Hotels & Resorts

Review: The Standard, Hua Hin

The Hamptons of Thailand is calling the chic and social set with the opening of The Standard, Hua Hin. We checked in to the splashy new beachfront resort.

The Standard Hua Hin

By Jeninne Lee-St. John

Dec 31, 2021

THE STANDARD, HOLLYWOOD OPENED on the Sunset Strip back in 1999, a renovated 60s motel that was instantly a playground of glitterati. The uber-hip hotel company has grown, gone global and changed hands in the intervening years but in the newest Standard, their debut in Thailand, you can see a direct throughline from founder Andre Balazs to current majority shareholders Sansiri Group. You probably visualize the brand in the form of a gleaming high-rise, like the one that straddles the Highline in Manhattan, or the Brutalist beauty in London, but The Standard, Hua Hin is an aesthetic throwback to their Mid-century modern motel-chic roots.

Breeze on in through the open-air lobby modeled on a train station – no walls, just greenery, wooden and brass touchpoints and cool furniture, with a side credenza displaying a carefully curated selection of resortwear, art and accoutrements that actually make the space feel like that loft apartment you always wanted. (Especially when you toss in that juice cafe next door.)

When you eventually have to leave, you’ll be sad you didn’t spend more time here during your stay. But then you’ll remember the sequential layers of landscaping that break this long shorefront chunk of real estate into distinctly vibed zones, and come to the realization that once you’re enmeshed in The Standard world, you’re unlikely to willingly head for the exit.

Next comes the grassy, shady quad, encircled by the relatively higher-rise hotel buildings, where rooms are not large but each comes with a balcony, the better to hear the vivacious birdsong. The spa also lives in this section, and like any wellness center worth its salt, they’ve got a good sound healing program. One only-at-The-Standard offering: a group mud bath party in which you and three friends slather nearly naked bodies in colored clay while drinking in lounge chairs.

Proceed under flower-covered trellises for entry to the collection of cul de sacs that make up the villa neighborhood, 73 little one-bedroom numbers, most with their own private pool, hot-pink floatie ring and dusty-pink disco ball over the tub for your indoor or outdoor bathing glam. If you choose a second-story Canopy suite, keep an eye out for adorable pop art hidden among the nearby rooftops.

Those looking to flex will spring for the Bayside villa, because what it lacks in privacy it more than makes up for in the ability to stand on your private pool deck and preside over the entire resort and have everyone else be jealous of your space and how much fun you’re obviously having. (You get a disco tub here, too, but it’s the shower that steals the show with space and nozzles enough for a small party.)

The Bayside villa overlooks the main pool, its sprawling grassy lawn, sandy section, beach bar and kitesurfing shop, and here lies the genius of The Standard, Hua Hin. Designed with gently separated nooks of space you can take over with your friends or find privacy, the beachfront section has daybeds, beach chairs, hammocks, high tables, group tables, and some crazy-photogenic lounge chairs in the round that make you feel like a human record player.

Running down the side are the two restaurants: Lido, a Santa Monica-style bungalow with maximum natural light, and Praca, a heritage house outfitted with a stunner of a bar and serving modern Thai small plates. Like in the rest of the resort, every single piece of furniture is photogenic. But unlike those places designed purely for IG, The Standard, Hua Hin has atmosphere and your actual lifestyle top of mind.

It’s a place that guides your transition from laptop to paddleboard to drag-queen bingo. It’s now the place for party people in Hua Hin. No wonder they were sold-out for New Year’s Eve before they even opened. See you in those lounge chairs in the round sometime in 2022.

standardhotels.com/hua-hin/properties/hua-hin; doubles from Bt4,700.

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