Hua Hin - One of our favorite beaches in Thailand...

Hua Hin – One of our favorite beaches in Thailand…

The last time I visited Hua Hin was about 4 years ago with my wife and her younger sister. So my wife and I was thinking its about time to go back and check out one of Thailand’s fast growing seaside resort. We went to Cha Am last week where I made a review of Puktien Cabana Beach Hotel too and since I have just a week to go before I head back to the NYC why not enjoy the first reason why I came to Thailand the first place, its wonderful beaches.

But this time we wanted to invite her best friend and two kids who were on school vacation. It’s the very first time we had young rambunctious kids in our car on a 4 hour drive. So we’ll take this chance as a practice run for our own kids.

We decided to book the same hotel we stayed in 4 years ago. Its called Casa Del Mare Hua Hin and the hotel is located right on the main road and about a short 5 minute walk to the beach accessible by the hotel’s beach entrance.

When were first stayed at the Casa back then it was newly renovated. And quiet too. We felt like we were the only a few handful of guests. On this latest visit we noticed a big difference. Lots of local and foreign guests this time.

We booked 2 rooms that were next to each other and when into our rooms on the ground floor with a terrific view of the pool. The rooms were in great condition, neat and clean and quite spacious. Everything was in perfect working order.

Though 4 years ago when I booked 2 rooms next to each other, we were given rooms on the second floor and the balconies had a door to join both rooms. Which is great for families so everyone can hang out in one large space right on the balcony with comfortable seating area.

Our room...

Our room…

Our room...

Our room…

Our room...

Our room…

Our room's porch...

Our room’s porch…

There’s no joining door on all of the rooms on the ground floor

However, all of the rooms on the ground floor have porches that swing open and locked with a simple wooden latch. So guests on the ground floor have quick access to the pool.

That’s one of the best things of all I like about Casa Del Mare. All of their 46 rooms have a view of the beautiful pool and garden. There’s no need to pay extra just to have a room to sleep in with a view of the pool like you would have to in most other hotels. I paid about $110 USD a night which includes a buffet breakfast coupons for everyone.

Compared to other hotels in the area where we stay by Hua Hin’s beach a room at the Casa is an absolute bargain. It’s peak season rates now and a superior room with breakfast will set you back about $140USD which was the rate I found on the hotel’s website.

However I found discount rates for Casa Del Mare’s superior rooms with breakfast included through agoda.com that were about $30USD lower than booking through the hotel’s directly. With taxes and all I ended paying $110USD per room.

Literally right next door is the 5 star Intercontinental on the same beach and staying there would cost 3 to 5 times as much. So the Casa Del Mare is a 3 star shining gem in a patch of diamonds and I highly recommend staying there.

Speaking of the pool the kids couldn’t wait to jump in. Barely 10 minutes after check in, I heard the kids out in the pool squealing and splashing around. And I gladly joined in too. My wife and her best friend didn’t join because they didn’t want to tanned because it’ll darken their skin. So you’re wondering why bother going to a pool or beach if one is afraid of getting dark? Don’t bother asking, it’s just a Thai thing. I’ve learned to stopped asking questions a long time ago.

After an hour in the pool the sun was coming down a bit so we all decided to take that short stroll to the beach. When the ladies parked themselves on the beach chairs the kids and I went over to the beach. It was loads of fun. And it reminded me of the times my dad used to take my brother and I to Coney Island. In hindsight sure Coney Island’s beach and water couldn’t hold a stick to Hua Hin. But being with my dad made a world of difference.

mew and dew at hua hin beach mew and dew at hua hin beach-2 mew and dew at pool mew and dew at pool-2

The kids and I had a blast in the water as we we’re getting tossed around by the rolling waves as the surf came.

And I was amazed that they were not afraid of going deeper even though the water to me was shallow to them it was quite high and getting higher with each successive wave. Just an hour ago the little girl name Mew didn’t believe his brother Dew when he told her the kiddy pool was shallow. Both were getting bolder while the waves were coming in more frequently so I decided to call it a day so for safety. We stayed at the beach for a t

But the timing  went down perfectly because the weather got a little cool and everyone was starting to  getting hungry. There was one place to go where everyone else headed at night and that’s the Hua Hin Night Market right in the center of the city.

We decided to hire a taxi which in Hua Hin is basically the common 3 wheeled tuk tuk with no meters. The drivers quote a rate which is usually based on distance. But the average is around 100THB. Casa Del Mare provides a one way complimentary shuttle service too but the service ends around 7pm. So we were too late to take advantage of the free service and we didn’t want to drive either since we were worried we couldn’t find parking. So we just hired a taxi who charged us 120THB.

After walking around a bit at the Hua Hin night market we picked the same restaurant we ate in 4 years ago. Somewhere along the way, the restaurant’s food quality went downhill. Or it could’ve been the head chefs night off. The fish we ordered wasn’t fresh. And the large plate of khao put buu had only a few pieces of crab.

hua hin night market 2013 hua hin night market 2013-2 hua hin night market 2013-3 hua hin night market 2013-4

The biggest mistake was ordering the steamed whole crabs. We’ve never ordered crabs there in the past so we had no clue that the crabs were going to be terrible.

They steamed the crabs not to order but have it cooked way beforehand. Fresh cooked crab won’t have a strong fishy taste and a shell that literally tears apart like paper. Well we learn something new every day. And that is to avoid any restaurant that displays precooked crabs out in front of a restaurant.

Afterwards we did another quick stroll and ended up at the 7 Eleven where we bought a bunch of ice creams and then roti from a stand to drown out our dinner disappointment. It was getting a bit late and the kids had to get some rest as well as the grown ups from the long day so we took a taxi back to our hotel.

The kids wanted to stay in our room and play with our iPhones but we told them it was late and time to get some sleep. And besides, my wife’s best friend is deftly afraid of ghost. To make a long story short, Thais probably believe in evil spirits more than others and the prospect of someone committing suicide or a murder in the exact same room she was staying at is a high probability. Lucky the kids didn’t put up much resistance and went back to their mother’s room.

One thing certain about at any room in any Thai resort is that you will come across mosquitoes. Housekeeping staff keeps the doors wide open so there is plenty of chance for the blood sucking invaders to enter the room. There is nothing more in this world that hate more than mosquitoes who seem to have a personal vendetta against me.

After squashing as much as I could before sleep there were a few hidden away in Ninja mode. As soon as the lights go off they come out and sucked some blood from my knuckle. Doesn’t it feel worse when they bite you anywhere near a bone joint? So in the middle of the night I turned on the lights and waking my wife up from her restful sleep. It always happens, mosquitoes never bite her but go straight for me, what’s up with that?

So she tells me there’s a mosquito zapper in the closet. She only noticed it when she opened it to get the hair dryer. I’ve never used a mosquito zapper which basically shocks the little bastards. It’s shaped like a small tennis racket and is battery powered with a light beaming out to spot the suckers easier.

It took about a good 30 minutes to find the Ninja mosquito and when I did, I used the zapper. I lined up the electric net, pressed the button to activate and tapped the sucker. It fell right on my bed where I crushed disposed of it. There was no more after that so it was the last. Sweet victory.

This mosquito zapper is awesome...

This mosquito zapper is awesome…

Casa Del Mare gets major kudos for keeping these mosquito zappers around. It has made it’s way to my Top 10 most important inventions of the world behind toilet paper. I even made note of it on their comment cards in which now someone from the hotel is looking at and thinking I’m an idiot.

When morning rolled in we were woken up by the kids knocking on our porch door. It was breakfast time and they were hungry and ready to storm the breakfast buffet. And there was much improvement on the variety of food choices compared to 4 years ago. They have french toast, pancakes and of course eggs cooked to order. Fruits, yogurts, breads and Thai food were also available.

After breakfast, what else was there to do? The kids knew, they were already in their bathing suits and right after eating they went straight to the pool. Forget about waiting after eating and swimming. Check out time at the Case Del Mare is 12pm so they had a few hours to play before we headed back to our rooms at around 11pm to pack up and head back to Bangkok.

Sign leading to the Casa Del Mare on 25/2 Petchkasem Road...

Sign leading to the Casa Del Mare on 25/2 Petchkasem Road…

Recommended by Agoda and Tripadvisor...

Recommended by Agoda and Tripadvisor…

I like this hotel and I’m quite the creature of habit so whenever my wife and I visit Hua Hin we’re definitely going to stay at Casa Del Mare Hotel again. They provide free wi-fi internet access too I have to add. And the connections are quite good. There is a spa which we’ve never tried though on arrival we were given 20% off vouchers. Maybe next time. Casa Del Mare has a lot of great reviews coming not only from me but from Agoda customers and tripadvisor. And their kudos are well deserved.

Through the years Hua Hin’s beaches and slow pace has not only attracted the attention of Thai middle class but many foreigners who have chosen to run out their clocks and retire in Thailand. There’s a decent hospital plus plenty of sun and affordable condos and houses. I can see why one would choose to uproot themselves from whence they came and decided to plop themselves down in Hua Hin’s sunshine and surf. I can see why one would want to buy a second home there. I’m tempted too. But maybe sometime down in the near future.

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