Wanting to get away for a few days, but not travel to far from Bangkok - we headed in the direction of Hua Hin. Don't be mistaken, Hua Hin - lacks polish. It's a little ramshackle, a little dirty and the beaches, well - could do with a tidy up of rubbish. But overall if you need a quick, quiet beach break away from Bangkok Hua Hin is a good choice.
Through a booking site and was very efficient, we had no issues with the room being available and the price was excellent.
My son was a little concerned when we turned into this tiny alley off the main road - but once you arrive at the gates of the hotel everything changes. It is an oasis - wonderful Thai style houses, buried amongst an amazing garden of tropical trees and flowers.
The staff are typical Thai - very welcoming, friendly and the manager speaks excellent English (NOT very common)
It was interesting to have your room fully charged at time of check-in, this I was not expecting - but it was no big deal.
We were in the 2 story villa. This is at the end and the space is amazing! The room is very clean and everything works, modern clean bathrooms, good furniture, everything that you could want. The terrace on this villa is the smallest and only enough room for 2 chairs and small table, it would have been nice to have our own lounges like the pool villas - but it was no big deal.
My only complaint would be the beds - the 'sofa beds' downstairs are VERY uncomfortable, very hard, making sleep almost impossible, they would benefit from another mattress being put on top of them for guests who use the villa to sleep 4. Lucky for us beach massage was great value at 300BHT.
Breakfast is simple and fresh, with fresh fruit, cereal, toast, yogurt, juices - and a daily special. I don't know why others have complained - really what do you want? If you are looking for an american or english style breakfast, there is a small restaurant a 5 minute walk away that serves english full breakfast.
All the food we tried at the hotel was excellent. The Thai satay burgers were a HUGE hit with the boys, I think they had one everyday.
You are very close walk to the beach - yes it really is just 50 meters. The beach is more of a locals beach, but if you walk down toward the rocky outcrop there are beach lounges to rent 50BHT for the day - we got 2 for 80BHT and there are a few small restaurants. Some nicer than others - I guess the tourist $$$ is moving in as we could see development going on.
On the main road, again 50meters, there is a few small restaurants, some street food vendors - all the food we tried was good. There are 2 small local stores selling general bits and bobs, a 7eleven and a larger local supermarket all within a 5 minute walk.
Overall great location, the taxi buses run regularly - so getting further out is no problem.
We did venture down to the more popular tourist beach on the other side of the rocky outcrop - but quickly came back to the beach near the hotel.
If you have some time, take a walk at the end of the beach to the seafood market row - here is where the fishing boats come in and they will cook anything right in front of you. We had amazing HUGE prawns at less than half of what you would pay at the night markets.
This is a wonderful retreat, it is small and private and with the wonderful trees and flowers, like a garden of eden. Our villa was of an excellent standard - apart from the sofa beds! The staff are wonderful and attentive. It is like a home away from home.
I would absolutely stay here again, it is one of the most relaxing places I have ever stayed and I have stayed at a lot of places. It is nice place for people who have children (PLEASE if you do remember this is a quiet place ....)
Location to the beach. Standard of accommodation. Service and Food. Price. Staff - just amazing! We had a luggage issue with the Ibis hotel in Bangkok, the manager here fixed it for us and got us our bag. The Ibis hotel did NOTHING! She was/is amazing.
Sofa beds - not really suitable to sleep on for stays over 1 or 2 nights. Wi-fi - because of the layout, wifi will not work inside most of the rooms. Reception by the pool and in the restaurant is best, so it is not big deal.
Room 11 - nice big terrace with lounges and at the end of the pool. More private than the other 2 pool villas and gets some morning sun.
Room 14 - large raised terrace, overlooking the pool. This is in the middle of the row of 3 villas. Terrace seems to be in the shade all day.
Room 15 - the first of the pool villas. Low terrace on the pool edge that seems to get morning sun.
Massage: Hotel massage was good at 550BHT - normal hotel price. At the end of the beach as you walk up to the golden statue, there is a open air terrace overlooking the ocean - the ladies here do a nice massage for 300 THB. There is also massage in the evening just before you get to the beach - again 300THB and great for an evening relax with the sea breeze.
Monkeys: Don't miss walking to the end of the beach to see the monkeys playing - DON'T have any food or drink in your hands!!! But this is a great thing to see.
Seafood: Walk to the end of the beach and go where the fishing boats come in, choose your catch and have it cooked in front of you. Simple and delicious!
Markets: The night markets are a must go to - but it is not Bangkok, prices are higher, most stalls will not bater and it tends to be overpriced. We went once - but did not bother to go back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- RUENKANOK Thai houses are designed with a unique blend of traditional Thai architectural heritage. Teak woods and natural materials are used to add beauty and to harmonize the rooms with our spacious modern bathrooms. The houses feature ethnic Thai motifs, offer private balcony overlooking the pool and are beautifully furnished to maintain Thai traditional beauty. ... more less
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