My wife and I stayed for 4 nights in the hotel in August 2013. As a swimmer, the swimming pool was a big advantage. The rooms are nice, but the issues we encountered during our stay were far too many and far too slowly to be resolved.
PROS: polite staff, clean, good facilities (only the bathroom has started showing its age, but still okay for mid-range), great 25m swimming pool (but keep your eye on the children, as there is no staff member around at all times).
CONS: (1) MANAGEMENT – This hotel is not well managed IMHO (refer list of 6 issues below) – most issues got resolved (at some stage), but not prevented in advance or even handled immediately. You are most likely to ask twice or three time before it is looked at. | (2) LOCATION – not too far from the beach (which is far from being great), but a long (and boring) walk to the centre. In the heat of Thailand, you would need a transport (taxi /rent a motorbike, but beware of the many police traps). Not great if you like drinking. Taxi would not be considered expensive for tourists, but it is a lot in local terms for such a distance (B100-120 would get you much further in Bangkok). | (3) IN-ROOM SAFE – the in-room safe looked okay, but after a couple of days we discovered that it was not fixed to anything and we could easily lift it and carry it outside the room. How comfortable would you feel to leave your valuables in such a safe?
MANAGEMENT ISSUES: We encountered a few issues during our 4 day stay there, some of which were handled after a few complaints, but not all. Key issues included: (1) CONSTRUCTION NEXT DOOR: 2-3 hotels were being refurbished or built next door (August 2013). Always a risk when you book accommodation in Thailand in advance. However, given that the hotel was almost empty (low season), we would have expected them to give us a room on the other side, which would have reduced the noise to some extent. I suspect that as they have had our money, they preferred to keep the better located rooms for other arrivals. As we arrived at night, we discovered the construction only when we woke up at 7am the next morning…| (2) NON-ENGLISH SPEAKING RECEPTIONISTS: We have managed to speak to only 2 people in the hotel and they were not always around. The receptionists were not able to communicate in English, which is a bit weird if you are targeting International tourism. Not easy, when you get a phone call from the reception and they fail to explain themselves or understand you. | (3) INTERNET IN THE ROOM: We had no Internet reception in the room, despite the fact that it was advertised as part of the deal. It took 2 days to get it sorted despite a few promises to rectify quickly. Certainly not ideal. We managed to convince them to bring the router down from level 3 to our room. Luckily for us, it was a low season and the hotel was almost empty. Not sure that we could resolve that in the high season. Obviously, they need more routers to service 3 levels. | (4) NO ELECTRICITY FOR A FEW HOURS: Blackouts do happen in Thailand, more often than one should expect. For us it was just another issue in a long list. | (5) NO WATER: Issues with the pump on day 3 rectified only on day 4, despite promises to fix earlier. No water supply to the room is unacceptable. The receptionist in the morning was not even aware of our request from the evening before to check the issue. | (6) SECURITY AT NIGHT: There is no reception at night, only a sleeping security man (he opened one eye only in one of the 4 nights when we entered).
NOTE REGARDING POLICE TRAPS IN HUA HIN: Beware of police traps when renting a bike (mainly around the centre). In Thailand, one is allowed to turn left in red light as well (as long as it is safe, i.e., no other traffic). In Hua Hin, there are signs that forbid drivers from doing so. However, they have placed them low on the traffic light pole where they do not stand out and they are not the international ‘No Right Turn’ signs. Not surprisingly, there would always be a police ambush next to them. Fine of B500 is not a big deal, but I would rather use it to buy a few more bottles of Singha beer… Also, I suspect that it goes straight into the pockets of the policeman… (i.e., he uses it to buy Singhas for himself… ;-)) I asked for a receipt, which the policeman was not very happy with and made a few attempts to avoid. When you ask for a receipt, it is likely that they have to report the fines and can’t put it in their pockets.
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