Rooms that Ravish
There are 296 rooms spread across its 17 floors, and the beauty of the buildings design means that each and every one – from the most indulgent suite to those that closest resemble modesty – has a balcony with picture-book sea views.
They come in three types: Bay Rooms (42 square metres), Gulf Rooms (60 square metres) and Pacific Suites (80 square metres). All are spacious, bright (thanks to floor-to-ceiling balcony windows) and comfortable. Of all these, the Pacific Suites are the pinnacle – refined strongholds of unmitigated luxury, with separate living rooms, sofas and dining tables. These recently earnt the title of ‘Best Suite preferred by Korean Honeymooners’ from the Korean Tourist Board – a quirky award to say the least, but one that goes some way to expressing their exemplary stranglehold on privacy and romance.
Interiors that Stimulate and Sooth
Throughout the décor is contemporary Thai with panache: cream walls, lacquer teak flooring, dark teak furnishings (day-beds, desks, chairs, stools, mirrors, bedside tables), king size or two queen size beds covered with crisp white linen and earth-tone silk cushions, the odd Thai ornamental vase or artwork, warm ambient lampshades and spot lighting. Nothing about them looks cheap, everything feels made to last, and the overall effect is stimulating and soothing. The balcony is also inspiring, a wonderful place to drink up the scene, to watch the town’s fishing boats trickle home from afar. Bathrooms are functional marble affairs with walk-in showers, bath tubs and bespoke Hilton toiletries.
As you expect from any Hilton, rooms are up to date with the latest trends in luxury living. That means flat screen TVs (25 inch or 29 inch), wireless Internet access (costs extra), and superlative room service. There are also plenty of practical touches like tea- and coffee-making facilities, alarm clocks, electronic safes, hair dryers.
Recreation: Put Back What Life Takes Out
Beyond living quarters, the coastal comforts continue unabashed. Most glaring of all is direct access to the aforementioned clean, white sandy beach – a quiet stretch with little more than the occasional pony (rides available) and fellow holidaymakers for company. A procession of stone steps rising from the sand, brings you to a colossal pool area that’s as likely to play host to aqua-aerobics classes or water volleyball games as it is to flocks of indolent sun-seekers or kids enjoying the slide (open 06:00 – 19:00). It’s poolside bar is perfect for cocktails at sundown.
Nearby are two floodlit tennis courts and two indoor squash courts. If your slam volley needs honing, you can hire a coach or attend one of the three free coaching clinics held each week. And a fitness centre means you can get into shape using up-to-the-minute cardiovascular equipment, take an aerobics class or hire a personal trainer to enforce your fitness regime. Afterwards, relax in the steam or sauna room.
Or try ‘The Spa’: a 1,200 square metre oasis dedicated to ‘putting back a little of what life takes out’. A definite Hilton highlight, it’s interiors filled with Khmer-style ornaments and soothing aromas, its 10 gorgeous treatments rooms (three with private Jacuzzi, one with Japanese bath), and imaginative menu of massages, facials, rubs and scrubs based on the four elements (Fire, Earth, Air and Water) promise to do just that. They’ve also recently added a trendy hair and nail studio.
The Joys of Eating
The Hilton is just as generous when it comes to dining: there are no less than six bars and restaurants covering the gamut of moods and classic cuisines (Italian, Japanese, Thai, Chinese), none of them skimping on style or what is served in them. Hugging the poolside, ‘Chay Had Restaurant’ is an atmospheric spot for a seafood supper, guests sitting at garden tables lit by scented candles. ‘Milestones’ is where to sip on a vodka-and-tonic while tapping your toe to jazz. And some of Thailand’s most creative Szechaun and Cantonese dishes (as judged by Thailand Tatler magazine) – and perhaps Hua Hin’s best beach-spanning views – can be found at the 17th floor’s formal but quite adorable ‘White Lotus Restaurant’.