By Pattarawadee Saengmanee
The Nation Weekend
LOCATED RIGHT in the centre of one of Thailand’s best-loved resort towns and ideal for accessing both the local nightlife and culinary scene, the five-star Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa is undergoing a massive makeover to provide a superior holiday experience for leisure and business travellers.
Fronting on to the tranquil, pristine beach, this 295-room property was opened in 2001 and has earned accolades for its iconic design that allows all guests to admire the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Thailand from their private deck.
Accommodation can be divided into four main types - Classic, Deluxe, Premium and Executive – ranging in floor area from 42 to 450 square metres. The six newly refurbished floors are home to Premium Ocean View rooms, Executive Junior Suites and Executive Ocean Suites.
Elegant with a modern minimal look, all the renovated rooms and suites boast contemporary Thai-inspired interior decor and soft neutral colours that create a warm ambience. The lobby is dominated by a prominent water feature that flows into the adjacent landscaped garden.
During the day, gym rats can enjoy their workouts at the fully equipped fitness centre while sportsmen can burn off excess energy on the tennis and squash courts, play table tennis or get some laps in at the pool.
Overlooking the beach and turquoise sea, the heart of the resort is home to the large lagoon-style swimming pool with water slides surrounded by comfortable sun loungers.
Part of the next phase of the facelift, the 200-square-metre Sukhothai Suite is still a popular option for families. It has two bedrooms and a large living room with a dining area and pantry corner, and the private sun deck is a great place for a small party. The marble-finished bathroom has a whirlpool bathtub and separate rain shower and toilet.
Guests staying in Suites and Executive rooms receive access to the Resort Lounge and can take advantage of complimentary Wi-Fi, equipment business support, continental breakfast, pre-dinner cocktails and canapes and refreshments throughout the day.
I spend two nights in a 42sqm Premium Ocean View room that is cosy and spacious with a high ceiling and dark wood parquet floor. Everything is controlled with advanced in-room technology like motion sensors and it also boasts a smart charging station with several plugs and USB hubs. The decor is very Thai down to the miniature khon mask and handcrafted headboard depicting scenes from the Ramakien epic.
There’s a king-size bed but I prefer to lounge on the comfy sofa bed surfing the complimentary Wi-Fi Internet and international channels on a 40-inch HDTV. There’s also a work desk with ergonomic chair, eco-friendly features and extra power outlets.
The fully stocked minibar corner provides tea and coffee making facilities and alongside is a wardrobe packed with an ironing board set, hairdryer, safety box, bathrobes and slippers. The bathroom is luxurious with the premium fittings, a double-washbasin counter, a walk-in hydrotherapy rain shower and separate toilet.
I wake early and flop down on my balcony’s sofa bed watching the emerald waters wash over the white sand as I sip hot tea.
The Market restaurant starts the day with a full international buffet line of Thai delicacies, Chinese dim sum, Japanese dishes, salad bar and a fresh juice corner.
After roaming around the town to check out some new chic cafes, I’m back to the hotel for my 60-minute Thai massage treatment at Eforea Spa, and visibly relax as the therapist uses traditional techniques to release my tight muscles. It has nine treatment rooms with panoramic windows overlooking the ocean and lush garden as well as Japanese bath and Jacuzzis.
I book a table for the Barefoot BBQ Night that’s available on every first Saturday of the month. The buffet is set up on the beach and serves a variety of grilled seafood dishes and other western delicacies.
Among the dining options, Hua Hin’s tallest roof-top Sky Bar is the best spot to watch sunset and have specially tailored cocktails, while the Hua Hin Brewing Company serves a variety of craft beers, live music and DJ tunes until late night. The rooftop White Lotus restaurant is the only place in Hua Hin where diners can enjoy a dim sum buffet and a la carte dishes prepared to Szechuan and Cantonese recipes.
IF YOU GO
High point: Guestrooms are airy and clean.
Low point: More than 50 per cent of guestrooms and public spaces look old and are still waiting for their facelift.
Pay for it: The resort is offering guests up to 35- per-cent discounts when booking a room by March 19 for any stay between March 20 and February 2020.
Find it: 33 Naresdamri Road, Hua Hin, Prachup Kriri Khan
Call it: (032) 538 999
Browse it: https://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/thailand/hilton-hua-hin-resort-and-spa-HHQHIHI/index.html