On Feb 10 2023, an event was held in Hua Hin to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Hua Hin Railway Hotel, now known as the Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin.
The historic hotel is known for its unique blend of Thai and colonial architecture and is recognized as not only one of the most notable landmarks in Hua Hin but one of the most iconic hotels in Southeast Asia.
The centennial celebration was a colorful and lively affair, with many attendees dressed in traditional Thai dress to honor the country’s rich culture and heritage. The event was a fitting tribute to the hotel’s rich history and its significant contribution to the local tourism industry.
Mr Jan Weisheit, General Manager Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin presided over the celebrations with notable guests including Mr. Komkrit Charoenpatanasombut Deputy Governor of Prachuap Province, together with Mr. Polkrit Phuangvalaisin, Hua Hin District Chief, Ms. Usa Phuangvalaisin, Red Cross Mayor, Hua Hin District, Mr. Nopporn Wuthikul, Mayor of Hua Hin and Police Colonel Hongprom Wisit Chanachai Superintendent of Police, Hua Hin.
Other notable guests included the Hamel family, five generations of whom have now stayed at the hotel over several decades.
The event also featured an exhibition featuring artwork from many local artists which helped to retrace the image of the memorable Railway hotel over the past 100 years.
The Hua Hin Railway Hotel officially opened to guests on January 1, 1923 and is recognised as Thailand’s first resort hotel, comparable to premier hotels in Europe at the time.
The hotel was constructed in a colonial style, for which it is still famous, with teak wood and carvings featuring throughout.
The hotel originally had 14 rooms with full amenities such as a restaurant, bar, games room, tennis courts, and much more and cost approximately 128,000 THB to build.
The hotel is also famous for its beautiful gardens, the centerpiece of which is “Chokdee”, a large hedgerow cut into the shape of an elephant.
The Hua Hin Railway Hotel had substantial renovations in the beginning of 1986 after the State Railway of Thailand granted the Central Hotels and Resorts (CHR) and Accor restoration rights to the grand hotel.
In December 1986 it reopened under the new name “Sofitel Central Hua Hin”.
Following that, many portions of the hotel were improved and expanded. The name was changed to “Sofitel Hotel Centara Grand Resorts and Villas” until June 2007, when it became “Centara Grand Beach Resort and Villas Hua Hin Hotel” until December 31, 2011.
The Feb 11 event helped to mark the enduring legacy of the Hua Hin Railway Hotel, which has played a vital role in the development of Hua Hin as a premier tourist destination.
As Hua Hin continues to grow as a tourist destination, the Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin remains a central fixture in the region’s tourism industry, serving as a beacon of hospitality and cultural pride.