Prepare for no distractions at The Palayana Hua Hin, where privacy is sacred.
By Gurleen Khanijoun Chawla
I stroll down the long, curving beach as the late afternoon sun bathes the horizon in shades of crimson and purple. The 40-metre-long stretch, with its white sand and shimmering blue waters, forms the perfect escape from chaos. While I sit near the sea, I notice families basking in the warm water and searing sunlight. There’s not a single jet ski, powerboat or parasail in sight.
It’s rare for holidaymakers to unwind on the shore undisturbed, particularly in Thailand. Over the past decade, clusters of hotels and condominiums seem to have laid claim to nearly every strip of the beach. So it’s wonderful that Hua Hin, the country’s oldest beach resort, just a three-hour drive from Bangkok, has not yet fallen prey to overdevelopment and a preoccupation with water sports. And there is no better place to enjoy this than at The Palayana Hua Hin, an intimate boutique resort where there is room to roam.
Spread over more than one hectare, this low-rise property is made up of bungalow-style buildings with gleaming white walls and thatched roofs. Lush greenery and majestic trees surround the area, providing a beautiful tropical setting. This sylvan wonderland extends all the way to the still-pristine beachfront.
With plush rooms and suites located by the beach, there is something for everyone, whether you are seeking a weekend getaway or a long-term stay. The resort’s 23 deluxe garden and sea view rooms, six panoramic sea view suites and 11 private villas, ranging from one to four bedrooms, are fully-equipped with modern amenities, including a Bose sound system and illy coffee machine, in addition to an expansive living space that comprises closet and luggage areas, a spacious bathroom and a generous-sized balcony. The most popular choice is the private villa, of course, as there’s always one hotel amenity that never fails to delight even the most seasoned travellers — the in-room pool. Prepare to dive in!
The 157-square metre one bedroom pool villa quickly coddles me with lavish homey touches. As I step through the timbre gates and into a wide open-air pathway, a spell is cast over me. I have entered a sphere of serenity. This leads to a massive modern bedroom with snug furnishings and a well-stocked bar, while a floor-to-ceiling sliding door opens to a large airy bathroom with glass windows, letting in plenty of natural sunlight. There is also a dressing area, walk-in closet and separate shower and toilet.
The upstairs area is the main event here with a four-by-four metre pool and a traditional sala pavilion. I can’t help but feel indulgent. Perhaps it’s the convenience of not having to fight for a lounge chair, or the sheer pleasure of soaking in absolute privacy, uninterrupted, at any hour I please. Whatever it is, the in-room pool remains the ultimate highlight — particularly if you are a breakfast buff!
One of the exclusive services in the villas is the breakfast in bed concept, where your morning meals are brought to you in the outdoor pavilion. “We plan to serve breakfast in the pool next month,” says General Manager Krit Pothisoonthorn, smiling. “This will be known as the floating breakfast.” I couldn’t think of anything better after a good night’s sleep than waking to a good hearty meal. This comprises a wide selection of Asian favourites, such as Thai omelette, Chinese fried noodles and western delights, including Eggs Benedict or scrambled eggs prepared with bacon, sausages and grilled mushrooms.
For those who enjoy greater variety, be sure to check out the breakfast buffet at the all-day dining restaurant Basil, just a few steps away from the villas. This simple pavilion, made from teak beams, is open and spacious, and when the breeze blows, you can catch the scent of the cypress trees. Also serving fresh Thai and western meals, the kitchen happily veers into fusion territory, offering such delights as their Kaphrao kai burger and Palayana lasagna.
My favourite dining area is the beach bar Brisa, an immaculate white addition to the resort that welcomes all for chic and trendy afternoon lounging, sunset drinks and light meals by the sandy beach. You can also order a refreshing concoction by the Pool Bar while taking laps of luxury in the 300-square metre pool. “Another restaurant, called Thai Pas, will launch soon,” reveals Krit. “Here, we will serve modern Thai cuisine in a sophisticated ambience.”
This private property is bolstered by a range of exquisite spa treatments at Yana Spa, where holistic health and well-being is of utmost importance. Designed and administered by well-trained Pañpuri professionals, the therapies are designed to balance the senses.
When I arrive for my treatment, the friendly receptionist guides me through the massage menu, recommending a few that fit my preference and time frame. I am also given a cup of herbal Thai tea to relax my mind. I opt for a simple 90-minute aromatherapy massage, and the expert masseuse kneads and strokes my tired muscles with natural oils. The lavish surroundings help ease my tension too, as the soothing, brown-hued ambiance and soft music help to transport me to another world — a world I never desire to leave.
Baby’s Day Out
The Kids’ Corner is the perfect zone for your young ones’ playtime. Adjacent to the Fitness Centre, it allows parents to work out while keeping a close eye on their children. Well-trained staff are also there to provide childcare services.
The Palayana Hua Hin can accommodate around 100 to 120 people for any event. Guests can buy out the entire property for as many days as they require, while all facilities are available for use. “There are a variety of venues throughout the resort,” says Managing Director Twinkle Khurana. “Whether you desire a beach, lawn or pool party, anything can be arranged.” There is also a grand ballroom that can accommodate up to 110 people. “Currently, we are getting inquiries for many anniversary and birthday parties, as well as small wedding groups.” This comes as to no surprise, as the entire retreat is perfect for a private and special occasion.
The Palayana Hua Hin
1390/19 Phetkasem Rd. (Sai Tai)
Cha-am, Phetchaburi 76120 Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 32 406 111