6 royal reasons to live, invest and play in Hua Hin

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The regal coastal resort is welcoming a new set of luxury lifestyle opportunities and well-heeled investors

A private pool villa at Ananda Hua Hin Resort & Spa in Thailand

“We’ll never be royals” — but we can always feel like one in Hua Hin. The seaside Thai town, which came to life in the 1920s after King Vajiravudh and King Prajadhipok built their summer palaces in the erstwhile fishing hamlet, still reigns over the weekend social calendars of Bangkok’s upper-crust.

Affluent international buyers continue to sift the city’s growing stock of condominiums, many of which are skewed toward the prime segment as the limited land supply sends beachfront plot prices to THB70 million per rai (USD2.06 million for every 1,600 square metres), according to CBRE Thailand. The property sector will enjoy even more expansion as the government forges ahead with a high-speed railway linking Hua Hin to Bangkok in the next four years.

1. MahaSamutr

Winner of several gongs at the 11th Thailand Property Awards, including Best Villa Development and Best Residential Architectural Design, MahaSamutr is a master class in beachside decadence. The flagship resort project by PACE Development Corp, whose latest phase is due for completion this year, features Asia’s largest controlled clear-water lake — part of the Crystal Lagoons series — in a 209,000-sqm prime beachfront location. Eighty villas, with sizes ranging from 550 sqm to 600 sqm and fetching an average price of THB54 million, will surround this crystalline body of water.

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2. La Bua Vista

This development is a collection of luxury villas and penthouse apartments situated amid the lush pineapple fields in the picturesque, hilly village of Khao Khuang. Investors will have plenty to reap from a unit in this project, adjudged Hua Hin’s Best Residential Development at last year’s Thailand Property Awards. Among other redeeming features, the property earned critical praise for its value-for-money condominiums and innovative rental purchase options. Ninety-five units are on offer, with an average size of 265 sqm and price of THB8.5 million. The two laguna pools in the property have a combined length of more than 220 metres.

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3. Ananda Hua Hin Resort & Spa

Launched in May, Ananda Hua Hin Resort & Spa is the newest addition to the crop of luxury hotels in town. Managed by Compass Hospitality, the resort prides itself in a roster of personalised services, purveying everything from classic car rentals to spa treatments. “We want to surprise and delight and give a fully individual service,” said Nigel Tovey, general manager of Ananda Hua Hin Resort & Spa.

Around 162 rooms, 11 suites and 23 villas populate the property, located over two acres of a more unspoiled stretch of coast along the Gulf of Thailand. The villas are particularly spacious, with sizes ranging from 188 sqm to 268 sqm and offering direct access to gardens and private pools. Ananda Hua Hin Resort & Spa also comes with four F&B outlets as well as a sophisticated spa manned by expert therapists who use a collection of natural products. Its trump cards over the competition include a 900-sqm ballroom, Hua Hin’s largest.

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4. Monsoon Valley Vineyard

Monsoon Valley Vineyard, formerly Hua Hin Hills Vineyard. Sam Sherratt/Shutterstock

The hills of Hua Hin are just as alive as the beaches, with prolific vineyards carpeting their fertile slopes of loamy sand. One of the most well-known is the Hua Hin Hills Vineyard, now renamed Monsoon Valley Vineyard after the eponymous award-winning Thai wine label. The vineyard supplies to Siam Winery, established by the son of Chaleow Yoovidhya, co-founder of Red Bull. While the winery itself is located remotely in Samut Sakhon, the vineyard is home to a restaurant, The Sala Wine Bar and Bistro, which hosts a live band on weekends. In addition to the daily tours, look forward to an annual harvest festival, which lets visitors pick grapes and stomp on them. The vineyard conducts winetasting at a minimum price of THB550 per person.

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5. Seenspace Hua Hin

Seenspace Hua Hin is billed the country’s first beachfront shopping mall. Opened in December, this artsy retail option is the natural successor to the original Seenspace lifestyle mall in Bangkok’s Thonglor district. The architect behind that project, Akaradej Pantisoontorn, returned for designing duties, envisaging Seenspace Hua Hin as an open-air retail concept set in a neo-Brutalist building over 7,200 sqm of prime beachside land.

Shoppers perambulate through grass walkways to such appetising F&B options as Seek Appetite, which offers local kapi who, and Icy Mania, serving ice cream by Baan Tua Yen. Yuccie homeware shops and discount outlets abound, including Seek35 and Seek Happening, which carry marked-down items from Marc by Marc Jacobs and DKNY, among others.

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6. Royal Hua Hin Golf Course

It does not get any more old-money than the Royal Hua Hin Golf Course, Thailand’s first. Opened in 1924 along with the Railway Hotel, Royal Hua Hin Golf Course is literally the playground of the rich and famous. Legend has it that King Prajadhipok paved the path for the country’s transition from absolute monarchy to a constitutional democracy while he was golfing here.

This 18-hole par-72 championship course boasts a length of 6,678 yards and features a design by Scottish railway engineer O.A. Robins, with tree-lined fairways, shaded lies, and resplendent views of the Gulf of Thailand. Hua Hin has since become synonymous with golf, earning the moniker “Golf Coast” and frequently hosting prestigious tournaments, including the Centara World Masters Golf Championship.

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