By Christy Lau
Resting at the entrance to Khao Yai’s famous mountains, dusitD2 Khao Yai is an all-in-one resort that is the pinnacle of modern luxury.
In a country renowned for its pristine islands, it can be easy to forget that Thailand is home to other kinds of breathtaking natural landscapes. While many of us can’t resist the wild charm of the ocean waves crashing against the shores, we can’t underestimate the equally stunning, albeit calmer appeal of a hilly forest escape. Located a mere two-hour drive from Bangkok, the dusitD2 Khao Yai in Nakhon Ratchasima is one such retreat that provides a refreshing break from Thailand’s beaches.
The open-air lobby provides an instant view of the mountains, so the moment you walk in, you know you have found a serene haven to uplift your holiday spirits. The hotel is one of the few in the region boasting 360-degree panoramas with not a building in sight to spoil the beguiling views. The modern and stylish design artfully captures the property’s lush green surroundings with colourful flowerbeds and well-manicured lawns. Their colour palette of wood-based shades beautifully highlights the picturesque setting.
As befitting a Dusit International property, guests are guaranteed an excellent level of service with cheerful and friendly staff treating them like long-lost friends. You simply won’t notice the time pass as you wait for your rooms. Once you check into one of the 79 hotel rooms, you’ll feel right at home in the chic lodgings that bring together the best of comfort and style. From the soft, immaculate bed that seems to draw all your aches away, to the floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto a cosy balcony, every aspect of the room has been carefully considered to make this home-away-from-home a place you won’t want to leave.
One of the first things that caught my eye when entering the Deluxe Plus accommodation was the bathtub in the middle of the bedroom, separated by only a curtain for privacy. This alluring feature plays well for couples who choose to stay here. To enhance the experience even further is a romantic couple’s package, with a complimentary bottle of Prosecco and a bubble bath gift set for a night to remember. Another highlight is Cocoon, a treetop dining pod for that intimate dinner under the stars.
dusitD2 Khao Yai also caters to families with their D’Corner and Duplex Suites, both of which come with spacious living rooms complete with luxurious sofas. Small pets are welcome as well, with plenty of lawn space for a rewarding stroll.
After a quick shower, I headed outside to catch the last rays of the sun by the infinity pool. Here you can choose to sink into the plush pillows at one of the two sunken seating areas, or have a quick lie-down on one of the deckchairs, both placed in the pool. From 5pm onwards, you can order a cocktail from the Pool Bar, or take advantage of the Happy Hour buy-two-get-one-free deals on Singha beer. Your meal cravings can also be satisfied at the Musi Grill restaurant, which serves both Western and Thai cuisine to appeal to a wide variety of palates.
The kitchen is attentive to the nuances of both cuisines. There is a grilled section where you can order a 200g Salmon fillet (B600), garnished with smoked vegetables and finished with a creamy lemon butter sauce, or an Angus beef tenderloin (B1,200) steak, drizzled in a piquant peppercorn gravy.
The restaurant also prides itself on its pizza selection, allowing guests to pick their own toppings. However, if you’d like to stick to the menu, the D2 KY (B330) is the signature choice, topped with Parma ham, capers, chorizo, capsicum, sun-dried tomatoes and arugula for a slightly spicy but rich flavour profile.
Turning to the local favourites for inspiration, the restaurant serves all kinds of classic Thai dishes, with a few surprises thrown in. The recommended item is the Pineapple fried rice (B350), a tasty multi-flavoured recipe presented in a pineapple shell. The dessert selection is also just as diverse, with Tiramisu (B230) and Chocolate lava cake (B210) for your sweet tooth and seasonal fruits for health enthusiasts.
Holidaymakers can’t stay at the property without enjoying one of their activities, targeted at families and thrill seekers itching to make the most of the outdoors. Children will simply adore the resort’s animal farms with two extremely huggable alpacas and a colony of white fluffy bunnies. For a small fee, you can feed them with the help of a friendly caretaker (B100 for alpacas and B50 for rabbits). Meanwhile, for an active outdoor excursion, canoeing is recommended for groups at only B500 per hour. You can also practice your rock-climbing skills and challenge yourself to complete all three levels of expertise at B300 per hour.
With more time to spare, guests should definitely flex their culinary muscles at Musi Grill, where the friendly staff will teach them how to make pizza, pasta, or a few selected Thai recipes. To make the experience even more memorable, every participant can take home a cooking class certificate for extra bragging rights.
It goes without saying that unadulterated relaxation is the name of the game at dusitD2 Khao Yai. Whether you make this your home for a couple of nights or an extended stay, the effortless beauty will encourage you to plan your next return.
A Different Kind of ‘I Do’
General Manager Krongyos Piriyaprut highlights the resort’s appeal for those who are looking for a unique wedding destination.
“The ambience and weather are key advantages. While a wedding by the beach may be traditionally viewed as more romantic, you run the risk of unpredictable weather. It also tends to be hot and humid. Here the weather stays consistently cool all year round. It’s very hard to find 20 to 25 degree weather that is only a two-hour drive from Bangkok. For cooler temperatures, people tend to think of Chiang Mai, but there are a lot of extra costs, particularly for those flying from overseas. Additionally, the air quality here is much better, because we are in a highly conserved area, close to the National Park.
For function spaces, our lawn is great for an open-air wedding and can host up to 250 guests cocktail-style, while our ballroom can host up to 80 for a banquet.”
Delightful Romantic Package Promotion
Celebrate the month of love with dusitD2 Khao Yai’s dreamy room offer. Stay in the Deluxe Plus or a higher room category and receive:
• A complimentary bottle of Prosecco
• A complimentary chocolate and bubble bath gift set
• A complimentary fully-stocked mini bar
• Honeymoon set-up upon arrival
Valid from now until February 28th.
Pre-Wedding Photoshoot Offer:
Day Package: One-day stay in a mountain view Deluxe Room, including lunch and coffee break prepared on the day of the photoshoot for five people for B6,899.
Night Package: One-night stay in a mountain view Deluxe Room, including breakfast for two people; lunch for the bride, groom and photography team; romantic dinner at Musi Grill restaurant for two; and coffee break prepared on the day of the photoshoot for five, all for B16,900.
*Note: Packages must be booked one week in advance due to the limited number of rooms and specific availability of the restaurants.
DUSITD2 KHAO YAI
678 Moo 18, Tambol Moosi, Pakchong District,
Nakhon Ratchasima, 30130, Thailand
Tel: 04 400 3000