Step back in time with Intercontinental Khao Yai Resort, where the charm of old-world train travel meets modern luxury amidst Thailand’s stunning Khao Yai National Park
Designed by esteemed architect and interior designer Bill Bensley, the Intercontinental Khao Yai Resort offers unique accommodation and cultural immersion in Thailand’s countryside. A two-and-a-half-hour sojourn from bustling Bangkok, Khao Yai was renowned as a gateway for railroad travel into the Northeast of Thailand, and the rest of Southeast Asia, at the turn of the 20th century. Drawing inspiration from the golden age of innovation, the IHG resort pays homage to the romantic era of train travel; the reception resembles a ticket counter and train cars have been upcycled and reimagined to house the resort’s suites and villas, as well as a spa, a restaurant and a jazz bar.
Khao Yai Resort offers an elegant experience for adventurous explorers among natural landscapes, tropical waterfalls and wildlife. The resort is positioned in the Khao Yai National Park – a national treasure and part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site – that offers extensive bicycle trails, jungle trekking and adrenaline-fueled activities in its lush greenery.
Hidden amid the verdant countryside, the series of retired carriages was derived from Bill’s love for upcycling and his position as an environmentalist. The accommodation and repurposing of carriage cars at InterContinental represent the luxury brand’s step towards incorporating sustainable practices. The resort showcases 64 guest rooms, including railcar suites and villas – ranging from bunk beds to one-bedroom and two-bedroom occupancy – that boast views of the resort’s landscape garden. The classic railcars are adorned with a historic aesthetic with modern sensibilities and are infused with Asian accents. The guest rooms start at 34 square metres and highlight breathtaking views, contemporary amenities and spacious accommodation.
The dining venues at Intercontinental Khao Yai Resort also take cues from the golden age of train travel and are infused with the authentic flavours of Thailand. There is a French-themed dining experience reflecting first-class train travel, Poirot; a nostalgic, French-formal jazz bar specialising in premium beverages and cocktails, Papillion Bar; and an outdoor dining precinct accentuating the finest locally sourced ingredients indigenous to the region, Somying’s Kitchen. There is also a Tea Carriage perfect for afternoon tea, that overlooks the serene Swan Lake.
Khao Yai Resort has a monumental pull into its landscape, highlighting the serenity and beauty of its natural surroundings. The tranquillity throughout the resort prevails in the wellness and spa facilities. Tucked away beside a blue and grey railroad-style pavilion, the pool is a tranquil destination surrounded by lush greenery, where visitors can relax and bask in the sun. The spa amenities include a full team of massage therapists, spa trainers, established health consultants and an in-residence healer, who leads activities such as yoga and pilates. Healing Thai massages and traditional Western treatments are available, and all services feature locally sourced 100% natural organic products.