Rest Detail Hotel Hua Hin – A Review By Punam Mohandas
I first reviewed Rest Detail Hotel Hua Hin about four years ago when it was still relatively new. Most properties tend to slide into a zone of complacence after a period of operation, figuring that since guests are pouring in anyway why bother with the niceties anymore. Imagine what an exceedingly pleasant surprise it was then, to find that the Rest Detail still maintains the high standards it set for itself when it was a new kid on the (hotel) block. Although the name sounds a tad strange, the owner wasn’t far off the mark when he said his hotel attended to each detail of a guest’s rest.
One is greeted at the entrance by concierge staff wearing half sleeved shirts and mini Stetson cowboy hats. A little welcome bracelet of wooden beads with RDH inscribed on it is tied around your wrist. It must be mentioned here that the hotel has adopted the motif of the Japanese ‘Sanzaru’ or the three wise monkeys that see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil and this motif can be found all across the resort and on the staff’ uniforms; indeed, the Rest Detail is also referred to as the ‘Monkey Hotel’ by the taxi drivers in town!
The lobby is charming and done up like somebody’s living room. Books cupboards and seating area with beanbags are to the right, while cane armchairs to the left lead down to a little internet station meant for guest use. The vista is that of the aquamarine sea beyond. The colour décor is in soothing white, complemented by pastel shades in the throw cushions and old-fashioned ceiling fans that whir lazily in the summer breeze. Even the elevators are restful, with wooden flooring that’s offset by white trimmings around the mirrored panels.
With 56-keys, the rooms are split into eight definitive categories spread over three buildings. The Rest Green comprises 15-rooms, each of 48sqm and with spacious balconies that overlook a verdant landscape. The beds here can either be twin or else joined together to form a queen size. Next up is the Rest Spirit category, with nine rooms of 48sqm each, offering a partial sea view. Both these categories do not offer bathtubs however, the Rest Spirit has a special body shower massage system. The Rest Horizon rooms number twelve in all at 65 sqm each and are most romantic, perfect for honeymooners or couples, as they feature a large round daybed on the airy terrace with an outdoor Jacuzzi and, what’s more, look directly out on to the sea. The bed is most sensibly placed taking full advantage of the spectacular sea view.
The Pool Village category has twelve villas with an exclusive pool shared only by these guests. Measuring 65sqm each, the rooms as well as bathrooms are exceedingly spacious and can easily accommodate a family with two small children. Each villa has its own little wooden deck opening on to the pool, with two sun beds each.
The Beach Village pavilions are four villas in total of 65 sqm each and are structured differently to have complete sea views, with their own little patch of green lawn. Although they share the pool, there is a degree of privacy from the Pool Village occupants.
The Beach Rest Pavilion, North Rest Pavilion and South Rest Pavilion are 260 sqm two-bedroom villas, the only difference being that the latter two don’t have a sea view. Each has a sweeping living and dining area with a private pool.
The Grand Rest Pavilion is the equivalent of a Presidential Suite in other hotels. At 485 sqm, it is unparalleled luxury in the form of four bedrooms, all of which are sea-facing, a private pool, dining and living areas, and small kitchenette. All the bedrooms are en suite and the master bathroom has a Jacuzzi. The master bedroom is restfully done up in shades of white, beige and pastel blue, while the other bedrooms have splashes of warm orange and lime green. The hotel can organise an outside barbeque on request for guests to have their own cook-out on the lawn by the pool.
All the room categories have this huge cane settee set against windows and with colourful cushions, which comfortably doubles up as an extra bed. Old-style ceiling fans add that traditional, homey touch although of course there is air conditioning. All rooms are equipped with amenities such as electronic safe, umbrella, flash light, tea/coffee maker, TV, DVD player and iPod sound stations with iPods available on request. The villas have two wardrobes, making for ample clothes space for a family. Accessories include a choice of room as well as beach slippers, tunic shirt and fisherman pants apart from the usual bathrobe and a handy beach bag. Two complimentary bottles of water are provided per day. Attentive, welcome gestures such as a jar of peanut brittle, fresh fruit platters and home baked cookies or mini muffins are placed in the rooms on a daily basis.
The bathrooms are spacious, with separate shower and toilet cubicles and a bathtub area. I’ve often thought how it’s the smaller hotels who pay the maximum attention to detail while the large chain hotels are more obsessed with creating a new restaurant or just adding to the senseless marketing spiel – and so it is here. The bathtub features a thoughtful cushioned head rest and there are eucalyptus as well as lavender bath salts laid out for your choice.
The Rest Detail adds its own quaint touches to the guest experience. For example, the villas have little mailboxes outside them much as you would find outside any home, which have slots for the DND or ‘Clean my room’ signs.
F&B options include the Rest Gastro, an 80-cover restaurant where an extensive buffet breakfast spread is laid out. This is one of the few hotel spreads I have witnessed that features such an elaborate range of Thai breakfast items. The Rest Scene is a 60-cover outlet overlooking the pool and the sea beyond and is where lunch and dinner is served. Every Saturday the hotel puts together a seafood barbeque evening. Room service is available until 1am.
The hotel has one main swimming pool, with a smaller children’s pool to the side. Sundeck chairs and even beanbags are laid out for guest use, although most people just prefer to stretch out and sunbathe on the narrow strips of lawn grass around the pool or the stone ledges overlooking the sea. There is one shop within the spa area that sells T-shirts, bath robes and herb products. Rest Detail is able to organise classes such as frame making and T-shirt painting, at a price.
Conference options include two meeting rooms – the Thought and the Wise- on the rooftop, with a capacity of 20-80 pax. There is also the Rest Zidential – an entertainment venue for private parties with a DJ booth, sound-and-light system, band stage and suchlike.
Rest Detail Hotel Hua Hin offers a fully equipped spa known as ‘Restfully Yours.’ There are five massage rooms (two couple treatment rooms) and a host of massages and facials however, the signature therapy deserves special mention all on its own. Known as ‘Healing of the Ocean’ this truly is a most restful 90-minute treatment, where the guest is offered a choice of aromatic oils. The unique part of this therapy is that big-sized lava shells are first warmed in a pan so that they release their own natural self-heat. Once the oil has been massaged into a particular area of the body, the shells are then used to knead the muscle knots with sure, firm strokes; the resultant heat undoes all the knotted stress, leaving your muscles pliant and relaxed. Having been through many massages from various spas in my time, I can confidently rate this among the most superior experiences ever. The equivalent of a Michelin star, according to me, is if I fall asleep during a massage; while this treatment itself is distinctive, what is perhaps more outstanding is the undoubted skill of the therapist.
A resort like this can only benefit with the addition of sauna and steam rooms and a mini gym to keep their guests occupied. Regarding the software, or service, front office and housekeeping staff are courteous and helpful. While the F&B service at Gastro is smiling efficiency, Rest Scene F&B need to pull up their socks a bit and anticipate guest needs. Also, nothing can put one off breakfast more than a surly chef and the kitchen staff need to get their act together in sync with their F&B colleagues.
Rest Detail Hotel Hua Hin offers a shuttle service five times a day to the Night Market as well as Market Village mall, which is complimentary – and this is to be well appreciated, as hotels that are much closer to town charge a fee of 50baht per person. You need to book in advance though, as the vans get filled up very quickly.
Almost all major international airlines fly into Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport. Hua Hin has its own airport and the flight time from Bangkok is about 30-minutes.Once in Bangkok, there are myriad transport options of getting to Hua Hin; you can get a bus from the airport at approximately THB300 per person. Or take the train from Hua Lampong station; cheaper option, but the journey takes almost six hours and tickets sometimes require to be bought in advance. A taxi will cost between THB2500-3000. The minivan from Victory Monument costs THB180 per person and takes three hours, while the bus from Sai Tai Mai Terminal is at approximately the same per person and takes almost four hours.
REST DETAIL HOTEL HUA HIN
TEL: +66 32547733
FAX: +66 32547722