SEA AL FRESCO RESORT (*****): Khao
Takiab ("Chopstick Hill") is a small fishing village located
a five minutes drive from Hua Hin, dominated by a hill with beautiful
sand beaches on either side. There are numerous temples, elephant
a colony of monkeys, rustic
local restaurants, and the wonderful Let's Sea resort where we had
dreamed stays on repeated occasions (our most recent visit dated
back from before COVID).
In Spring 2023, we discovered a new, beautified Let's Sea. Shouldn't it be the more lushly rooftops, and some new equipment, the exterior of the resort is still the same, with its characteristic design: the hotel has been constructed along a canal-like swimming pool, much reminiscent of the famous Siamese «khlongs» (canals). The 20 «Studio Piers» have a private pier, allowing guests to jump directly into the water; while the 20 «Moon Deck Suites» display a panoramic view over the pool (some of them also have a sea view). This romantic, so relaxing atmosphere, combines with a sophisticated notion of eco-tourism. «Eco-Chic» -this is how the resort defines itself- means low-rise buildings erected with noble made-in-Thailand materials (wood, bamboo, stone, mosaics...), few or no insecticide to kill the mosquitoes (the gentle frogs, living a great life in the pounds installed at each corner, and extending till the restaurant and SPA washrooms, are doing the job efficiently), much fruits and local food and juices in the restaurant, and above all a quiet, though no boring at all, environment... After a healthy and refined breakfast with sparkling wine (French "mousseux" is an F&B signature) and freshly squeezed juice, served on the terrace beach-front or in the room, guests can enjoy the pool or swim in crystal clear water, enjoy a massage or a steam-bath at the Gaia SPA, or walk fifteen minutes along the beach to discover the worth the trip Wat Khao Takiab: where a very active -though not aggressive- tribe of monkeys awaits for the bananas experienced visitors never forget to bring in their bag... We have not been disturbed in our tanning sessions by any souvenir sellers or jet-ski renters; ride horsing is possible, though the stable boys are as friendly as discreet. Some ladies provide very cheap massages on the beach. We felt like in Paradise...
All the rooms
have been totally
refurbished from a Zen style, a bit industrial with the former steel
stairs to access the rooftop, to something much more appealing,
comfier, which we finally prefer. The wood paneled floor and wood
the more appealing fabrics, really make the difference. We didn't
realize that Let's Sea needed some upgrades. Like an old mistress, we
loved it the way it was. But we applaud the facelift, actually; the
resort gained one more star in terms of comfort and elegance. And it
fits more the tastes of the demanding, upper-class tourists (mostly
wealthy families from Bangkok), visiting post-COVID Hua Hin. The
are cosy (48 sq. M. including terrace/deck), and we would like to
them for those on a short stay, who actually like swimming. Couples,
if on a longer stay, might prefer the slightly more spacious
Deck Suites» (68 Sq. M, including terrace/deck): the living
room is larger, and it terrace comes on the duplex floor, where you can
tan at ease, or relax al fresco in the tub; in the evening, it is very
to have a drink or smoke a cigar laying on a mattress or contemplating
the illuminated pool. We liked very much the extraordinary comfort of
«LaZzzzz® bed»: the mood lighting in the bedroom (and
bathroom) allowed made us fast asleep. This is a five-star hotel and,
of course, any modern requirement is
available: individual control air-conditioning, IDD telephone,
DVD / USB player on large flat screen Sat TV, a new Bose stereo system,
high-speed WiFi, Espresso machine, and large safe. We noted that the
refurbishment targetted the bathrooms a lot: cheer up for the large
Jacuzzi tub, and the discreet TV screen incorporated in the wall like
in the Peninsula hotels! Stylish!
We enjoyed the privileges of the new «Z-Luxe Club»., designed for guests who want to maximize their resort lifestyle and seek the utmost levels of convenience and indulgence. For a modest extra over the basic room/suite rate (which was promptly refunded by what we received in exchange...), we had complimentary gourmet breakfasts, 24-hour complimentary tea, coffee, soft drink refreshments at the Breeze Bar, Complimentary cocktail hour daily from 5-7 p.m. (inclusive of unlimited soft drinks, juice, wine, beer, whisky, and canapés), free schedule shuttle transfer to Hua Hin town centre, and even expert application of sun tan/ sun block lotion by Gaia Spa therapists at pool-side or beach-front! Many discounts apply for «Z-Luxe Club» using the SPA, the restaurant, the bar, dry cleaning, etc.
would like to end up this review by mentioning the restaurant,
which already existed some years ago, before the construction of the
Situated at the breezy beach-front, it has a long and excellent
reputation in the whole Prachuap region, and is much visited by regular
patrons from al Hua Hin. As usual when we visit Hua Hin, we
traditionally had our first seafood dinner at the «Night Market»,
is more pleasant than ever, since post-COVID there
are less tourists.
Prices are lower than ever for
But we forgot that Let's Sea Resort restaurant was
such a good value for the money. We also forgot how generous were
the portions (to share, indeed). We tasted some signature dishes. Tom
Ka Kung: coconut soup with lemongrass. A classic! Sautéed Hua Hin Crab:
a delicacy, filled with crab meat and yellow curry. Yummy
Mok»: we recommend this steamed dish, mixing fish, coconut milk and
fragrant herbs; usually wrapped in a banana leaf cup, which came to our
in a coconut. Fried Giant Sea Prawns with Garlic and Pepper: what a
crisp, what a savor! Super fresh! The sherry on the top was a variation
on the traditional Mango Sticky Rice: the chef's trick, which made all
the difference, consists in deed-frying the rice in a thin layer,
served with a coconut sherbet. This gives this super traditional
dessert a 3D savor and texture. Something which we experienced for the
first time. Unless you head for Grand Crus or Dom Perignon, wine is
served at a fair value. We liked the selection by the glass: Tocornal
Chardonnay from Chile 2021, The Y Series Shiraz from Australia, Fleur
de France Blanc de Blanc Brut from France... Though we preferred one
glass of Chang Beer over the rocks, ideal to match spicy food (our was
only a little
bit "pet" -spicy- because this is "farangs" like Thai cuisine), and
served with a beautiful set of local peanuts and salted crisps. Year
after year, we can confirm that this is the best table in Hua Hin.
Note well that, due to the hotel aquatic concept, kids are not allowed until the age of 12 (just to protect them against any accident).
Hua Hin is Thailand most preserved treasure; and Let's Sea is Hua Hin most brilliant gem.
ANANTASILA VILLA BY THE SEA (****L):
This luxurious four-star superior haven, undergoing a five star
refurbishment of the rooms and suites during our visit in June 2023,
ensconced in the enchanting coastal stretches of Hua Hin, embodies the
very essence of sophistication and refinement. Garnering inspiration
from the glowing testimonials on TripAdvisor, we embarked upon an indelible expedition to this ethereal beach sanctuary.
LOLIGO RESORT (****L): A family-oriented, "fresh twist" four star version of the refined Let's Sea Resort
sister hotel located next door, this trendy boutique hotel looks
simply brilliant: with a modern, imaginative design with a discreet Thai signature, and immaculate
bedrooms. The best, cleanest beach in Hua
Hin is accessible by a small path separating the two hotels (guests can use the Let's Sea seafront terrace), and there
is a lovely, children friendly swimming-pool, outdoor Jacuzzi, meeting
spaces, kid’s studio, spa,
and fitness centre.
VILLAS (****L): A contemporary
version of The Palayana, The Yana Villas
reflects the same touch of exquisite luxury, nestled along the lovely Khao
Takiab beach, close to a picturesque temple invaded by monkeys. The
trendy design of this exclusive five-star boutique hotel, and its location,
gave us the impression that we stayed in the French Riviera... with the
Thai soft price and enthusiastic service as a bonus.
VILLAS (****L): Though
this resort opened in 2008, and despite many visits to Hua Hin, we just
recently heard about this secret retreat: checking the Tripadvisor
listing of the best hotels in this royal sea resort which always was,
is and shall hopefully remain our favourite leisure
Thailand. Far from the tourists' traps, like Pattaya or Phuket, and
close enough from Bangkok for a short -or long!- recharging one's
batteries along one of the longest beach in the cool and breezy
We liked very much the high-tech concept of the villas. Beside the already mentioned Bose sound-system, each villa is individually equipped with high-speed WiFi with Ipad: we didn't need to unpack our PC, and rather used the provided tablet.
can of course be ordered in the villa. We rather enjoyed it at Villazzo
Restaurant seaside terrace. The ocean view is amazing, and due to the
very limited number of guests, even when the hotel is totally fully
booked (which was the case during our visit), there is no rush at the
buffet. The quality of food
and beverage rates far over average. We particularly
enjoyed the Asian buffet (yummy choice of seafood Dim Sum!), authentic
Japanese sushi, raw fish, freshly squeezed tropical fruit
juices, and fresh bakery which we ate with French marmalade “Bonne
Maman” enjoying organic coffee. We didn't experience the restaurant;
just arrived in Thailand, we were logically more interested in Thai
food than in Italian cuisine; the V Villas obviously mainly caters top
class Thai clients, and European cuisine paired with fine wine is part
of their distinguished way to enjoy a first class holiday. Though it
seems that more and more Westerners heard about this unique address,
and start spreading the news after a successful stay. Lots of ACCOR
management staff like to come from all over South East Asia to stay at
V Villas: which appears to be, on its own, a label of quality.
The amazing V Villas resort has got a remarquable sister hotel in Bangkok, also managed by ACCOR (M Gallery Collection): the VIE Bangkok, where we found both the same soul and splendid design.
NERN CHALET (*** Superior): Located on Khao Takiab less than 100 meters from the hill and temple, this family run beach-front boutique hotel is definitly our best address for an inexpensive, though refined and highly authentic, stay.
Don't look for any flashy luxury in the Nern Chalet; though the hotel is extremely comfortable, with cosy rooms and some larger suites offering breathtaking view on the Ocean, this is a place dedicated to simplicity and relaxation, which we enjoyed very much among some guests who, sometimes, book a room for a quarter (usually in winter time)! Some of them coming back every year: which is a guarantee of the perfect quality of this “home away from home”, where the kind and attentive owner, Khun Caranee, educated in the USA (and therefore proficient in English), welcomes for over two decades everybody as a friend; not as a client. She provides any tip you might need about her city and country... including much attended Thai Cooking lessons (starting with an early visit to the Hua Hin central marketplace, and finishing in the afternoon, with a degustation of the mouth watering specialities you will now be able to cook by yourself, astonishing your friends and relatives...). No need to say that the small, “al fresco” restaurant is recommended. We liked the “Pad Thai” (sautéed noodles with seafood), the “Tom Kha Goung” (coconut soup with prawns) and the caloric -though delicious- “Sticky Rice with Mango”. Prices are more or less like in the “Night Market”: actually cheap on the Western standard.
The nice, comfy rooms and suites, all with a balcony, are well equipped with modern facilities . Featuring fine quality bedding, A/C, cable TV, mini bar, and free wireless Internet (in the rooms, and in the pleasant, breezy public areas). Wake up early at least once during your stay, and enjoy the spectacular Thai sunrise from your room! Nice view also from the salted-water swimming-pool, with the Khao Takiap rock on the right and the immensity of the ocean ahead.
There is a nice activity around the hotel: a couple of temples, well worth the visit, and plenty of small restaurants, bars, and traditional Thai massage parlours (massages are also available in the hotel, on a simple request). The public taxis head-station is located next door, allowing a very easy journey downtown.
We found the staff efficient and so polite. Some comments in Tripadvisor refer to their limited ability in understanding -and therefore speaking- English. Actually, from the receptionists till the lovely and talkative chambermaid, everybody was able to respond on the spot to any of our question or requirement.
The rates vary quite a lot, depending on the season and length of the stay. Expect to pay approximately EUR 100 per night for a lovely double room. Note that transportation from Hua Hin Bus Station to Nern Chalet is free of charge for Nern Chalet guests.
hidden treasure, a bit off the beaten path, is the dreamed
for a great family stay in Hua Hin.
NERN CHALET: 144/7 Nongkae-Takieb Road, Hua-Hin,
Prachuab Khiri Khan 77110
PHONE & FACSIMILE: +66 0 32 511 288, 513528, 536050
THE BIHAI (***
booked in this charming, modern hotel for two reasons. First, we liked
Not far from the touristic center of Hua Hin, pubs, shops
and Night Market, it has the privilege to stand a few meters from the
best and cleanest beach in town: Khao Takiap.
It takes one minute along a path to reach one of the last virgin
beaches in the region. Maybe because of the vicinity of the prestigious
Sea Pines Golf Club,
located opposite the hotel and flanked along the
coast, there is no construction at all wandering to the south. To the
north, on the way to Khao Takiap Hill, hosting a
nice temple and a colony of monkeys, the charming seafood restaurants
and straw hut
bars are so deliciously cheap that, in four
days, we never had the temptation to mix up with the tourists downtown.
Better than Samui or Phuket, Khao Takiap is our little paradise since
CAPE NIDHRA HOTEL HUA HIN (*****L): Renowned
Irish playwright and wit, Oscar Wilde wrote: "I have the simplest
tastes: I am always satisfied with the best." At Cape Nidhra Hotel,
this sentiment is embraced wholeheartedly, offering a sanctuary where
excellence is the only acceptable standard. It was a sheer delight to enter this opulent five-star resort, located
a ten minutes walk to the Night Market and the city centre. A place
where every moment unfolded with delight and opportunities for
The hotel, boasting only 59 rooms, epitomizes the concept of a boutique retreat. Each room, luxuriously spacious and among the finest in Hua Hin, features its own private pool. Yes, you read that correctly: one room, one pool!
Upon our arrival, we were warmly greeted by the reception team, led by the ever-attentive Diane, and by Christian, the experienced Swiss general manager. Following a swift check-in process and a refreshing welcome drink, we were whisked away in an electric golf cart to our Deluxe Sky Pool Suite. Spanning an expansive 101 sq.m., this lavish haven boasted its own unique charms. A notable highlight was the 2.40 x 4.80 m private pool, shimmering invitingly just steps away from the en-suite bathroom. No need to traverse the bedroom; a discreet entrance to aquatic bliss awaited us. Enveloped in luxury, the suite's spacious balcony provided ample seclusion, beckoning us to unwind beneath the open sky. Inside, the suite revealed elegant parquet flooring, offering a glimpse into the lavish comforts that awaited us—from the oversized bed with a bespoke pillow selection, to the widescreen LCD TV and the pocket-sized yet powerful Sony Bluetooth speaker. This proved particularly useful as we relaxed to soothing melodies while basking in the lukewarm waters of the pool. With every amenity attended to, our stay was an absolute delight.
The lavish bathroom, rivaling the size of the bedroom itself, could easily be deemed palatial in any other establishment. Fit for royalty, it featured a generously sized tub, ample showering space, and a convenient door for direct pool access. We found ourselves spending ample time in this truly plush sanctuary, reveling in one of the most luxurious bathing experiences we have encountered in Hua Hin.
True to their commitment to excellence, Cape Nidhra Hotel ensures that every room and suite provides the nec plus ultra of comfort. None of them can be deemed "standard." While some rooms cater to the high society from Bangkok or local families spending weekends with their children, the majority are tailored to meet the demands of discerning travelers, or couples embarking on a honeymoon.
For those seeking the pinnacle of luxury, the Nidhrarom Suite is a sight to behold—it truly represents the crème de la crème. This recently refurbished haven of opulence and grandeur spans two expansive floors, boasting over 300 sq.m. It features a private dining room meticulously designed with a European-style kitchen, creating an ambiance of sophistication and refinement. In addition to its spacious rooftop offering breathtaking views of the hills and ocean, the crown jewel of the Nidhrarom Suite is its magnificent 14.00 m pool. We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to explore it, and it left an indelible impression upon us.
As the morning sun gently caressed the horizon, we embarked on a culinary journey each day at the Rocks Restaurant's buffet breakfast—an experience comparable in ambiance and quality to the renowned Grand Hotel Du Cap d’Antibes! Nestled alongside a pool extending gracefully toward the ocean, the atmosphere was breezy and delightful, infusing our breakfast with a touch of seaside serenity.
The buffet presented a testament to the hotel's commitment to honoring local traditions while embracing cosmopolitan delights. A symphony of egg specialties adorned our table, with the creamy scrambled eggs proving to be a divine indulgence. Demonstrating their ethical stance, the restaurant proudly abstained from serving Shark Fin, Bird's Nest, and Foie Gras, firmly standing against cruelty to animals. Our taste buds danced with delight as we sampled the tantalizingly spicy Merguez, evoking the aromas of Marrakech, and savored the ever-changing selection of Dim Sum. The array of cheeses, including French Camembert, Swiss Emmental, and Spanish Queso Manchego, were a delightful find in the heart of Thailand. Freshly baked Bretzel transported us to alpine peaks reminiscent of Switzerland or Bayern. However, it was the organic fruits that stole the show, with a 100% organic lemon bursting with unparalleled richness and acidity, harmoniously complementing the sweet, succulent mango. From the first bite to the last, this breakfast awakened our senses and left an indelible mark on our gastronomic memory. With its doors open from early morning until late evening, Rocks Restaurant stood as a beacon of culinary excellence, an oasis where flavors converged with the rhythm of the tides.
We relished the opportunity to lounge by the poolside or stroll along the legendary sandy beach of Hua Hin, feeling as cozy as a bug in a rug. And what better way to conclude our indulgent retreat than with a visit to the exquisitely designed Cape Spa? As we entered the spa's treatment rooms, we were immediately captivated by the impeccable equipment, elegant design, and spaciousness beneath lofty ceilings. Seasoned professionals attended to our every need, employing premier products and offering an extensive menu of treatments that guaranteed an unparalleled experience. Our choice fell upon the Aromatic massage, and we delighted in selecting our preferred essential oil—our recommendation being the subtly elegant rose, though a variety of local fragrances were available. The Cape Spa, an extension of the Cape Nidhra and Cape & Kantary collection of exceptional hotels, truly embodied the epitome of relaxation and rejuvenation.
Cape Nidhra Hotel remains etched in our hearts as a destination that embodies the art of luxury travel, a sanctuary where the best is merely the beginning.
HUA HIN (*****L): One
of the youngest and freshest five-star luxury resorts in Hua Hin,
inspired by King Rama VI's Summer Palace located on the same lovely Hua
Hin beach, this refined hotel evokes a prestigious past with a modern
and zen atmosphere.
The main road and the city center of Hua Hin are just opposite the
entrance of the monumental lobby; yet, we felt like penetrating a
heaven of supreme peace and relaxation. Unlike most of the hotels of
the chain, the InterContinental Hua Hin Resort is large but
rise. A family hotel, romantic and kids friendly, it comes with a
Thai-Victorian touch of elegance, has a cyclopean pool with a lot of
intimate corners to relax, and a nice and immaculate beachfront. Five
star by the international standards, indeed, we loved the hotel at
first sight for much more than its ritzy aspect: the exquisite staff,
one of the best trained in the region, made us as much impression as
the plush rooms.
hotels propose palatial suites:
“Deluxe Suites” spread
over 80 to 100 sqm, and display an exterior Jacuzzi tub. The 130 to
140 sqm “Premier Suites” compete in size and style with the “Beachfront
Villa”. Flanked besides the brand new Club InterContinental lounge,
this is a secluded area of extreme luxury in an extremely luxurious
resort. five-star plus, each 145 sqm villa has been designed in
contemporary elegance: featuring clean lines softened with inspired
local touches. Last but not least, there is a private swimming pool
attached to each villa, and a direct access to the beach. We have
stayed in many hotel-villas during our visits to the kingdom, and found
the InterContinental Hua Hin “Beachfront Villa” actually among the most
inspiring in the Gulf of Thailand.
superior, indeed, designed in a
post-colonial style, our room had
a separate living-room with a large sofa and a 48" Sat' LCD TV with CD/DVD player connected to Bose entertainment
opened on a palatial marble
bathroom with separate rainforest shower and bathtub. We liked the
superlative quality of the towels and bathrobe. A noticeable bonus: the
toiletry kit by L'Occitane "Organic Verbena Collection" will please the
What makes InterContinental Hua Hin different
from most of its
competitors in Hua Hin is the VIP lounge, much superior to the one at
the Hilton or Hyatt Regency for instance: the recently beautified Club
InterContinental offers Club Rooms and suites guests plenty of
privileges. Discreetly settled into a trendy sea-view villa close to
the beach, with its VIP terrace and totally private pool, this is a
great place to relax and socialize in style. We liked the attractive
interior design in a modern Siamese style, with wooden shades
accentuating the intimacy which we are seeking from a truly executive
lounge. It has
a private beach
side breakfast venue, unique in Hua Hin. We liked the complimentary afternoon “High Tea”, with a selection of TWG blends (we recommend
the signature “1837 Black Tea”) and sets of pastries and sweet delicacies. In
the evening, cocktails ( “Tom Yum Mojito” is a favorite with the alcohol-free “Sunset Cooler”)
come with a complete selection of snacks. This is when the
atmosphere goes very clubbish, with the guest chatting, one glass of Italian “Bianca Nera Prosecco DOC Spumante” or Chilean “Red Reservado Cabernet
Sauvignon 2015” in hand. We always select InterContinental hotels for
their Club privileges, and have never been disappointed: should it be
here, Bangkok, or Pattaya. Not to forget Paris or Muscat, where we
stayed this year.
Bathed in cool tones, the spacious bedroom is trendily decorated, with modern furniture, a plush leather bed, and an inviting cushioned daybed in the contemporary Italian style. The owner of the Cae Villa (and sister hotel Verona) loves Italy, and likes to bring a note of Transalpine style to the conservative, so Siamese Hua Hin. This is done opulently and comfortably, indeed. The bathroom, with parquet in the circular shower area, is particularly tasteful. But the jewel in the crown is the transparent tub, al fresco, outside the bedroom, next to the private pool. It is not large, but convenient enough to swim a little bit and enjoy the cool water on the nude. Thanks to the high tiles walls, the sun doesn't heat the pool, and no one could peep on us. Many hotels in Hua Hin have a private pool now, but lots of them with a vicinity. This is not the case at Cae Villa.
Besides the excellent local restaurants nearby and the proximity to the historic Hua Hin Railways Station, we like the residential area where the Cae Villa is located. Do like us and, whatever your religion, pay a visit to the modern and architecturally successful Saint Theresa church, settled in a green park, almost opposite to the hotel.
The beach is a seven minutes walk.
A villa costs between THB 3,900 - 5,900 depending on the season, including breakfast and WiFi.
CAE VILLA: 226/7 Soi Hua Hin 88, Petchakasem Road, Hua Hin, Prachuabkirikhan
PHONE: +66 32 - 908383, +66 8 82364880 FACSIMILE: +66 32 - 908383
(****L): Here comes the kind
hotel we like: a
quiet beach resort, close
to the places where the action goes (Night Market, Fishermen piers and
downtown Hua Hin), affordable in its deluxe category, and with a
relaxing holiday atmosphere. After just a few years of operation,
Putahracsa is already an institution: not only the hotel, but also its
F&B resources (restaurants and pastry shops) attract Thai
holiday-makers and lots of Western tourists.
is part of the prestigious Unique
of Hotels & Resorts.
HUA HIN RESORT & MALL (*** Superior): Spacious,
cool, immaculately clean and well located,
this brand new urban resort makes classy four star available to
everybody, and particularly to families (with rates starting from EUR
70 per night).
CHA-AM AND NORTH HUA HIN:
THE PALAYANA (*****L): Designed like a dreamed Thai village, with beautiful traditional villas, lush gardens, and a splendid, clean beach, the former YaiYa Resort has been rebranded in 2016 into "The Palayana". Meaning "escape from chaos" ("chaos" meaning Bangkok, its stress and traffic jam, of course...). The resort has been totally beautified, gaining a well merited fifth star, turning into a top luxury, modern and trendy property with a top class management. More staff, redesigned rooms, a new chef in the new Basil restaurant.. .but still that impression, after so many stays (the last one dates back from December 2018), that we are not in a hotel but at home: welcomed by delicious hosts, approaching us only when it looks necessary, and leaving us in complete peace the rest of the time.
Discreetly luxurious, The Palayana targets a sophisticated clientele: maybe little bit less family oriented than before, it gained a lot in distinction and romanticism. This is the ideal place for a honeymoon or, why not, and we did so, to concentrate on your PC: gaining much inspiration working by your rooftop pool (this is The Palayana signature), or in the newly appointed suites located in the main building. Though we always preferred the villas, we loved our recent experience in a suite, with a panoramic sea view. Guests are always so pleasant and discreet. Featuring more Asian clients: younger and wealthier than before. Some active westerners are replacing the German pensioners which we met in the time of YaiYa. A perfect balance of Asian and Western upper-class guests, ready to pay a little bit more than before for the beauty and the quietness of this superlative resort, where kindness comes like a bonus.
The Palayana looks like a perfect reflection of the distinguished Hua Hin lifestyle and traditions, with a trendy note of Sathorn or Sukhumvit posh Bangkok districts in the design of the rooms and public areas. The modern lobby has been decorated with characteristic items: the teak wood benches, now painted in black (black and white are the hotel signature colors), is a replica of the characteristic seats at the beautiful, historic Hua Hin Railway station. Do visit it; unless you took the exciting initiative to arrive by train (a 4-hour unforgettable ride from Bangkok).
All of the twenty-three spacious, 65 sq.m Deluxe Garden/Sea Terrace Rooms and six superb, 110 sq.m Panoramic Sea View Suites have a bright living room, with a spacious sala-style terrace equipped with a daybed: guaranteeing a very comfortable stay, while enjoying the panoramic sea view. We liked the new, amazingly comfy "Hollywood Twin Bed", Bose Sound System, and the Illy "Francis-Francis" coffee machine for a creamy espresso. We noted the Panburi amenities in the lavishly beautified bathroom. The twelve Pool Villas represent the nec plus ultra at The Palayana. Covering a minimum of 157 sq.m of complete intimacy, each villa is private, indeed: with a small garden, and a rooftop «sala» (pavilion) with its own swimming pool! The villas present the advantage of a circular, natural ventilation: we never used the air-conditioner, though the temperature outside was up to 30°. We slept like babies, lulled by the melody of the rich fauna haunting the winding garden and the beach. Few competitors in Cha-Am and Hua Hin offer this well worth the stay bonus. Our one-bedroom villa featured a spacious, fully equipped dressing, separate shower and bath-tub, toilet facilities, automatic coffee machine, tea making facilities and two minibars (one in the room; the second on the rooftop), filled with complimentary soft drinks, chocolate, cakes, and snacks. It was equipped with Large LCD screen Sat TV set, DVD player, and iPod docking station. WiFi comes free of charge: the signal was fine up to our «sala», allowing us a pleasant websurf along the swimming pool. Rates are attractive for a five-star hotel, starting from THB 5,000 for a Deluxe Terrace room, with enticing packages and special offers.
The beach is immaculate, actually well kept, and controlled by security agents: we have never been disturbed by vendors. There is a small, picturesque fisherman village nearby. Visit it at sunset, when the dinghies sail away: this is a beautiful, authentic attraction.
The SPA comes with a holistic approach: focusing on the balance of all senses, through healing hands, and other signature treatments using the acclaimed French brand Anne Semonin (a provider to many palace hotels in Paris and around the world).
is part of the Thai culture. Stay at least one evening in the
just to enjoy the Basil
and rooftop Thaipas restaurants.
Not much more expensive compared
with the Hua Hin "Night
Market" open-air restaurants, both offer a pleasant gourmet experience.
Fresh fish and
aromatic herbs and spices are used to produce a yummy local cuisine. We
particularly enjoyed a signature dish, "Crabby Rice", with a lot of
local crab-meat. Excellent with a well-chilled glass of local
Singha beer, for a bill not exceeding THB 600 (around USD 15). Pizza
are good and fairly priced (one Margherita and one glass of beer cost
around USD 12). Average
bill, if you like seafood and steaks, is about THB 1,500 (USD 33).
Basil is a dreamed place to enjoy the totally revamped breakfast. We
recommend you to book in advance a table close to the beach, for an
experience al fresco; or in the air-conditioned pavillion recently
built to provide more comfort to the new wave of clients, only staying
in five star hotels.
The Pool Bar serves signature cocktails in Palayana style buckets. A nice place, but we still prefer Brisa, one of the most unique private beach bar in Cha-Am and Hua Hin. It serves nice "tapas" and BBQ seafood dinner buffets. We noted that it has private gazebo available for romantic dinners (this is an ideal wedding and honeymoon resort), listening to lounge or jazz performance. Both bars close too early (around 11pm); but 90% of the guests actually come for relaxation, or prefer to enjoy the capturing intimacy of their villas. Those coming for "sanuk" will like the easy going night-life in central Hua Hin: a short 15 minutes drive from the well located Palayana. There is a complimentary shuttle van, and a public taxi costs approximately THB 200 one way (when booked with Grab).A property with a rare sense of hospitality and a soul, The Palayana is one of those exceptional resorts making Hua Hin a special, intensively lovable destination. It has a new sister hotel, located in the Khao Takiab southern part of the city: The Yana Villas.
THE PALAYANA: 1390/19 Petchkasem Road (Sai Tai), Cha-am, Petchburi 76120
PHONE: +66 0 32 406 111 - 6 FACSIMILE: +66 32 406 117 - 18
DUSIT THANI HUA HIN (*****): Actually located in Cha-Am, not far away from Hua Hin city center (20 minutes by car), this superb palace hotel occupies a splendid position along a sandy beach. Its faithful high-so clientele mixes Western travellers with a lot of Asian guests (Japanese, Singaporean; but also quite a lot of Sino-Thai who love to spend the week end and public holidays in this little Paradise located a two hour drive from Bangkok).
Commanding an unspoiled beach-front location, the spectacular Dusit Thani Hua Hin combines ritzy comfort with a romantic traditional style. An ornamental lake, lily pond and tropical gardens flank the two large swimming pools. The architectural theme and decor resembles a Mediterranean villa retreat with subtle touches of Thai craftsmanship and hospitality.
The 296 well-appointed, classic and classy rooms, are top comfortable. Most of them offer a dramatic sea or pool view. The Dusit group distinguishes itself from its competitors thanks to its excellent -almost unbeatable- executive rooms and lounges. We booked in a "Dusit Club Room": tastefully furnished, reflecting classical style skillfully infused with contemporary Thai elegance, they display additional room features: like LCD TV, DVD player, and a modern bathroom suite with rain shower. They all have a large terrace with a panoramic sea, pound and poolside view. Staying in a "Dusit Club Room" gives access to the chic and intimate, richly refurbished "Dusit Club Lounge", which is actually unique in Hua Hin: we spent much time relaxing, reading and working in this really exclusive lounge which makes all the difference in term of top level service between the Dusit Hua Hin and its competitors. It has plenty of benefits like complimentary WiFi (also available in the Club rooms), selection of daily international and local newspapers or magazines, daily selection of light refreshments and snacks, high tea with delicious pastries, and pre-dinner cocktails (including house wines, beers, spirits and mixers). Complimentary full buffet breakfast (served separately at Ban Benjarong, for Club guests only), and plenty of other advantages are consented to those who pay a little bit more for a "Dusit Club Room" or suite. Many guests, like us, just choose the Dusit Thani for this special VIP service. If luxury is actually your style, we would recommend to book a "Lanai Suite": lovingly furnished, they cover 84 square meters. Placed on the ground level, with an extended terrace area, there display panoramic views of the beach-front and Gulf of Siam. We inspected the 170 square meters "Presidential Suite". Booked all year round by statesmen attending the ASEAN conferences in the impressive Royal Dusit Hall, CEOs and lot of celebrities: is is considered as the most luxurious five star hotel suite in Hua Hin.
The restaurants are among the best in Cha Am (we recommend Ban Benjarong, for Royal Thai Cuisine: very gourmet, with a remarkable service). The Rim Talay, right on the beach front, is romantic and actually superb for seafood: we had a splendid dinner there, and found their "Seafood basket" rich and refined, with yummy grilled lock lobster and baby squids. The "Theme Dinners" are wonderful, and the prices astonishingly reasonable for a five star hotel. Like many hotels, The Dusit Thani Hua Hin feels obliged to keep with low restaurants bills to capture the clients after dark; the "Night Market" and Hua Hin restaurants are so cheap...
Plenty of activities are available, often included in very attractive packages: golf, cooking class, plush Dusit signature Devarana SPA (and pool-side massage), yoga, etc. Stables are located withing the resort, with a polo and cricket riding range. If riding horse is your hobby, you can't find a better address.
This hotel is owned and managed by Dusit International, the most prestigious hotel group in Thailand, with more than 60 years experience in the hospitality field. Just like in the legendary Dusit Thani Bangkok, one of our favourite hotels in Thailand, staff is traditionally friendly and helpful, offering the most genuine and wonderful Thai hospitality.
REST DETAIL HOTEL (****L): Nestled along a lovely beach, in the immediate neighbourhood of the Klai Kangwon Palace (King's summer residence), this is certainly one of most attractive hotels which we have recently visited. It actually comes with all the wow factors. Its little bit weird name designates perfectly the detail-oriented philosophy and design of this boutique hotel. Good taste and sublimated comfort can be found everywhere: from the architecturally gorgeous structure of the property, to the smallest, almost hidden little item in the room, the highest level refinement has been sought after almost scientifically.
The rooms, located in the main building, and the independent cabanas or pavilions display a supreme comfort, complete relaxation, without any ostentation. We felt the luxury much more that we actually saw it; there is no «bling» at all, and the elegance comes naturally, without any artifact.
We stayed at one of the 12 «Pool Village» romantic, 65 sq.m cabanas: with the swimming pool at our doorstep, together with double sun lounges built out over a private deck, surrounded by a small tropical garden. We almost never turned on the flat screen TV, nor used the iPod dock: only listening the melody of birds, frogs and gecko tokays, obviously enjoying this luxuriant Paradise. The «Pool Village» is good valued for money, at approximately THB 9,000 per night.
Little bit cheaper, though equally enjoyable and classy, the «Rest Horizon Rooms» are located on the third and fourth floors As spacious as the cabanas, they display uninterrupted sea views and total privacy. While tasteful interiors and a deep soak tub are featured indoors, an oversize daybed and a relaxing Jacuzzi await on the terrace. Guests with a family and extended budget can spoil themselves with one of the 485 sq.m «Pavilions». Designed on two levels, with many rooms (4 in the «Grand Rest Pavilion»), oversized living and dining areas and a private pool.
Breakfast rhymes with the standing and perfection of the Rest Detail Hotel: generous, with plenty of Asian delicacies, lots of fruits, ultra-fresh juices which were liquidized in front of us, and a very pleasant setting with flowers, greenery and fountains.
This idyllic bliss comes with a first class, amazingly kind staff, a much recommended restaurant («The Rest Scene», featuring Mediterranean, BBQ and of course Thai food), and a SPA: the signature treatment, «Restfully Yours», simulating all five senses with aromatic Tee Tree oils, is amazingly invigorating and removed our jet-lag in 90 minutes only.
is a scheduled hotel shuttle bus to and from the close Hua Hin city
Golfing and excursions can be organized on a simple request.
HAVEN RESORT (****L): This exquisite hotels proposes a relaxing vacation within the embrace of a modern natural resort. Located on the wild, clean and serene Cha-Am Beach, 5 kilometers from the city center of Hua Hin (easily accessible by taxi or complimentary shuttle bus), this boutique hotels remains a secret destination for some well informed tourists, with quite a large number of Bangkokians rushing on week ends.
The property is actually smart: comprised of 46 guestrooms, plus 7 private villas. 5 Villas with direct access to an exclusive swimming pool, and the other 2 villas -featuring 2 bedrooms- have their own private pool. Each unit is decorated with lovely local handicrafts and displays a large, private terrace with a view of the lush tropical gardens, or the white sandy beach: expanding as far as the eyes can see. In-room amenities include one or two large-screen Sharp Plasma TV, IDD phone, coffee and tea making facilities. Some rooms have a twin-Jacuzzi. The broadband WiFi comes free of charge. We liked very much the complimentary minibar, which was generously re-filled everyday (sometimes twice a day) with mineral water, sodas and fruit juices. Those travelling with their family -the hotel is actually kids friendly- will like this little bonus. Another aspect of the Haven Resort which we appreciated during our stay: there is a full buffet breakfast on week-ends and, if the number of residents goes down during the week, they just open a «mini-buffet», inviting guests to order anything they like from the kitchen (we loved the mouth watering fried rice with plenty of fresh crab meat!). At no extra cost. We didn't experience the restaurant; but from what we have been told from the clients, it offers a fine Thai and international cuisine at a fair price.
The Haven Resort is splendid for tanning, swimming, or simply getting rid of stress: the pool is large and beautifully designed, with cascades and greenery all around. The beach extends on more than 50 kilometers, and the water is clean (with some jellyfishes in duty some days, mostly during the rainy season...).
The resort is well equipped with a small fitness room and a pleasant SPA. The prestigious Palm Hill Golf Resort and Country Club is located 300 meters from the hotel.
kind staff is unobtrusive, and does his best to make you feel like at
Ideal for honeymoon and family holiday. Fair price policy, with
PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN REGION:
SHERATON HUA HIN PRANBURI VILLAS (*****L): This refined hideaway has been re-branded in 2017 from "Six Senses" to Sheraton. We were amongst the first privileged guests to experience the new "Sheraton-touch" in this high-end product, promoted by its former operator as a "six-star" hotel. Starting with a good surprise: the resort was full, and we had been kindly upgraded to one of their three best Pool Villas. Close to the sea, with a large garden extending to a pound, and equipped with a steam bath which we used every day for a complete relaxation, after swimming in our private pool and enjoying the Jacuzzi at sunset. This exclusive, romantic touch will please honeymooners at first sight. What we actually liked, is the fact that we could enjoy a complete intimacy. Our neighbors couldn't observe us.
Those real bonuses kept us in the villa during the whole stay; we didn't use the large and nice hotel swimming pool, and forgot that the resort, just like Evason, next door, doesn't have what can be defined as a beach. It stands opposite an elegant seaside “promenade”, but you can't swim in the rocky sea. Alternatively, Sheraton operates a complimentary shuttle bus to one of the nicest beaches in Pranburi.
Each Pool Villa displays around 250 sq.m. This includes the pool, sun terrace, garden, and the pleasant lounging pavilion where we spend our time reading, or using the high-speed complimentary WiFi. The room features a king-size bed, supremely comfortable like in all the Sheraton which we visited. The brand is renowned worldwide for its exclusive signature beds, linen, and collection of pillows (hypoallergenic available on request). The bathroom is well designed, and equipped with Shine for Sheraton™ bath amenities. We didn't use air-condition a lot, leaving the sliding doors wide open to the garden: which boosted the size of the already large rooms. A villa like ours hosts 2 people at ease. Families will prefer Duplex Pool Villa (373 sq.m) or Pool Villa Suite (376 sq.m), designed for 4 guests.
The restaurant Luna La Pran is a trendy option for fine dining with a sea view. The “Saturday BBQ & Grill” is reputed for its seafood and fresh salad buffet. We would rate the breakfast as one of the best in the Cha-Am, Hua Hin, and Pranburi region. Each morning we used our stylish bicycle (available free of charge from the reception desk), for a two minutes ride along the resort lushly alleys planted with well-kept gardens, parking in front of the Dalah restaurant, surrounded by a lily pond. The buffet is five star, indeed; as always in the high-end Sheraton properties around the world. What makes it so different from the competitors are the small attentions, like the “amuse bouche” brought to our table by the extremely courteous staff, discreetly inquiring our impression on the quality of the dishes, and any special request / suggestion we might have for a better stay. Certainly a clever way to keep the spoiled and demanding guests from Six Senses, this special treatment brings a touch of class to this already classy resort.
Another heritage from Six Senses, the “SPA Villa” provides essential treatments with tailored-made options. The “Massage Pavilion”, located in the SPA, is superlative, with open-air gardens and a private pool.
This is one of the most exclusive hotels by Sheraton, Starwood SPG.
SHERATON HUA HIN PRANBURI VILLAS: 9/22 Moo 5 Paknampran, Amphur Pranburi, Prachuap Khirikhan, Pran Buri 77220
PHONE: +66 32 909 9003
VILLA MAROC PRANBURI (*****L): Sherazade joined the hotel industry, and transferred her 1001 Nights universe to the Kingdom of Thailand: along the immaculate white sand beach of Pranburi, 35 kilometres away from the entertaining and chic city of Hua Hin. Much more than the overly touristy Samui and Phuket, this region of Thailand is praised by the Royal Family since more than a couple of centuries. King Bhumidol Adulyadej has got his palace in Hua Hin, and the lovely mansion next door to Villa Maroc is a the private property of one of his closest relatives. We are indeed in one of the most sought after environment in South East Asia, with visitors coming from around the world to enjoy a distinguished, though amazingly casual atmosphere.
of our favourite leisure destinations in Thailand, Pranburi
still unspoiled by mass tourism, with mainly local visitors (Thai and
Westerners based in Bangkok), it has so many resources that sunbathing
comes on the fifth or tenth position compared with what the region has
got to offer. The Hua
Hin Hills Vineyard, for instance: a mere 30 minutes
drive, backed by the Burma border and its wild jungle home to one of
the richest fauna and flora on Earth. Or, spreading the mouth of the
river to the gulf of Thailand, Khao
Sam Roi Yot National Park:
beaches and mangrove forest, it is carefully protected and managed by
the Pranburi Forest Park.
Fishing, swimming, riding bicycle (provided free of charge by the
hotel) on quiet and winding roads are the
suggested occupations before an authentic and cheap seafood barbecue in
the straw huts restaurants along the beach. We gladly experienced a
capturing individual tour of this area, lovingly organized by the
hotel, featuring a visit to Khao
Chong Krajok temple, accessible by 396
stairs, and occupied by a colony of peaceful monkeys. The cascading
the virgin beaches and islands all around is well worth the journey. We
couldn't miss another tour to the famous Phraya Nakhon
famous for its large hole in the ceiling allowing fascinating, almost
mystical sunlight over the sacred Kuha Karuhas pavilion, dedicated to
King Chulalongkorn (Rama V). That kind of half day excursion, including
drinks and a lunch box,
costs approximatively THB 2,000 only. You simply can't miss
you want to see what the real, amazing Thailand looks like, indeed.
first resort in Thailand to bring a five star, 100% authentic
introduction to North Africa architecture, way of life and gastronomy,
Villa Maroc has been generously designed under the supervision of the
owner: CEO for Ichitan beverage company. The investment and
concept was so audacious that he could have played roulette instead,
and lose lots of money; on the contrary, it the business works so well
that this small boutique hotel is known all around the Kingdom, and
even overseas. Magazines and TVs visit it for shooting so often that
this is now one of the most famous sets in Thailand. During our stay,
we saw models and photographers working discreetly in the public areas.
A cheap and fast trip to Morocco, and a bargain for the media and
tourists alike. Most of them are Asian. “Farangs” don't know Pranburi
that much, and are certainly looking for a typical Siamese hotel rather
than a transposition of Maghreb in Thailand. This is quite a pity, as
Villa Maroc is much more than that.
buildings have all been created in the dramatic Moroccan style with
dazzling colours and attention to detail. The two-storey “Ryads”
display an unmatched comfort. Each building is different, participating
to the picturesque image of the hotel. We have inspected each
building: unique in design, size and display of the rooms,
feature five star accommodation. Some villas have got a private pool:
which is nice for families or honeymooner. We have been most
particularly attracted by two categories of accommodation. First of all
the most affordable, thus actually lavish Pool Court, built around a
lushly landscaped open courtyard, in which we usually book each time we
stay at Villa maroc, occupying the first floor (appartment #02) of the
“ryad”. Not that large but so well designed, the design of this room
impression that you stay in a private villa. What we noticed first was
sea-view from our kind-size bed: we never closed our windows, getting
waked up by the rising sun over the ocean. Well worth the trip! We had
a direct access upstairs to a panoramic terrace with sofas and a
large tub for a sensual relaxation al fresco.
Downstairs was a small pool surrounded by coconut trees, which was like
private: as in three
days we shared it with nobody... though the hotel was full, like always
is imperative if you wish to experience this little Paradise). One step
away from the pool was the beach, looking like also privatized just for
ourselves! Our bathroom was equipped with a large and deep Jacuzzi
decorated with deep blue mosaic, carved copper sinks, and a really
pleasant open-air shower. The Plasma TV with DVD player has been
integrated into a Berber box carved in precious wood: pushing a button
extracts or dissimulates the TV in seconds, so that this modern item
could not interfere with the authentic design of the room. We also like
very much the iPod Touch, filled with music, which we could use during
our stay: it is available on request, free of charge, like high-speed
Internet connection and the
minibar refilled each morning with soda, water and
juice. There is also a Cube coffee machine from the latest generation.
The ryads and the public areas are equipped with Bose high
fidelity speakers. The whole concept is indeed tailored made for
stayed six times already at Villa Maroc since 2013 (our last visit
inspiring this review dates back from November 2019),
and never felt bored. The resort has a well equipped fitness room
with up-to-date equipment, a well
stocked library, and a ritzy, amazingly authentic Sherazade
Definitely unique in South East Asia, this large hammam operates for
hotels guests only, from 10:00 am until 9:00 pm, and for massage (by
appointment). Do like us: experience the one-and-a-half hour "Moroccan
oil massage and scrub in the smoothing steam of the hammam, in the
sweet hands of a delicate and efficient masseuse (book with Pam: she is
as charming as professional). What an experience... for less
than USD 100 per couple! The gates to
the SPA, like some
other doors in the ryads and public areas, is an original antique
imported from Morocco. The hotel provides bicycle, complimentary: this
makes the picturesque Taaho
Ko Sa Forest Park and its small local
seafood restaurants a five minutes healthy and pleasant ride along the
With the appointment in 2015 of a friendly and hyper-efficient general manager, imported from the top-class Peninsula Hotel Bangkok, gastronomy, winner of the prestigious "Thailand Boutique Awards", gastronomy is now part of the programme at Casablanca Restaurant! Khun Wamin considers each guest as a VIP, and liked to share his epicurianism with us during our visit. He hired a great chef, Khun Noppadol, who spoiled us with mouth watering, lovingly served Thai specialties: we won't forget Noppadol's Pad Thai Noodles, in a crispy net... The best we ever ate. Indeed! We warmly recommend the set menu featuring, during our visit, Red curry with crispy duck, Thai coconut milk soup with prawns and lemon grass (served in a coconut... and supremely delicious), Linguine Tom Yum Goong (just unique!), Stir fried mixed mushrooms which would bring one Michelin Star to any restaurant in Paris or New York, Steamed rice berry, and a yummy set of traditional Thai sweets: Steamed egg custard in baby pumpkin, Sticky rice with candied coconut and Crème Brulée. Such a banquet costs approximately THB 1,500 - 2,000, depending if you drink one glass of Singha beer "on the rocks" (recommended with spicy food), or white wine (overtaxed in Thailand, as always...; though Villa Maroc has decent and affordable house wines by the glass). Adventurous gourmets could alternatively try North African cuisine: with Moroccan set with Mezze plate, Harira soup, Chicken Tagine and Mulharabia (approximately THB 1,500 for 2 persons).
The cool open-air Shisha Bar and lounge had been tailored made for those who liked to smoke water-pipe... until a recent law suddenly prohibited this inoffensive activity in the Kingdom... Prestigious Cuban "puros" available at a reasonable price. A heavy Cohiba Siglo VI enjoyed by the terrace, with a "Thaijito" as good as in The Mandarin Oriental Bangkok acclaimed Bamboo Bar, came like a bonus in one of the best top-class hotels which we gladly experienced in 2019.
Note that Villa Maroc offers prestigious wedding packages.
VILLA MAROC: 165/3 Moo 3 Paknampran
Pranburi, Prachuap Khirikhan, 77220, Thailand
PHONE: +66 32 630 771 FACSIMILE: +66 32 630 791
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