There’s something magical about a hotel with some history.
Opened in 1923, Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin (originally known as The Railway Hotel) beautifully illustrates the story of Hua Hin’s evolution from a small fishing village to a thriving holiday destination. The resort’s brand new ‘Heritage Tour’ is a walking tour of Hua Hin that is free for guests, exploring must-see historical sites, giving a rare and special glimpse into an earlier age.
The story of Hua Hin begins in the early 1900s, when the country’s southern railway route finally linked Bangkok and the west coast by train. Heading all the way down to Malaysia, the route granted easy access to the beautiful beaches and Hua Hin quickly became akin to Thailand’s Riviera — a seaside playground for the city’s elite.
The colonial-style building at Centara Grand Hua Hin has its own storied history. Amongst the first hotels in the area, it immediately set a luxurious tone with its European-style decor and wrap-around verandas perched above the Gulf of Thailand. Playing host to the Thai royal family for their summer holidays, Hua Hin caught on with the elite of Bangkok and later developed into an international hot spot destination for luxury travellers.
Centara’s Historical tour takes guests through several historical highlights including the train station, first built in 1910 and still operational to this day. Besides the Victorian-style infrastructure, a main highlight of the station is the Royal Waiting Room, which was used to welcome the Thai king and his royal consorts when they visited Hua Hin.
Guests are also invited to explore Wat Hua Hin, also known as Wat Ampharam. The temple was built during the reign of King Chulalongkorn (King Rama V) by donating land from the villagers and the other local people of Hua Hin town at that time were help in raising fund to build a temple, originally only a monastery. Located in the centre of town. Wat Hua Hin remains a place of worship for locals and offers meditation sessions for guests in the afternoon.
The heritage tour also includes a visit to bustling Chat Chai market, built on the land of the King’s treasury with seven arched roofs. Inside the market, guests will experience the buzz or bargain hunters amidst stalls resplendent with fresh meat, vegetables, fruit, fish and dozens of brightly coloured exotic spices.
Visitors will conclude their tour at the resort itself. Sensitively extended and renovated, Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin retains its air of that bygone age of elegance. Set on the beachfront, with a wide expanse of gardens perfect for strolling and enjoying the sea breezes, and with a prime town centre location ideal for exploring and shopping, the resort is a prime destination for couples and families. Here, no other seaside destination seamlessly combines classic heritage and contemporary luxury.
The 60- minute heritage walking tour is complimentary to all hotel guests and takes place weekly. For more information on Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hun Hin, visit https://www.centarahotelsresorts.com/centaragrand/chbr/ and for the latest offers please click here.