One Bedroom Heritage Railcar Suite.
19 apartments and villas have been revealed, as well as a spa and two new restaurants.
BANGKOK, THAILAND – Marking the final leg of its inaugural journey, InterContinental Khao Yai Resort reveals 19 apartments and villas, housed in repurposed heritage carriages. A spa, French bistro and cocktail bar – also housed in repurposed carriages sourced from around the country – have also been unveiled.
The carriage apartments tell the story of Khao Yai in the era of King Rama V, when the region was a gateway for rail travel to northeastern 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 journeys became the design inspiration for each of the train car models.
Each carriage is uniquely designed and named after a different destination, conveying the old charm of train travel. Set around a lake, the well-appointed 47 sqm apartments are elevated for a train-like experience, with a comfortable bed, bathroom and dressing room. Rich panelling, expertly crafted to emulate the original carriage windows, is complemented by picturesque wallpapers and ambient lighting that evoke the feeling of rolling countryside. In each carriage, delicate, bespoke fabrics from renowned Thai silk company Jim Thompson further enhance the sense of uniquely Thai locality. All rooms also have outdoor spaces, be it a balcony, terrace or private plunge pool, such as the four one-bedroom Heritage Railcar Pool Villas (116 sq m) and the two-bedroom Heritage Railcar Villa with swimming pool (223 sqm). , offering guests the chance to be closer to nature.
Passionate about combining storytelling with restoration and construction in a way that preserves nature, designer Bill Bensley recovered the wagons from Thailand; some of them had been left unused for over 50 years, and the ficus trees had taken root on the roof and almost completely enveloped the carriage. Some of the root systems have been preserved, enhancing the feeling of being connected to Mother Earth.
In addition to the villas and apartments, two additional dining concepts have opened. Poirot is an elegant French concept with a succinct menu that focuses on memorable tastes and aromas, while a tableside cocktail trolley evokes first-class train journeys of yesteryear. Signatures include Soupe à l’oignon, classic French onion soup simmered in beef broth and caramelized onions, served with grilled bone marrow and Gruyère cheese; Boeuf Bourguignon, a standard of French cuisine raised here, with Australian Wagyu beef tenderloin (marble score 8/9) braised in rich red wine sauce and served with mashed potatoes, pearl onions and smoked bacon; and the traditional Savarin cake with a Poirot touch with macadamia nuts, vanilla ice cream, 70% dark chocolate sauce and a cognac flambé. Housed in the neighboring train carriage is the Papillon Bar, a cheerful and flirty bar with a name that means butterfly in French. Classic French cocktails top the drink offerings, while a selection of champagnes, fine wines and whiskeys are also on display.
Back on track: The Spa at InterContinental Khao Yai Resort embraces the tranquility of Khao Yai’s abundant nature. Housed in a recycled heritage carriage, the spa has four luxurious, self-contained treatment rooms where highly skilled therapists offer a range of treatments using Siam Botanicals’ natural and 100% organic skincare products. Treatments include organic facials, full body massages, full body scrubs, body wraps, relaxing bath experiences, hair treatments and even a Junior Spa experience. Using 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 bath experience uses rich organic oils, coastal sea salt from Thailand and complimentary rosemary and peppermint essential oils to promote a deep sense of well-being.
InterContinental Khao Yai Resort’s Planet Trekkers program is designed to entertain little explorers. Suitable for guests aged 4 to 12, the activities are designed to educate and excite children, allowing them to connect with nature and learn more about the history of the Khao Yai area. A botanic garden scavenger hunt sees kids identify the resort’s diverse flora and fauna, while an expedition to the miniature vegetable patch teaches the importance of sustainably sourced ingredients. Thai dance classes, koi feeding and origami are also offered.
The resort opened earlier this year with 45 rooms in the main buildings, a Cross-Fit inspired fitness center and a number of exploratory adventures for guests. Somying’s Kitchen – a farm-to-table dining concept – and Tea Carriage – offering a formal afternoon tea – were also unveiled.