Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Flights to Hua Hin: InterContinental now flying guests in from Bangkok

Bangkokians can now skip the 2.5-hour drive south and enjoy views of the gulf on a 35-minute flight
Flights to Hua Hin -- InterContinental
The flight from Bangkok to Hua Hin, aboard this InterContinental plane, takes 35 minutes.

The InterContinental Hua Hin Resort has launched private flights from Bangkok to Hua Hin Airport, the latest in a string of high-stakes steps to promote itself in the resort town’s crowded luxury hotel market since opening last year.

Though the flights are advertised as being available from either Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport or domestic Don Muang, hotel management told us this morning they are willing to fly guests to and from anywhere in Thailand.

It’s certainly appealing -- if you don’t mind coughing up 50,000 baht. The flight seats six but guests need to charter the whole plane. Want to fly solo? The price is the same.

Despite the far from low-cost rate, the reason this plan just might fly is that there are no other flights to Hua Hin available. The town is only a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Bangkok, but when you’ve only got a weekend to escape the grind a 35-minute flight is a far cooler prospect.

Bangkok Airways used to offer flights, but they were canceled back in 2004. Then came the tiny private Thai airline SGA, which was last year rebranded by Nok Air and now only operates short flights out of Chiang Mai.

INterContinental suite
View of a InterContinental suite looking in from the balcony.
Big spenders

As we mentioned above, the flights are part of a series of high profile marketing moves by the hotel. This year the InterContinental was the main sponsor of the Hua Hin International Jazz Festival, the town’s first Kite Boarding World Cup and the first Hua Hin Beach Polo event. In January, it was a sponsor of a tennis tournament featuring just a single match between Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams, hosting the leading ladies as guests.

In spite of its obviously big marketing budget, InterContinental Hua Hin property is smaller than most of the sprawling resorts that surround it in Hua Hin, such as the Mariott, Hyatt and historical Sofitel Centara Grand.

But its hip design, layout and top amenities make up for any size issues in a town that was once viewed by the younger set as a weekend retreat for aging nostalgic Bangkok elites.

The rooms are boutique hotel chic, avoiding the usual cookie-cutter East-meets West designs found in most of the country’s newer branded hotels. Also appealing is the unusual layout of the rooms that allows guests to wake up looking straight out onto the beach and grounds, which are filled with multi-layered pools and fountains, as opposed to a TV screen.

But most important of all, there’s free Wi-Fi.

Read more: Flights to Hua Hin: InterContinental now flying guests in from Bangkok |

No comments: