We visited Hua Hin August 2013 and stayed at the 70-style Baan Bayan Hotel HuaHin, an old colonial style boutique hotel that has just 21 rooms. And we absolutely loved it.
Set just off the main Hua Hin road, the hotel is located in the heart of old HuaHin but is an oasis of calm and beauty.
Rooms are big, comfortable and simply furnished, with loads of space. We stayed at Room 102, which is on the ground floor and has a lovely view of the pool and the sea beyond. I suspect all rooms would be nice except for 103 and 104, which unfortunately are tucked away slightly below the lobby and therefore I expect would be rather dark.
The bed was a comfortable king, and there was more than enough room for a sofa and coffee table. There's also a separate dressing area, great for luggage and beach paraphernalia.
Bathrooms are spacious but sadly don't feature standing shower stalls -- you have to shower in the bath, which I positively hate; am convinced there's a fall waiting to happen.
Rooms cum with a good sized fridge, coffee & tea making facilities and TV & DVD player. The lobby has a whole range of DVDs in different languages, including kids movies. TV channels are limited.
The hotel is simple -- a small, square pool and a simple children's pool alongside it, but set right on the beach. It doesn't have much else by way of facilities, which I think is part of the charm. The aim seems to be for everyone to just have a lazy swim, read a book, take a nap and have some nice food.
Alongside the pool is the bar cum restaurant, which serves excellent food and a wide range of drinks. Plus ice cold coconuts -- we had several each day.
There are a couple of cabanas where you can have an outdoor massage or simply while the day away.
Breakfast is simple, fruit, toast, pancakes and waffles, some Thai dishes. The coffee is pretty bad, but there's an Illy cafe down the road if you want some good coffee, or a Starbucks across the road if you're in a pinch. All other food excellent.
The beach is stunning -- the highlight of the hotel. A long stretch of pristine beach as far as the eye can see, and the best part -- no water sports, no peddlars, no tourists. Just some locals taking walks with their dogs or having a run. Some simple beach cafes along the stretch, but very simple, very quiet. Sunrises and sunsets are stunning.
Service is excellent -- staff available round the clock, happy to oblige for laundry, ice and other requests, and room service works on a very convenient system of door hangings -- just hang the tassel on your door when you'd like your room to be done up. And they are done fast. Very thoughtful too -- extra towels for our son travelling with us, plus extra pillows, and bottles of water.
The hotel is about 20 mins away from the main tourist tracks (where the Hilton is), which we liked -- we didn't see many tourists. There are a number of good restaurants in the vicinity, and a good sized mall across the road if you need to pick up a coffee, wine or have a meal. There's also a supermarket and a cinema.
Across the road from the hotel are about 3 - 4 massage places which have excellent foot massages (a real treat).
At the centre of old HuaHin is the Railway Station -- what a blast from the past. It's very well preserved, landscaped quaint railway station, and you can see a myriad of people -- lovely for people watching. The Railway Coffee Shop serves excellent coffee and has benches set outside so you can watch the world ride through the HuaHin Station -- very nice.
Terrace 90, a 10 minute walk away, has excellent ribs and a very decent margarita.
The German Bakery, a 10 minute ride away, serves an excellent array of sausages and pastries, and freshly baked bread that comes out of the oven at 830 in the morning. Obviously something the locals are all familiar with as there's quite a queue to pick up the bread:)
We popped by the Willaiwan Cafe, set in a pretty English style home and garden, just down the road. Hello Kitty meets Laura Ashley. All very flowery, but tea was excellent and the cakes were good.
The tourist area was typical -- restaurants, shops selling trinkets and clothes, bars and restaurants. Nothing spectacular except for the Hua Hian Brewing Company, which had excellent food and a great array of beers. Plus nice views of the tourist stretch; you could basically sit on the deck and watch HuaHin host its visitors!
The hotel has bicycles if you're comfortable with them, otherwise there are always tuk-tuks available at the hotel entrance and in front of the mall. Agree on the price before you jump in!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Baan Bayan was originally built in the early 1900s. Facing Hua Hin’s white sandy beach, it has the undeniably superb location in one of the most sought after areas there. Baan Bayan forever catches the eyes of passersby with its hundred-year old frangipani tree, its spacious veranda together with its carved eaves and railings embracing the house. Originally a family’s summer retreat, Baan Bayan was one among many summer beach houses owned by Royal Highness Prince Devawongse Varopakarn. Built during the early period of construction of Hua Hin town and railway station, the house had been handed down to Princess Absornsamarn, consort of Royal Highness Chantaburi Naruenart, before being sold to Khun Prabha Chaiyawat on 1 April 1952. The house was then renamed Baan Bayan, as coined by Ya-Khob, the renowned Thai writer. In the past, Baan Bayan was regularly visited by Khun Prabha, her children and grandchildren and great grandchildren. Its charm and ambience render feelings of warmth and happiness in its simplest form. Not only does Baan Bayan hold its value as a rare architectural building, but it also reminds those very fond of the house of times passed and memories still cherished. Today, it is one of the rarest and finest examples of a golden teak Thai style bungalow house, lovingly restored to its former glory. Baan Bayan was awarded the prestigious Historical Architectural Conservation Award in 2005 by the Association of Siamese Architects (ASA) under the Royal Patronage. Guests staying at Baan Bayan can experience the glory of a bygone era, yet with all of today’s modern comforts and amenities. It is positioned as a small exclusive luxury beach hotel offering the charm of a traditional Thai aristocratic beach house. Baan Bayan will allow guests to sink back into a history rich with associations of the swinging, glorious 1920/30’s. Guests who have a desire to experience history and culture and seek a different vacation venue will appreciate the atmosphere at Baan Bayan. Advantageously, the resort is only a few minutes away from Hua Hin town center, market, and airport. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Baan Bayan Hotel Hua Hin