A two to three-hour drive from Bangkok – depending on the unpredictable traffic – the lush greenery of Khao Yai is a prime weekend getaway favoured by city folks living in Thailand’s capital. From wineries to strawberry picking and flower fields to a national park, the area is also becoming increasingly popular with international travelers. There are plenty of accommodation options in Khao Yai, but those looking for a romantic refuge will be hard-pressed to find one as private as Muthi Maya Forest Pool Villa Resort.
Located on the edge of Khao Yai National Park (it’s not unusual to spot elephants near the shared border), Muthi Maya is the most secluded of the three five-star properties on the 480-acre plot of land owned by the Kirimaya Group. After a couple of hours on the road, entering the comfortable, high-ceiling lobby constructed with natural materials like timbre and stone was a relief and will soothe any frayed nerves from the road trip (we ran into not one, but two accidents on the drive up, so good luck!).
After completing check-in procedures, a buggy will be mobilised to take guests to their villas. All 61 villas at Muthi Maya are generously sized at 164 square metres (1765 square feet) and our favourite feature is definitely the outdoor terrace with a private 3 x 7 metre private pool – there’s also a public pool located next to the reception if you’re looking to do your laps – that overlooked the golf course. Besides views of the golf course, different clusters of villas will also sport views of the mountains and the forest.
Both the bedroom and the living room open up to the patio on one side, with the huge master bathroom bookending the bedroom on the other. The living room is adjacent to the pantry fully equipped with a proper fridge, tea & coffee making facilities, tableware, wineglasses, and more. Everything is big here, even the bathtub with jaccuzzi jets, though the latter was too noisy to be relaxing when we switched them on. On the up side, when we phoned to request for bath salts, two members of the housekeeping staff showed up with a large basket which turned out to be prep materials for a rose petal bath. A nice surprise, for sure, and the experience so far ticks all the right boxes for a romantic escapade.
Dining-wise, Muthi Maya’s onsite Myth is where you’ll find breakfast and Italian food for dinner. With a view of Khao Yai’s rolling hills and the golf course, the open-air restaurant above the lobby uses organic herbs and vegetables from the farm located near the clubhouse. Breakfast is a simple semi-buffet affair with a la minute mains and a three-tiered stand of pastries, cold cuts, and fresh fruits that can be replenished should you wish to have more. The Asian plates are the way to go at breakfast, in particular the congee and the porridge. Highlights of our set dinner at Myth include the baked mussels in spicy tomato sauce with spinach and cheese and the pan seared cod fish. The cheesecake, however, didn’t taste fresh with a soggy biscuit base.
Over our two-night stay, we also managed to try sister property Kirimaya’s Acala restaurant. Priced at THB999++ for two, the four-course Thai dinner started off on the right foot with deep fried golden bags of minced prawn and pork, peas, and carrots, served with a delicate plum sauce. Their creamy tom yum goong featured large river prawns and was more herbaceous than most of I’ve tried in Bangkok or Singapore. Amongst the large portions of the main dishes, we enjoyed the green curry with squid stuffed with minced prawn and the sweet and sour fish.
Overall, compared to the rest of the accommodation you can find in Khao Yai, Muthi Maya might be pricey but taking into account its proximity to the national park and the fact that it’s still the only private forest pool villas available in the area, it’s worth the price tag.
Muthi Maya Forest Pool Villa Resort is located at 1/3 Moo 6 Thanarat Road, Moo-Si, Pakchong, Nakornratchasima 30130, Thailand, +66 4442 6000.