When it comes to hotels, we are not noted for slumming it. In fact, I'd go as far as to say, we enjoy a bit of the good life on holiday and we make no excuses for staying in some of the most gorgeous places in the world and consider ourselves very lucky indeed to be able to do that.
So, for our last two nights in Thailand we looked forward to returning to an old favourite - the Four Seasons resort in Chiang Mai. We reckon it's ten years since we were here, certainly Edward was more of a young lad than he is now!
As we arrived, we remembered exactly what it was about this place that makes it so special and looked forward to two days of peace, quiet and maybe a trip to the night bazaar to remind ourselves of the world outside. We'd booked two rooms, wonderful rooms with outside sala and our first glimpse of the pool was very tempting.
But wait...the receptionist asked, would we prefer a "residence", with two bedrooms and a large sitting room instead?
Show us and we'll decide.
Well...no brainer, as they say.
The description was somewhat understated, for not only have we two bedrooms and a large sitting room, the whole place is a dream.
We have a plunge pool to ourselves and three or four outside sitting areas.
In our bedroom there is a large octagonal relaxing area with drapes and a fan, where Edward felt immediately at home, claiming that this comfortable corner was bigger than his London flat...
From his room, there is access to a small raised area with outdoor, screened seating, perhaps for dining privately.
But if we wanted to invite guests, there is a huge dining table (seating ten or twelve) and several cabinets of antique china. There's plenty of comfy seating and a fireplace (even though it's 30C outside)...a huge cabinet with every audio visual bit of kit imaginable (yes, even an ipod dock) and the largest sofa we've ever seen with an umbrella at each end and twenty - yes, 20 - cushions with assorted local embroidery designs - photos of those tomorrow.
But the big surprise came when we explored a door we'd missed when we arrived - a little voice greeted us with "sawadee-ka" and there was Wan, our mae baan (housekeeper). Oh my goodness...
At hourly intervals throughout the afternoon she has enquired whether we'd like a snack...a drink...some fruit....a G&T....could she unpack our suitcases? (! better not.....at the end of a trip the contents of our bags are not exactly for public consumption!) Finally, after showering and changing for dinner, I realised that my linen skirt and top would need ironing - which brought a smile and joy to Wan's eyes as she whisked them away, returning them beautifully pressed some ten to fifteen minutes later.
So, after G&Ts, fruit and canapes, we're just about ready for dinner. She tells us she'll wait till we've gone out before turning down our beds and tidying up for the night and will then go home. She'll see us in the morning - she says at 7.30am but I doubt whether we'll see her then!
I'm already planning on how to get her home in my suitcase.