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- Hotel spotlight: Iniala Beach House, Natai Beach, Thailand - 30 October, 2019
- Single review: Empara Mi – WYGD - 29 October, 2019
- Top 6 spooky spots to visit in South Downs this Halloween - 27 October, 2019
Thailand’s Iniala Beach resort is a unique fusion of high-minded and exciting ideas. Combining luxury, innovative design, progressive philanthropy and gorgeous beachside views, it’s a hotel that juggles multiple ideals with iconoclastic panache.
The hotel includes three villas, a penthouse, a Kids Hotel, and a fine dining restaurant on Natai Beach. The vision of owner Mark Weingard, it was designed and created by 10 leading figures in the world of international design, who were commissioned to realise Weingard’s vision of an unusual, striking and socially conscious Thai retreat.
The hotel is set in a perfect landscape of white sands dappled by palm shade, close to the gorgeous rippling colours of the Andaman Sea.
Each of the talented designers brought on board to bring the Iniala dream to life were picked for the special talents in combining originality and creativity with charm and sophistication.
The courtyard and living room of the Collector’s Villa, for example, riffs on artisanal ceramics, and is devised by the Campana brothers. The space finishes in an entire wall encrusted with blue and white plates.
Two of the villas’ guestrooms are designed by Spaniard Jaime Hayon, and sculpted from wood by Irish carpenter Joseph Walsh, who made the sinous. centrepiece canopy bed out of ash wood.
Art and design
Thai tradition inspires much of the art and design in Iniala, although always with a contemporary edge, such as in Bangkok artist and curator Eggarat Wongcharit’s art in Villa Siam.
British architect Graham Lamb uses a healing hands motif in Villa Bianca’s curved teak roof. Its interiors, meanwhile, draw upon both Eastern and Western European design principles, with Madrid-based design studio A-cero using organic seaside forms for their guestroom designs and Russia’s Philosophy of Design adding a touch of playful whimsy with the Matryoshka Salon.
The Penthouse, also designed by Lamb, is informed by soothing sand tones and modified memory foam carpets. Together these recall walking on the beach, for a tactile and relaxing experience.
Iniala is essentially a living gallery with art, sculpture, and ceramics created by some of South-East Asia’s top artists exhibited throughout the residences and public areas.
Over 40 contemporary artworks – together with extravagantly designed furnishings and lighting from the likes of Mark Brazier-Jones – work to enrich the property’s striking interiors and exterior landscaping.
Each of the residences represents a high-luxury, personalized experience complete with a private butler, while a chef and massage therapist are available upon request. This means you can cater for any dietary requirements and have everything you need right there.
The three three-bedroom villas also feature a living space and a dining area, an exclusive spa, and a private outdoor pool surrounded by a sun-drenched deck.
The Collector’s Villa boasts the Cinema of Nature: a luxurious, 22-seater home cinema conceived by the Campana brothers to reflect the colours and textures of the Thai rainforest.
The penthouse is perfectly outfitted for honeymooners, couples or small families, featuring one spacious bedroom and a separate living and dining area that leads directly to an outdoor terrace with pool.
For younger guests, Iniala’s Kids Hotel provides an inclusive space for creative play, designed by a former Sadler’s Wells creative director-set designer. Imaginatively appointed play areas include a theatre and a costume shop, while a bedroom disguised as a treehouse makes for the ultimate sleepover location.
Iniala’s on-site fine dining restaurant is spearheaded by executive chef Seumas Smith and offers two tasting menus inspired by Smith’s Scottish-Swedish heritage.
Classic Nordic dishes are augmented with subtle Scottish influences and innovative cooking techniques, resulting in a culinary experience that is entirely unique in the region.
The property also offers customised in-villa dining as well as bespoke experiences such as beach barbeques, picnics and intimate beach suppers.
For those looking to counterbalance the indulgent excesses of vacation life, there is a fully equipped gym and boxing ring on property, and of course you can swim in the sea and talk long walks along the beach.
Philanthropy has been at the heart of Iniala since the beginning and was integral to Weingard’s vision. 10% of all room revenues and 5% of all other revenues are donated to the Inspirasia Foundation.
The foundation funds and supports exceptional projects in health and education for marginalized communities and persons with disabilities across South East Asia and Malta.
For more information, visit designhotels.com/iniala-beach-house.