Published on January 19, 2008
Adding new luxuries to the beach town Hua Hin, Asara Villa & Suite pampers guests with secluded, well-appointed rooms plus a multitude of delicious dishes on the "spa menu".
Despite its sprawling expansion and growth, Hua Hin remains a favourite seaside retreat for many Thai families and has never lost its charm. There may be more traffic problems and crowds, but Hua Hin's beach still draws those seeking a quiet and spot for their holiday that's not too far from Bangkok.
Asara Villa & Suite is a new beachside luxury resort that makes a notable addition to Hua Hin's long list of hip, chic and luxurious accommodations. Managed by Ocean Property, Asara is the Group's flagship of the seaside five-star facilities established to pamper guests with their own selections of facilities.
Located on quiet Hua Hin Soi 5, a short drive from Hua Hin town, Asara sits on a 22-rai rectangular strip of land stretching from the beach towards the main highway. The brick-coloured villas and suites comfortably spread on to the lush landscaped gardens adorned with courtyards, snug and cosy alleys, and two swimming pools with one overlooking the ocean. The whole area is refreshing with large lotus ponds, fountains areas and three main restaurants.
Asara offers two main types of rooms, pool villas and suites, which can accommodate couples seeking total privacy and seclusion and large families or groups vacationing with shared accommodation. The one- and two-bedrooms villas are located on the front section of the land, closer to the ocean, while the suites are fitted in two-storey buildings overlooking a large swimming pool and big lotus pond. While the villas are more for privacy, the suites, some equipped with a large semi-outdoor gazebo, are spacious and suitable for families and friends catering an alfresco party or afternoon siestas.
We checked into a one-bedroom pool villa on the front section. The villa is a small, secluded area complete with a lush enclosed courtyard, large and airy living area, big wooden patio, ample plunge pool, bedroom and spacious bathroom equipped with walk-in closet, large safe-deposit box, two-vanity washbasin countertop, a small shower area, a bathtub, plus an outdoor rain-shower nestled in a garden. The villa has all the facilities we need, including the wireless Internet access, mini-bar, coffee-tea making facilities, a fruit basket and a plate of Hua Hin-style preserved fruit candies of banana and pineapple. The bedroom overlooks the plunge pool and we enjoyed relaxing on their plush chaise lounge when it was still too hot to brave the sun to enjoy the outdoor during the day.
Hua Hin is a good place to be lazy. After settling ourselves into the room, we realised we were ravenous, and roamed around for food and get our hedonistic holiday off the grounds. Asara has three restaurants serving traditional Thai fare, French and European meals and another outlet offering all-day snacks. Despite being a new place in town, Asara's team of Thai and European chefs impressed us with their scrumptious food. At Asara Thai Bistro, we had a delightful, spicy and traditional Thai meal (such as juicy fresh sea prawn satay, Thai-style crispy omelette served with spicy herbal sauce plus spicy lemongrass salad). The next night, we changed to the beachfront Kampu by Choice and enjoyed their home-made European dishes prepared by Christophe Maillard. Maillard's skills on everything from breakfast croissants to turn-down cookies and meringues will surely comfort vacationers looking for delicious home-cooked culinary touch.
Asara Spa, taking up a small wing of the resort, offers a complete pampering menu with arrays of rooms and outdoor salas for different styles of massages. You can choose from a traditional Thai massage in an open-air sala or signature massage in an air-conditioned room. I prefer a massage in an open-air area, so I opted for their signature relaxing oil-massage in a private room with all windows open to allow the natural sea breeze to come in.
Asara Villa & Suite at a glance
High points: Secluded area, excellent villa and suite planning and lush landscaping. Their delicious, well-planned food choices make our vacation more memorable.
Low points: There's no covered parking available; our car had to be parked naked under the sun. The spa staff needs to be trained to be a bit more discreet, but the massage was relaxing and nice enough.
Find it: 53 Hua Hin Soi 5, Prachuap Khiri Khan
Pay for it: From Bt9,500 for a suite to Bt13,200 for a one-bedroom pool villa to Bt69,000 for the presidential suite.
Phone it: (032) 547-555, (02) 661-6800 ext: 301-7
Browse it: AsaraVillaAndSuite.com
Sirin P Wongpanit
Special to The Nation