Publisher’s Pick - Total relaxation in Thailand

The best hotel in Hua Hin – at AUD$116 a night!!!

Asia abounds with luxury hotels promising five-star facilities, inspirational cuisine, designer pools and spa extravaganzas. So what makes one hotel stand out from the pack in my eyes? The hotel is the Sofitel and its location is the delightful seaside resort of Hua Hin, 280 kilometres south-west of Bangkok, easily reached by road, rail or air.

The Sofitel is the former Railway Hotel, constructed in 1922 by an Italian architect named Mr. Rigazzi, by order of the Prince Purachatra. This colonial gem has lost none of its charm over the years, despite the addition of many new rooms and self-contained villas. Why do I love this hotel so much? It’s not the luxury angle which matters, but the history. The award for outstanding preservation is well deserved. The walls seem to tell the stories of the sights they have seen – the famous guests, the political dramas, and the days of high tea and dressing for dinner. In particular, the Museum Coffee and Tea Corner is a fabulous spot to while away the time, enjoying tea and cucumber sandwiches, while viewing memorabilia from days long past. When indoor life palls, there are endless acres of manicured gardens, including topiary elephants, birds and deer, and swimming pools and rotunda located beside the sea for those who wish to gaze out on the Gulf of Siam.

Sofitel Centara Grand Resort and Villas

How to get to Hua Hin