12 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
What can I say but first class hotel and...
"What can I say but first class hotel and staff. Set in beautiful well maintained grounds.
Large swimming pool with swim up bar. Plenty of sun beds with free use of beach towels. Spacious rooms however, would recommend upgrade to Lagoon rooms.
Extra services available when you have upgraded...use of exclusive lagoon pool. Free drinks between 5.30-6.30 each day. Option of breakfast on the beach. Free 5 minute massage every day. Free use of internet.
A very friendly nation and felt safe walking around the area. Most people speak a little English and will do anything for you.
Would not recommend for children though as itâs a very quite resort with no facilities for the children so feel they would be bored. Lovely for couples or a honeymoon. A1."
- Travel date: Wed 6th of June 2007
We stayed at the Anatara Resort and Spa...
"We stayed at the Anatara Resort and Spa Hua Hin in October and had the most fabulous time.
Staff are so friendly and can't do enough for the guests. 'Alex' is the cheeriest staff member I have ever met and so kind.
The hotel itself is amazing. Beautiful, stunning surroundings and spotless.
Booking through Thomas Cook Signature we had an automatic upgrade but as no room was available, we were upgraded to an even better room with huge balcony. Quite exotic.
Hotel quite expensive to eat in so visited the nearby town of Hua Hin (by tuk tuk) and ate there. A three course with drink on average Â£3.00 so really cheap. Plenty of restaurants.
Hotel did try to get us to buy their meal option but not value for money although we did, for convenience, eat there for snacks etc.
Lovely beach and quiet. Sun beds positioned along front of hotel.
We are re-visiting the Anatara hotel this October as we have booked it for our daughter's wedding as we were so impressed. The one-to-one attention is second to none. Can't wait to go back.
Mr & Mrs John Robertson, Perth, Scotland"
- Travel date: Wed 11th of April 2007
Little piece of paradise
"We travelled to the Anantara as two families with 5 children aged 10-15 years between us. Arriving in the rain after a long journey was a bit of a downer but the hotel reception is very attractive and the welcome drink picked everybody up. Check in was polite and efficient and although not all of the rooms were ready it didn't matter as we were very comfortable and we looked round and all the children were already in the pool, practically fully dressed!
We ended up a bit spread out, our children were in a connecting room but the other family were a good way from theirs. Having read reviews which criticise the garden rooms as being rather ordinary, I would have to agree. The bathrooms are tiny and our view was not the best, as we looked out over a stagnant stream to a very tall block of apartments owned by the hotel, which made our room quite dark. Four days in however, we were contacted by the management and told that refurbishment work on the adjacent block to ours would be noisy and they asked us to move. The inconvenience of spending half a day packing two rooms was more than made up for because the new rooms were just refurbished (to the point where leaving a bikini to dry on the balcony chair left wet varnish marks on it!) but were upper floor, overlooking the pool with a new bathroom. Although no bigger, the bathroom walls are sliding glass screens and it made the room seem much larger and lighter. (Not very private tho as you can clearly see who's on the loo!)
The hotel grounds are as beautiful and cared for as everyone says. Lushly planted, they give a tropical feel. Statues dotted around are decorated with fresh blossoms daily. Palm tree trunks prettied up with plaited palm leaves woven with flowers.
Every single member of staff was polite, helpful and best of all -smiley!
Our package did not include any food but this turned out not to be a problem. We were approached by the manager on the second day and I think he was about to ask us about the meal deal but a member of our party had lost his mobile phone so we postponed the meeting and he didn't ask again! In the end we chose a la carte items from the breakfast menu some days and went into Hua Hin on others. The breakfast basket (190 b.) which was a selection of croissants, toast, pastries butter, jams etc, easily served two. In Hua Hin, full American breakfast can be bought anywhere for about 120 b. We tended to eat lunch around the pool (pizza, sandwiches or traditional thai meals for around 200 b.) In the evenings we got a taxi into town. We caught the free shuttle once or twice but it runs half hourly and gets very booked up. The staff always ordered a car that all nine of us fitted into (in varying degrees of comfort but hey!) we never waited more than a couple of minutes and the trip to town cost 120-150b.
Too much to say about Hua Hin to fit in! Numerous delicious restaurants. Everybody friendly - particularly at Moon Smile behind the temple where a waiter gave us a Thai language lesson for a good half an hour. One tip - buy house wine by the glass. Wine seems disproportionately expensive in Thailand but was cheaper this way. Food prices were more than reasonable.
We would go to a supermarket last thing and stock up on soft drinks for the kids for the next day which are 14b. ( a tenth of the hotel price) The hotel were fine about this and we kept them in the mini-bar. Happy hour by the pool is 4-5pm and by the beach 5-6pm so there was some migration!
The beach itself wasn't as bad as I expected. The tide goes out a long way and there are the usual looky-looky hawkers as well as a few stranded jelly fish.
The beach massage ladies are all pretty good. Turn right and go up the first steps on the right and try the more mature ladies for a firm massage, and the Thai womens cooperative on the sand for a more gentle experience!
About that refurbishment. As we were leaving it was going on in block 500 and was very very noisy.We were unable to carry on normal conversation around the pool. Also the weather is a bit changeable - mostly overcast and one day a cloudburst that flooded Hua Hin in places to about 60cms!
That aside I would go back without hesitation. A lovely friendly safe atmosphere and a beautiful setting."
- Travel date: Sun 13th of August 2006
Very tranquil resort but too crowded
"Positives: Lush atmosphere of the resort, beachside rooms, excellent food and breakfast buffet, some service personnel
Negatives: Bathrooms in the room and water pressure, overcrowding at the swimming pools, some service personnel.
The Anantara is definitely one of the most beautiful and uniquely Thai resorts in Hua Hin. The grounds are beautiful, lush and very tropical. The rooms are in small two story units spread throughout the resort, with many right on the beach. There is a very nice spa that is reasonably priced with many promotional specials.
We chose the Sea View room with a patio that led right out to the beach. The room itself was very ordinary. The bed was very comfortable and the dark woods of the room made for a pleasant atmoshpere. There was a TV with the usual satellite channels, a mini-bar, water at a price in bottles, a safe, ample closet space, and sliding doors that led out to the very nicely appointed small patio. The bathroom was very plain, with terrible water pressure in the tub. There was nothing Thai about the bathroom - imagine Holiday Inn or Motel Six and you get the picture. They provided nice bath amenities however.
The beach is not great in Hua Hin. The water is murky and the beach itself is not really sandy or appealing. There were two rows of beach chairs with nice cushions on the edge of the beach, and these were always empty or near empty, because nobody really wanted to hang out on the beach. It felt dreary. At low tide, the stretch of the beach was very wide, and very good for jogging. It was firm and easy to walk on, and you could go for miles.
Most people went to the pool which was packed. At no point during my stay, except in late afternoon, could I find an available lounger. I found this really irritating. I ended up hanging out on the beach loungers and going to the pool to swim and after five pm. There were many families at the resort with children, so the pool was always packed with people, loud and not restful at all. Until late afternoon, when it got quieter.
There is a second pool, behind the spa, that is very nice. It is a small pool but there were rarely kids there and it was usually quiet, especially late in the day. But, like the other pool, the loungers were all occupied until late in the day.
Checkin was very nice, with a delicious welcome drink handed to us immediately. The front desk staff was very accommodating, showing us the various rooms available, letting us choose the one we liked the most. The rate we paid was a promotional rate of $119 per night plus tax and service. I felt that a very good rate for the quality of the resort.
The service personnel at the resort varied widely. While the front desk was very helpful and friendly, the restaurant staff ranged from impersonable to downright rude. We had to ask three people for a glass of ice at breakfast. One waitress, when asked about a glass of water, pointed to the pitcher on the buffet and told us to get it our selves. The manager, a very nice young guy, was always around and did his best to make everyone feel comfortable, but he needed to spend a little time training his staff on customer relations.
I checked out many other resorts in the town of Hua Hin and the only ones I felt equalled or was better than Anantara was the Sofitel, a grand old style resort, and the Hyatt. Evason is supposed to be far superior but it was not close by and we didn't visit. The Marriott and Hilton were not places I would like to stay.
The Anantara has many restaurants to choose from. The dinner Bar-B-Q buffet they feature on Saturday night beachside was excellent, offering a huge variety of foods and fresh bar-B-Q at about 1000 Baht net per person. The breakfast buffet that was included with our room was fantastic. They had so much to offer, such a great variety and it was all delicious. The pool had a swim up bar which was fun, and drinks throughout the resort were about 200-250 baht per.
All in All, Anantara is a great choice, and I would imagine during the week, when all the families might not be around it could be very peaceful and tranquil, but that was not the case during the weekend we were there."
- Travel date: Mon 17th of July 2006
Oasis away from it all
"We have just returned from two weeks at the Anantara and what a relaxing two weeks they were.
After the long drive down from Bangkok the wellcome we received was very good. Our Lagoon Room was certainly all that has been written about, although the extra cost (Â£400) for the upgrade, compared with the amount of time spent in the room would probably been better spent on food and drinks at the Hotel.
Yes a beer out of the fridge in a 7 11 in town would set you back 25 Baht whilst at the Pool bar was 165 Baht, but compare the surroundings, you get what you pay for.
The breakfast was to die for, and you just might if you stayed there for a couple of months, the choice and quality of the food, second to none. Other meals we had at the Hotel were good quality but easily matched and beaten by many of the Town Restaurants.
Try 'Lets Sea' Restaurant the other side of town for quality and ambience, dont forget to use the Lavs.
Gardens at the Anantara are spectacular and excellent maintained by a dedicated staff, include water filled pots with flower decorations replenished every day, flowering palms of all types and sizes, just too much to describe, needs to be seen to be appreciated.
The beach in front of the resort is pleasant, a few barnacles on rocks to snag those toes and a small number of dead jelly fish, but we never experienced jelly's in the sea, and swam most days.
Beach vendors leave you alone if you politely say no thank you, although the shirts and shorts they sell, when barterred down, are reasonable value, and wash well when you get home.
The massage lady, onto the beach turn left, 100 yards and up the steep steps off the beach is very good and friendly, as are the other beach massage tents along on the right.
After completing a number of the tourist excursions, I would really recommend out of them all if you are into swimming etc., do the snorkeling trip, ours was 'fantastic fun' helped along by a blistering hot and sunny day.
I could go on, as you can tell, and would definately return to the Anantara at some future date."
- Travel date: Wed 5th of July 2006
Paradise in Hua Hin
"We have just returned after a wonderfully relaxing holiday at this hotel. The staff were excellent, everyone from the Reception Staff to the Gardeners were friendly, interested in the guests and provided first class service. Ampol, one on the Pool Attendants outshone everyone else.
We thought the rooms, the gardens, the pools and the restuarants were all outstanding, the only problem was a bit of noise around the pool area because they were renovating some of the rooms in the hotel close by but nothing excessive.
Our only complaint is the way in which the "Meal Deal" is packaged and sold to you. It is not good value for money and is sold to you within minutes of your arrival when you are tired and not quite as alert as you could be. You are told about the packages in sterling but when it comes down to it you are charged in bahts and it turns out to be even more expensive than you expected.
However, you cannot fault the food at any of the restaurants and the Baan Talia is exceptional in quality and presentation but even if you ordered the most expensive items on all the menus, I don't think you would ever eat enough to cover the up front payment so this is certainly not good value and the way in which it is sold does the hotel no credit.
This has definitely not put us off and we will be going back again next year because everthing else was so perfect - we just won't be doing the meal deal!!!!"
- Travel date: Sun 2nd of July 2006
Excellent authentic Thai Resort
"After a 3 hour transfer from Bangkok the warm friendly reception given by all the staff is appreciated. Cold towels and fresh fruit punch is a welcome relief, however the journey down was not unpleasant just tiresome. Anatara Resort and Spa is a haven, just far enough away from the busy town, and makes you feel very special throughout your stay. We purchased the meal package which allows you to eat first class food with a choice of restaurants in superior surroundings. Yes you can eat a lot cheaper in town, however on the couple of evenings we did this I felt we were eating a meal in some-ones garage, (you get what you pay for, however the food quality in Hua Hin is very good). All the staff are very attentive to your needs within the hotel and nothing is too much bother, would recommend this hotel to anyone who wants to feel special, pampered and enjoy the company of the people they have gone on holiday with"
- Travel date: Mon 19th of June 2006
"We thoroughly enjoyed our ten night stay at The Anantara, which is a tastefully decorated Thai style resort. The grounds of the hotel are superb as is the pool area. The rooms and grounds were kept very well, though we felt that the standard rooms were smaller than those offered at comparable properties.
We did not take the meal package - partly because we were not contacted by the concierge for a couple of days and partly because we wanted to eat in the numerous restaurants in Hua Hin. As the free courtesy bus into town (5 kms) does not depart until either 10 or 11 - it means that by the time you have gone into town, eaten and returned a significant part of your day has gone - if we were to go again we would probably see whether a breakfast package could be arranged (buying breakfasts separately at the hotel seemed to be expensive).
Eating out in Hua Hin is a real joy - there are numerous excellent restaurants serving very good and reasonably priced food - we woudl never stay in a hotel in Hua Hin on a half board basis. Our favourites are Moon Smile and Platoo (Poolsuk Rd) which is a small place behind the temple serving amazing Thai food with extremely good service, another faviurite is Kat Sarin (Th Naresdamri) which served very good seafood(served on a pier overlooking the sea). Other very good restaurants serving fresh fish cooked to order can be found on the road of the night market.
we would definitely go back to Hua Hin though whilst The Anantara is a nice resort would possibly look to stay closer into town."
- Travel date: Mon 29th of May 2006
Serene, and relaxing resort
"On reading reviews for Anantara from Trip advisor, I booked a five day stay at the resort. The resort is an ideal place for total relaxation, gardens and landscaping are great. Had the upper floor lagoon room, which was spacious but the rooms facing the sea view are equally lovely. The rooms are clean, & well maintained, staff are very helpful and courteous.
The Mandara Spa offers treatments of high class, their body massages are superb, delivered by well trained therapists. The treatments are expensive, but one pays for the quality of service, if you are a spa lover & are aware of the benefits of relaxation after a good massage.
The resort offers regular free transfers to the city. Food at the resort lacks variety and is expensive."
- Travel date: Sun 21st of May 2006
Excellent stay at the Anantara
"We loved our stay at the Anantara. Although the hotel is a bit out of Hua Hin you can use the complementary shuttle bus to Hua Hin (book this each day first thing in the morning.)
We stayed in a sea view room which was nicely decorated and not too far from the pool. We did ask about upgrading to the Lagoon view but didn't think it was worth the extra Â£400 quoted to us by the hotel. Yes the bathroom is bigger (the sea view one is not big) but the lagoon pool is quite small and we prefered the main pool anyway.
The breakfasts were great, you must try the mango and sticky rice sushi with coconut sauce. We didn't do the meal package, eating out in town is much better value for money. We were given a set meal for 2 as part of our package but were a bit dissapointed by it. The weekly cooking class on a Wednesday was excellent, complete with a trip to the market which was good fun.
We didn't use the spa as it was expensive by Thai standards and would recommend the Blue Elephant in Hua Hin near the Hilton. We went there each day for reflexology or Thai massage both were wonderful. Have a cocktail afterwards at the Blue Elephant bar across the way.
The best thing about the hotel though is the staff. We found them all very friendly and helpful, we were trying to learn some Thai whilst we were there and all of them were very patient with us and eager to help."
- Travel date: Sun 7th of May 2006
The Good and the Bad
The staff are the friendliest I have ever met.
The food in the restaurants are excellent.
The beach view is beautiful.
Hotel rooms are clean and the air con works well.
The gardens are out of this world and any lovers of nature should stay here just for that reason.
Spa treatments are very professional and will have you leaving like a new person.
There is little shade provided on the beach front which causes people to hog more than one sun beds. i.e one in the shade and one in the sun. If you do not get there early, you will fry.
The hotel did not encourage you tp leave the hotel and did not advertise may of the local activities. This made you feel trapped. If you want to see some of the Thailand, then you need to go into Hua Hin and find out things to do. We went with a company called (--) who were extremely professional and offered trips that no other companies in Hua Hin were offering.
Spa treatments were very overpriced. Cheaper on the beach front and there is little in the difference of quality."
- Travel date: Wed 3rd of May 2006
"We stayed October last year in a lagoon room and it was worth the upgrade.
After doing a 12night tour of Thailand this is what the doctor ordered.
After touring for 12nights we did not adventure far only to Hua Hin at night to
eat. We sat around the lagoond pool and it was heaven no problems with beds.
Breakfast was just great could not fault it one bit.
This year we are going to Koh Samui so hopefully the hotel there will be as good."
- Travel date: Tue 25th of April 2006