Hua Hin might not be the first place that comes to mind when you plan a beach holiday, but the fact that it’s only a three-hour drive from Bangkok makes it one of the most popular destinations for weekend getaways. For a relaxing, top-tier experience, Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa is ideal for city dwellers seeking a change of scenery.
Reopened in March 2016 after a 4-year refurbishment project, all rooms and suites have been updated to include marble bathrooms, smart TVs, modern amenities, and its cosy-tropical-beach vibe is just as strong as ever. That’s just one reason this property is a favourite of both travellers and local staycationers; other reasons include direct access to the beach, kids-friendly facilities, excellent dining options and five swimming pools including one that loops around the property.
Nestled on a relatively pristine patch of Hua Hin Beach overlooking the glistening waters of the Gulf of Thailand, the resort is surrounded by palm groves and blends perfectly into its exquisite coastal surroundings. The famous Cicada Market is just less than 15 minutes away by car, and the shopping centre Market Village HuaHin is five minutes away on foot, making it a good jumping-off point for any type of traveller.
Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa has 322 rooms and suites, which come in nine different types that caters for both short weekend breaks and extended vacations. With a minimum size of 39 square metres, each room features views of the gardens, pools or sea, boasting contemporary interiors with Thai elements. If you’re travelling with family, the Garden Suite, Ambassador Suite, Presidential Suite will offer you ample space, plus an onsen-style private whirlpool perfect for those who seek for exclusivity.
We stayed in the Deluxe Pool Access room, which offered a private entrance to the loop pool from the terrace. A haven of privacy featuring furnishings in earthy tones, beige walls, a plush bed and an open, airy space filled with natural light, the room quickly put us in a relaxed state of mind. One outstanding feature we loved is the white marble bathroom, which boasts high quality fixtures, a sliding door and is stocked with luxurious and aromatic THANN amenities.
The resort is home to five venues for food and drink, with the highlight being Big Fish, a beachside dining destination helmed by award-winning chef Xavier who produces innovative international dishes fused with Asian elements, focusing on fresh seafood and prime meats. We highly recommend opting for the ‘East meets West’ set menu, which, in our opinion, sums up chef Xavier’s excellent culinary creations. Each course is presented in both Asian and western style placed side by side on the plate, for instance, laab foie gras (a surprisingly delightful combination) and shrimp cocktail as amuse-bouche, pumpkin soup and tom yum goong, salmon gravlax and soft shell crab as appetisers, creating a mouth-watering fare that highlights the best of both worlds.
If a full 5-course menu sounds too much to you, simply pick the freshest seafood from the ‘Catch of the day’ display and let chef Xavier do the magic — trust us, you won’t be disappointed. While the restaurant’s air-conditioned indoor dining area boasts a bright open-plan layout overlooking Hua Hin Beach and live kitchen concept that allows guests to watch as chefs use flair and finesse create dramatic dishes, we suggest you enjoy an intimate al fresco setting along the beach and dine with the balmy breeze in your hair after sunset.
Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa also houses Amber Kitchen, an all-day dining venue focuses on Thai, Asian and international cuisine; it’s also where guests go for the breakfast buffet and an extensive selection of Thai and Western offerings. For those who like to keep breakfast simple, head over to the charming Siam Bakery for freshly baked pastries and coffee in the morning — their signature pretzel is a must-try.
Health & Wellness
At the heart of the hotel is a wellness centre featuring a well-equipped gym and Quan Spa with six therapy rooms, which specialises in healing and deeply rejuvenating treatments designed to respond to five health needs — restore, relax, refresh, pamper and heal, using Asian therapies. The indulgent spa menu includes hydrotherapy, facials and body treatments, aromatherapy and Thai massage and body scrubs that will have you glowing from within. We tried the Thai massage, which helps ease muscle tension mainly using the elbow technique, and the firm pressures the therapist applied almost felt like a deep tissue massage. For those who’d prefer a more relaxing experience, the TRÉSOR DES MERS signature massage is a full body massage using luxuriously perfumed and textured products that concentrate the revitalising benefits of seawater.
Day trips and excursions can be arranged by the hotel at an additional cost, and there’s nothing we’d recommend more than a visit to the stunning Monsoon Valley Vineyard, where award-winning New Latitude wines made from international grape varietals are grown locally. Only a 45-minute drive from the hotel, the vineyard offers a range of activities including mountain biking and elephant riding in the picturesque Hua Hin countryside. Our experience with the vineyard was outstanding — started off with a tour of the vineyard, followed by a ride at the back of the elephant overlooking the vineyard and finally a divine wine tasting at the flagship restaurant, The Sala, and a delicious lunch to wrap up the tour.
Hua Hin is a touristic town with many fabulous hotel offerings, attracting travellers seeking a non-flashy, relaxing stay next to the beach. The reopening of Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa has given the property a modern makeover, making it ever more desirable for couples and families looking for a beach escape. Given its attention to detail in the room design, dining venues and facilities, the hotel is an ideal retreat to call home for a few days. As a base, the hotel is also perfect, with easy access to the happenings in town and attractions around Hua Hin.
Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa, 107/1 Phetkasem Road, Hua Hin 77110 Thailand, +6632 904 666