Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin
12 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"Just come back from 10days in Hua Him and what a brilliant holiday it was, went for our 40th wedding anniversary, and although we were doubtful as to what to expect we couldnt have booked a more beautiful place. The hotel staff couldnt do enough for us, and we had an upgrade to a de-luxe room, which was huge and the bed was even bigger. Although they were doing some renovations (which we were informed about before we went) it didnt spoil our holiday at all. The breakfast was very good, everyone was catered for, we also went to the Japenese for our anniversary meal and had the tapenyaki(sorry for spelling) which was a first for us, we didnt know what to expect but we wernt dissappointed as it was cooked to perfection and they also gave us an anniversay cake which they sent to our room.
The hotel was right in the centre of Hua Hin, and the massage palour across from the entrance was brilliant and we spent more than one afternoon there having either foot or oil massages. Well worth a visit to the River Kwai which was excellent value for money, we went with the rep in the hotel but you could book with any of the travel companies dotted around.
We will definately be looking to go back in the near future, all in all a fantastic holiday."
- Travel date: Sun 19th of September 2010
This is a great hotel. From the minute w...
"This is a great hotel. From the minute we arrived we enjoyed every moment of our stay here.
The staff are helpful and friendly, though there English is not great they try very hard to please. Our room was lovely the breakfasts were great, a huge varied selection every day.
The pools were all lovely. The hotel would benefit from an adult only pool and this is its only drawback. Also the spa is lovely but book early to avoid disappointment as it is very popular.
We did not eat in any of the hotel restaurants as they seemed very expensive but the hotel is ideally located in Hua Hin to all the restaurants and bars so this was not a problem for us."
- Travel date: Sun 26th of August 2007
The perfect relax station!
"We had a wonderful 5-day stay at Central - Hotel - after 5 turbulent days in Bangkok and believe me, it was simply perfect! The buildings of the hotel remind old colonial style as they are almost kept as it was originally built and are fine refurbished, all details are carefully chosen, the personnel is at the top for service quality. Everybody speaking good English, food is very tasty in all of the restaurants and thereâs a great variety, plus âthemeâ menus for each day of the week, from fish to meat or typical Thai, French and whatsoeverâ¦
We were lucky to enjoy the pools although the period we went was not supposed to be the best, beginning June is notoriously matching with the monsoon yearly time but apart from a couple of times that it rained a bit for a total of one hour, the rest of our short (sadly...) vacation was made of wonderful weather, very hot but sunny: close to the pools we could find plenty of wooden beach-chairs and very gentle guys take fresh cleaned big yellow towels as soon as we were used to arrive and choose our seats, having a drink or some snack food was also âincludedâ in our wish list and promptly satisfied, prices were very ok compared to other resorts we went to, even those with less stars...
The beach was also very nice but at least when we went there it was definitely too hot, plus the fact that there was nothing but few people taking a walk or a ride with horses for few Thai-bath.
The hotel complex is huge but we had a peaceful feeling due to the fact that all the buildings are just two-floors and plunged into a wonderful park with also some secular trees (you might find small boards indicating it, hung on the trunks) and big bushes trimmed as animal patterns like elephants or birds.
Our room was a ground floor one, as said, too hot to enjoy a drink outside in the small garden-terrace at disposal of each ground floor room but I believe that in another period this can be done and must be very nice.
We had also some massage sessions at Centara Spa: needless to say, simply great as in the perfect and delicious style of Sofitel.
What else... I would suggest this hotel to everybody wanting to have a very relaxing and top quality vacation plus a couple of hints.
If your planned departure time is in the evening, don't worry, you can check out before 11:00 am as requested and make use of the pools for the time being, with all the normal services available plus you can have a shower at the Spa and change clothes or refresh/recover yourself: youâll be provided with all the bath products you might need, towels and even fresh drinks for your trip: just ask!
Another thing, I would also suggest to travelers to use SGA Airline â code-sharing with âNok-Airâ, just visit the website) flying from Hua Hin airport and taking you directly to Suvarnabhumi International airport. Flight ticket price is affordable and however you won't waste so much time along the roads to reach Bangkok, youâll be already there; the three schedule flights per day are quite comfortable and well distributed during the day.
In the end, trust me; the old âRailway Hotelâ is for sure the best âstationâ for your planned relaxation!"
- Travel date: Tue 31st of July 2007
Pool villa stay - best of all worlds
"Stayed at a premium pool villa at the Sofitel and had a brill stay. Read on this site that the villas were overlooked by the Hilton so e-mailed the hotel to ensure a private villa and got a super one. Villas are what was the old Central resort, across a small road from main Sofitel but with security men on both sides, and if you want there is an electric buggy to take you across to main hotel.
VILLA ROOMS - has nice bedroom, huge marble bathroom with roll top bath and separate shower, dressing area, dvd player and all usual bits. Outside it there is a separate media room with 2 sofabeds, another tv and also full aircon. Across from it is another wardrobe and another marble shower room, although these are all accessed from an open (non aircon ) area. This leads to pool area - 2 relaxer chairs, sala bed(4 poster type bed where you can lie in the shade) marble table. Also 2 relaxers on another balcony off bedroom.
Service is very good yet unintrusive. Breakfast is in Salathai - the restaurant at the villas and is full service a la carte there, or at main hotel - buffet style but very comprehensive, but a bit more crowded.
If you stay in a villa you have acess to Sofitel club which offers tea/coffee and picky bits all day and canapes/cocktail in early evening. Also internet access at club lounge in main hotel and in villas library - where you can also get books/papers/ and borrow dvds. Also got us 2 items of laundry each day, which was great and meant we took home hardly any dirty washing! We also had our room until our 5.30 pm pick up on our last day which makes a big difference.
CHECK IN at villas with a cool drink and cold towel sitting on a sofa and made very easy. Villa had fresh fruit bowl , plate of canapes and welcome letter, fresh ice, jasmin garlands on bed. Turn down service each night little gold box with 4 choccies, orchids on bed and in bathrooms and fresh ice.
Roger and Gallet toiletries in plentiful supply in both bathrooms and loads of towels plus 4 huge beach towels always provided.
Main hotel has 3 lovely pools and there is another on villa side (only for villa guests) Hotel grounds are beautiful with topiary animals - huge elephant, birds etc, lily ponds, waterfalls etc
Hotel is in great location as it is an oasis of calm but 2 minutes to walk to restaurants and bars and the nightlife in Hua Hin. We have stayed in Dusit and other hotels outside town, and the downside is the constant trip in to eat or shop means you don't leave hotel very much.Beach is not the greatest in Hua Hin, but better outside main hotel than villa side.
Didn't eat in hotel except for breakfast as there is so much choice (and so cheap) on the doorstep.
We did take hotel's thai cookery course which was great fun and very well done - trip to local food market then back to prepare 5 dishes - with all the ingredients beautifully set out and prepared for you it really was as easy as Rick Stein or Floyd makes it look on tv!
Went to hotel night club once and they have a live group which was good fun.
Also had 2 free massages (included in rate) in Centara Spa which were nice. However we had any other treatments in town as they are so cheap - facials, manicure, foot massage etc.
It was my partners birthday on our last day and although we hadn't mentioned it, the hotel picked it up from passport and left a lovely birthday cake for him in our room - top marks.
We looked at some rooms in main hotel - met people who stayed in the garden wing and their room was lovely, but I looked at a suite in the railway wing and thought it was a bit dark and fusty, so perhaps you can have a different experience depending on the room. If our villa had been overlooked we might not have been so happy. Also have to agree with a post on forum that villas are not total luxury - Four seasons style - however they are very nice.
Advantages of villas - obviously your own pool, quieter, not as much bustle as main hotel, club benefits, breakfast better on villa side, main villa pool much quieter as people generally use own pools, and can have the best of both worlds - hotel or villa facilities.
Sofitel oveall generally quieter and slightly older clientele (say 40 -50's) than Hilton which suited us fine.
All in all we had a fab stay."
- Travel date: Tue 10th of July 2007
"After rushing round the cities of Singapore and Bangkok this was the perfect place to relax. The three pools more than make up for the poor quality of the sea water. No sooner have you picked a sunlounger (there are plenty of them!) an attendant is there with a towel. One pool has a swim-up bar (not always manned though unfortunately).
Rooms are very comfortable (with either a balcony or private outdoor seating area). I loved those chocolates the chamber maids left in the evenings!
I chose not to eat in the hotel as I like to explore the local area. Plenty of decent restaurants are within a 15 minute walk, as are most shops/bars in the town centre. This includes the day and night markets.
What really made this vacation for me was the live band playing in the hotel's Satchmo Club. They're called 'Horizon' and like to get the audience involved, so don't be surprised to find yourself singing on the stage with them!!
I'm thinking of returning early next year and hope they are still there!!"
- Travel date: Mon 2nd of July 2007
How do you top this?
"This was our second visit to the Central and it certainly lived up to expectations (again). We travelled this time with our adult children and were concerned that it may be a little quiet for them. I needn't have worried, they all voted it 9/10!
The major benefits of the place are:
* Service is unobtrusive, but nonetheless very efficient,
* The grounds of the hotel are stunning,
* It is the ultimate place to relax during the day, but offers plenty at night for those who like to party.
We checked out many of the other resort hotels and whilst the Hyatt and Chiva Som are really nice, you need a taxi to get into town.
As has been mentioned by other contributors there are plenty of eating options in the town and my picks are Fesitivale for Italian and Monsoon for local food.
It's a real "no hassle" place and the only negative is the drive from Bangkok.
If you're looking for a mix of the laid back together with a little excitement, but without the hordes of tourists, this is definitely the place."
- Travel date: Sun 17th of June 2007
cant wait to return
"Decided on Thailand as great weather for time of year, and picked Hua Hin as could drive from Bangkok. Spent weeks deciding between hotels and eventually plumped for Sofitel. We certainly made the perfect choice as the combination of beautiful, large landscaped grounds and the stunning 1920's elegance make it a wonderfully relaxing hotel to stay in. It is extremely peaceful but only a short walk into town which is very friendly and not seedy. You can have cheap and great Thai food down at the piers or the market place, whilst the Cafe de Paris offers superb dining and wine at about Â£40 for two (visited 3 times). Only made breakfast twice at the hotel as never seemed to get up in time so dont pay for in advance!. Enjoyed lunch, ice creams and afternoon tea every day though. We are definitely returning next March but will stay in Bangkok for a night on arrival as the drive took nearly 4 hours (we did leave airport at 5 pm on a Friday)!"
- Travel date: Tue 29th of May 2007
Great colonial hotel
"I deliberated long and hard before booking this hotel. I wanted a central hotel and couldn't decide between this one and the Hilton. I definitely chose the right one.
It was a long drive down from Bangkok (around 3 hours). We arrived at 2am and the staff were really efficient and we were in our room within 5 minutes of arriving. The hotel is really elegant being the former railway station. It is in the centre of Hua Hin but has a long driveway from the main street so you don't hear the traffic/street noise.
The rooms are comfortable with large balconies but they are a little tired looking and in my opinion in need of refurbishment.
The hotel has large gardens and you could always find a free sunbed. Prices around the pool for ice cream etc were reasonable for a hotel (60 Baht for an ice cream cone)
The only meals we ate in the hotel were breakfast and the choice was amazing. They really cater for everyone. There are loads of restaurants outside the hotel although most do very similar menus.
On the whole we didn't find the food as good as in other Thai resorts."
- Travel date: Fri 2nd of March 2007
A little piece of history
"We have stayed in this hotel 8 times since 2005. It really is quite beautiful, very colonial feel. The staff are excellent. If you get a chance have a lunch in the covered raised area at the beach restaurant - the breeze is usually nice and you have a wonderful view sitting above things. I read and agree with a couple of negative points - unfortunately the management exchanged their elegant evening piano player for some "karaoke singing types" who tend to belt out a mixture of pop songs and inevitably includes a version of Ave Maria at the end. To be honest this does not fit into the overall elegant feel of the place and is very loud and noisy. Follow the suggestion and avoid rooms that are near the lobby area - if you don't like that kind of thing. Do venture into Hua Hin - some seafood on the sea front pier constructions is quite fun, pick the one that the Thai people are in. Treat yourself to a massage at the Sofitel, enjoy the afternoon tea - and imagine that you are back in the 1920s! This place in my humble opinion should be number 1 in Hua Hin. (We also tried some other places in Hua Hin - and none meet this level.)"
- Travel date: Wed 21st of February 2007
step back in time with class
"II found this hotel on the intranet while arranging a trip round Thailand and China. After 2 weeks travelling in China & Bangkok we needed a relaxing week. Travelling with my partner and my mother (a fit & active 60+) we were amazed when we arrived. It was a long hot drive down from Bangkok so the welcome drinks (while you were checking in), cold towels and genuine kindliness could not be faulted. The hotel is Elegance personified. If you ever wondered what it must have been like to travel in style in the 1920's this hotel lets you find out. The friendliness of all the staff was wonderful. Not at all obsequious, just old fashioned service. They really do go out of their way to make your stay memorable. The King & Queen of Thailand visited for a state banquet (with the Swedish royal family) during our stay, a good recommendation I thought!
The hotel is decorated with period items (classic sports cars!), which add to the feel of stepping out of an Agatha Christie novel.
The rooms were very comfortable and the period furnishing added a real note of luxury. We were there in Nov and were lucky enough to be in the hotel when they celebrated Loy Kratong, Thais go to rivers and waterways to float a Krathong in order to say thank you for the life-giving water. It is also very much a day to be with loved ones. Kratongs are small floating 'boats', originally made of banana leaves (now sometimes with foam though), and containing a candle and incense. The pool area was decorated and we all were given a Kratong to float on the water. It was a magical night.
The food in the hotel was great (Thai and non Thai) but Hau Hin is a wonderful place to eat with lots of choice, please do not be put off by the apparent simplicity of some of the cafes/restaurants/stalls â they are excellent.
I would highly recommend this hotel and we are planning out next trip asap!"
- Travel date: Wed 31st of January 2007
"We spent 3 nights at the Sofitel Hua Hin for our Honeymoon. After staying in many Sofitel's world wide, this is by far the best hotel I have stayed at. The staff on checkin were superb offering us a drink whilst they organised our bags to be taken to our room. The staff also arranged a cake and flowers in our room to celebrate our honeymoon. The buffet breakfast is brilliant, a large range of choice from western to asian style's of food. This is a must visit hotel. Superb location, attentive staff and excellent rooms. If you can afford the ocean front suite it is well worth the extra $."
- Travel date: Sat 27th of January 2007
Wonderful and relaxing
"Stayed here for a week as part of a package. The resort is only a few minutes stroll from the centre and the markets.
We had a very comfortable room and the best breakfasts anywhere, every nationality food is available.
The pools can get a bit crowded but there are always plenty of sunbeds available - do try the fresh green coconuts served throughout the day!
The gardens and topiary are very tranquil and beautiful
The HAGI Japanese restaurant (part of the hotel) was the best we tried - if a tad pricey - but there are lots of other excellent local restaurants and it is completely safe to eat and drink from the stalls in the night market.
All in all, one the best resorts we have been to - highly recommended."
- Travel date: Sun 10th of December 2006