Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director, Bird Group
The first time I visited Hua Hin was to attend an industry conference. But the place captivated me and I fell so deeply in love with it that ever since then I have been visiting for family vacations or short breaks. Hua Hin is a rarity today. It is so quiet and serene and that was what attracted me there the first time.
We keep holding conferences in Hua Hin. The best part of the place is that it is not too far from Bangkok and easily accessible. It has exquisite beaches, amazing landscapes and hills and great forests surrounding it. Thailand is one of the most hospitable nations in the world; its people welcome you with open arms into their own home. And Hua Hin is no different. One thing that pulls me back to Hua Hin each time has to be the hotels and the hospitality that one experiences there. Recommendations
The Barai Spa operated by the Hyatt Regency is my choice. It is a very private location and has only eight well-appointed rooms, is extremely peaceful and offers the ultimate in luxury.
I also enjoy staying at the Dusit Thani, your best bet if you want to mix business with pleasure. It has options of banqueting as well as meeting room facilities.If you want good food, then McFarland House at The Barai is the place to be.
The experience cannot be justified in words. It is a two-storied 19th century pavilion which has been transformed into an airy beachfront casual dining area and bar overlooking the Gulf of Thailand. The view is just brilliant and the food truly exquisite. To add to it, hospitality is redefined by the staff
at the outlet. Tips
The best way to explore Hua Hin is to trek or walk and personally explore the location. For the less adventurous, one can hire a hotel cab or take a local tuk tuk to take them around the more popular tourist areas. Hua Hin generally is a very peaceful location. However, owing to tourist inflow, there are some bars and lounges with live Thai music and a night bazaar that is a must see.
Hua Hin has very limited options for shopping. (For a wider choice of local arts and crafts, I recommend Bangkok.) One encounters numerous hard-selling hawkers all over the city, especially the beaches. The best way to avoid them is not to get into a conversation with them or else it becomes extremely difficult to get away from them! (As told to Abhishek Raghunath)
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(This story appears in the 05 March, 2010 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)