Centara Grand Beach Resort&Villas HuaHin, which began life in 1923 as the Railway Hotel and was Thailand’s first resort hotel, has become a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. The hotel, which stands on 16 hectares of beachfront land among topiary gardens that are one of the local landmarks, was acquired in 1985 by Central Group who has, over the years, extended and upgraded the property with every sensitivity towards its original elegance.
Thirayuth Chirathivat, Chief Executive Officer of Centara Hotels&Resorts, said that this is a moment of great pride for the company.
“This beautiful heritage hotel is part of Thailand’s history, having been built when the railway line was laid between Bangkok and Malaysia,” he said, “The railway allowed HuaHin to become Thailand’s first beachside resort, and the Railway Hotel played a significant role in all of that.
“Centara’s own involvement with the property goes back almost thirty years, and we have always treated the hotel with great love and respect. It represents a different era but is as relevant today as it always has been.”
The Leading Hotels of the World Ltd. is the largest luxury hospitality organization in the world, representing over 430 of the finest hotels, resorts, and spas in more than 80 countries. Its mission is to curate and champion an exclusive collection of independent properties, including grand palaces and intimate city hideaways, luxury tent enclaves, and expansive self-contained resorts.
Requirements for becoming a member stipulate that a hotel must meet exacting standards of excellence in all areas affecting guest comfort, convenience, and wellbeing. The organization does not solicit new members; hotels must apply for inclusion. Upon successful completion of a rigorous application and inspection process, only the most eminent hotels are accepted for admission
“It is a great honor to have been selected as a member,” said Jacques Mury, General Manager of Centara Grand Beach Resort&Villas HuaHin, “We completed a total renovation of the hotel at the end of last year, and everything we did was designed to respect and enhance the qualities that have made this one of the classic hotels of Asia.
“Everyone here at the hotel is tremendously proud.”
Centara Grand Beach Resort&Villas HuaHin has 207 luxurious rooms and suites, including the Club executive floor, each with its own private balcony overlooking the ocean or landscaped gardens. High ceilings, period-style furniture, and a décor that uses rich polished hardwood softened by the warm tones of Thai silk evoke the spirit of the 1920s. The 42 villas set among the extensive gardens, with their spacious living accommodation and the option of their own pool, offer privacy along with the ultimate in luxury.
Among the dining options are the all-day Railway Restaurant, serving international cuisines; the Palm Seafood Pavilion, which overlooks the ocean; Hagi Japanese restaurant, set on the street corner and blending traditional and modern Japanese cuisine; and Salathai, serving Thai cuisine in a separate pavilion.
With its location on the beachfront, the hotel is perfect for swimming and boating, and just for lazing on the beach. Two putting greens, four swimming pools, two tennis courts, a snooker room, badminton, table tennis, and a fitness center offer opportunities for leisure and keeping fit, and there is a children’s playground and other facilities for the youngsters. With the spacious tropical gardens forming a backdrop, Spa Cenvaree offers a full range of luxurious massage and body treatments combining ancient Asian therapies with modern technology that detoxifies and re-mineralizes the body and soothes the mind.
The hotel’s location, within easy reach of Bangkok, along with its gracious ambience, makes it ideal for meetings, incentives, conference groups, and weddings. The fully-equipped function rooms can hold up to 250 people, while garden functions for as many as 450 people are a speciality, the memorable setting enhancing every event.
Centara Hotels&Resorts is Thailand’s leading operator of hotels, with 37 deluxe and first-class properties covering all the major tourist destinations in the Kingdom. A further 17 resorts in the Maldives; Philippines; Vietnam; Bali, Indonesia; Sri Lanka; and Mauritius Indian Ocean brings the present total to 54 properties. Brands and properties within Centara ensure that specific categories such as couples, families, individuals, and meetings and incentives groups will all find a hotel or resort that is appropriate to their needs
Centara operates 25 branches of Spa Cenvaree, one of Thailand’s most luxurious and innovative spa brands, together with its newly-launched value brand Cense by Spa Cenvaree, which provides core spa services for busy travelers. The company’s Kids’ Club is available at all the family-friendly resorts to ensure that the youngsters and teens are taken care of. Centara Hotels&Resorts also operates two state-of-the-art convention centers in Bangkok, and two in northeastern Thailand, one being located in Udon Thani and the other in Khon Kaen.