Dusit Thani Hua Hin – A Review By Punam Mohandas
Situated between Cha’am and Hua Hin to the south of Bangkok , the Dusit Thani Hua Hin incorporates Thai, classic as well as modern elements in its overall design. Much of the design has been inspired by the summer palace of Rama VI in Hua Hin. The concept details are such that guests are always faced with a water body to harmonise the senses and hence there is a lily and goldfish pond as well as a lake on the 52-acres.
As you enter the lobby, there is a water body in the centre with a glass sculpture and an overhanging chandelier almost touching it. There are three separate Reception areas; one for guests, one for Club room guests and the third for groups.
The hotel has 296-keys, all of which have private balconies or verandahs. Rooms are categorised as the following: Superior, Lanai (with verandah), Club, Grand (junior suite), Dusit Suite and Lanai Suite, and finally, the Presidential Suite. Some of the Club rooms,and all the Grand rooms (and upwards) come with a pool and sea view. Amenities include 32-inch LCD television; DVD player; electronic safe and tea/coffee maker. In-room broadband internet connection is available while across the property, wi-fi is available.
The bathrooms differ in size and fitments according to room category. While the Superior and Club rooms offer all amenities, including separate bath tub and shower cubicle areas, the Grand rooms have a larger bathroom space, with the tub in the centre, two sinks, and a walk-in wardrobe.
Business facilities include 15 meeting and banqueting rooms, three with natural light. The Royal Dusit Grand Ballroom can take 1,100 pax for cocktails, 800 as theatre-style and 504 as classroom-style. It is also the only ballroom in Thailand to offer a sea view. The carpet here, which again takes its inspiration from that of the royal palace, has been cleverly designed so that it can be removed a square metre at a time, and either red carpet patches can be inserted, or else carpet patches that bear the logo of the company hosting the event for the day. Additionally, events can be held on the submerged stage in the pool that has a walkway leading to it. The Dusit is growing steadily popular for Indian weddings with the large ground area and various entertainment options thus available.
F&B options are varied at the Dusit Thani Hua Hin: Ban Benjarong offers Thai cuisine; San Marco is Italian; The Restaurant is the all-day dining with Asian and international dishes and Rim Talay is the alfresco beachside outlet for seafood and steaks. Additionally there are three bars including a poolside one. F&B service is good and prices are reasonable considering this is a five-star hotel. The breakfast spread is certainly lavish when compared to its competitors.
Recreational facilities include two swimming pools which are sea-facing; an outdoor Jacuzzi; private beach; fitness centre; tennis and squash courts; jogging track; water sports; horse riding (the hotel has its own stables with four horses and two ponies for children), 18-hole and 36-hole golf courses in the vicinity; shops, hair salon and the Devarana Spa. The latter offers eight treatment rooms, three of which are private villas for couples. The signature treatment combines the Thai, Ayurveda, Swedish and Shiatsu techniques along with Aromatherapy, along with a bowl of freshly sliced orange and kaffir lime in hot water for deep breathing and respiratory clearing.
Additionally, there are Thai cooking, fruit and ice carving, floral decoration and suchlike classes organised for guest entertainment.
The hotel provides a shuttle bus service to Hua Hin market (about 15-minutes away) on the hour, with the last shuttle leaving the market at 10.30pm. Price is 50-baht each way per person.
Although the resort is geared for business events and conferences, the overall ambience is that of serenity and relaxation. Full marks must be given to the pest control methods the hotel employs; there are hardly any mosquitoes or other creepy-crawlies, leaving one to wonder why other hotels cannot control this and ensure their guests have a smooth stay, instead of blaming it all on Mother Nature.
Another plus point in my book is definitely the four bottles of complimentary drinking water per day that the Dusit provides. Hotels have got to learn that one small bottle of water free just doesn’t cut it anymore and is not adding to the ‘wow’ factor in any way!
Minor downsides include housekeeping – while service is extremely prompt, the staff could do with some training as to how to handle English-speaking guests. Also, plastic waste bins in the bathrooms lower the Dusit image of quiet swank and style. Showers/flushes being functional or not should be checked during the clean-up process rather than after a guest checks in and complains. Reception and check-in is extremely smooth for Club members, but can leave a few ruffled feathers for more ‘ordinary’ guests.
The Dusit chain offers a sprinter or shuttle bus service between its hotels; it leaves Dusit Thani Bangkok at 3pm daily and for the return trip, it leaves Dusit Thani Hua Hin at 11.15am daily. The journey takes 2.5hours and cost per person is THB600. Hua Hin has its own airport and the flight time from Bangkok is 25-minutes.
DUSIT THANI HUA HIN
TEL: +66 32420009
FAX: +66 32520296