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Rachamankha, Chiang Mai 

6 Rachamankha 9, T. Phra Singh
Chiang Mai
Thailand 50200
Tel: 66 53 904 111
view web site ›'s insider take:

Fancy a night at an Asian museum? Sweet-smelling frangipani trees and a classic form inspired by a Lanna-style temple give this 23-room boutique hotel a timeless appeal. Architect Ongard Satrabhandu and interior designer Rooj Changtrakul have laid out the buildings in Chinese style with multiple courtyards—a nod to Sino-Thai culture—then decorated them with top-shelf antiques, including 19th-century Lanna manuscript boxes and Chinese porcelain, as well as Henry Moore and Robert Motherwell lithographs. The duo's impeccable taste extends to the rooms, which feature massive old wooden doors, four-poster beds, bamboo jalousies, and woven-reed mats. The style complements its quiet, old-city location just inside the western moat near Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai's most important temple.

From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
Modeled on the simple yet noble northern Thai–style temples nearby, this 23-room, single-story inn is a neat little assemblage of white-plaster buildings capped by peaked terra-cotta roofs. At its center are two manicured courtyards, lush with flowering trees, and an open-air pavilion decorated with cushy white couches, pots of brilliant flowers, and antique Thai artwork. Rachamankha is set behind a high wall just off Chiang Mai's main thoroughfare, but there's an overriding air of tranquillity that extends to the rooms, which, though large and comfortable, might be a bit too spartan for those with Laura Ashley tastes. No matter: With a teal-tiled pool to inspire contemplation, a handsome library bulging with art and history books, and breezeways displaying an impressive collection of Thai sacred art, Rachamankha's public spaces are destinations unto themselves.—2005 Hot List

When to go: November through March, for the least rain and the most comfortable temperatures.

Which room to book: Deluxe rooms are coziest

Amenities: Beach, Pool

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