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Evoking The Golden Age of Train Travel, InterContinental Khao Yai Resort Has Opened Its Doors
The InterContinental Khao Yai Resort offers opportunities to unlock the cultural heritage of this UNESCO World Heritage Site
Thailand
December 2022

InterContinental Khao Yai Resort has opened its doors, welcoming guests to explore the golden age of train travel. The resort, which spans across the vast lands with abundant trees and numerous lakes, presents a range of enriching experiences and outdoor adventures, where every touchpoint is carefully curated. Marking the opening, a series of guest activities designed to uncover the secrets of the destination has been unveiled.

“InterContinental Khao Yai Resort will set the tone for unbounded adventure in the area, marrying deep knowledge of the destination with an understanding of what luxury means to the discerning modern-day traveller,” said James Sutcliffe, General Manager.

Guests will find ample opportunity to enjoy nature at InterContinental Khao Yai Resort

Photo by InterContinental

Transported Back in Time

The resort has been designed by award-winning architect and interior designer Bill Bensley, who was inspired by the area’s gateway for rail transportation to Northeast Thailand during King Rama V’s reign. On arrival, guests are ushered to a check-in area styled like a ticket counter, where a traditional stationmaster bell rings to welcome them. Adorned with railway memorabilia – from vintage trunks to old tickets – the arrival area sets the stage for the rest of the stay. Here, a cool glass of organic Yellow Dragon Fruit juice is served; uncommon in the rest of Thailand, yellow dragon fruits grow in abundance in the Pak Chong district, Nakhon Ratchasima province.

Each of the 45 rooms in the main buildings allows guests to relax in elegant surroundings adorned with wall hangings inspired by the vintage railway signs that once hung in train stations around the province. In every room, a balcony overlooking the resort’s grounds heightens the sense of being surrounded by a natural, lush haven, with 11 suites and rooms boasting private outdoor pools. 

InterContinental Khao Yai – Exterior Block B

Photo by InterContinental

Curated Experiences

Developed exclusively for guests by the InterContinental Concierge team, the resort offers a series of curated adventures across Khao Yai’s famed mountains and landscapes. Highlights include Welcome to Khao Yai, which incorporates visits to Baan Sa Nam Sai, one of the oldest communities in the area and Khao Yai Life & Legends, which offers visitors a chance to experience the enduring traditional lifeways of local residents, the Tha Maprang community, including sampling seasonal fruits at a local farm, learning about legends at the community temple, and learning to make fragrant kaffir lime incense. General Manager James Sutcliffe also welcomes guests to join him on a regular ‘Tour de Khao Yai,’ cycling around the resort and its surrounds.

Experience-Led Dining

InterContinental Khao Yai Resort will offer an eclectic selection of unique and authentic culinary experiences with a focus on culinary expertise, experience-based dining, and the use of locally sourced, organic produce from around the property. Somying’s Kitchen is a farm-to-table concept in the truest sense of the phrase; the hotel’s own organic farm will be the bearer of many ingredients used, whilst local farmers will also contribute to the pantry. At the farm, guests wishing for a hands-on look at food sourcing can also enjoy a specially catered breakfast whipped up from the freshest produce that Khao Yai has to offer. Elsewhere Tea Carriage, set in a heritage railcar, offers a formal afternoon tea set with optional Champagne, rosé wine or sparkling wine pairings, as well as a selection of Signature Iced Coffees and Teas.

InterContinental Khao Yai – Classic Lake View 

Photo by InterContinental

A Commitment to Sustainable Stays

Sustainability has remained a key priority since the construction stage of InterContinental Khao Yai Resort; Bill Bensley and his design team made use of locally sourced materials and upcycled train carriages in the resort design, in line with BENSLEY’s pledge to create sustainable hotel design solutions. As the resort welcomes its first guests, this commitment prevails. In line with IHG’s commitment to reduce plastic waste by removing bathroom miniatures, InterContinental Khao Yai Resort is one of the first in Thailand to introduce European luxury brand Byredo in a full-size format. Wooden keycards and biodegradable eco-friendly cleaning products will be used across the resort, whilst the culinary team work closely with farms in the region to source seasonal ingredients and minimise food waste.

Heritage Railcar 1 Bedroom Pool Villa 4

Photo by InterContinental

Destination Celebrations

With a range of unique spaces and backdrops located throughout the vast grounds, InterContinental Khao Yai Resort is the perfect backdrop for events of varying natures – from al fresco birthday parties and outdoor cinema screenings on The Swan Lake Lawn to wedding ceremonies and pop-ups on The Waterfall Edge.

Heritage Railcar 1 Bedroom Pool Villa 2

Photo by InterContinental

Not only that, InterContinental Khao Yai Resort unveils 19 Suites and Villas, housed within repurposed heritage railcars. A spa, French bistro, and cocktail bar – also situated in repurposed railcars, sourced from across the country – have also been revealed.

The train car suites tell the tale of Khao Yai during the era of King Rama V, when the region was a gateway for railroad travel to the Northeast of Thailand and surrounding destinations – Sri Lanka, India, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Yangon, Luang Prabang, Saigon, Phnom Penh, Chiang Rai, Khon Kaen, Songkhla, Sukhothai and Chanthaburi; these voyages became the design inspiration for each of the train carriage designs.

Heritage Railcar 1 Bedroom Pool Villa 3

Photo by InterContinental

Each wagon is designed uniquely and named after a different destination, transporting to old-time train travel glamour. Set around a lake, the well-appointed 47 sqm suites are elevated for a train-like experience, complete with a comfortable bed, bathroom and walk-in wardrobe. Rich panelling, skillfully crafted to emulate original carriage windows, is complemented by scenic wallpapers and ambient backlights that evoke the sense of rolling countryside vistas. In each railcar, delicate bespoke fabrics from famed Thai silk company Jim Thompson further add to the sense of uniquely Thai locality. All rooms also come with outdoor spaces, whether a balcony, terrace, or a private plunge pool, like in the four of the Heritage Railcar One-Bedroom Pool Villas (116 sqm) and the Heritage Railcar Two-Bedroom Pool Villa (223 sqm), giving guests a chance to be closer to nature.

Passionate about melding storytelling with restoration and building in a way that preserves nature, designer Bill Bensley recovered the railcars from around Thailand; some of them had been left unused for over 50 years, and Ficus trees had taken root on the roof and almost completely enveloped the carriage. Some of the root systems have been preserved, furthering the feeling of being connected to Mother Earth.

Heritage Railcar 1 Bedroom Pool Villa 3

Photo by InterContinental

In addition to the Villas and Suites, two additional dining concepts have opened. Poirot is an elegant French concept with a succinct menu focusing on memorable tastes and flavours, whilst a tableside cocktail cart is evocative of first-class train travel in times gone by. Signatures include Soupe à l’oignon, classic French onion soup simmered from beef broth and caramelised onions, served with grilled bone marrow and Gruyère cheese; Boeuf Bourguignon, a standard of French cuisine elevated here with Australian Wagyu beef tenderloin (marbling score 8/9) braised in rich red wine gravy and served with potato purée, pearl onions and smoked streaky bacon; and traditional Savarin Cake given a Poirot touch with macadamia, vanilla ice cream, 70% dark chocolate sauce and a Cognac flambé.

Housed within the adjoining upcycled train carriage is Papillon Bar, a lighthearted, flirtatious bar with a name that means butterfly in French. Classic French cocktails are at the forefront of the beverage offerings, whilst a selection of Champagne, fine wines and whiskies are also on showcase.

Heritage Railcar 1 Bedroom Suite (47 sqm)

Photo by InterContinental

Back on Track: Spa at InterContinental Khao Yai Resort embraces the tranquillity of Khao Yai’s abundant nature. Set inside an upcycled heritage railcar, the spa boasts four luxurious, self-contained treatment rooms where highly trained therapists deliver a range of treatments using Siam Botanicals’ natural and 100% organic-certified skincare products. Treatments include organic facials, full body massages, full body scrubs, full body wraps, relaxing bathing experiences, hair treatments, and even a Junior Spa Experience. Tapping into traditional Thai remedies, the Traditional Healing Full Body Massage harnesses the healing properties of ginger and plai root, which have been used for centuries to ease muscle tension and improve mobility. The Coastal Breeze bathing experience uses rich organic oils, Thailand coastal sea salt and complimentary essential oils of rosemary and peppermint to promote a deep sense of wellbeing.

InterContinental Khao Yai – Pool Bar

Photo by InterContinental

To mark the opening, InterContinental Khao Yai Resort has launched a series of opening offers, including The Allure of Luxury in Khao Yai. 

InterContinental Khao Yai – Garden Landscape

Photo by InterContinental

For more information on InterContinental Khao Yai Resorts visit the link here.  

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