Taking its inspiration from Thailand’s rich, storied culture and lore, Vana Belle’s design and name are based upon the mythical Himavanta (pronounced Hi-ma-pan) Forest. In fact, Vana Belle literally means “Beautiful Forest.” Vana comes from ancient Sanskrit and translates to “forest,” while belle means “beautiful” in French.
As legend has it, the fabled forest is located somewhere in the Himalayas, between Heaven and Earth and outside of the human realm. It is invisible and inaccessible to mortal beings, and populated with unusual and enchanting creatures that are a mixture of two or more animals. Among these beings is the Kinnaree. Possibly the most beautiful and gracious of all the Himavanta creatures, the Kinnaree is a stunning hybrid, featuring the head and body of a young woman and the legs and wings of a swan.
Moreover, the forest surrounds the base of Mt. Meru. A gigantic mountain within the Himavanta world, Mt. Meru is said to be home to Lord Indra, the Hindu deity, and believed by many to be the gateway to Nibbana (Nirvana). Consequently, we have named our signature restaurant Kiree, which means “mountain” in Sanskrit. Accordingly, Kiree sits atop a hill, offering fine, authentic Southern Thai cuisine as well as unparalleled views of the cerulean Gulf of Siam. Meanwhile, Panali, our beachside Italian restaurant, translates to “wooded area,” further honoring the Himavanta Forest and illuminating the captivating experience of Vana Belle.