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Introducing Bill Bensley’s railway-themed InterContinental Khao Yai National Park resort

Prolific Bangkok-based hotel designer Bill Bensley is renowned for his brilliantly unconventional properties. That’s a reputation he looks set to consolidate further as word of the forthcoming InterContinental Khao Yai National Park hotel spreads.

The landmark InterContinental Khao Yai National Park resort sees Bensley and company turning abandoned train cars procured from across Thailand into luxury suites.

Formerly known as the InterContinental Khao Yai Swan Lake Resort, the 61-room property will occupy a 40-hectare site surrounded by 50,000 trees and seven lakes.

The hotel will include 45 luxury rooms and suites, but the main attraction, rightly, will be the 16 repurposed heritage train car suites. Each boast 80sqm of space and promise an experience you won’t get elsewhere.

The idea was inspired by the area’s history as a rail hub connecting Bangkok to northeastern Thailand during the reign of King Rama V. In Bensley fashion, the design takes that heritage up a level, leaning on a fictional world for design inspiration: the story of a train conductor named Somsak who explored Thailand and its neighboring countries during the time.

Inside, some of the rooms will have tokens of the golden age of rail travel: luggage racks, railway signage, and bunkbeds. The biggest suites will have outdoor tubs, while the presidential suites come with private pools.

Some of the highlights outside of the train suites include Somsri’s Kitchen (named after Somsak’s mother); the hotel’s Tea House, also set in a revamped train carriage; train-inspired spa; and a wedding chapel, which says a lot about how likely this very unique property is to become a wedding and honeymoon destination.