Thailand’s Banyan Tree Group is branching out, with the opening of their newest property; an organic farm, gourmet restaurant and educational centre in Chiang Mai. Named ORI9IN, the facility is a joint venture with The Boutique Farmers, and will open to the public in October.
The first of its kind in Chiang Mai, ORI9IN organic farm will provide visitors with a range of tastes, experiences and attractions. Guests will be able to explore a maize maze, try their hand at planting organic crops and see inside the farm’s jam factory. With generous space available and a range of high-quality facilities on offer, Banyan Tree’s new farm is also expected to be a popular venue for weddings and corporate events.
For diners and day trippers, the ORI9IN restaurant will serve fresh and environmentally friendly food, all grown on-site or sourced from within a 30km radius, to ensure each dish leaves no carbon footprint. This commitment to organic fine dining also includes a zero-waste policy, ensuring that energy and materials are recycled back into the food production process. With these initiatives, Banyan Tree is redefining the industry’s understanding of ‘fine dining’ and upmarket culinary tourism.
“Luxury is changing,” explains James Noble, who is chef-proprietor of Boutique Farmers. “What people want is to know where their food is coming from; they care much more about the process than whether there’s a white cloth on the table.”
The new project is leading an organic revolution in Thailand’s hospitality industry; stretching out over 141 hectares of land, Banyan Tree’s new farm will provide organic produce for restaurants all over Thailand, including personal supply lines for 15 of the Kingdom’s most prestigious Michelin-starred chefs. ORI9IN will also provide fruits and vegetables for the local community, with additional plots available for rent and private cultivation.
From furniture to food, and from field to plate, the farm relies on a cooperative of local farmers, fishermen, carpenters, artisans and enthusiasts, creating a cooperative that benefits small-scale industry, while also offering guests an authentic taste of local culture and cuisine.
With Thailand continuing to plan for the new normal, Noble believes facilities like this can lead the way: “I really think business as usual needs to change,” says the chef. “We should be in business not only for ourselves, but also to protect and improve the health and livelihoods of the local community. In my small way, I also hope to inspire people to rethink the way products are grown and prepared. Our children need us to do things differently. We need to farm for the future.”
Founded in 1994, Banyan Tree Holdings Limited is one of the world’s leading independent, multi-branded hospitality groups, with a growing portfolio of hotels, resorts, spas, galleries, golf courses and residences under five award-winning brands (Banyan Tree, Angsana, Cassia, Dhawa and Laguna). Through the Banyan Tree Global Foundation (BTGF), the group also aligns its actions to UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Banyan Tree currently has hotels and resorts dotted around Thailand, from Bangkok to Phuket and Koh Samui. A new resort is set to open in Krabi in Q4 of 2020.