GREAT AMERICAN VACATION
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Northern Thailand has the full range of accommodation, from simple guesthouses to five-star resorts. Optimistic prognoses by Thailand's tourist authorities led to a boom in hotel construction in recent years, mostly in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai but also studding the region's mountains with resorts and spas, many of them lacking none of the luxury and facilities of Chiang Mai's top hotels. Chiang
Rai, Sukhothai, and Pai, particularly, are witnessing the construction of so-called "boutique" hotels—small, comfortable, and well-appointed establishments of no more than 40 or so rooms. Most of these are built in "Lanna" style, reminiscent of this region's earlier architecture, with the accent on dark teak and white stucco. Some of the top hotels are internationally known for embracing a "contemporary Asian" look, combining sleek lines with decorative Oriental features.