HUA HIN, Thailand (Feb. 4, 2010) — For almost a century, the Thai resort region of Hua Hin and Cha Am has attracted the country’s most noble residents — for its white-sand beaches, for its mountainous backdrop, for its proximity to Bangkok, the nation’s capital.
Now the area’s premier properties — including nine posh hotels, an award-winning golf club and a singular vineyard — are teaming to take the destination to another level with a publicity campaign called “It’s in Hua Hin.”
Launched today at www.itsinhuahin.com, the initiative is aimed at promoting the world-class accommodations and activities available in and around the hundred-year-old city of Hua Hin and neighboring beach town of Cha Am, less than three hours’ south of Bangkok by car.
“Anyone who’s been to Hua Hin and Cha Am knows this stretch of coastline has a lot to offer,” said Boyd Barker, general manager of Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa, one of the program’s founding members. “But not everyone’s been yet. We want to get the word out about this destination — a destination that’s been the choice of royalty for decades — and we think by banding together, and speaking to the world with one voice, we can do just that.”
Hua Hin became a popular retreat among Thai sovereigns in 1921, when a railway station and hotel were erected to service elite train travelers between Bangkok and Singapore. Today, it’s the full-time residence of the world’s longest serving monarch, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. This year, the town celebrates its centennial.
Long one of Thailand’s seafood capitals, the Hua Hin and Cha Am region has increased its overall tourism allure during the past two decades thanks to an influx of high-end hotel brands. In fact, many of its resorts are now mainstays in the awards issues of the most prestigious publications in the world. And celebrities — such as tennis greats Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams, who competed here in an exhibition match earlier this month — have taken notice.
Located next to the palace of a princess, Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa pays particular attention to landscaping and design. The ample use of earth tones — right down to each room’s décor and throughout the outdoor spa — makes for a pleasing feeling of environmental respect. Other hotels to claim membership in the exclusive group include:
AKA Resorts, a rural collection of 67 designer pool villas teeming with natural lagoons, cattail, sugar cane and rice paddies, 10 minutes west of downtown Hua Hin.
Anantara Hua Hin, the quintessential beachfront resort whose spa was voted one of the top 10 spa experiences in the world by Conde Nast Traveller (UK) magazine readers in 2007.
Banyan Resort, a cluster of stylish, residential-style villas set in a quiet enclave moments from the hustle and bustle of downtown Hua Hin.
Courtyard by Marriott Hua Hin, a 243-room hotel on Cha Am Beach that opened in 2008 and is fast becoming a favorite of families and corporate groups.
Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa, renowned for its central location, spacious Thai-style accommodation, panoramic sea views and 17-floor tower, the tallest in the region.
Hyatt Regency Hua Hin, owner of the longest stretch of sand in the area and THE BARAI, awarded ‘Best Resort Spa’ at The 2009 Spa Asia Crystal Awards Asia Pacific.
Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa, one of the newest 5-star properties in the region and already one of the most popular, thanks to its ultra-modern design, 4,000-square-meter pool and impressive kids facilities.
Veranda Resort & Spa Hua Hin, a chic, 118-room, seaside retreat near Cha Am with one of the widest strips of sand along the region’s coastline.
“The finest hotels are here because their ownership groups recognized Hua Hin has it all,” said Richard Mehr, general manager of Banyan Resort. “Its amenities — spa, watersports, even wine tasting — enable everything from a family vacation to a couples’ retreat to a guys’ golf trip.”
Indeed, the region boasts seven golf courses, including Banyan Golf Club, the cream of the crop and the initiative’s only golf member. Situated in a mostly-enclosed, bucolic bowl with unimpeded views of the Burmese Mountains, the 18-hole masterpiece was voted ‘Best New Course in Asia’ by Asian Golf Monthly readers in 2009.
Wine enthusiasts can either delve into Banyan’s ample collection of vintages or drive 45 minutes north to Hua Hin Hills Vineyard, the campaign’s most exotic experience. Here, visitors can tour the sprawling property — hedged on three sides by a lush range — by elephant, or watch others do so while sipping Monsoon Valley White Shiraz, a gold medal winner at the 2008 AWC International Wine Challenge in Austria.
The region is also a draw for music aficionados, who come in droves every June to attend the Hua Hin Jazz Festival, a three-day event featuring globally recognized international performers and renowned domestic artists. Last year’s version enticed more than 35,000 visitors.
For more information about “It’s in Hua Hin,” visit www.itsinhuahin.com