Experiential travel is all the rage these days, and Thanyamundra, an alluring concept resort newly opened next to Thailand’s Khao Sok National Park, one of the world’s oldest rainforests, is feeding the fire. Just two hours drive from Phuket International Airport, Thanyamundra is a luxury retreat, limited to 20 guests at a time, located on a working organic farm. Project Manager Pierre Larigaldie first planted the 12 hectare farm four years ago, and now visitors are encouraged to pick produce and take organic cooking classes in the main villa’s show kitchen. (All plantings are 100% organic: Thai and Italian basil, dill, coriander, chilies, white and purple eggplants, red snake beans, winged peas, bitter gourd, avocadoes, papaya, passion fruit, mango and a variety of bananas.) Needless to say, the kitchen churns out some delicious farm-to-table meals.
Formerly the home of a European entrepreneur, the resort is comprised of nine guest rooms filled with Asian antiques, Thai silks, and cutting-edge technology. Dedicated butlers are on call to assist with guests’ every need, and the resort hosts visiting experts and teachers in all kinds of fields-- from sports to yoga and meditation to environmental science and visual arts. Leisure facilities include a 50-meter hilltop infinity pool, fitness room with Technogym equipment, and yoga and Pilates classes. Thanyamundra can also arrange guided jungle treks with a naturalist.