Style, Substance, and Soul on the White Sandy Shoreline
In the last few decades, Hua Hin has simply exploded. Major hotels have infiltrated the shores like ocean liners run aground. From Cha-am to Khao Takiab, the informal boundaries of Hua Hin, international brands provide big-ticket accommodation with a jet-set informality. Check in, check out, repeat. Yes, options abound, but the best stays remain the boutiques—the small and independent, the eco-friendly and uniquely engineered, the places with soul. Foremost among this contingent of smaller, distinctive, guest-oriented boutiques is Let’s Sea.
Found down the relatively quiet Hua Thanon (where Petch Kasem splits, taking drivers to either an overpass or a dead-end in Khao Takiab), Let’s Sea enjoys qualified isolation—it’s right on the beach, but far enough down the sand to enjoy almost constantly uninterrupted views of the sea; it’s behind the lively Cicada Market, but not so close as to be drowned in sound.
Billed as an “al fresco resort,” Let’s Sea very much enjoys a connection with the Great Outdoors. Of the 40 guest rooms, half come with direct access to the rather stunning 120-metre infinity pool bisecting the grounds, which incorporates a couple of swim-up bars and multiple sun chairs set in the shallows (Pier Pool Access Studios), while the other half enjoy private terraces, complete with a sun bed, a small garden, and even a rainfall shower (Moon Deck Duplex Suites). On the rooftop of the open-air check-in lobby stands an outdoor fitness centre, as well as the Gaia Spa, veiled alcoves that at night resemble lit up lanterns.
Moving inside, all rooms are spacious (48- and 68-square-metres) and well-stocked with the plushest amenities—from rainfall showers for two to oversized tubs in a truly expansive bathroom to so-called “laZzzzz” beds to mood lighting, one of the more understated features of the resort’s well-planned design. Most impressively, no room shares a wall with another. In between are small gardens, just one small reason why Let’s Sea has achieved the prestigious ISO 14001 certification, recognizing the resort’s dedication to minimizing its environmental footprint, a distinction few other resorts have merited.
Though it would be easy enough to while away the hours, supine on a sun chair in the vast lagoon of a pool with cocktail in hand, or lounging on the moon deck with iPod firmly in sound dock, Let’s Sea’s al fresco calling card extends all the way to the standalone restaurant of the same name. Guests at the resort enjoy direct access to Let’s Sea, the restaurant, where every afternoon from 2pm-5pm a local pianist sets up by the shore and plays classic tunes while those so inclined enjoy fine teas and a range of stellar Thai tapas. At night, it’s easy to return for a romantic meal, the best cuts being Thai dishes, such as the Massaman curry with beef, but the Western fare as good as any in town, in particular a tender lamb shank with creamy mash. Better still is that resort and restaurant collaborated to offer breakfast by the sea as part of the room rate—with Hua Hin being a sunrise beach, little else compares to a glass of champagne over á la carte dishes endlessly served á la minute.
Activities are as unique and guest-centric as the amenities and facilities, too. Consider taking a Thai cooking class in the garden, or, perhaps more distinctive, a cocktail class at the swim-up bar, the Sand Lounge. At Gaia Spa, couples can sign up for a Thai massage for two, and down by the sea, pros offer kitesurfing lessons when the weather is right. There’s also a fruit carving class, aqua aerobics, and more standard offerings, such as horseback riding on the beach and bikes to borrow to peddle around town. Highly recommended is a trip to the Cicada Market (Fri-Sun, 4pm-11pm), which is roughly 600 metres away by foot.
Let’s Sea links guests with staff, the sea, and Hua Hin’s timeless attractions in a way that few big-brand hotels can—with personal attention, a sense of taste, understanding of the resort’s place in the local community, and care for the environment. Here is a boutique with bravura.
Let’s Sea Hua Hin Al Fresco Resort
83/188 Soi Huathanon 23, Khaotakieb-Hua Hin Rd
Tel: 0 3253 6888