Hua Hin has been a favoured resort since it was discovered in the early 1920s by King Rama VII as the perfect getaway from the metropolis of Bangkok. The tranquil fishing village became the royal resort and consequently popular with Siam's nobility and upper-class. The construction of a railway line from Bangkok gave it better accessibility for all Thai people.
King Rama built Klai Kangwon Palace and it remains an official royal residence. It is frequently used by the royal family and is open for public visits.
Thailand caters mainly to foreign tourists, but Hua Hin is a place for foreigners and Thais. Its 8.5-kilometre beach, wonderful parks, peaks, caves and waterfalls are very welcoming and Hua Hin has an old world charm. There are water sports and world class golf courses where green fees and other costs are amongst the lowest anywhere in the world, while course maintenance and services are superb.
Evenings can be spent wandering the winding roads to a variety of shops and restaurants on stilts, serving delicious seafood and local dishes.
Getaway accompanied Megan Gale, one of the world's leading models, to Chiva-Som, Hua Hin's 5.5-star Health Resort. 'Chiva-Som' means 'Haven of Life' and the resort's philosophy is wellbeing of mind, body and spirit and their mission is to develop ways for better health, fitness and fulfilment. They can pamper every facet.
As guests check-in, they are invited to the pavilion and served lemongrass tea. They are assigned a natural health care professional to establish objectives and create a timetable of treatments and regimes.
There are 57 rooms and suites which are perfectly balanced with Thai beauty and western standards. Ocean view rooms in the main building face the Gulf of Thailand and resort pool. They have private balconies or terraces.
Pavilions are clustered in the gardens by a carp-filled lake offering a peaceful and calming atmosphere. Seven suites overlook the Gulf and are themed into Herbal, Fragrance or Rainforest.
The Golden Bo Suite has a main entrance lobby and separate living area featuring Thai artefacts and double doors leading to the bedroom where luxurious Thai silk has been extensively used.
Wood, marble and hand-glazed ceramics are throughout the property, large windows allow lots of natural light and softly-running fans provide gentle breezes. It's all very elegant but relaxing and comfortable at the same time.
Chiva-Som's cuisine proves low calorie and nutritious food can be a gourmet experience. A blend of east and west is used in preparation of fruit and vegetables from the resort's organic gardens. Cleansing diets are also available.
Treatments and indulgences are endless yoga, tai chi, massage, indoor swimming, steam room, cold plunge pool, Jacuzzi, weights, treadmills, manicure, pedicure, make-up something for everyone.
Hua Hin, Thailand's royal beach resort.
Chiva-Som three-night packages start at $1757 per person. Accommodation, meals, daily massage, transfers and activities are included.
Emirates has return flights to Bangkok, valid for sale and travel until March 31, 2008. Taxes are included.
- Sydney, $991
- Brisbane, $1576
- Melbourne, $1610
Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.
Chiva-Som Luxury Health Resort
73/4 Petchkasem Road
Prachuap Khiri Khan 77110
Ph: 66 02 913 6030
Fax: 66 02 587 8657