We (2 adults, 2 kids) spent a week in this hotel in late December 2005, having spent the previous week in the Hilton bang in the centre of Hua Hin town. We were almost the first guests at the Rock and the builder's snagging list had still to addressed - so some of the problems I mention below may be sorted by now.
This small "boutique" hotel is located about 5km (10 minutes by tuk-tuk) south of Hua Hin centre. It is right on the beach, although the entrance to the hotel is on a busy-ish main road only set back by a single row of car parking and a few feet of outside hotel-restaurant space. The location isn't very convenient and it costs 120-150 Baht one way to/from town (be warned: the "shuttle bus" isn't free !). There are a few restaurants local to the hotel (Jeh Keouw is an excellent no-frills Thai restaurant on the ocean front 10 minutes walk to the south), but most people will want to head to town for days and/or evenings. The hotel is squeezed into a very narrow strip of land (only a little more than one hotel room wide) between two condo blocks, the taller of which shades the pool area during the middle of the day.
We took a 2-bed villa although we did also get chance to see a "deluxe" room - there are no "standard" rooms in this hotel ! The rooms are of a good, not enormous, size and the furnishings are generally tasteful and of good quality. The large flatscreen TVs with DVD player (no library in hotel, so bring your own or buy them in the night market) were great, as were the beds. None of the rooms has a decent view as most look out onto the dividing fence between the hotel and the "garden" of the adjoining condo.
The swimming pool is a bit austere with its marble tiling, but you can spend many a thoughtful moment gazing out over the beach and ocean from the pool's infinity edge. As space is limited around the pool - there is only room for about a dozen loungers - I imagine it will be a problem to find somewhere to lie out when the hotel is anything close to busy (it has 27 rooms).
A few other issues deserve brief mention, although these may be just "new hotel" problems. One or two of the staff try very hard, but most have very limited english. I'm not sure they have much hotel experience as often they produced a good impression of a rabbit in the headlights when confronted with a simple request, eg, it took 3 requests to the front desk to get an answer to how much the airport departure tax is ! The hot water system in both our bathrooms was hopeless as the water never really became warm enough for a bath (which took half an hour to fill with tepid water) and running the hot water in the shower or basin would turn the bath water cold and vice versa. The hotel engineer tried to fix this a couple of times to no avail so I suspect it may reflect some economies in the original plumbing spec ! (BTW, the weather wasn't that warm around Xmas, so a warm bath was very welcome for the kids and my wife !)
The hotel restaurant is small with tables to match - really much too small for 4 diners to feel comfortable, especially if sharing dishes in the Thai style. The choice of crockery (eg, miniscule milk jugs to accompany tea/coffee) and cutlery (eg, enormous spoons that swamp the companion soup/cereal bowls), like other aspects of the hotel, reflects the hotel's aspirations for up-market styling which, unfortunately, often results in annoying impracticality. We found the Thai food in the restaurant bland and over-priced, but then we generally tend toward the more fiery dishes when eating in Thailand!
Probably our biggest problem was with mosquitos - the hotel has a lot of stagnant "water garden" features which are a breeding ground for bugs. Also fly screening was lacking in our bathroom areas. On one occasion I lifted a cushion in the outdoor lounge area between our room and the children's room and a welcoming party of mosquitos flew out to greet me ! This meant we didn't use the outdoor areas much and never after dark and made sure we spayed the room (can of insecticide 55 Baht from nearby 7/11 store) every evening. The hotel really needs to sort this problem out quickly.
In summary, this is a hotel that has pretentions to be bracketed with the Hilton and Sofitel but has serious limitations, some of which could be fixed but others are permanent. We love Hua Hin, but next time will stay in the Hyatt or the Sofitel, or return to the Hilton which, while a bit "tired", has so much more to offer at a price that is probably not much different from The Rock.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Rock HuaHin Beach front Spa Resort is a luxury boutique beachfront spa resort in Hua Hin located right on Hua-Hin Beach near Khao Takiab area. The Rock Hua Hin Resort & Spa has just been newly renovated to elevate the ultimate satisfaction of our guests. The elegant atmosphere and brandnew facilities along with top of the line rattan weaved furniture on authentic teakwood floor. Our spacious rooms, suites and Jacuzzi Pool Villas ideally present the sense of relaxing retreat and romantic signature designed by an international award winner interior design. Moreover, the infinite-edge pool remarkably tenders a panorama sea-view of the Gulf of Thailand rejuvenating your tranquil moment. Grasp the memorable experience of the paradise hideaway at The Rock Hua Hin Resort & Spa. The meaning of The Rock derives from the Thai meaning of Hua Hin itself. The word 'Hua' means head and 'Hin' means a rock or stone. That becomes the name of The Rock. It does not mean that we have a rocky beach as some may think. In fact, our beach has no rock at all. HuaHin Resort: The Rock Hua-Hin beach Resort & Spa near Khao Takiab. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Rock Hua Hin Hotel Hua Hin
- Rock Hotel Hua Hin
- Rock Hua Hin