The Sun came out and shone brightly as we approached the newly opened Soul Luxury Wellness and Mindfulness Resort in Saraburi, however, chilly breezes were blowing in gusts to keep us cool.
This luxury Neoclassical-style hotel stands against a wonderful backdrop of the Phra Phutthabat Noi Mountain and verdant environment, which is believed to be a source of pure energy. After a hectic week, visitors may reconnect with nature and revitalise their spirit.
It’s the brainchild of veteran businesswoman Daungvan Bunnag and her friends after they practiced meditation for decades to soothe their minds. In the chaotic digital world we live in, they aim to spread happiness and educate people on how to rebalance their bodies and souls.
Simple to incorporate into our daily life, this resort serves as an excellent platform to promote the philosophy of mindfulness, targeting a group of influencers from different sectors who may bring about changes and have a greater impact on society.
Nestled in Kaeng Khoi district, it is a 30-minute drive from downtown Saraburi, but there is easy access to tourist attractions like Wat Phra Phutthabat Noi and Wat Tham Bo Pla.
When the karst ecosystem was endangered by the extraction of limestone for the cement industry, a 30-year-old lush community forest was built around the neighbourhood and this 60 rai of land was covered in grassland and cornfield.
Design and Facility
Based on the principle of colour therapy, 24 Design Studio was in charge of creating a simple yet elegant aesthetic that makes use of vibrant hues to create an invigorating, therapeutic ambience. The three low-rise buildings sit on slopes, and to blend in with the surrounding limestone mountain their asymmetric roofs are crafted of brown cedar wood from New Zealand.
Under the concept of “Best of East and West”, the design is a consolidation of Chinese and French architectural forms to provide classy holiday experiences. Visitors may have the impression of visiting a palace when they first enter the lobby.
It looks gorgeous with a marble-like floor and a chandelier on its ceiling, while the towering arched gates are draped with Italian maroon-hued velvet, which symbolises strength and triumph in accordance with Eastern and Western culture. Its walls are painted green to represent the vigour of nature, while the colour palettes of red, gold, black and white are employed to bring classic aspects of elegance.
An inviting environment is created in the reception room by the French-style, gold-gilded walls, a century-old Chinese-style door, an aroma of cedar and a painting of a lotus, which stands for enlightenment. Outside, there is a lush lawn flanked by tropical plants and flowers, as well as a sizable pond that helps purify the area of any negative energy.
During the day, guests can soak in a rooftop swimming pool and take in the breathtaking view of a limestone mountain, while Petra Pool Bar and Sky Deck serves a choice of southern French cuisine to pair with wine. Another popular retreat is the Phimdeva Spa, which offers a wide range of treatments in a mixture of traditional Thai wisdom and European science to soothe the body and mind.
With a budget of 270 million baht, this brand-new resort offers 35 opulent rooms in three different types — Pristine Deluxe, Charisma Premier Deluxe and the Soul Suite with sizes varying between 55m² and 110m². To prevent guests from being distracted, a television is only available upon request in all rooms and guests may meditate or enjoy reading their favourite books in the serene setting.
The resort has been under construction and the second phase will feature a convention centre, residences and pool villas, which is slated to be completed in 2025 to 2026.
I spent one night in a 55m² Charisma Premier Deluxe room, with tasteful modern design. To transmit the vibrancy of nature and increase our energy, a collection of sumptuous furniture in vibrant red and turquoise shades illuminated every nook.
This room is decked out with eye-catching acrylic paintings of auspicious Chinese animals and blossoms to create a lively atmosphere. The comfortable bed is draped in quality linen and the curtains are specially made from Thai silk to add an elegant touch. There’s also a semi-circle cushion for quick meditation and a large work desk with USB hubs in case guests wish to use a computer to connect with the outside world.
On the other side, a mini bar corner is filled with snacks and refreshments as well as supplies for making coffee and tea. A gold hand-painted wall with an illustration of birds landing on tree peonies divides a walk-in closet from the spacious bathroom with a bathtub and separate shower. A large balcony was my favourite spot, where guests can indulge in the breathtaking scenery of limestone mountain ranges and verdant landscapes throughout the day and night.
Pim-Piman Restaurant offers breakfast alternatives in Thai and Western style, while the Harmony Library and Tea Room delights guests with a variety of homemade sweet delicacies that can be paired with healthy drinks, freshly blended teas and coffee.
Under the concept of “Symphony of Colour”, this tearoom is designed to provide physical and mental rehabilitation through the spectrum of colours and the library has a selection of interesting literature. It also houses a sanctum, where guests can attend meditation sessions and worship a Buddha statue.
I woke up early in the morning and signed up for a meditation class at Hermit Hut. A guru demonstrated how to focus on our breathing and walk mindfully as we were enclosed in a lush courtyard. I continued with a brief yoga session after that to stretch my muscles and let go of stress. The adjacent open-air gym also has some exercise equipment for regular routines.
I took a biking tour to Wat Tham Bo Pla in the late morning to explore a hidden limestone cave with stalagmites and stalactites in different shapes. Just a short walk from the resort, I visited the Manasikarn Hall to learn about the Buddha’s life through a multimedia exhibition and pay respect to the Buddha’s relics.
The Soul Luxury Wellness and Mindfulness Resort is designed to be a holiday retreat where vacationers can unwind and indulge in peace while escaping the hustle and bustle of city life. Prices range from 9,800 baht to 19,421 baht.