T+L Reports: Chiang Mai's Design Hotel
Design junkies heading to Thailand's cultural capital can now get a quick fix between tours of temples. A mango toss from Chiang Mai's neon Night Bazaar, the 130-room D2 Hotel has its share of crafts—the lobby's carpets are handmade and the orange raw-silk pillows come from local hill tribes—but the rest of the high-design property makes the city's other big-name hotels seem downright quaint. The Mix bar is framed in frosted glass and lit by raindrop-shaped pendants. Guest rooms put Thai materials to intriguing use: lounge chairs are created from woven rattan, daybeds are strewn with ball-shaped silk cushions, floors and fabrics mix dark oaks, bleached teaks, and neutral hemps. At the airy restaurant, Moxie, artists, writers, and members of Bangkok's high society mingle with foreign visitors over watermelon mojitos and penne tossed with fried holy basil. Should the hotel's corridors start to feel too mod, you can always head down the road to the chestnut-colored Ping River, the open-air bars, and the colorful flower markets—all are within a 10-minute walk.
D2 Hotel, 100 Chang Klan Rd.; 66-53/999-999; www.d2hotels.com; doubles from $154.