Anantara Hua Hin is an attractive fairly large and somewhat busy resort some ten minutes taxi ride from Hua Hin, close to the old airport. The resort peace and tranquility suffers greatly from the proximity to the old airport as it is now used as a helicopter pilot training school. One helicopter flies low and frequently directly over the resort all day long, almost every day. This was a problem for me, it may not be for some.
The choice of rooms at the resort are varied and there are many to suit all needs but the best are expensive and the basic rooms are not cheap by Thailand standards, however this is an upmarket resort. The staff are all very friendly and are relatively efficient. The Anantara in Phuket is run like clockwork, or was October 2011 when we visited, much smaller resort, more isolated but attention to detail greater there than at Hua Hin, but not to be too harsh on Hua Hin it is bigger, busier and somewhat more relaxed attitude amongst the staff. This may be a management style or a difference in mainland versus Phuket service levels issue, I am not sure. Phuket would get an excellent plus for service and Hua Hin would get a good plus.
One of the big concerns I have about Anantara is their on resort food and beverage pricing, it is very expensive. The result of that is that the resort is almost deserted in the evening as everyone heads to Hua Hin to eat drink and shop. Anantara shows no intention to encourage you to stay on resort with their prices, they do put on promotion nights, which they try to sell to you throughout the day, even at breakfast irritatingly as well as flyers in your room, but they are expensive, generally sparsely attended although we were told of good quality. This is a topic which I am writing to Anantara on, I feel they are missing a business opportunity and definitely pushing people who may have otherwise stayed on the resort in the evening, out into Hua Hin. To give you an example, in Hua Hin you can eat a caught fish that day 1kg+ sea bass prepared any way you wish with pad thai and or rice and vegetables, green chicken curry, lots of singha beer all for less than 1000 baht, approx 20 pounds, more than enough for 2 people, plus 300 baht for taxis total, another 6 pounds tops as the hotel shuttle bus is cheaper or free dependent on your rate. If you have two coffees on Anantara it will cost you nearly 400 baht, almost 8 pounds. I will let you work out how much a freshly grilled sea bass at the resort would cost, not to mention a Singha beer. There are much cheaper eats in Hua Hin, you can have a meal for two with a beer each for as little as 400/500 baht, great value, good quality and great fun, with the locals so no luxurious surroundings but still excellent. You can also find exclusive expensive high quality restaurants that charge the same as Anantara but their quality is top restaurant standard not hotel resort fair. There is also a huge range in between in Hua Hin for every taste, budget and standard. Anantara has chosen to pitch its food and beverage at the top end of the price range.
We upgraded to a Lagoon room which comes with some nice inclusions, use of the Lagoon pool, very small, quiet area exclusive to Lagoon residents. Happy hour/high tea from 4-5pm each day, free drinks and snacks are included. Free use of the shuttle bus to and from Hua Hin, this bus is sometimes overbooked so not always available. Choice of breakfast locations, two restaurants and also in your room at no charge. These are nice add ons and paid for in the price but nevertheless icing on the cake.
The breakfast buffet was very good with choice of asian and european fayre all done very well and served in a nice restaurant area, well serviced, clean and all of good quality. Well worth paying a breakfast inclusive rate as the options for breakfast in the area are limited unless you head into Hua Hin or self cater breakfast for yourself in your room, neither very practical.
The Spa is brutally expensive and in a country famous for spa treatments of all standards and price ranges it is not necessary to consider paying these prices at Anantara.
The Lagoon suite we had was very nice, beautiful room, spacious, large balcony and very large king size bed and serviced very well by the day and evening staff. We did have quite an issue with mosquitoes and red ants which we had to complain about a number of times before they started regularly spraying the balcony and room. Understand this can be an issue in tropical asia but in a 5 star accommodation it needs to be kept on top of. We also had to request ice every single evening, hardly a hardship I know, but access to ice machines are non existent and might be considered.
Also need to mention that the restrooms by the beach area had two ladies restrooms, one of which was out of order the complete ten days we were there, also water leaking all over their floors, not acceptable at a resort of this price point and should be easily fixed by a good maintenance team. It was a minor inconvenience which meant it was best to go back to your room all the time.
My feeling about this resort is that the working employees all seem to do a very good job and are polite proactive and thorough and mindful of your needs, my personal opinion is that the more senior management on the resort could do with some training, guidance and maybe leadership. This was not the case in the Anantara Phuket Oct 2011 where the complete service experience from top to bottom was spot on, visible and complete. Some lessons and best practices could benefit Hua Hin Anantara greatly in my opinion.
This review is supposed to be constructive criticism and hope it is read in that manner, we had a very nice time there and allowed none of the above observations to spoil our vacation.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The 187-room Anantara Resort Hua Hin is a distinctive Thai village-style property located on the sunrise coast of the Gulf of Thailand, around 220 kms south of Bangkok. Hidden amidst 14 acres of luxuriantly landscaped gardens and lagoon pools, the picturesque resort enjoys a beachfront location at the quiet end of Hua Hin's long sandy beach for only 5 kms. from Hua Hin town centre. A three-meters high terracotta wall cleverly cocoons the resort from the hustle and bustle of town. As you make your way along the landscaped driveway, a sense of calm descends. The sense of arrival is heightened as you admire a decorative wall adorned with a parade of elephants. A cool breeze drifting in from the beach floats through the open-air Lobby with the strains of a melodic Thai tune lingering. Polished timber floors and Thai-style salas (pavilions) heighten the ambience of an intimate tropical hideaway. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Anantara Resort And Spa Hua Hin Hotel Hua Hin
- Anantara Resort Hua Hin
- Anantara Hua Hin
- Anantara Hotel Hua Hin