Long Beach Cha-Am Hotel , Cha-Am
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Review of "Long Beach Cha-Am Hotel , Cha-Am"
A lady from the Nørth. During Mum's preoperative assessment in May 2016 it was discovered that the cancer they were going to remove is now too far advanced to treat. I'm back after a really rough half year, glad to be<3 https://silveryew.wordpress.com/
This is a review of my favourite place to go on vacation. We discovered this hotel purely by accident as my Dad had gone to book us three a two week holiday during the winter break of 1994 but Spain where we were hoping to go was sold out, so the travel agent suggested this hotel, just three months old, in Cha-Am, Thailand. We thought, why not? And the rest is history.Since that year we have tried to go back nearly every year and we always stay at this hotel. We've brought my sister and her family there and we've also gone there with my brothers and their wives and children, and friends of ours as well. I would suggest this hotel and Cha Am in general for people who want to take it easy and who do not want lots of raving parties. The clientele we see visit this hotel are families with children, older couples without children and people who come here to attend conferences.
To get to Cha-Am, it's three hours from the capital by car, and you could also fly to Hua Hin airport. However with the boarding, checks and waiting time I think it would take the same amount of time anyway
Cha Am itself is a city where Thai families come to celebrate holidays and days off, we think this is lovely because it means the area has not been ruined by tourism. We feel very safe coming here and with the exception of the New Year's Weekend when the beach is full of people and cars are parked in layers of five, it is a quiet, calm place to stay. The beach is 100 metres from the hotel, right down the street. The hotel provides parasols and chairs there though we always opt to pay and get a group together from one of the local vendors as it means we can sit together as a family and they always have plenty of parasols, offering plenty of shade. Renting a chair costs 30 THB a day, some also rent out sun loungers at 100 THB a day.
The beach is open for everyone to use, except on Wednesdays. Wednesdays in Cha Am is the Clean Beach Day. It was introduced by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment after private vendors and hotels were seen to encroach on the beach itself, building structures and restaurants on it. So for one day a week the beach is completely clear of chairs and parasols and things. Some people get blankets and sit in the shade under the trees further up the beach by the road, but most of the Westerners who visit use this day for sightseeing or spend it by the pool as you'll burn to a crisp if you sit in the sun all day.A word of warning: The sun is very strong in Thailand, even on an overcast day. Always wear sunscreen when you go out. Being from Norway my family uses SPF 30 on the face, ears (yes you can get sunburnt there) and shoulders, and then 15 on the rest of your body, but I would suggest 30 all over for children. You can even get a tan if you sit in the shade, particularly on the beach as UV rays reflect off the water onto the beach. I never spend more than 15 minutes tanning a day when I am there and make sure that I've set a timer. Young children can go and have a swim but should not sit in the sun at all, and the people who rent out chairs and parasols are always happy to set up more parasols for you and will do so for your children so they can play in the sand.
The first year we went, my mother slathered me in SPF 50 however she did not do my toes and I suffered second degree burns on my toes the first day we were there. I could not wear shoes the the rest of the vacation. We also sat next to a family from a town close to our home town who did not put sunscreen on their children, and both children ended up in the local hospital with second degree burns on their arms and shoulders the next day. The sun is no joke here, please for your own good protect your skin from it.Long Beach Cha Am Hotel was opened in 1994 - it was the first big hotel built along the beach and since then it has gone through renovations and expansions. It now has an additional complex of hotel rooms and facilities across the street called Tara Mantra, but we have always asked for and lived in the 'old section' as we've enjoyed it so much. This also means I can't comment on what it is like to live in the Tara Mantra section.
I will go through the hotel floor by floor.Ground floor: This is where you come in to the hotel. The main entrance is covered and wide so vehicles can drive right up to the door with guests, this is also very helpful when leaving as you can just wheel your luggage right out. There is a second smaller entrance that leads from the covered garage where you can park your car if you have one and there are also three kennels where dogs can stay. As is tradition in Thailand there is a small temple outside the hotel where the spirits live, where staff are seen to make offerings of food and drink daily. There are also a variety of plants, trees and flowers planted around the hotel and at the entrance, and the gardeners can be seen hard at work watering or tending these every day. Very helpful is that there is also a small stone circle with a tap there so guests can wash their feet and get the sand off before they enter the hotel.
The main entrance has a small desk which is always manned by a security guard or a bellhop, day and night. The bellboys are always helpful and will offer to take things up for you whether you are arriving or have been shopping. There is a step up to the entrance but also a ramp so suitable for guests who use a wheelchair.The doors slide open to let you into the reception. It's tiled in cream, turquoise and ochre tiles and it has a high, cream painted ceiling with wood details along the skirting boards. To the left there is a variety of plants where they used to have a water feature (they've drained it now and put plants in instead as mosquitoes were breeding in there), and above the plants going upwards is a grand staircase in stone and bronze, leaning up to the restaurant on the first floor.
Right in front of you is reception, there are usually three to four members of staff there during the day, this decreases to two during the night. There you can put letters in to post, they can provide change for your big notes, and they do all the things a reception is supposed to do. They currently have a Customer Liaison team member there during daytime hours who is a lady called Arporn, who speaks very good English and who is always kind and helpful. You can take your key with you when you go, or as we prefer, leave it in reception.To the left of the reception is a lounging area with chairs and benches made of rattan and with comfortable cushions on them, where they have a small bar and cafe counter and a little glass cabinet where they sell cakes and pastries. They have a satellite TV there so you can even get content from Norway on there, very popular when the Winter Olympics are on, and along the wall there are four PCs that you can pay reception to use, it's 50THB an hour so very reasonable.
We have not used the lounge area a lot during the day time except while waiting for each other, so can't comment on what the cafe is like. In the evening we have used the bar area as they've got a good selection of cocktails and drinks available for a no unreasonable price. My personal favourite is the Long Beach Ice Tea, which is a version of Mai Tai served in a pineapple which is hollowed out, with the top left on as a lit where your straw comes out, and the pineapple chunks served in a dish on the side. Delicious^_^ They also make your usual drinks like irish coffee, gin fizz, singapore sling, screwdriver, B52, gin and tonic, and so forth, but they also make up drinks on request if you want something specific.
Between the lounge and the reception is a high archway which leads to the elevators, there are two, that serve the 10 floors of the hotel, and there is also a staircase going up next to the lift if you feel so inclined. Across from the lifts and stairs there's a ladies and a gents toilet and a disabled toilet as well. Both in the bathrooms and on the tables around reception there are little vases with fresh flowers, so its always a pleasant environment to be in, in addition to the air conditioning of course!The next floor up is the hotel restaurant. It is open from 6am to midnight.
A breakfast buffet is served here from 7am-10.30am here as well. It costs 200 THB a day per person if you are just visiting, but when you book your hotel room this is included in the price, and it is well worth it as it's superb and delicious! The buffet has the following (and it makes me hungry just thinking about it now!):Slices of fresh fruit, like slices of pineapple, rose apple, papaya and watermelon, depending on what's in season.
Pastries and croissants, muffins
White bread for toasting and brown and seeded breads bakes in-house, bread rolls. There is a big toaster available with the space to toast anything you want in there, including croissants.
French toast/pancakes (they seem to alternate between these two)
Jams, usually apricot, marmalade, strawberry and raspberry jam
Fried mushrooms and tomatoes
Egg station, where you can have eggs how you want them, so scrambled, fried, omelette or boiled.
Thai breakfast, this is usually rice soup, fried rice with vegetables and egg and either chicken or pork fried with greens, sometimes there is battered fish as well, though this is spicy so I don't eat it.
Semiskimmed milk and fruit juices - the juices are alternated but there is always orange, apple and pineapple juice there, and a fourth unknown or unusual one like chrysanthemum juice or logan juice. The fourth juice is changed to a new one every day.
Dried fruit like sultanas and flakes of coconut
Cereals, such as rice puffs, coco pops, weetabix, muesli and corn flakes.
Fermented soy beans
A variety of sauces and spices
Salad greens, so chopped tomatoes, cucumber and lettuce, with a vinaigrette (I know, I mean, for breakfast? But I do see people eat this so I guess it's a thing)
Tea, coffee and hot water for herbal teas
Ice cold water
We tend to go down for breakfast at about 8.30am-9am and find that we have enough time to help ourselves, sit and eat it and go for seconds or even thirds as my nephews do, and then relax with a tea or coffee afterwards. There's always plenty of staff about and you have just enough time to retract your hand from your empty plate before someone comes and collects it. The place is nicely decorated with turquoise and clay red tiles, with fresh flowers on every table and bigger decorations at the waiter stations.
The tables are made of sugar palm wood and tables to seat two, four, six, eight or even ten people together, with lovely reed table mats that are brightly coloured. The restaurant opens up into a conference hall which they lay for breakfast during busy periods so we have never had any trouble finding anywhere to sit together.
The third floor is where you can find the pool. There is also two large conference halls here, and a bridge across to their conference complex where there is a beachfront restaurant and spa centre on the ground floor.
The pool are is a semicircle and actually forms the ceiling of the entrance to the hotel. The pool is tiled with turquoise tiles and is rectangular with a small shallow semicircle at the top, and a semicircular jacuzzi on the bottom left of the pool. Around the pool there are sun chairs with parasols and small tables, and by the pool bar there are tables and chairs where you can sit.
The pool is open from 8am in the morning to 6pm at night every day, and the pool bar has a menu with a variety of light snacks and sandwiches and lunch dishes, both Thai and Western food, ice cream, and hot and cold drinks. In our experience the club sandwich is particularly good.
Ordering a soft drink at the hotel is always lovely as the glass is garned with slice of pineapple and a pink orchid flower.
From the fourth floor up to the tenth floor are the rooms. There are 193 in total in a variety of sizes to suit your needs. The hallways are in stone and on each floor they are open to the elements as it's open at the end of each hallway where the stairs are, so although it is rarely annoying, it does mean that any noise you make out in the hallway is amplified.
All the rooms are tiled and are comfortable and have their own private balcony.The key not only lets you in to the room, but the tag on it fits into a slot next to the door on the inside, when it is in, it powers everything, so when you leave the room and take your key with you, everything including the air conditioning turns off.
All rooms have aircondition, hot and cold water and are serviced every day. They also give you little complimentary things such as shower caps, toothbrushes and toothpaste and little soaps and things, and there is a kettle and tea and coffee making facilities in your room. There is also a safe for your belongings and they provide bath and beach towels, and there is a hair dryer in your room. There is room service available where the menu is the same as in the pool, and you can order between 6am and midnight.
In their efforts to be more green (this hotel is the only hotel in Petchaburi province to have won the Green Leaf Award), there is a sign asking you to put the towels you want replacing in the bath.
All rooms get two free 500ml bottles of drinking water a day, left in the fridge under the TV, and the maids replenish this daily. Suites get two bottles of water and two small bottles of pop such as Coke or Fanta as well.
In addition to this guests can go and ask for two WiFi codes a day from reception for one hour of Wifi Use each, so if you have three in a room like we did last time, that was six hour's worth of wifi time every day. The Wifi however is not particularly reliable. My nephew who is a bit of a whiz explained to me that because each router has been set up as a separate unit rather than as a whole network, your laptop will be connected to one router when suddenly it will sense a different router and try to connect to that one, and bounce around from one to the other.We solved this when my nephew reached up and plugged an ethernet cable into the router in the hallway, and led it into our hotel room and plugged it directly into the computer (Yes, he had a 10 meter ethernet cable with him in his suitcase just in case. Don't ask.). So if you need a connection that is reliable I would suggest either bringing a cable, parking yourself with a chair in the hall underneath the router, or using the facilities in the lobby.
The rooms are clean and there is plenty of space for your belongings. The door to your room has a peephole, can be locked from the inside and has a door guard.
They also have a laundry service available, and a doctor on call. Dr. Wirat is a kind gent who always has two nurses with him at his doctor's practice, I have seen him privately once as I cut myself and it needed stitching and he has also treated my father in the past. He speaks good English and he is very thorough.
On the top floor there is a roof garden, which is planted with temple trees and flowers. We go up here to see the fireworks on New Year's Eve, and there used to be sunloungers there but these had been removed on our last visit. The view is excellent both day and night from there. The lift only goes to the 10th floor however so there is a staircase you will have to climb to get up to the roof.The hotel also has a restaurant and a cafe by the seafront. The cafe is in an ideal place to have lunch after you've come from the beach as it is just across the road from the beach, and they have a space where you can rinse the sand off your feet. It's an informal place where they serve cakes from their bakery, ice cream and lunch dishes, both Thai and Western food. The restaurant is in the Tara Mantra section of the hotel across the street, facing the beach front. We go there sometimes for lunch and dinner because they have good juices and pizzas there.
Nothing has ever gone missing from our rooms, and we feel safe and happy here. Thais love children and are very doting on young guests, to the point of ridiculousness. The last time we went with some friends, their 2 year old daughter had her birthday, and when the staff realized she had a birthday while staying at the hotel they threw a birthday party for her at the pool after it closed, with cakes and sweets and soft drinks.
The primary reason why we return to this place is because the staff are always very friendly and helpful. Their English is good so they understand what you want. Everyone we've met are always smiling and polite. Nothing is ever any bother or too much to ask. When my mother felt too unwell to come down to breakfast while we were there last time, the staff immediately asked where she was and then made up some toast and marmalade for us to take up to her room, and they also had a wheelchair we could borrow when Mum's balance was too poor to walk for longer periods of time, we have even had members of staff walk Mum down to the beach and supported her while walking down.
It's a hotel I would certainly recommend as it's comfortable, quiet, close to the beach and the staff are always helpful and friendly. Maybe it's because I'm nostalgic and have been there many times, but we do love it there and return to it every time we visit Thailand. If you are looking for a roaring nightlife, this hotel and Cha-Am is not for you - I would suggest somewhere in the next town of Hua Hin instead.http://www.longbeach-chaam.com/
-A place to be Home-
Product Information : Long Beach Cha-Am Hotel , Cha-Am
Manufacturer's product description
Rating: 3 Stars
Listed on Ciao since: 16/01/2015