Why Khao Yai? Khao Yai or Pak Chong district in Thailand is a popular getaway destination among people in Bangkok. The area is known for its proximity to Bangkok (2.5h away by car), cooler temperature, fresher mountain air and greenery. Due to its popularity, there are a number of boutique hotels in Khao Yai which you can freely choose to create a unique travel experience. We will talk about other types of Khao Yai accommodations as well including Khao Yai villas, hotels and camping sites.
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Types of Khao Yai accommodations
This is the typical hotel that you know. Usually it has a multiple story building, rooms with balcony with hill/mountain view, and a common area/shared facility.
In our recent trip in Khao Yai, we stayed in hotel called dusitD2, part of the Dusit hotel chain. The room we stayed in was well-furnished and spacious, with balcony overlooking the mountain afar and bathtub in the room. The hotel facilities, along with its service quality was great! The only downside of this hotel was the unstable WiFi (so if you are looking to do remote work while in the hotel, make sure you have your hotspot).
There are quite a few shared facilities including treehouse, alpacca and rabbit houses and pool with mountain view. The pool proves to be quite popular for photo-taking among the hotel guests.
The benefits of staying in standalone villa is you have the whole villa/house to yourself. At the same time, the hotel still have common area/shared facility like restaurant, pool etc. In addition to that, during this pandemic period, you might feel safer being isolated from other guests by staying in your own villa.
There are also multiple formats of villas: larger ones in resort setting or relatively smaller one that’s more down-to-earth.
We stayed in 2 formats of villa hotels:
Limon Villa Khao Yai
The first one was in Limon Villa Khao Yai. The villa lives up to its name given that it has many lemon trees in its garden. They have a restaurant and a swimming pool for hotel guests. They also provide BBQ equipment and some small food that we can grill during the BBQ.
The downside of this hotel is the room can be hot during the day because the AC is quite weak. Even 17 degree Celsius setting cannot beat the heat from the sun during the day. However, at night the breeze can be very cooling, so we really enjoyed the BBQ night we had in our very own private lawn there.
This hotel is quite affordable among other hotels. The facilities can be quite basic but sufficient. Overall, it’s a quite down-to-earth accommodation that’s just perfect for a family trip with a good degree of privacy just outside Bangkok.
Muthi Maya Khao Yai Forest Pool Villa
Muthi Maya is part of the bigger Kirimaya resort family. If you enter Kirimaya resort compound, you’ll be able to find Kirimaya, Atta and lastly Muthi Maya. I say “lastly” because Muthi Maya is located at the deepest location from the entrance among all hotels. This also means that it is located closest to the foot of the mountain compared to the other two.
The concept of Muthi Maya is individual bungalow/villa that is super private. It also has its own pool surrounded by the trees, which can make you feel you are close to the nature while still being at the comfort of a hotel.
There is an Italian restaurant in the Muthi Maya compound. Additionally, there is a common breakfast area near the check-in lobby.
Given that the concept is “private villa”, you will need to take golf car between your villa and other places. This might be a bit cumbersome if you are not used to it and prefer walking but during the day, the sun can be very hot and you would want to just jump into the golf car and stay under the shade.
We stayed in Muthi Maya in January and the Kirimaya complex built this Secret Garden facility with flower garden. The Secret Garden is free-of-charge during the day time for hotel guests and they can enter to take photos with the flowers and Instagram-worthy installations. At night, they can have dinner there as well, while enjoying live music performance (at additional charge).
We did not get to try this out in our recent trip but there are many adventurous travellers who opt for camping when they go to Khao Yai.
In Khao Yai, there are multiple campsites. The most popular ones are in the Khao Yai national park which offer visitors close-to-nature experience. Just like any traditional camping experience – you will have to bring your own tent, and virtually everything else. Khao Yai national park offer equipment for rent like tent and sleeping bag – however you may want to bring your own for better comfort and hygiene.
Note that some camping site may charge a small fee (THB30/night for Khao Yai national park) for setting up a camp.
Major camp sites in Khao Yai also have facilities like restroom, shower, electricity and some shops/cafes to service visitors.
We had our first glamping experience while in Khao Yai and boy, it did not disappoint at all. We were looking for very private accommodation (because of the increasing number of Omicron cases) while being able to enjoy the Khao Yai nature comfortably. The glamping experience was a perfect one for this.
This place was located up on the hill. Every glamping concept that they have, there is only one accommodation available. The accommodation gets booked really fast despite the low season. We actually were planning to extend for one more night after the date that we booked, but we were too late – all fully booked!
There is no check-in desk. So we parked the car at the designated parking lot, entered the compound, met the staff inside the compound who helped us to “check in”. The whole experience feels very customized and personalized. The staff will then explain the different features and facilities in the glamping compound. We also got to choose what dinner we want to have (we chose hotpot), what ingredients we want to include and also specify what to have for breakfast the next morning.
All devices and equipment in the glamping place were top notch. They were all very well-thought to give you the best experience during the stay. What stood out the most for us were the heated pool (this is rare among other hotels!), amazing coffee (somehow all other coffees we had in Khao Yao were so-so), and high quality devices (for e.g. Dyson hairdyer, Marshall bluetooth speaker, etc.). If you have requirement for pillow for your sleep, you can also pick your favorite from the pillow menu.
Which Khao Yai accommodation should you pick?
All depends on many things including your budget, who you are going with, what your travel style is… But rest assured, there are plenty of accommodation types in Khao Yai that can suit your preferences and needs.
If you want to have a chill family time for one night with limited budget, you can consider cheaper accommodation like Limon Villa.
For those who prefer to stay somewhere with big hotel chain standard, you can go to a normal hotel like dusitD2.
If you prefer a luxurious private stay in a resort that have big chain standard, and have budget for it, you can consider a resort like Muthi Maya. There are a lot of facilities typical of what big chain has like spa facilities etc. This will suit either couples or families with kids.
And if you want a unique, one-of-a-kind experience that is still luxurious, you can choose one of the boutique hotels in Khao Yai. The glamping place where we stayed in is one of the options that you have for this. This kind of accommodation also suits those who want to do camping but can’t stand the harsh real camping environment 😉 There are a lot of such glamping sites apart from what we reviewed i.e. Te Mata 360. Nonetheless, we believe Te Mata 360 is one of the best glamping sites and boutique hotels in Khao Yai!
We also have another post which cover Khaoyai restaurant, cafes and steakhouse here!
Explore Thailand with us via our other posts:
- Khao Yai National Park: how to get there, and activities
- Thailand Pass review and Thailand travel for the vaccinated
- Transportation in Thailand: understand different options
- Is Bali in Thailand? Learn about similarities and differences
- How long is the flight to Thailand: popular flight and duration
- Ari Bangkok in Thailand: Area review (room, food and cafe)