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Sunday, February 25, 2024

The Standard, Hua Hin, Thailand

The Standard, Hua Hin, ThailandThe Standard, Hua Hin is a new build, a mid-sized property that opened in December 2021 with its collection of 199 rooms, suites and villas. This pet-friendly retreat has quickly established itself as one of the leading resorts in this historic royal resort town by the sea.

Since attracting Thai nobility more than a hundred years ago and with the advent of the railway age, this fishing village has grown and prospered. With its magnificent beach that stretches along the edge of the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand in a golden swath, it is one of Thailand’s glittering jewels. Popular and fashionable, the resort attracts attention from a broad cross-section of visitors.

The Standard, Hua Hin, joins this social scene in the popular beach resort known for its notable events, including classics such as polo, tennis, golf, car rallies, wellness, great restaurants, delicious seafood and artistic and musical events. The resort is a haven for shoppers from high-end global brands to street markets and handicrafts.

Pets are welcome at The Standard, Hua Hin
Pets are welcome at The Standard, Hua Hin

The entrance to the hotel is an unassuming driveway with the traditional upside-down Standard logo. No, it’s not a mistake but a chic and cool statement about the brand – anything but standard!

After parking the car, we walked into an almost hidden seating area and front desk in the single-storey reception space. We were met with smiling faces in colourful uniforms that contrasted nicely with the architecture.

Set in a tropical garden, I was impressed that whilst the building was new, the mature garden, tropical flora and its rare ancient trees had been carefully preserved. The buildings were moulded around the garden and not the other way round.

After checking in and being warmly welcomed with a unique rose-flavoured welcome drink, we were shown to our room by a lovely lady who turned out to be the assistant front office manager Amy. Her distinctive orange hair and the green-coloured uniform were indeed a stand-out look.

I was later to see that a colourful hairstyle was encouraged, and we saw everything from red, green, purple and blue hairstyles during our three-day stay at the resort.

Our room, which was on the sixth floor, was perfect. Comfortable and well-appointed with all the latest amenities but with a colourful retro feel. A great bed. The balcony overlooks the gardens. The room reflects the five-star nature of the resort with the latest hi-tech flat screen TV, WiFi and a Standard signature feature – a top-quality bedside Bluetooth speaker to stream your music.

After getting settled, we explored – passing through the centre of the resort with its garden art, wonderful colourful bougainvillea, green walkways and magnificent palm trees that towered overhead, and the glorious trees in this area. We just stepped away from the beach and Hua Hin’s golden sands.

The Standard, Hua Hin, Thailand
The Standard, Hua Hin, Thailand

We arrived around midday, so we ate lunch at the Lido restaurant. I ordered a mixed plate of cold cuts and cheese, much of it locally sourced, which was just the ticket.

The restaurant ambience was perfect, light and airy and offered open or air-conditioned options. The clever design makes the most of the adjacent pool area, and all the windows could easily fold back open to give a relaxed alfresco dining experience.

Just off from the pool and steps from the beach, this is the beating heart of the resort and serves meals, snacks and drinks throughout the day.

The pool area is spotless, and the water is crystal clear. Sunbeds, lounges a-plenty and perfectly placed umbrellas and oversized beach towels. The striped yellow and white design, which runs throughout the resort, is not only attractive but very contemporary with a California/French Riviera feel. The music in this area is chilled, jazzy and laid back, a kind of East Coast Cuban House vibe.

The pool bar is constantly manned and serves delicious meals and excellent snacks, and well-crafted cocktails.

That evening we had dinner at Praca, and we were introduced to the menu by Mr Constant Wormser, the Executive Assistant Manager (EAM), whose enthusiasm and energy was infectious. It was sunset, and we were seated on the beach’s edge in an old heritage house. It oozed the atmosphere and history.

The tapas-style bites were utterly delicious, and the cocktails fitted the occasion perfectly. The meal was a delightful fusion of seasonal Asian flavours. Constant says, “At sunset, there is no more perfect place. The transition from day to night is so special at Praca, our stylish beach bar with its panoramic seascape, with the elegant Heritage House as a backdrop. Our menu is authentic Thai bites with a twist,”  the Executive Assistant Manager said.

The EAM went on to say, “Everyday street favourites meet refreshing boozy concoctions – a Thai Izakaya by the sea.”

Towards the end of our stay, we spent a whole afternoon in the spa, focused on healing the mind, body, and spirit, before heading back to Bangkok.

The Standard Spa evokes peace and relaxation. Aromatic and calming, a mood-enhancing oasis with a professional, holistic approach to wellness. Much like the resort itself.

Written by Andrew J Wood 


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