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After passing down a long, shaded lane lined with new-growth bamboo, and following meandering walkways among the gobo buildings of this stylish little hideaway in the heart of the Old City, it’ll be hard to believe that you’re in Chiang Mai (though you can still hear the traffic). Rooms at the Tamarind are marvels of polished concrete burnished to a shining glow, complemented by straw mats and chic contemporary Thai furnishings, all making for a pleasing minimalist feel. Bathrooms are spacious, with large double doors connecting with the guest rooms, topped off with vaulted ceilings. There’s an almost Mediterranean feel to the whole complex—with all of the arched, covered terra-cotta walks joining buildings in a village-style layout. There’s a satisfactory pool and an excellent restaurant, Ruen Tamarind, serving delicious Thai fare, plus the staff members are helpful and an atmosphere that’s quite unique.