The Railway Hotel in Hua Hin

Hua Hincity by the sea, seat of the summer palace of the king of Thailand a stone’s throw from bustling Bangkok. Within it radiates the very ancient Railway Hotel became Sofitel then Centara Grand Beach Resort and villas, an establishment where exotic wooden balconies, green animals and colonial whiteness mingle

Hua Hin - Thailand

The Railway Hotel: a hotel like no other

Centara Hotel Hua Hin

Born a century earlier with the construction of the railway line linking Thailand to Malaysia, it was the first hotel in this tiny village of fishermen. He enjoyed immediate international fame thanks to his quality of service and its “Old Siam” style architecture. The restoration of the buildings has given it back its areas of nobility without stealing its soul, giving it the status of a historic building. Of course, the current accommodation capacity is far from the dozen rooms of the Railway Hotel. Today, the establishment spread over 13 hectares welcome 42 villas and 207 rooms, it has 4 swimming pools, of one direct access to the beach and offers activities, bars and restaurants to a cosmopolitan clientele. Admittedly, it’s huge and at breakfast, you don’t feel alone. Nevertheless…

Centara Hotel - Hua Hin

This is where I put my suitcases on several occasions, attracted like a magnet by the refined charms of the place. The outdated atmosphere immediately transported me to the thirties with this strange feeling of belonging to a yellowed photograph. I had stars in my eyes like a captivated little girl, I who had long dreamed of staying in a place like this, former colonial palace with a rich past. I wanted to prolong my reading of the Bangkok Post while seated in front of a cup of jasmine tea in the clock room, to admire the harmony of the park in the shade of a bird-tree, to observe this perfect picture, and soak up the serenity of the place. Suspend time, freeze this moment, scrutinize the slightest detail to preserve precious nuggets in my memory. More than a place, the Railway Hotel is an encounter, a privilege for those who listen to hear their story murmur.

Push the tuk-tuk further

Hua Hin - Maruekhathayawan

And because I wanted to immerse myself completely in this era, I pushed the tuk-tuk further. 10 kms from the city stands Maruekhathayawan, the “palace of love and hope” of King Rama VI set in calming seaside parkland. The air races between banyan trees and airy teak structures, built in 1923 to provide the king with a quiet place away from the heat and humidity as he suffered from lung problems. Through the deserted alleys and the emptiness of the place reigns a bewitching atmosphere where for a century, the spray of the Gulf of Thailand has been blowing between the shutters.

Maruekhathayawan Hua Hin


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