Centara Grand ‘Railway’ Hotel Hua Hin: Celebrating 100 Years of History, Charm and Elegance
Step Back in Time at Centara Grand 'Railway' Hotel Hua Hin and experience a taste of Hua Hin's royal history. From its humble beginnings as The Railway Hotel, accommodating visitors to King Rama VI's summer palace, to its present-day status as one of Asia's most romantic resorts, this hotel has a story to tell. Nestled in the heart of this historic beach town on the sunrise side of the Gulf of Siam, the 251 guest rooms offer superb luxury in an Old World setting.
Her 𝐑𝐨𝐲𝐚𝐥 𝐇𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐏𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐏𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐭𝐫𝐚 𝐉𝐚𝐲𝐚𝐤𝐚𝐫𝐚, 𝐇𝐑𝐇 𝐏𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐊𝐚𝐦𝐩𝐡𝐚𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐩𝐡𝐞𝐭 𝐀𝐤𝐤𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐲𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧, developed and successfully administrated the Railway system of Thailand. 𝐏𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐏𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐭𝐫𝐚 personally oversaw the construction of the Railway Hotel. It was his intention to raise the standard of accommodation in Hua Hin.
As you stroll through the 13 hectares of private landscaped gardens, you’ll feel the old-world charm that reflects "Old Siam." One of the first things that strikes you as you walk in is the amazing fragrance of the teak wood furnishings throughout the hotel and around the superbly maintained guestrooms and suites that date back to 1923. In fact, while you’re there, make sure that you drop in to the hotel's museum that showcases its historical past with artefacts and antiques.
Check out the iconic 100-year-old elephant statue, "Khun Chokedee", standing proud in the garden. Immerse yourself in the hotel's past as a filming location for two famous movies, "The Killing Fields" and "The Quest". The hotel has even earned recognition from Thai architects for its efforts in preserving Thai culture.
The ‘Railway Hotel’ is also serving up some seriously tasty eats. At the Railway restaurant, you can chow down on both Thai and Western flavours that pay homage to the country's rail history, like the must-try "Khao Phad Rot Fai". Head to Coast Beach Club & Bistro for a chic dining experience featuring global cuisine, handcrafted pizzas, grill-fresh meats, and seafood - all while soaking up the tropical beach vibes. Take a trip back in time at the Museum Coffee and Tea Corner with a proper British high tea. And when it's time to unwind, hit up the Elephant Bar to chill and relax with family and friends.
A Whistle-Stop Tour of The Railway Hotel’s 100-year-old Past
To truly appreciate the hotel’s amazing 100-year-old past, here’s a whistle-stop timeline of the hotel’s history:
1911: Hua Hin becomes a popular seaside destination for the Thai Royal Family, aristocrats and the Bangkok elite after the completion of a railway from Bangkok.
1916: Hua Hin becomes a common overnight stop for passengers travelling on long train journeys, with basic public accommodations provided by the State Railway.
1919: Hat Yai-Padang Besar train opens for service.
1922: The Thai Royal State Railway builds a luxurious European-style Railway Hotel in Hua Hin and King Rama VI commissions a golf course to be built in the area.
1924: Hua Hin Railway Hotel becomes popular, State Railway's advertising division established to promote train holidays.
1926: European express trains with sleeping berths introduced, leading to increase in ticket sales and popularity of Hua Hin.
1939: During World War II, Hua Hin's tranquillity attracts Thais and foreigners seeking refuge.
1945: After the war, infrastructure improves, increasing automotive transportation and access to resorts near Hua Hin.
1948: New building with three restaurants, bar, and rooms built adjoining the old hotel.
1986: State Railway grants Central Hotels and Resorts and Accor restoration rights to the hotel, relaunches as Sofitel.
1988: Sofitel Central Hua Hin Resort opens to a new generation of guests.
1993: Sofitel adds a conference hall, game room, library, night club, shops, beauty salon, cocktail bar, and restaurant. Upgrades the bungalows to beautifully decorated two-room suites.
1995: Fitness Centre and Spa opened with sea view, with private treatment rooms and saunas.
1998: Garden Wing added with 60 rooms, new swimming pool complex, and Thai traditional massage area opened.
2000: Railway Wing upgraded, 22 standard rooms converted to superior rooms, and 17 deluxe rooms renovated.
2001: Railway Wing completed with spacious rooms, teak furniture, high ceilings, and antique fans, Sofitel now has 207 rooms.
The Centara Grand Hotel is a cultural gem in Hua Hin that has stood the test of time. With its 100th anniversary fast approaching, the hotel's team is dedicated to delivering a premium hospitality experience for all who pass through its doors. From its historical significance to its impact on Hua Hin's tourism industry, the Centara Grand Hotel is an unmissable landmark that will continue to be cherished by locals and global travellers alike.