After a week of full day meetings in Bangkok, I extended my trip to spend the weekend in Hua Hin. I have heard so much about beautiful Hua Hin, which is known for her majestic sunrises. Having had a very good stay at Aleenta @ Phang Nga before, I decided to choose Aleenta @ Huahin. I must admit it is partly because I didn’t have much time and capacity to do much research, so I went for a familiar name (Aleenta), but Aleenta @ Hua Hin definitely lived up to expectations!
Firstly, as members of SLH (you can also sign up for free), Aleenta @ Hua Hin offered us a free upgrade from the main wing to the more expensive Frangipani wing. Both wings are 600m apart and you can travel back and forth by:
1) Walking on the Pak Nam Pran Beach beach,
2) Walking on the road,
3) Riding Aleenta’s tuktuk
4) Cycling with Aleenta’s bicycles.
Aleenta started as a family beach villa that was upgraded and now boasts 23 unique suites. The beach is just steps away from every residence, and every room offers a spectacular view of the Gulf of Thailand. And the Frangipani wing was recently upgraded last year, from one main villa to 5 rooms, all opening up into an infinity pool with ocean views, private sundecks and king size beds. Only the Frangipani wing accepts children and the rest of the accommodation are for adults only.
We were ushered to the Ocean View Room in the Frangipani Room, which is on Level 2, above the Pool View Room. The room had a viewing balcony, with deck chairs overlooking the beautiful, strong waves of Pranburi Beach. Aleenta @ Hua Hin’s decoration kept its roots as a family villa – comfortable, cosy and earthy colours. The room did not have a television as it is for those looking for a quiet, tranquil getaway, which is exactly what we were looking for! There was complimentary wifi throughout the resort and i-pod docking stations in the room with personal i-pods loaded with our very own music collection for relaxation.
Right below our room was a shared infinity swimming pool that overlooks the beach. It is a convenient ocation to chill out if you want to have the view without bobbing in the strong waves or be exposed to jelly fish.
Aleenta @ Hua Hin also offered good food at its restaurant in the main wing. There is a huge variety of Thai and Western breakfast mains, out of which you can choose 1 main. All mains were served with a pretty 3 tier platter – Tier 1: Cold Cuts and Cheeses, Tier 2: Mixed Fruits, Tier 3: Croissants, Breads, Tarts, Butter and Jam. They also serve free flow of juices, cereals and milks.
To minimize travelling as we wanted to enjoy the resort, we also tried the Thai Buffet Dinner on a Saturday evening at 850baht++/pax. There were free flow dishes of Thai Salads, Thai BBQ, Mains (Usual suspects: Ka Phrao Moo, Green Curry), Soups and Desserts (Thai Mango with Sticky Rice, Coconut Jelly, Mixed Fruits). If you have a good appetite and strong stomach to withstand the spices, the buffet is quite good value for the variety and convenience to be able to stay in resort.
As with many Thai resorts, I really enjoyed the hospitality and warmth of the resort crew. As we arrived at 10pm, when we reached our room, there were sandwiches on the house on the table, in case we were hungry and the kitchen was already closed! I have never stayed in a resort that went to such details to think about whether we would need supper! The security guards were always smiling, the tuktuk driver was ever ready to shuttle us back and forth and even the lady who cleaned our room was friendly and unassuming. We had some drama as N’s luggage didn’t arrive in Thailand airport and we had to arrange to deliver his luggage to Aleenta. The front desk lady was very helpful to speak to the delivery personnel so that N’s luggage could arrive safely in Aleenta. In the middle of the day, as we were chilling in the room, they came up to our room to offer us complimentary dim sum! Random but it gave the resort a very warm and homey feel.
The resort crew put a lot of thought into the details to make our stay a comfortable one. For example, it was raining quite a lot in the few days we stayed in, and the sides of the roads where we usually get off the tuktuk sometimes got flooded. We realized whenever there was heavy rain, the staff put a wooden stool where guests would alight from the tuktuk so that all the guests can get off the tuktuk without stepping into a muddy puddle. And on the only very hot day, when we reached the carpark to drive to the Khao Sam Roi Yot (Thai: เขาสามร้อยยอด) marine National Park, the security guard had put white cloth over all the vehicles to keep the car cool for when the guests want to drive. So detailed and thoughtful!
To Aleenta @ Hua Hin, thank you for the fabulous experience and good recharge we got over the weekend. Here are a few small suggestions and tweaks to further improve your guests’ experience:
- Fix the Google Map location of Aleenta @ Hua Hin – there are currently 2 “Aleenta @ Hua Hin” on google maps. When we navigated to the default Aleenta, we ended up around 5km away (location is 5 metres into the sea) and we got lost. We had to ask another resort to find Aleenta. (I already reported this problem to google and they will let me know when fixed!)
- Make the Aleenta brand lighting stronger – we almost missed it driving in the dark
- Shelter the 1 metre area just outside the “Ocean View Room” @ the Frangipani Wing. We left our new Birkies sandals just outside the room and they got drenched in the rain.
- Let your guests choose between the main wing and Frangipani wing when booking the room (with different sets of visuals online). I appreciate the free upgrade to the Frangipani Wing but I think I would have preferred the slightly more modern white rooms in the main wing, which had more direct access and opening to the beach from the “Ocean View room” in the main wing.
- Increase security on the website. On the night we were a bit lost, I tried to google to find Aleenta’s number but it kept re-directing me to some medical site so I suspect the site got hacked?
Still, all in all, very enjoyable experience! I am glad I chose Aleenta @ Hua Hin with the spacious room and great sea view and service. Aleenta truly refreshed us after a couple days short day, recharging us for busy, fast paced working life back in Singapore. By the way, if you enjoy resorts like we do, especially those with a modern feel, I also highly recommend Aleenta @ Phang Nga, Sala @ Phuket, Sala @ Khaoyai.
We also got around to doing a Thai Massage, 3 hour trekking and great food. More details below for those looking at what to do or eat around Hua Hin: