This is my third visit in 5 years, the first in 2009 when the hotel first opened. We got lucky that year when planning our last minute trip, the rooms cost us only 200usd a night. We were so wowed on that trip that we returned in 2010 with a few more friends. By then, the rates had doubled but in order to relive our happy memories and with a IHG Royal Ambassador status to boot, we decided to go for it. The packages were well worth it in 2010 as they sometimes included massages at the spa and ABF.
Couldn't get reservations here for 2012 so we stayed elsewhere in Huahin. Fast forward 2013, we were determined to get rooms so we booked well in advance. The rates had escalated to 600usd so we decided to use our rewards nights instead.
Upon arrival, we found out that the hotel had given us an upgrade despite us having used redemption nights for our 5 day stay. Now only a Platinum Ambassador so we were very pleasantly surprised!
The hotel premises have aged a little and it shows in the mould on shower ceilings and blackout curtains and also in the wood paneling. However, it goes without doubt that it is still a very beautiful resort to stay in. It is also nice to see that some of the staff, especially the bell boys, have not changed since 2009!
Couple of points to note:
1. wifi is patchy and u have to keep on signing in even if 24 hours had not passed. Very annoying as u don't get messages over wa or FB if u don't check your connection.
2. more has to be done about the popular deck chairs for sunbathing. I have spent a few days observing people from my balcony where I read. The father of a particular family will dutifully go and reserve the 'prime' deck chairs at 7am every morning, only reappearing at 10 am with his brood.
This happens despite the fact that a reminder is left on the chairs to remind guests not to do so. Apparently the pool boys will remove any items left for reservations but it doesn't seem to have worked out...
This terrible mentality has happened on almost all my beach resort trips, be it Intercontinental KSM or Bali... In the IC Bali, the resort is big enough to have separate sections for Intercontinental Club members but the same problem prevailed despite that.
Perhaps the best poolside service I have had was at the W Seminyak where butlers could make reservations of the cabanas for frequent guests at appointed times. It's crazy for hotel chains to expect loyal guests to have to fight for seating on a beach holiday!
3. The concierge service is no longer as good as it used to be. On my first trip in 2009, I gleaned plenty of knowledge about local eating places etc off a concierge staff named Waraporn who spoke very good English and had plenty of ideas for us.
The current concierge staff seems unsure and not as open with ideas anymore. The language barrier is more apparent which is not something I would expect at the Intercontinental.
4. we had 3 people in a room in this visit, paid for the extra bed etc and amenities were not always provided as such. We had just come in from a stay at the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit where everything was arranged properly without us having to ask.
Despite my above comments, the IC Huahin is still one of the nicer properties in South East Asia to stay in. Be it sitting down and having a relaxing 3 hour breakfast or just lying by the pool /beach, it is a really nice place to relax and unwind. It is also close enough to a small mall where u can eat and pick up a Starbucks. :)
Point to note is that if u want to spend NYE in Huahin, many hotels will attempt to force guests to attend the internal gala dinner. The price per pax at the IC was usd 350 per pax, quite a bit to pay (although the hotel had a fantastic pyrotechnics show in 2010 but not this year). Traffic is also bad but that can't be helped...
We have regained our RA status so we will definitely try to return at the end of this year, unless there is an attempt to force all guests to attend the NYE gala again!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Every guests who stay at InterContinental Hua Hin Resort will receive complimentary unlimited access to Vana Nava waterpark and True Arena Sport Club with shuttle service. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Intercontinental Hua Hin Hotel Hua Hin