Century origins.
In Chiang Mai, the importance and wealth of a property owner was often measured by the size of their Lanna-style Thai houses, and in particular how many pillars (sao) the house had… the more the pillars, the more important you were. Impressed by the history and beauty of the house, visitors and journalists were always curious as to why the Borneo house did not have a name. So when a publisher wanted to write about “the house with the most number of pillars”, Jack Bain, the owner at the time, decided to count the number of pillars which numbered 137. An old map of the Wat Gate area also referred to the house as “Baan 137 Sao”, which translates to 137 Pillars House. Thus the house came to be known as 137 Pillars House.
The award-winning 137 Pillars House is a stunning 30 suite boutique Hotel with a rich colonial past; built around the original colonial teak homestead which dates back to the late 1800’s. It is located in a leafy residential enclave a few minutes’ walk from the historical Wat Gate Temple, Ping River and boutique shopping area. The hotel is a member of the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH).
Named as a tribute to a former occupant of the original teak homestead and a manager of the Borneo Company, three 80 sqm David Fleming Macfie Suites provide a luxurious haven and spacious living area for a family of up to four or a couple wanting additional air-conditioned living space with an al fresco conservatory. The King bedroom suites include a customized divan that provides comfortable seating during the day and converts to a bed at night. The adjoining spacious tropical vintage-tiled conservatories have the option of being enclosed and air conditioned or open-air and are furnished with a plush daybed that can sleep a fourth person. All suites feature large walk-in closets, en-suite bathrooms with Victorian freestanding claw foot bathtubs and separate indoor and outdoor showers, the signature 137 Pillars rattan planter’s rocking chair and cane shades for privacy. Local artisans were employed to restore the unique ‘Poon Tam’ walls throughout the property, using an ancient technique similar to that used in Thai temples where the color is incorporated into the plaster.