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Review: Hyatt Regency Hua Hin Review
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We spotted the welcoming committee at the Hyatt Regency Hua Hin as our limo slunk through the gates past the security guards and rolled gently toward the tall curtain wall of the majestic Barai Spa. Two butlers dressed in their claret fisherman’s pants and blouses.

The yellow uniform belonged to the Spa Manager who had come to establish how we wished to customize our little slice of paradise on the Gulf of Thailand. After everyone had said to us several times we were allowed to walk the three or four steps to the waiting electric golf cart. Our luggage was loaded onto a second cart while we were whisked away. We only later discovered that our bags had been unpacked and the contents neatly folded into drawers in the separate his ‘n hers washing and dressing rooms.

Wherever you decide to stay, book via our luxury travel concierge. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, and free perks at hotels, including Four Seasons, Aman, Belmond, Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, InterContinental, and more. You also get your usual Marriott Bonvoy Hyatt, loyalty points, and status benefits when you book with our concierge.

Location

Hua Hin is 200km around the gulf from Bangkok. A journey of around 3 hours by car or train. It is the home of King Bumibol’s summer palace, so it is very much a royal town. Like most of Thailand, it is full of noise and vibrant colors. Unlike Pattaya, it is not full of perma-tanned European retirees, and there are no drug-fueled full-moon parties. Instead, the bay is illuminated at night by the vivid green lights of the squid fishermen’s lures. There

Style & Character

Hua Hin is 200km around the gulf from Bangkok. A journey of around 3 hours by car or train. It is the home of King Bumibol’s summer palace so it is very much a royal town. Like most of Thailand, it is full of noise and vibrant colors. Unlike Pattaya, it is not full of perma-tanned European retirees, and there are no drug-fueled full-moon parties. Instead, the bay is illuminated at night by the vivid green lights of the squid fishermen’s lures. There

Rooms

We arrived at the gates of the Barai Suites and dismounted. Entering a shaded garden, passing our private pool, and watching the diamonds of light flickering on the surface as the twin fountains cast their magical spell, we ascended the steps and entered a vast cool chamber. This was our lounge.

It would make a huge hotel room on its own, but it was just an accessory. We notice the twin Thai massage beds at one side and the pajamas already placed for us. Moving on through the full-length sliding doors into the bed-chamber, we see the biggest bed we have encountered.

We don’t have a tape measure, but if we lie across it, facing each other, our heads just meet in the middle. Through an archway is a sunken bath big enough for a party. Through yet another set of sliding doors, we find the washing and dressing rooms with their shell-shaped washbasins and copious mirrors. Piles of fresh white towels are everywhere I look. More arrive later in the evening, along with a large jug of iced water. At the end of the corridor is the WC opposite the enormous shower, which doubles as a steam chamber.

I come to my senses as I realize I’m being asked a question. “What time would you like us to prepare your bath and steam room?” “What fragrance would you like?” We settled on eight o’clock after an early dinner and lavender. We were a little jet-lagged. The mini bar is complimentary, the welcome Champagne on ice is “compliments of the management”, “we hope you enjoy your stay.”

Staying at the Barai in one of the suites – there are only eight, four with pools and four upstairs with balconies – includes an hour of therapy each day per person. We stayed a week, working our way through the menu. Vichy shower, body scrubs, aroma massage, Thai massage, facials, scalp, and foot massage. All the therapists were very skillful and sensitive.

The Barai Spa architecture is simply stunning and very cleverly designed to disorientate the visitor. As you walk behind your butler who delivers you to therapy appointments, you turn this way and that on stepping stoned paths, passing sculpted sand beds and delightful little glimpses of fountains and urns in hidden places. The beauty distracts you to the point where you expect to meet some kind of mythical beast, but you are surely lost exactly as intended. No matter what, your butler is always waiting at the end of your therapy to lead you back to a lounger, or romantic dinner on the beach, or some other pleasure-filled moment.

Service & Facilities

Sometime later, I am lying on a sunbed close to the beach, in the dappled shade of some palm trees, watching the sky change as a tropical squall comes racing in across the gulf. The wind begins to lift my towel around my legs. Sand is pinging at my face.

I sit up and hold out my arms as the first drops of rain burst around me, scattering little rings of droplets like miniature cluster bombs. I’m entranced by it all, but then I realize my towel is going to get wet, so I arise slowly and begin to gather things. From nowhere comes a banshee wail, “Noooooo, Mister Andrew, let me do that for you.” Now I’m old-fashioned and don’t find it easy to let ladies do chores for me, but I catch a look in her eye, and I think there is a tear. I back down instantly. She really wants to do this for me.

The storm passes quickly enough, and without asking, my reading station is reassembled, and our butler Jan leads me back out. A few minutes later, she is back with a bowl of chilled fresh local fruit. The pineapples have a slightly creamy, coconutty flavor, which is gorgeous. The dragon fruit is sweet and has a soft floral flavor that somehow reminds me of visiting my grandmother. Then there is aloe vera. This plant has a million uses, but the ripe flesh, chilled, is simply divine. The most refreshing thing I’ve found to eat on this Earth.

A pattern is emerging in which it becomes apparent that Jan can read my mind. She knows what I want just before I do. Iced lemon tea with sugar syrup on the side. I am joined by my partner, who has been gently swimming lengths of the exquisitely beautiful tranquility court pool. She tells me about it. “Nice here, isn’t it?” I opine. She laughs. “How many nights do we have?” I ask. “Only Two!” I protest, “That’s not enough.” Ten minutes later, we have decided to cancel this winter’s skiing trip so we can extend our stay to a full week.

Food & Drink

In the evening, we mooch around the corner, a voyage of about thirty yards to McFarland House. The frame of this simple colonial-style villa is made from massive teak beams. It is open-sided, meaning you catch the scent of the cypress trees when the breeze blows and sip your chilled white wine to the cicada music. We while away a couple of hours drinking the complimentary Sauvignon Blanc and dine on the numerous “canapés” the amazingly attentive waiting staff bring. The supply is endless. Just for curiosity, we order a few items from the Thai Tapas menu. Wonderfully succulent scallops, twice-fried pork with lime leaves, tuna tartare, whatever we order arrives fresh and garnished with all the wonderful herbs we know from this most friendly and fertile region.

Conclusion

There are things to do, like visiting a vineyard and riding elephants, ocean kayaking, yachts for hire, and markets to browse around, but when you’re in The Barai, who cares about all that? Who would leave paradise for mundane outings?

Note: Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.

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