Hua Hin’s family-friendly “playcation” destination with a sophisticated skybar
Located just a short drive south of the Hua Hin city centre, the Holiday Inn Vana Nava Hua Hin is the ideal “playcation” destination for folks seeking an exciting yet relaxing seaside getaway. The resort—which welcomed its first guests on December 1st, 2017—is located directly beside the popular Vana Nava Water Jungle amusement park, which has been in operation since December of 2014 (see facing page). The resort and the waterpark are part of a joint business venture, and as such all guests staying at the Holiday Inn Vana Nava receive free unlimited entry to the waterpark, including the use of storage lockers.
The 300 rooms and suites at this ultra-modern 27-storey property range from 39 sq.m to 128 sq.m. Families with younger children can opt for the unique KidSuites, with colourful “secret” rooms that offer bunk beds and play areas. Needless to say, with a waterpark next door and a ‘Children 12-Years and Under Stay and Eat Free’ policy, this is an ideal family vacation spot.
The resort’s overall design follows an aquatic theme with playful fish imagery woven into many aspects of the décor, and soothing deep hues of blue, interspersed with lively fiery reds, livening up the interiors. The room furnishings are fun and funky, with quirky geometric designs, and the spacious and breezy balconies offer amazing views—whether ocean facing or looking out over the mountains to the west. The rooms also offer all modern amenities, including flatscreen TV, sofa, free Wi-Fi, room safe, mini-fridge, and much more.
For diners the Plamong Restaurant is the hotel’s expansive 7th floor all-day F&B venue, serving up bountiful breakfasts and à la carte lunch and dinner menus. Meanwhile, fresh juices, coffee and tea, light bites, and bar beverages can be found at the stylish 8th floor Thalay Bar, which offers both indoor and outdoor seating. Other features of the property include a fitness centre and spa, a kid’s club, and 950 sq.m of flexible event space, including five function rooms and one of Hua Hin’s largest ballrooms.
But what really sets this property apart are its rooftop facilities. It boasts one of the only rooftop swimming pools in Hua Hin, and the sweeping 180° views of the ocean and surrounding mountainsides from this 26th floor perch are breathtaking. The swimming area is divided into three sections—an infinity pool with plenty of sun loungers, a Jacuzzi pool and swim up bar, and a kid’s pool area with waterslide.
Of course, the “ultimate” view is at the 27th storey Vana Nava Sky, a bar, restaurant, and observation deck rolled into one. The space-—due to officially open mid-January—has been designed by Ashley Sutton, the mastermind behind both Maggie Choo’s and Iron Fairies. His artistic touch will be partnered with the mixology skills of Joseph Boroski (another familiar name in Bangkok’s nightlife scene) who is curating the signature drink menu. His dedication to using only the purest and freshest ingredients, combined with his own infused liquors, means that this will be a collection of cocktails well worth seeking out. Add to this the bar’s dramatic, glass-floored observation deck, suspended a dizzying 110 metres in the sky, and it’s safe to say this is a sophisticated drink spot destination like no other.
Holiday Inn Vana Nava
129/129 Petchkasem Rd.
Tel: 03 280 9999
Vana Nava Water Jungle
Since its grand opening just over three years ago, the Vana Nava Water Jungle has been a consistently popular attraction for visitors to Hua Hin looking for some wet and wild fun in the sun. It features an amazing array of aquatic attractions and, as the first ecologically aware community water park in the region, it has literally transformed an empty plot of land into a water-soaked tropical paradise. Combining state-of-the-art technology and modern facilities with one-of-a-kind attractions—including Vanadio, Thailand’s first professional underwater photography studio—it’s safe to say this is not just a water park, but an entertainment complex for all ages.
For thrill-seekers The Abyss, which is shaped like a giant megaphone, is the region’s largest waterslide, Boomerango is the area’s longest slide, Aqualoop is Thailand’s first and most thrilling anti-gravity tube-slide, and Freefall, the heart-stopping body slide, begins as the floor literally drops out from beneath you. Add to that simulated surfing in the Chang Surf Zone, a 13-metre-high Climbing Wall, and the AquaCourse—a challenging course of ropes and obstacles combined with water guns—and you’ve got a full day’s worth of high-energy hijinks. It’s also worth noting that all the rides are from Canada’s WhiteWater West Industries, the world’s best innovator and supplier for water parks, ensuring a “fun without fear” experience for all.
Aside from the thrill rides, the park also offers more sedate watery fun, including the Lazy River ride, and the simulated Wave Pool, where guests can also soak up the sun in one of the many sun loungers. There are also private cabanas (6-8 people) and beach huts (2-4 people) circling the wave pool, available for rent starting from B800 for the day. And for younger children the park has several specially designed play areas as well, including Vana Wonderland.
For the hungry hordes there are six food and beverage outlets in the park, as well as an ice cream stall and a kebab stand, and the innovative use of RFID wristbands and data management technology offers visitors a pay-as-you-go convenient cashless system (so you don’t have to carry a wallet with you). In fact, all valuables can be stored in the on-site lockers.
Guests at both the Holiday Inn Vana Nava Resort and the InterContinental Hua Hin Resort can enjoy unlimited access to Vana Nava waterpark. For regular visitors, the All-In Day Pass adult ticket is a great deal at only B1,200, as it includes park admission, use of one locker, one towel, a souvenir photo, and a promotional food and beverage coupon (add B150 for access to the all-day buffet). The park is open daily from 10am till 6pm, while the Adventure Zone stays open till 9pm.
By Bruce Scott