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Hotel Highlights

  • Peaceful luxury backed by spectacular mountains
  • Do nothing or explore the natural surroundings
  • Play 18 holes then relax in Maya Spa

Overview

Set in the Unesco-protected Khao Yai National Park, Muthi Maya hotel has a backdrop of magnificent mountains and lush jungle. A few hours from Bangkok, this retreat has private pool villas, a serene spa and a challenging golf course. Elephant encounters are also on offer at this remote hideaway.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Muthi Maya with us:

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

Facilities

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Muthi Maya hotel - Khao Yai - Thailand

Need To Know

Rooms

50 pool villas.

Check–out

12pm, but it's possible to check out any time until 6pm for an extra half-day rate, subject to availability. Check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $213.62 (THB6,838), excluding tax at 17 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast.

Also

If you're not in the mood to mix with other guests, the villas have personal butlers on 24-hour call. They can organise just about everything, including private dinners in your villa, whipped up by a personal chef, and in-room spa treatments (both cost extra).

At the hotel

WiFi throughout, CD/DVD library, Jack Nicklaus-designed 18-hole golf course with club house, locker rooms, pro shop and driving range, gym, spa and beauty salon, gardens. In rooms: flatscreen cable TV, CD/DVD player, minibar, air-conditioning.

Our favourite rooms

All the villas have the same elegant but unfussy modern Thai design – textured walls, bamboo and teak panels, natural-toned and russet silks and linens – complete with separate living room, mini-kitchen, marble-clad bathroom, terrace and plunge pool. If you want absolute privacy, or are a golf fan, the rooms overlooking the course are furthest from the lobby and restaurant.

Poolside

Day-beds overlook the serene 30-metre-long infinity pool.

Packing tips

Warm sweater or pashmina for chilly evenings, your Polo Ralph Lauren golf attire, and binoculars for observing elephants.

Also

Sister hotel, Kirimaya, is a five-minute drive or 20-minute stroll away. Tee off on the par-72, Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, but try not to get distracted by the views.

Children

Welcome; baby cribs are free and extra beds for older children cost THB1,400.

Read more

Eco‐friendly

All buildings at Muthi Maya are made from local materials and are designed to complement the environment. Natural gas is used for power, and food is locally sourced where possible.

Food & Drink

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Muthi Maya hotel - Khao Yai - Thailand

Hotel Restaurant

Located above the grand lobby and resembling a Bhutanese lodge, open-sided Myth is stylish mix of dark wood, burnished copper and colonial accents – not to mention spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. The Italian menu offers classics such as insalata di ruccola alongside the tongue-twisting but delicious costoletta d’agnello ricoperte con erbe fini, or herb-crusted lamb cutlets.

Hotel Bar

Myth doubles as the place to relax after hours, with its uninterrupted views of the national park and live music.

Last orders

Myth Bar & Restaurant shuts up shop at 11pm.

Room service

6am–midnight (last orders at 11pm).

Smith Insider

Dress code

Relaxed chic – flowing maxis and casual linen, with a cover-up for fresh evenings.

Top table

Book a private dinner at your villa or opt for one of the romantic poolside cabanas.

Local Guide

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

Worth getting out of bed for

As lovely as your pool villa is, it would be a shame to miss out on the spectacular scenery and wildlife of the World Heritage-listed Khao Yai National Park. Muthi Maya’s concierge can organise guided hikes, night safaris, mountain biking, bird watching and elephant trekking. The region is also home to a number of wineries: PB Valley and GranMonte are both close by and worth visiting for lunch overlooking the vineyards. Cooking classes and trips to archaeological parks and the local night market can also be arranged.

Closer to home, tee off at the hotel's super-scenic, championship-standard golf course, then unwind with a well-deserved massage at the modern-rustic Maya Spa to work those knots out. The Thai-influenced treatments harness aromatherapy oils and exotic ingredients such as tamarind and guava. If you're feeling lazy, book a therapist to come to your villa instead. Bliss.

Local restaurants

Nearby sister hotel Kirimaya, a five-minute drive away, has three dining options – Acala, for fine Thai cuisine, the steakhouse T-Grill, and the Mist Bar, serving Japanese cuisine – all of which Muthi Maya guests can enjoy. Casual but popular Khrua Khao Yai (Thanon Tharanat, Pakchong; +66 (0) 4429 7138) serves an inspired menu of Thai and Western cuisine. You will need to book on weekends. Located at the PB Valley Khao Yai Winery, the Great Hornbill Grill (102 Moo 5, Phaya Yen, Pakchong; +66 (0) 3622 6415-16; www.khaoyaiwinery.com) is an excellent spot for a relaxed lunch. Overlooking the vineyards, you’ll find it hard to believe you’re holidaying in Thailand.

+ Enlarge
Misty mountains

Muthi Maya

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

Within easy reach of Bangkok, Muthi Maya is located outside the city of Nakorn Ratchasima in Thailand's north east, overlooking the stunning Khao Yai National Park.

Planes

The nearest large airport is Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Thai Airways also operates flights to Nakorn Ratchasima.

Trains

It's a 100-kilometre train ride from Bangkok to Nakorn Ratchasima, the nearest city to the hotel.

Automobiles

It's a two-hour drive from Bangkok to Muthi Maya, or a three-hour journey when traffic is heavy. If you're driving yourself, it's free to park at Muthi Maya.

Reviews

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Muthi Maya hotel - Khao Yai - Thailand

Anonymous review

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

‘Khao Yai National Park?’ says film director Ton sceptically over his whisky. ‘There’s very little to do there.’ After a thoughtful pause, he adds: ‘The air is good.’ To our Bangkok friends, Khao Yai National Park, two hours’ drive from the Thai capital, seems an easy but boring getaway from the fumes and grid-locked traffic of their home city. Tr…
Read more

Muthi Maya

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

‘Khao Yai National Park?’ says film director Ton sceptically over his whisky. ‘There’s very little to do there.’ After a thoughtful pause, he adds: ‘The air is good.’

To our Bangkok friends, Khao Yai National Park, two hours’ drive from the Thai capital, seems an easy but boring getaway from the fumes and grid-locked traffic of their home city. Truth be told, these urbanites are allergic to anything considered remotely rustic. They would rather eat their own branded sneakers than risk an elephant ride in the rainforest.

So it’s impressive that they have all heard of Kirimaya, the famous hotel perched on the outskirts of the 2,200-square kilometre nature reserve. When they hear that Mr Smith and I are going to Muthi Maya, Kirimaya’s newer sister property nearby, they respond with a mix of envy and awe. Even fashion stylist W, a nocturnal being who sleeps with his trilby on, is inspired to remark that he remembers directing a fashion shoot there.

Well, the hotel’s killer mix of cutting-edge architecture, Thai accents and gorgeous scenery would make the most hardcore city slicker melt. Before we get to the hotel proper, the three-kilometre drive from the entrance is a cinematic pan through manicured fields, lying flat against a rolling chain of mountains. Even our driver chuckles – a view this beautiful is ridiculous.

We arrive at the high-ceilinged reception area, which embraces guests with masculine, dark wooden panelling and slate greys – a cooling respite from the relentless glare of the tropical sun outside. Most of Muthi Maya’s design elements – clean lines punctuated by a well-placed artifact or bursts of local flora in a tasteful vase – are shorthand for Asian contemporary style in many eco-luxury retreats. But little details stand out, such as the statement fabric necklaces with pretty stones on the female staff; very 2011.

Statement Necklace ushers us to our Pool Villa, an unfussy space with a welcoming air. The facilities are top-notch: two flatscreen TVs (one facing an obscenely large bed, the other in front of a similarly proportioned day-bed in the other room) and a gigantic bath tub with built-in Jacuzzi. Referencing Kirimaya's top-tier Tented Villas, our room has a canvas screen with cloth windows, a quirky touch that shows the hotel is serious about its design.

But it’s outside that the real drama begins: a sun-deck warms your feet, a dipping pool glows turquoise and a panoramic view of Khao Yai’s mist-covered mountains opens out in front of you. Mr Smith wastes no time in shrugging off his clothes and plunging into the pool. Considering the damage done by a previous night out partying with Bangkok’s young and beautiful, I applaud his athleticism (or foolhardiness, depending on how you look at it) and follow his example.

We have a lazy room-service lunch in the cabaña, of egg-wrapped pad thai and slow-cooked fried rice with crunchy prawns. Then there’s no fighting the post-lunch coma, lulled as we are by birdsong and the gentle lapping of our pool.

The sun sets and the temperature drops. It’s dinner time. A quick shower and a spray of perfume and we’re out. Ditching the buggy, we amble to Myth, a Japanese-Thai restaurant above the hotel lobby. Succumbing to our inner Japanese tourist, we have the shabu-shabu for two, demolishing a tray of raw seafood and vegetables by cooking the ingredients in a pot of fish broth.

We linger over the steaming pot and our Singha beers – and soon find ourselves the last survivors in the restaurant. The singer-guitarist, with his languid repertoire of old country songs, asks for requests. ‘Anything by the Beatles!’ I say. He plays ‘From Me To You’ and then ‘Across The Universe’, which seems made for the evening, given its trippy Zen-ness. I look out of the restaurant and the night sky is velvet black and studded with infinite stars.

Day two is activity day. As Muthi Maya shares a spa with sister hotel Kirimaya, we are chauffeured by a hotel car there. Mr Smith, of the aching photographer’s shoulder, chooses the traditional Thai massage and I go for the Kirimaya Scrub, a 90-minute session that ends with me glowing. Mr Smith reports that the masseuse fulfilled his masochistic idea of a great massage, which is equal parts pleasure and pain.

Then he announces that he wants to go on a tour of the bat caves in Khao Yai National Park. Apparently someone has been perusing the catalogue of day trips while Mrs Smith was communing with her inner self. We book a driver who takes us on a trip that is easy on the eye but not so easy on the derrière – blame the potholes. We stumble onto a red dirt path and stare at an underwhelming hole in a mountain. At about 6pm, the first few bats start wiggling out of the cave. Ten minutes later, a ribbon of them starts to unspool across the dusky pink sky, forming a trail of black confetti that dissolves into the distance. Mr Smith clicks away.

Returning to the hotel after our National Geographic encounter, we have dinner at Acala, the Thai restaurant at Kirimaya. The cool, woody sanctuary we saw in the day transforms into a sexy and intimate grotto by night. We settle into a quiet corner and study the menu by candlelight. As usual, we over-order, but who can blame us?

To cap the evening, we retire to the Mist, the bar upstairs that gives an uninterrupted view of the moonlit greenery. The decor seems to be inspired by a colonial natural historian’s home, with small rocking chairs on the balcony and a telescope to boot. We peer into the long lens. Nothing but darkness. We raise a toast to the little we did in Muthi Maya. And then another to Ton, our Bangkok friend. He was so right and yet so wrong.
 

The Guestbook

Reviews of Muthi Maya 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…

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I loved the beautiful villas with private pool, immaculate rooms and super attentive staff. There's wonderful food in all restaurants around the two hotels on the property. We had a great trip in the jungle (not so wild as expected), with a good guide. It rained a lot during our stay, due to the typhoon in the Philippines, but we never got bored. We spent a great couple of days of laissez-faire in the mountains near Bangkok!

Don’t expect

Not much could be better: we loved the peace and quiet. I wouldn't recommend taking adolescent children here though. Much too quiet for them!

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The room was incredible. Perfect layout, spacious, spa, lounge, kitchen and bedroom. The private pool was superb. Breakfast is fantastic. The spa is beautiful but you need to get transfers from Mutti to Kirimaya, also for the gym and two of the restaurants.

Don’t expect

Transfers from Bangkok 5000B per person or 4000B from Pak Chong. This is really expensive and I think the hotel needs to come up with a better solution for guests. Also, while the isolation of the resort is lovely, you really are stranded with no options to come and go as you please. I really would recommend that having a car would make all the difference to your stay. You could hire a car in Pak Chong, and then drive up to Mutti – only about 35min and then you can easily do the Khoa Yai trips, day drives, eat out etc all with ease.

Rating: 7/10 stars