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Hotel Highlights

  • Romantic Tented Villas
  • Design savvy meets wild setting
  • Safari one day, spa the next

Overview

Tented tented villas are ringed by craggy mountains and lush jungle at Kirimaya hotel, in Khao Yai, located a few hours from Bangkok. This peaceful retreat is Thailand’s version of a sultry safari, with contemporary sophistication in an all-natural environment. Rooms showcase the best of modern Thai design in a simple understated way, fitted with antique doors and scenic decks for wildlife watching.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Kirimaya with us:

A bottle of wine; 10 per cent off spa treatments and food and soft drinks in the hotel restaurants and bar (excludes minibar snacks, alcohol and room service)

Facilities

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Kirimaya hotel - Khao Yai - Thailand

Need To Know

Rooms

64, including 11 suites.

Check–out

Noon, or any time until 6pm for an extra half-day rate, subject to availability. Check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $192.16 (THB6,325), excluding tax at 17 per cent.

More details

Rates include buffet breakfast.

Also

Want to go on a night safari, pamper yourself with a treatment at Maya Spa or have a private barbecue at your villa? Take it easy by allowing the personal butler to organise everything.

At the hotel

Jack Nicklaus-designed 18-hole golf course with clubhouse, locker rooms, pro shop, personal butler, WiFi throughout, CD/DVD library, gym, spa. In rooms: flatscreen TV, CD/DVD players, minibar.

Our favourite rooms

Play Out of Africa in one of the romantic Tented Villas. The canvas exterior belies the elegant luxury within. Decor is a simple yet comfortable mix of natural textures and colonial-style furniture, with a massive sunken spa pool at its centre. With a private deck and mountain vistas, this is safari-chic at its sexiest.

Poolside

The infinity pool with lush mountain backdrop is serenity itself.

Packing tips

We know this is the tropics, but pack a few sweaters for chilly evenings, especially between November and February. For those intent on spotting wildlife – from elephants to one of the four species of hornbills – binoculars are a must.

Also

If you’re seeking peace, book a stay during the week, as weekends are popular with city-weary Bangkokians and things can get busy.

Children

Welcome; baby cribs are supplied free of charge and extra beds for older children cost THB1,400 a night.

Read more

Eco‐friendly

Wherever possible, Kirimaya's buildings have been constructed from local materials; all sit in harmony with the pristine environment. Restaurant food is sourced locally when available.

Food & Drink

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Kirimaya hotel - Khao Yai - Thailand

Hotel Restaurant

Graze on a menu of modern Thai and international food at the open-sided, high-ceilinged Acala Restaurant, overlooking the lake and golf course. Above is the Mist, an intimate venue serving Japanese cuisine. At the clubhouse, T-Grill is a safari-style steakhouse, complete with faux leopard-skin seats.

Hotel Bar

Inspired by a wildlife hideout, but with sleek leather chairs and charcoal sofas, the Mist bar is a minimalist, masculine spot for afternoon tea or an evening cocktail, with killer views of the national park. Try the resort’s own take on a lychee martini, called the Smile of Khao Yai.

Last orders

Kirimaya's restaurants and bar open till 11pm.

Room service

6am to midnight (last orders at 11pm), with a range of tasty Thai treats.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Ralph Lauren khakis and Nicole Farhi linens to get into safari mode.

Top table

The corner table closest to the golf course at Acala is best for views and a cool breeze.

Local Guide

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Kirimaya hotel - Khao Yai - Thailand
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

The jaw-dropping scenery and wildlife of Khao Yai National Park aren’t to be missed. There are elephants (your best chance of seeing them is on a night safari), deer, Asiatic bears, gibbons, macaques and four varieties of hornbill. There are even tigers, although they are rarely seen. The concierge can organise guided hikes, safaris, mountain biking, bird watching and elephant trekking, either in the park or close by. Other attractions nearby include: the town of Phimai, with its Khmer temple that predates Cambodia's Angkor Wat by a century; the Pakchong Night Market; and Dan Kwian, famous for the rust-hued pottery that has been made here for hundreds of years. If you're feeling sporty, Kirimaya's golf course has a rare single-track layout, making you feel as if you're the only one teeing off. The Maya Spa is the go-to sanctuary for facials, scrubs and wraps.

Local restaurants

Guests at Kirimaya can also eat at sister resort Muthi Maya’s Italian eatery Myth Bar & Restaurant, a five-minute drive away, and charge it to their room. It might be casual but the inspired menu blending Thai and Western cuisines at Khrua Khao Yai (+66 (0)44 297 138) is extraordinarily popular. It’s hard to believe that Thailand has a burgeoning wine industry, but around Khao Yai a couple of wineries exist growing chenin blanc and syrah. Have lunch overlooking the vineyards at PB Valley Winery’s Great Hornbill Grill (+66 (0)36 226 415/416). International and Thai dishes are served either on the terrace or in the air-conditioned restaurant.

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Forested foothills

Kirimaya

1/3 Moo 6, Thanarat Road, Moo-Si, Pakchong, Nakorn Ratchasima, Khao Yai, Thailand, Thailand 30130

The resort is located in north-east Thailand, near the city of Nakorn Ratchasima (also known as Khorat).

Planes

The closest international airport is Suvarnabhumi in Bangkok, although local services fly into Nakorn Ratchasima.

Automobiles

Depending on traffic, it can take two to three hours to get from Bangkok to Kirimaya.

Reviews

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Kirimaya hotel - Khao Yai - Thailand

Anonymous review

by Krissada Clapp , Actor, singer, superstar

With two children under the age of three years old, our Smith slip-away to Kirimaya has been guiltily highlighted on the calendar for four long months. But now, parting demonstrations by the Red Shirts to escape Bangkok is looking tricky. Luckily, we’re rescued by the Thai New Year water festival. Songkran’s splashes have temporarily cooled any drawn-out political rallying as we set of…
Read more

Kirimaya

Anonymous review by Krissada Clapp, Actor, singer, superstar

With two children under the age of three years old, our Smith slip-away to Kirimaya has been guiltily highlighted on the calendar for four long months. But now, parting demonstrations by the Red Shirts to escape Bangkok is looking tricky. Luckily, we’re rescued by the Thai New Year water festival. Songkran’s splashes have temporarily cooled any drawn-out political rallying as we set off north to what some have nicknamed ‘Thailand’s Tuscany’, a few hours beyond the capital.

Denying our inner alcoholics a tour of the various local vineyards en route proves extraordinarily tough, but in our guise as semi-responsible grown-ups, Mrs Smith and I opt instead for tender, organically grown, superbly sweet corn being steamed by leathery ladies in battered straw hats at makeshift roadside stalls. At just THB20 for three ears, we guzzle down the golden grain before grabbing a bag to go.

We would have sped right past Kirimaya but for the scrub’s sudden metamorphosis into manicured lawn. There’s something about sweeping, tree-lined driveways that makes me realise I’ve been scrunching my shoulders ear-wards, and Kirimaya’s verdant valley descent swiftly unknots any city-induced hunch. Rolling down the blacked-out windows of our Land Rover, Mrs Smith lets in a whoosh of sunny-grass scent and out a bluster of brunette bob.

We’ve barely managed to get a be-sandalled foot out of our SUV and through the antique teakwood portico before our bags are being neatly stacked on a golf cart that is all ours to potter about in for the weekend. Ushered by a squad of smiling, silk-suited staff, we hasten with an electric hush past minimalist wood-and-concrete buildings that house the genteel riffraff and onward to one of only four Tented Villas. As we clatter across a creaky wooden bridge over a river of reeds and into a cacophony of cicadas and frogs, Mrs Smith gestures at the Jack Nicklaus–designed greens. With a cheeky grin, I whisper that the only teeing off I have in mind for this weekend will take place between the sheets. Mrs Smith swats me like a mosquito, of which there seems to be a welcome lack for such an aquatic setting.

We pull up at the most distant and obviously jammiest tent on the property – the enormous deck boasts a private view of the largest pond. Mrs Smith flits about gushing over the accoutrements of our cavernous canvas cocoon: ‘Ooh, look darling, a Nespresso machine! Loving the living-room sofa-bed – that’s just what we need in our home theatre so the four of us can curl up together. OMG, the bathroom’s bigger than our apartment, and – wow! – just how big can a tub be? The kids would go splash-happy swimming in it!’ I gently remind her that this weekend is all about the two of us and celebrating the fact that we don’t have to worry about little people drowning. On cue, our private butler deftly offers lemongrass-infused chilled towels and watermelon juice, before beating a hasty retreat.

A tropical downpour and a steamy siesta later, Mrs Smith and I saunter out in shades and sarongs to cool off in the infinity pool. Now wherever there’s a pool, there’s a childhood comfort-food craving for French fries, right? Alas, my little mermaid pouts when she is told the restaurant only serves Thai food, since the resort is promoting a truly ‘authentic experience’ (as opposed to the ubiquitous wannabe Italian or cowboy outlets in this region). But Khun Su, the super waitress, suggests crispy crab spring rolls instead and disappoint they do not. Skinny sticks the circumference of my pinkie and length of my forearm arrive filled with juicy crabmeat and a delicate whisper of chopped chives and coriander. They don’t last long and are perfectly paired with icy glasses of local red grape juice.

Post-dip, Mrs Smith slopes off for an in-room massage while at Mist bar I enjoy a vodka tonic and endless vistas of the golf course and mountains. After an hour, I head back to indulge in a pre-arranged, complimentary milk and rose petal bath drawn by our butler. Lights dimmed and candles flickering, Mrs Smith shyly slips in and I follow suit.

Our appetites now reaching a ravenous crescendo, we decide to order in. Mrs Smith, now craving red meat, almost pulls a diva when she’s told that the Western room-service menu, which the staff has neglected to remove, is no longer available. Once again super Su comes to the rescue and offers to golf-buggy over a steak from the grill at sister property Muthi Maya. It takes a while, but we snack on more crispylicious spring rolls and pop open some champagne in the interim while watching neon-green fireflies on the terrace. When the steak arrives, it is sublime.

The next morning, we awaken to the sound of angels’ trumpets falling on our canvas roof. We peek outside and giggle like coy newlyweds when we see that Mother Nature has strewn our path with white blossoms. The ensuing day is a blur of bliss.

Before we know it, our Smith stay is drawing to an end. We never did go on that highly recommended night safari in the Khao Yai National Park, nor did we trek the hills. And forget about the local markets, we couldn’t get enough of our tent! If you’re looking for a clandestine escape, Kirimaya scores a hole in one. We’ll certainly be back, both with and without the kids. Actually, after our 48 hours here, I’ve a growing concern that we might be returning with two plus one next year.
 

The Guestbook

Reviews of Kirimaya from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

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