Last Updated on January 28, 2024
The royal resort town of Hua Hin is situated on the Gulf of Thailand a few hours’ drive south of Bangkok. ‘Royal’ because since 1923, consecutive Thai Kings have relished the recuperative powers of the seaside and maintained summer palaces in Hua Hin. This royal patronage has helped the locality retain its authentic ‘Thainess,’ and remains a favorite of Thai people.
Hua Hin boasts an excellent infrastructure, including international hotels and resorts, plus outstanding recreational facilities like championship-level golf courses. The absence of direct domestic or international flights requires people to journey by road or rail from Bangkok to reap the rewards of this low-key, attractions-rich beach retreat.
Sometimes dubbed Thailand’s Hamptons (without the price tag), the Hua Hin region also attracts retirees from around the world looking for an affordable, comfortable, and active lifestyle. My wife and I count ourselves as one of those lucky enough to call it home now.
Wyndham Pranburi Resort & Villas
Sixteen miles south of Hua Hin town sits the beachside community of Pranburi. Brightly colored timber fishing fleets bring home catches of squid and fish daily. Coconut plantations, pineapple fields, and vegetable crops fill the landscape, and the bounty of land and ocean are the focus of daily life.
The 20-acre Wyndham Hua Hin Pranburi Resort & Villas is situated on Pranburi’s picturesque oceanfront esplanade, a tropical wonderland my wife and I recently chose for a short vacation.
This Wyndham Resort offers 194 studios, villas, and family suites. The newly refurbished rooms feature spacious living areas, emphasize natural fabrics and calming hues, and boast restful outdoor spaces. The resort’s buildings are no taller than the palm trees and spread across the sweeping grounds, providing luxuriant outlooks and a broad sense of space.
We experienced the luxuriously roomy (968-square-foot) Deluxe Pool Villa. This opulent haven included a sumptuous king bed, a sofa bed with a surfeit of plush pillows inviting extended lounging, a well-appointed bathroom and an indoor rain shower room that could easily accommodate two. Complimentary Wi-Fi, an expresso-style coffee machine and resort-curated lemongrass-scented bathroom amenities added to our in-room indulgences.
The bedroom’s peaked ceiling enhanced the spaciousness, and an efficient ceiling fan meant we did not have to rely on constant air conditioning. Our villa opened onto a walled garden with an oversized plunge pool, sunken outdoor bath, and separate shower.
Sun lounges and a roofed double daybed filled the poolside terrace.
Wyndham Pranburi Resort Facilities
Given the Wyndham’s expansive grounds with its towering palms, lotus and lily ponds, manicured lawns and meandering paths, walking or grabbing one of the readily available resort bicycles is the best way to get around the car-free property. Staff will also ferry you on one of the electric golf carts if mobility is an issue.
Onsite recreational facilities include tennis, pickleball, skateboarding, archery, beach volleyball, pétanque and cycling. The resort also boasts a modern and well-equipped fitness center. There’s a kids’ club, and the games room includes table tennis and pool tables.
Onsite Blue Lotus Spa offers facials, body scrubs and wraps, and a comprehensive selection of massage therapies. I loved my signature massage, incorporating traditional Thai pressure points and stretching. Sauna and steam rooms are also available for guest use.
Blue Lotus staff also oversee daily wellness activities like yoga, Tai Chi, body weight, and aqua fitness. For the more creative, try a candle-making class or learn the techniques for arm massages.
Topping the resort’s recreational facilities has to be the 13,454 square-foot resort pool, equating in volume to an Olympic-size swimming pool. Divided into three connected sections, including a kid’s zone, this infinity pool even has a 154-foot-long section for lap swimmers.
Wyndham Pranburi Resort Dining
Wyndham Pranburi offers two dining venues. With its thoughtfully crafted breakfast buffet and live noodle and egg stations, The Restaurant is ideal for fueling up and getting ready for another action-packed (or lazing about) resort day.
The alfresco ocean-facing Pavillion restaurant operates from lunch through dinner, offering snacks, excellent healthy and vegetarian options, signature Thai and international dishes and crowd-pleasing favorites, including wood-fired pizza and grilled meats. Twice-daily happy hours entice lingering.
What To Do on Thailand’s Royal Coast
Immediately in front of the resort, you’ll find a 5-mile-long esplanade with dedicated cycling and walking paths and a selection of cafes, beach bars, restaurants and Thai massage shops. Using the cycle route map, the easiest way to explore the neighborhood is on a resort bicycle.
On weekend nights, street food-style markets for locals and visitors pop up on the oceanfront, providing an authentic experience.
The small community of Khao Kalok (or Skull Mountain) is located just three miles south with a wide and protected beach, safe swimming, and a nature trail leading to Khao Kalok viewpoint.
Nearby is the highly decorative Wat Khao Kalok (temple).
Sam Roi Yot National Park
A 30-minute drive south takes visitors to Sam Roi Yot National Park with its jagged limestone mountains. The name translates to ‘300 hundred peaks.’
A key park attraction is the two-chamber Phraya Nakhon Cave. Given its size, the main cavern’s floor easily measures several football fields. A natural sinkhole in the cave’s vaulted ceiling bathes the space in natural light, and from mid to late morning, the golden-roofed pavilion in the chamber’s center honoring the 1890 visit of King Rama V is illuminated in divine-like beams of sunlight.
Visiting the cave complex involves a short boat ride and a reasonably challenging 30-minute hike up and in. Despite what my knees said at the time, it’s well worth the effort. You may also see Dusky Langurs (cute dark-furred monkeys with a pronounced white rim around their eyes) in the canopy above as you climb the trail.
Still within the park, though on the other side of the mountains, is Thung Sam Roi Yot Wetlands, an internationally recognized Ramsar site and bird watchers’ delight. Visit during February and March and you can also experience the vast wetland covered in native Lotus blooms in white, pink and purple tones.
Elephants in Kuri Buri National Park
If seeing Asian elephants in the wild excites you, I recommend visiting Kui Buri National Park, just an hour south of the resort. Best to go mid-afternoon, where you join safari-like tours to spot the elephant herds grazing across the natural grasslands.
You may also catch glimpses of gaur during your visit, a wild bovine taller than North American bison. A Kui Buri safari provides an excellent glimpse into the park’s preservation programs as well.
Getting to Wyndham Pranburi Resort & Villas
Living locally, we drove our own vehicle, though the resort can arrange private transfers from Hua Hin or Bangkok, including the airports with one-way or round-trip options. Transfer services have a fee.
A stay at Wyndham Hua Hin Pranburi Resort & Villas puts you at the heart of the Royal Coast. Yet, with the diversity and abundance of resort facilities, you may opt to stay in as this resort has everything you need – whether traveling solo, as a couple, family, or as an extended group.
Wyndham Pranburi is also part of Wyndham Destinations, and their Club Wyndham Vacation Club member benefits apply.