Stayed here for 5 nights in November (and Putahracsa for a further 5 nights – see separate review).
The weather was great as just coming into the cold season. The temperature was around 30 degrees every day with a gentle breeze to help cool the air down. Not particularly muggy and with just one day of rain.
We enjoyed our stay and didn’t have any major complaints as such tho there were a few niggly things that whilst individually were small and inconsequential, added together made the hotel disappointing. We wouldn’t choose the AKA again and much preferred the Putahracsa.
The hotel was very quiet and relaxing – I think the staff outnumbered the guests 3:1 for the first few days – and is very secluded from anything so if you want to feel shut off from the real world for a weekend or couple of days then this place is for you.
If you do get cabin fever and need to escape, there is a shuttle bus to Hua Hin which leaves the resort 3 times a day: approx 9.00, 12.00, 6.00pm and then picks you up in Hua Hin at 12.30, 6.30 and 9.30pm if I remember correctly.
The ambience is very relaxing and Zen like tho they did take the whole ‘spa’ ethos a bit too far with the relentless playing of piano chill out music. There was no escape from it. They seemed to have 1 CD of about 6 songs which was on repeat so wherever you were in the resort you could hear the droning chimes of Richard Clayderman-esque tunes. By day 3 it was driving us insane and at lunch we had to ask the restaurant manager to turn it off or replace it with something else as a bit of respite. He duly played another CD which was scant relief as sure enough the piano chill out CD was back on again the next morning at Breakfast. How the staff managed to endure it and not end up stabbing themselves slowly with forks I have no idea. It did feel like the restaurant staff were in zombie mode a lot of the time as there were so few guests and little for them to do.
Our villa was very spacious and stylish and the design appeared good on initial inspection, with patio doors opening onto the pool area and sala. However, some bright spark decided that EVERY door in the villa should be a patio door, including the front door and door to the outside bathroom, so that every time you opened or closed a door you had to unbolt both patio doors and bolt them shut again so they didn’t bang, or let in mossies etc which was a rather noisy process. Very frustrating if using the bathroom in the middle of the night or if your neighbours don’t bolt their doors properly at night during a storm.
The bed was wonderful. Huge and extremely comfortable, with high quality bed linen but the pillows weren’t great and the stuffing a bit hard and lumpy. There was fresh fruit in the room when we arrived and housekeeping replenished 4 bottles of water daily which was great. We didn’t use the DVD player but the hotel had a decent selection of satellite channels including HBO movies.
No bathrobes and previously used flip flops (not very hygienic). A good supply of toiletries which all smelt good. Water pressure in the shower wasn’t great.
All the villas have private pools (some bigger than others) which was one of the reasons for choosing the AKA. Sadly there wasn’t much sun on our pool terrace for most of the day so we didn’t get to enjoy it as much as we would have liked and we ended up spending most of our time by the main big pool which we practically had to ourselves. And a good job too as there were only 4 sun loungers out for guests to use. I don’t know if this was for design reasons or that they simply weren’t required as guests tended to relax in their villas.
There are loads of lakes, pools and channels of stagnant water throughout the resort which didn’t provide any purpose other than as design features and some sort of hideous breeding ground for bugs and mosquitos.
The food was excellent tho pricey compared to the rest of Hua Hin. There is a Thai menu and a more expensive fine dining ‘International’ menu. We sampled both and generally thought the food was delicious. We didn’t have a bad meal during our whole time there. The restaurant was practically empty every night which was unfortunate but not surprising due to the high prices when you can eat cheaply in Hua Hin - a Green Curry is a Green Curry wherever you eat it.
The wine was hugely expensive (about £9 a glass!) with only about 5 very unimaginative choices each for white and red, all of which were bog standard Hardy’s and Wolf Blass. We mostly drank water and beer (Singha is great) and had cocktails one night but they were a bit of a disaster. We ordered a Mojito and Caiparinha both of which looked and tasted the same – Bacardi topped up with soda, sugar sitting on the bottom with a few mint leaves and chopped up bits of lime floating on the top. I appreciate that you can’t expect London bar standards in a fairly remote resort in Thailand but having travelled to Langkawi and Bali and whilst there sampled some of the best Cosmopolitans we’ve ever drunk it’s disappointing that they can’t get it right at the AKA. Why offer cocktails on the menu if you can’t make them correctly?
There is an organic farm at the resort where a lot of the produce used in the restaurant is home grown. It’s a shame that they don’t make more of this as a selling point on the menu or in other info about the resort.
We did become slightly bored of the menu which is the same for lunch and dinner. Be warned – the website is rather deceptive in its listing of all the different places to eat eg Café, Bar, Restaurant, Deli. In fact, the bar, café and restaurant are essentially all together in one place with the same menu so there is no difference between them. The Deli is in Hua Hin where the bus drops you off and picks you up. It’s actually a nice spot to sit and have a peppermint tea or beer whilst you wait for the bus and they offer sandwiches, cakes etc at much better prices than the resort itself.
The hotel suffers from a lack of marketing and promotion of its services. There wasn’t any information (menu, pricelist) about the Spa in the room so without calling or visiting the spa itself you weren’t able to make an informed decision about treatments as you didn’t know what was on offer or the price of the treatments. Likewise with any trips you might want to take. All of the staff throughout the hotel were lovely but didn’t speak great English so communication was difficult on occasion. We enquired at Reception about an Elephant trek and no one knew much about it, or had any info or details to give us other than the name of the place where it was. A call later to our room told us the price of getting a taxi there and back but at this point we had just given up.
We also had a nightmare checking out. All of our cards were declined which we thought odd when we both had funds in our accounts. We thought the girl on reception must have been wrongly inputting the transaction as the cards were saying declined before we even had a chance to put our pin numbers in. A colleague later appeared who then processed the transaction successfully with cards and pins accepted. The whole procedure took about 30 mins and was rather annoying as clearly there was nothing wrong with our cards, more the girl on reception who didn’t know how to work the credit card machine.
Overall we didn't have an unenjoyable stay, but the little things that didn’t work or went wrong were not what you’d expect from a 5 star resort. I’d recommend staying at the Putahracsa instead!
Good food (tho expensive for Thailand)
Relaxing, stylish retreat
Plenty of complimentary bottles of water
Remote location, despite the shuttle bus
Expensive, especially the wine – stock up at the airport before you arrive
Irritating music playing throughout resort
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- AKA Resort Hua Hin offers private villas inspired by Thailand's meditative traditions. Tucked away in the hills of Hua Hin, the resort's private villas showcase elegant design and amenities. Personal infinity pools and nature open spas provide guests with a private oasis amidst Thailand's tropical landscape. Reflecting Hua Hin's unique cultural heritage, AKA Resort Hua Hin is a rejuvenating and peaceful retreat from the stresses of daily life. Each villa is infused with an ambience of tranquility, permeating the pools, terraces, and sala rooftop gardens.AKA Resort Guti translates Thailand's traditional monastery experience into an exclusive villa getaway. Nestled in the hills of Hua Hin, the resort offers private villas, each one inspired by meditative Thai traditions and elegant Thai architecture. With infinity pools and garden terraces, the exclusive villas provide relaxing sanctuaries amidst tropical landscapes and panoramic view of Hua Hin. Hua Hin's history as a retreat destination for Thailand's monarchy affords the area with an air of nobility and tranquility, steeped in traditional Thai luxury. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aka Hotel Resort And Spa
- Aka Resort Hua Hin
- Aka Hotel Hua Hin