get the best hotel prices in Hua Hin, Pranburi by booking direct:
The hotels in the ‘guarantee’ list on this page have given a written assurance to discount below the lowest online agent rates for guests who book with them directly. This cuts out all middlemen, and we take no commission.
See the ‘guarantee’ list, then contact the hotel directly using the e-mail box on the hotel page.
DISCOUNT ROOM VOUCHERS are sometimes available here – the very cheapest rooms you can get – but they are limited in number and have conditions.
Learn more about Hua Hin Cha-Am through the many guide pages in this site:
Hua Hin – Cha-Am, Thai-style beach destinations close to Bangkok - now in change
Hua Hin stands alone among Thai beach destinations, being the only resort town with a royal palace, and the country’s first-ever beach used for leisure by the country’s Bangkok-based elite. Cha-Am, 20 kilometres to the north, shares a portion of the same long stretch of coastline. Together, these two account for more than 30 kilometres of unbroken beach along the western side of the Gulf of Thailand and can hardly be distinguished one from the other.
Famed as a Thai-style resort – with emphasis on the non-beach activities favoured by the locals, including eating & drinking, golfing & socialising – Hua Hin has recently begun to morph to satisfy the rapidly-growing foreign market. Several international brand resorts have opened here over the past decade, and all kinds of new tourism-related attractions have opened, catering to both Thai and international visitors. Hua Hin is one of the few beach resorts in Thailand where locals regularly mix it up with foreign tourists; on the beaches, in shopping centres, markets, golf courses and at varied family-oriented attractions. Change is definitely on the move in this top-of-the-Gulf destination, as its traditional façade is subjected to a modern facelift.
Cha-Am, nearby Thai beach destination, tags along, clinging to Hua Hin’s fame
Cha-Am is an unadorned little sister half-hidden by the shadow of its more glamorous elder sibling Hua Hin; it’s smaller, less famous and has far fewer hotels and attractions. That it’s 20 kilometres closer to Bangkok helps somewhat, and on weekends the main public beach here is jam-packed with the cars and pick-up trucks of families escaping Bangkok. Thai families picnic under the trees; mum and dad relaxing and drinking, the kids frolicking in sand and water. Seafood vendors along the beach road do a roaring business for two days, then close down when the weekend crowds disappear.
While Cha-Am has but a fraction of the number of beach hotels found in Hua Hin, these have one of the major attributes that many Europeans hunt for in a hotel; tranquillity. Virtually all lies on a stretch of beach about two kilometres south of Cha-Am central. They share the beach with a number of high-rise condos and beach homes, both of which appear virtually deserted, even over he weekends. Quiet indeed, but there’s not a lot to do outside the resorts unless you have transport. Many resort hotels in Cha-Am district include ‘Hua Hin’ in their names due to its greater fame and the marketing boost it gives overseas.
20 kilometres to the south of Hua Hin lies another satellite beach destination, Pranburi. This too offers a quieter alternative, and it also likes to promote itself as part of the greater Hua Hin area.
30 kilometres of unbroken beach; sometimes nice, but not always – so pick and choose
The 30 kilometres of beach connecting Hua Hin and Cha-Am are straight and virtually unbroken. The land behind is flat and either urban or treeless, so it’s not an inspiring countryside. The beach itself can vary greatly – wide and sandy in some places, narrow and rocky in others, especially where walls have been built too close to the water. Some lucky resorts have surprisingly wide and attractive, sandy beaches, others little but rocks. In many areas the ocean splashes up against the hotel walls at high tide, leaving no beach in sight, while low tide may leave hundreds of metres of sandbanks exposed. If a good beach is imperative to your holiday, look at our photos of the beaches carefully before booking a hotel.
Think swimming pools too, for swimming in the ocean is usually OK, but rarely as satisfying as on beaches further south. This high in the shallow Gulf of Thailand the water is generally quite cloudy, and sometimes the unseen pollution levels can be high. The entire upper Gulf is not suitable for either diving & snorkelling.
At the busier beaches in Hua Hin and central Cha-Am massage and massage therapy is available up and down the beach, often provided by freelance masseuses at rock bottom prices.. Horses stroll the beaches giving children rides. Inner tubes and beach toys can be rented, kites bought. Beach vendors do a roaring trade on weekends selling spicy som tum, BBQ seafood and roasted chicken. See more of Hua Hin’s central beaches and their activities.
Beware, not many true beachfront hotels here, and some imposters
Hua Hin – Cha-Am hold almost 50 true beachfront hotels and resorts, budget to 5-star, from a couple of hundred accommodation establishments in total. Anyone booking a hotel here should understand that some among the huge majority of non-beachfront places may give false impressions about their locations. Beware. The main road through the centre of Hua Hin and Cha-Am gets very busy, and quite difficult to cross at times.
a wide range of beachfront resorts; budget to 5-star; old to new
Among the 50 odd beachfront accommodations is a diverse range of hotels and resorts, old and new, urban-stodgy to design-fantastic, basic to super-luxurious. Hua Hin also offers a number of more personalized resorts where guests often meet the owner-manager on site, like Laksasubha Hua Hin, run by a Thai noble woman of the same name. There’s also a surprising number of smaller boutique establishments that use imaginative design to help guests forget the fact that the beach is just plain-Jane. The unique private pool villas of V Villas Hua Hin are probably the top statement in ultra-luxury. Small, intimate places also abound, like Supatra Hua Hin Resort, which is best known for the superb Thai restaurant almost next door. There’s a number of small personal and boutique resorts at Hua Hin’s south end near the rocky mountain of Khao Takiab. See our Takiab Beach map to find the emotive Wora Bura Resort, imaginative Let’s Sea Hua Hin, and modern minimalist The Rock.
Representing the top, international end of the resort market is the huge Hyatt Regency Hua Hin, spread through expansive tropical gardens. Both the Marriott and Intercontinental Hua Hin resorts are more constrained by space, while Hilton Hua Hin is a high-rise city hotel marking the very heart of the town’s waterfront. All of the above are spread along the beach south of Hua Hin town. Some have beautiful sandy beaches, some have almost none.
Cha-Am’s lodging choices are far more limited, with just a small handful right on the beach. The advantage here, as mentioned, is the peace and tranquillity that this area enjoys.
Restaurants and eating in Hua Hin - a distinctly Thai experience
Hua Hin's success as a Thai destination also demands a high standard in cuisine. One of the first things Thai families do on reaching this seaside town is head for an ocean-view restaurant where they can relax with a wide range of finely spiced dishes. And if the balance of flavours is not just right, that restaurant is doomed. For generations the restaurants of choice were the half dozen hanging out over the water in mid-town, now right in the shadow of the Hilton Hua Hin Resort. In the 1980s you could meet many of Bangkok’s glitterati and power elite in these restaurants on Friday or Saturday nights.
Times change; today just parking a car at those restaurants is a challenge, while many new alternatives, and the invasion of foreigners, have scattered that old assemblage Thai elite.
Good, authentic Thai cuisine of all kinds remains one of Hua Hin’s major temptations. So long as the majority of restaurants’ clientele is local, you can be assured of correct spicing across a wide range of choices. This is something generally lacking in most tourist-majority destinations in the rest of the country where chefs gradually adapt their spicing to match foreign palates. See more about restaurants, food and markets in Hua Hin.
Buddhist shrines, golf courses & markets – the Thai attractions of Hua Hin
Before foreign tourists discovered Hua Hin there were a number of ‘Thai-style’ attractions in the area, though these were more part of the natural and cultural landscape than artificial entertainment venues. Top of that list are Buddhist monasteries, places of pilgrimage to Thais, with the most famous of them being Wat Huay Mongkol, 20 kilometres west of town. The big standing Buddha and temple at Khao Takiab is another. There was the revered railway station, built for the use of kings. Visiting markets selling local products is another Thai tradition, and here that means seafood markets, for both fresh and dried products.
More recently came the golf courses for the men and officials, and there are now at least ten in the hinterland behind Hua Hin – Cha-Am. In the hills beyond is the vineyard Monsoon Valley, another new venue that interests some of the Bangkok visitors.
Floating market, safari park, water parks, fishing parks and varied tourist attractions
The arrival of yet bigger, wealthier crowds from Bangkok along with foreign tourists has spurred the development of more ‘touristy’ attractions, including two floating markets, two water parks, some fishing ponds, a safari park and others that come and go. See the full list of Attractions; things to do and see in Hua Hin.
Hua Hin town, an interesting mix of old and new, Thai and tourist
Hua Hin Town blends typical examples of Thai urban life – mundane, rather ugly concrete shop-houses that cram the downtown are – and some of the colourful lifestyle indulgences that tourism engenders. That’s a plethora of street markets and shopping malls, restaurants and bars, coffee-shops and bakeries and other lifestyle venues. Add a small and slightly seedy girlie bar district with the backdrop of Buddhist temples and Hua Hin becomes worth some time for wandering around. But save that for evenings; during the day the streets get hot and dusty or hot and humid.
by John Everingham