A massive set of marble steps lead to the open air lobby past Spot the cheetah, one of numerous animal statues that characterise the beach resort. Designed by a renowned Thai architect in modern industrial style, with décor by a French designer, So Sofitel Hua Hin is a destination hotel with surprises around every corner.
Luxury hotels can feel stuffy or outdated, but not at So Sofitel Hua Hin. The hotel is modern, fresh and fun; buzzing with bright colors, clever designs and a youthful atittude.
30 minutes outside Hua Hin near Cha-Am fishing village, the resort is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Bangkok. The secluded setting provides a real escape from the city but you can easily visit Hua Hin for shopping, night life or kid-friendly activities like water parks, horse rides and banana boat rides.
The resort is right on the waterfront with a tiny man-made beach and huge views over the Gulf of Siam.
The lobby and reception area is outside under a giant pavilion which over-looks a vast rooftop water feature with giant metallic animal sculptures including an elephant, a hippo, a crocodile and a pair of giant tortoises.
A welcome drink, a special blend of roselle tea is served from a tea pot with what appears to be steam pouring from it. The surprises begin as the first sip from the teeacup reveals it’s not hot, but ice cold. Refreshing and fruity, the ingredients are designed to awaken the senses so you can fully appreciate all the surprises the resort holds in store like this door to the ladies bathroom.
My So Comfy room, the most basic on offer is far from basic. Behind the massive door, high ceilings and concrete walls create an open, airy space, beautifully decorated and with room to spread out.
The bathroom is stocked with eco-friendly products in refillable pump bottles, all exotically scented with lemon grass. There’s a rectangular bath with bath salts and a rain shower which sends water cascading down on you from the three meter high ceiling.
To celebrate the fun atmosphere, I filmed fellow travel writer Fiona Harper from Travel Boating Lifestyle in the rain shower! Just for laughs, Fiona stars in and directed this 20 second video.
As in all Sofitel hotels, the king-sized bed is fitted with pristine white linen of the highest quality. Soft and alluring there’s a MyBed menu on the table with a range of pillows to choose from and other choices, such as pillow mists and wellbeing ointment, to ensure a restful night.
What’s to Love
- The architecture – The entire resort showcases modern, minimalist Thai architecture at it’s best, with polished concrete and grand spaces. Huge gabian walls flanking the walkways and enable guests to walk around the resort under cover from sun or rain.
- The décor – When Sofitel bought the resort they wanted to inject fun into the modern architecture and the French designer chose a theme of evolution represented by the animal statues, including a stampede of giant rabbits on the lawn. The rooms also have tiny statues of rabbits, geckos and birds. Quirky elements abound with surprises everywhere, even in the bathrooms.
- Pools – There are two huge pools with the adults only pool pictured here. Guests can also book a one or two bedroom villa with private pool. The villas have a separate building with living and dining room.
- Family friendly – Some of the rooms have a kids house, an cute igloo-shaped addition to a regular room where the kids will feel as if they’re sleeping in their own playhouse.
- Free WiFi – So you can upload endless photos to Facebook and be the envy of all your friends.
- Digital reading program – So you can access books, magazines and newspapers free of charge.
- Heaps of lounge chairs and cabanas – By the pool and beach plus colorful beanbags and a swing where you can relax while enjoying the sea views.
Things to do
Chillax at the So Spa – So Sofitel Hua Hin may be a destination resort but the spa’s a destination in its own right. There’s a range of treatments to experience in solo or double treatment rooms and a giant cocoon, complete with twinkling stars. Just stepping inside is relaxing and once you’ve seen the twinkling stars you’ll never want to leave.
Go sightseeing – The Royal seaside resort town of Hua Hin with is within easy reach with theme parks, night markets and seafood galore. Make sure you visit the Phra Ratchaniwet Mrigadayavan Palace and historic railway station which was built to allow the royal family to easily visit their summer palace.
You can also visit temples, giant buddha statues, Phraya Nakhon Cave in Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, Khao Takiab where you hike through monkey territory to a temple and Rajabhakti Park, a historically themed park honouring past Thai kings. Built by the army, the seven humongous statues of bygone Thai kings, from the Sukhothai period to the current royal house of Chakri, are an impressive sight.
Borrow bikes – Free bikes are available so guests can visit a nearby picturesque local fishing village.
Dance with stars under the stars – Party on down at the monthly events which attract a fashionable crowd from Bangkok.
Eating and Drinking
White Oven restaurant serves sensational food and fine dining with Thai flavours cooked by an Australian chef.
There’s a sumptuous buffet breakfast served in the restaurant with everything from Asian favourites to European cheeses. Or try chocolate cake, pumpkin pie and a fruit tart washed down with freshly squeezed lychee juice. The breakfast buffet has amazing breads and pastries as well as healthy options like chia seed and banana pudding or gluten free muffins.
At the Beach Society Bar and Restaurant you can have an drink with canapes or try a shared meal of Thai-style pizza, calamari, risonni and other family favourites. I would love to eat try every one of the seafood dishes on the menu.
The cocktails are hard to resist too; I recommend the spicy Some Like it Hot cocktail which is garnished with a whole red chilli.
Best times to visit
Avoid the high season from Christmas and New Year and aim to visit in the cooleere season from May to October. Don’t worry, it’s always tropically hot!
Getting to So Sofitel Hua Hin
There are a few options:
- Book the resort shuttle which can pick up from Bangkok;
- Catch a train from Bangkok – it will make your journey a few hours longer but allow you to arrive at the classic railway station;
- Be brave and hire a car, drive yourself everywhere and make like a local.
So Sofitel Hua Hin has a fun, relaxed vibe with all the creature comforts and five star service you’d expect to find at a luxury resort but none of the stuffiness. If you want to holiday in style, eat fantastic food and be pampered this is the place. Be prepared for fun!
Find out more
To find out about room rates or to book your stay visit the So Sofitel Hua Hin website.
Disclosure: I was a guest of So Sofitel Hua Hin and Accor Hotels, flying Scoot business from Australia to Bangkok via Singapore. All opinions are my own and I only cover destinations, experiences and hotels that I love and recommend.
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