Xinyi Liang-Pholsena finds herself enthralled as she pops into Hua Hin’s new water park resort for a weekend stay and splashing fun with her family
The 27-storey property is a new landmark for Hua Hin and stands just beside the 3.2ha Nava Vana Water Park. Located just south off the city centre on Petchakasem Road, the hotel has no beach access but provides regular shuttles to Bluport mall, True Arena sports complex, Hotel InterContinenal and the town centre.
Hua Hin itself is about a 2.5-hour drive from Bangkok, and from May 2018 onwards AirAsia will begin direct flights to this beach town from Kuala Lumpur four times a week.
A relaxed and convival atmosphere greeted us as we approached the hotel in our car; what caught my eye was the colourful water park and the huge whale shark ‘leaping out’ of the fountain fronting the property. After being greeted by the concierge staff and bellboys who helped with our luggage, we proceeded to the lobby on the eighth floor, where I took in the panoramic vistas of the surroundings while waiting to check in.
The marine motif runs through the bright, airy hotel, anchoring a sense of place to Hua Hin’s beach resort background. Schools of fish swam on the open-air reception on the ground floor, while the wooden centrepiece at the lobby resembles a whale skeleton. In the room, paintings of boats added a pop of colours to the interiors while the bathroom wall was adorned with scallop tiles that remind me of fish scales.
The KidSuite was a real crowd pleaser with my three-year-old daughter – how not to be when this bright little room is decked out with bunk beds, a fire-engine red wardrobe, fish-themed blinds and books on adorable marine animals?
Meanwhile, the grandparents stayed in the Ocean View Room just next door, which could be connected to the KidSuite with the closing of a common front door, providing ample private space and family time.
With most rooms facing the Gulf of Thailand, the balconies naturally provide a great vantage point to catch the sunrise and the occasional train chugging past below (a railway track runs behind the hotel).
Other room categories are Vana Nava room, Ocean Suite, Panoramic Suite and Sky Suite.
All guests have unlimited access to Vana Nava Water Park, which boasts 20 slides and attractions. Besides keycards, we were also given wristbands that made use of RFID technology to access the water park and unlock our rooms – payment for F&B will soon be added – which was a convenient touch.
In addition to access to the water park just next door, the hotel also boasts an expansive 36m-long infinity pool on level 26 that offers captivating panoramic views – think Marina Bay Sands’ Skypark but sans the skyscrapers, plus endless sea. Other recreational facilities include a kids’ club, Tea Tree Spa and 24-hour fitness centre.
For meetings and events, the hotel offers 950m2 of flexible event space, including five function rooms and a large ballroom, all named after marine animals in Thai, e.g. Plaa Too (mackerel), Plaa Krapong (sea bass) and Plaa Muek (squid).
The all-day-dining Plamong Restaurant offers a convival and bustling space to enjoy the good breakfast spread, alongside vistas of the surroundings.
An unforgettable highlight is clearly Vana Nava Sky, the restaurant and observation deck on the topmost 27th floor with a dramatic glass-bottomed deck that extends 110m above ground. My parents, attracted by the views of the surroundings at sunset, walked halfway across the deck before realising they could see the ground below and quickly retreated back in haste.
However, children under 12 are not allowed 20.00, which might be a damper for parents staying with young kids and hoping for a post-dinner cap.
Pleasant despite the weekend crowds.
This water park resort is a destination in itself. As well, the unlimited, complimentary access to Nava Vana Water Park certainly delivers value for families when a ticket for an adult already costs around 1,200 baht (US$38.50) per day and 800 baht for kids. Moreover, children below 12 stay and eat for free with their parents.
No. of rooms 300
Rates From 3,299++ baht per room per night, including water park access
Tel (66) 32 809 999