From stunning temples to simple wooden homes, traditional Thai architecture blends form, function and irrepressible visual flair. Features such as the steeply pitched gabled roofs found around Thailand are not only practical design solutions but aesthetic objects as well. These roofs were built to allow hot air to rise and monsoon rains to run off in tropical climates; at the same time, their soaring lines and often ornate fretwork and finials are visual, even spiritual, delights.
Accommodations and public spaces at InterContinental® Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort draw on Thailand’s rich architectural vernacular in ways large and small. You’ll instantly be struck by the vaulted roofs springing up along the cliffside on structures such as the reception area, the Baan Thai Spa, and the resort’s villas. You’ll also encounter Thai design throughout the resort from traditional crafts to decorative elements to bold splashes of the Thai color palette.
A half-woman/half-bird kinnaree figure greets you at reception, while bedside lamps featuring elephants or mythical garuda are found in guest rooms. Ornamental birdcages around the outdoor dining area of Amber and the Air Bar area nod to the popular local practice of bird keeping. Beachfront pool villas feature private salas modeled on the open pavilions found in many Buddhist temples.
A deep appreciation of visual beauty suffuses every aspect of Thai traditional culture, from food to clothing to architecture. British author Somerset Maugham captured that spirit well when he wrote of the Buddhist temples he encountered in Thailand: “It makes you laugh with delight to think that anything so fantastic could exist on this somber earth…against that vivid sky, in that dazzling sunlight, they hold their own, defying the brilliancy of nature and supplementing it with the ingenuity and the playful boldness of man.”