After sensory overload after my first stay in Bangkok, I was definitely ready for some beach time. From the Amari Watergate hotel, where I had been staying with a group, we made the three-hour car transfer, (organised by the hotel’s concierge for around £98), to Thailand’s first established beach resort, Hua Hin. The much-revered Thai royal family now resides permanently in the big beach town, which you can also reach by railway from Bangkok. The Amari Hua Hin is only about five minutes drive from the town centre and is set back from Khao Takiab Beach.
Hotel: Amari Hua Hin
Location: Hua Hin, Khao Takiab Beach
Address: 117/74 Takiab Road, Nongkae, Hua Hin
Phone: +66 (0) 3261 6600
Nearest ferry pier, to the islands: Chumpon (via coach and ferry from Hua Hin)
Rates: Visit the Amari website for the latest offers
Website: Amari Hua Hin
Wi-Fi? Yes, in room and in communal areas
Perfect for: Couples, and families, looking for a beach break. A good stop off point for anyone travelling from Bangkok or Chiang Mai, southwards.
FashCatherine credentials: The suites here are astounding, with a large circular bath taking centre stage. You can request that it is filled for you, while you are at dinner, so it is ready for your return. The beach bar is picturesque and the cocktails are a real treat.
The décor at Amari Hua Hin is very elegant and sets a tranquil tone. I loved the large swimming pool area, which had been designed to look like a beach. Our decadent suite, complete with two balconies, overlooked the pool.
One evening, we headed down to the hotel’s Shoreline Beach Club for a tasty BBQ dinner, and I was able to organise a bath service so that when we returned, the giant bath was ready for me to jump into!
Although not located directly on the beach, it only takes a couple of minutes to ride from the Amari in the chauffeured buggy if you don’t feel like walking. Well-groomed horses are ridden along the beaches, and may offer you a ride, for a small fee. You can take a walk along to the big golden Buddha statue along the beach, but otherwise, the shallow water and golden sands are ideal for lots of beach play.
A taste of South East Asia
Although I’m not mad keen on burning hot spice, I do have adventurous tastebuds, and anyway, most Thai dishes tend to come with rice – my favourite. Alongside the traditional pad Thai and curries, I loved the roti flatbreads with banana and honey, and coconut milk filled dough balls. Lots of dishes have a coconut milk base and plenty of palm sugar. Another of my favourites…
We signed up for a Thai cookery class, (a must-do when in Thailand), at Amari Hua Hin, which costs around £23 per person. The award-winning chefs guided us through making our five-course meals, which included Moo ma-naow and Gaeng kiew wan gai: and we got to tuck in to all of it afterwards! I received a certificate at the end, and promised to recreate the meals at home.
To market, to market
Like most of Thailand, Hua Hin is alive with a fantastic selection of morning and night markets, including the 100-year-old Chatuchak food market. Primarily for locals to buy ingredients, it is well worth getting up at dawn to explore the stalls heaving with local produce including seafood, sweet treats and mango sticky rice.
One evening, we headed to the nightly market, which is a treat for all the senses. You can find some fantastic bargains here among the flame grilled seafood and handmade crafts, which can be personalised on the spot – the perfect souvenir.
Exploring further afield…
The Western Gulf islands: It is so easy to travel around Thailand via public transport, and you can be book ahead online. I suggest a twin-ticketed journey on a Lomprayah coach and ferry to Koh Tao, from where you can take regular ferries to Koh Phangan and Koh Samui. The islands are where you will find the Thailand you see on postcards. A single trip to Koh Tao from Hua Hin will cost from around £20 each, lomprayah.com
Read more Thailand articles and reviews on FashCatherine…
- 10 reasons to visit Thailand – written by a single female traveller
- Top ten things to take with you to Thailand
- 16 of the best things to see and do in Bangkok, Thailand
- Where to stay in Bangkok for shopaholics / foodies? The Amari Watergate Hotel, Bangkok [REVIEW]
- Visiting Bangkok with a family? Try Amari Residences, Bangkok [REVIEW]
- A luxury hotel in Bangkok? It has to be The Peninsula Hotel [REVIEW]
- Pure opulence at The Peninsula Spa, Bangkok [REVIEW]
- Picture perfect Thailand at The Amari Vogue, on Tubkaek Beach, Krabi [REVIEW]
- A different perspective on Phuket, at The Amari Phuket Ocean Wing [REVIEW]
- Should I visit Maya Bay and Phi Phi Don, Thailand?
- A cool hotel to stay at in Hua Hin? It has to be the Amari Hua Hin [REVIEW]
- Don’t miss my article, ‘What to wear in hot countries‘, written by a female traveller
Fancy a bit of Bali?
- 10 of the best things to do and see in Bali, Indonesia
- An all-inclusive holiday in Bali? Stay at Club Med, Nusa Dua [REVIEW]
Fancy a UK break, with a difference?…
- All aboard the Sunborn Yacht Hotel – an elegant hotel moored in the ExCel docks [REVIEW]
- The Gleneagles Hotel, Scotland:Five star luxury in Perthshire countryside [REVIEW]
The stay in Hua Hin, reviewed in the article above, in April 2015, was supported by Amari