Chiva-Som Hua Hin

A reception hall offers a verdant view of the resort.

After hours, I turned off the computer and left my cabin. When I looked out the office window, I saw high-rise buildings and winding highways. Cars were stuck in a traffic jam day after day. It occurred to me that there was something missing in life. I didn’t know what it was, but I’d like to get my mind in order. A few days later, I took a break and left town for a quiet retirement.

I once went to Hua Hin with college friends. The years have passed, but the memories of our laughter that night in this peaceful seaside town remain indelible. Just a three-hour drive from Bangkok, I arrived at a wellness center in the late morning. Situated on a 17 rai beachfront plot, Chiva-Som lives up to its name, which literally translates to “haven of life”.

After checking in, I wandered off into the lobby to enjoy the green view. Under a dense canopy, the rooms perch above a lake, home to hundreds of orange carp. The vines hang over like curtains and almost touch the water, creating shade and giving an open yet private feel. A gentle slope leads from a reception area to the Walden Hut for body and soul.

Chiva-Som sources its vegetables from its own organic garden. (Photos: Thana Boonlert)

The Taste of Siam restaurant.

An ocean room offers a panorama of the beach and the sky.

Design and facilities

Founded by Boonchu Rojanastien in 1995, Chiva-Som grew from a weekend retreat for family and friends. A member of staff told me that at the time it was just a resort with spa and fitness services. Since his son, Krip Rojanastien, took the helm, he has continued his father’s vision and introduced many other programs, building on the family’s legacy into Asia’s premier wellness resort.

Guided by sustainability, the overall architecture combines traditional and contemporary elements. The resort completed a comprehensive four-year renovation in 2019, spanning its fitness, dining, and accommodation spaces. Guests can choose between two types of rooms. Set in a lush garden, the lodges offer a private retreat for longer stays. For those who want to feel the breeze, they can stay in ocean rooms at the end of the lane, which overlook the sandy beach.

Facilities are provided for vacationers to improve their physical and mental health. If they want to get in shape, they can take group and private lessons. I’ve always jogged in the park, but trained at home during the coronavirus pandemic. During my stay, I signed up for new activities including yoga, tai chi, water exercises and suspension. All of them helped me improve my concentration.

A health and wellness center also offers treatments and therapies. After consultation, specialists will suggest opportunities for improvement and therapies for optimal results. I received three massages. Performed in a dimly lit room, each 50-minute session helps release tension in the body. Highly recommend the chi nei tsang. Rooted in China, it relieves the internal organs around the abdomen and treats digestive problems.

The complex’s library houses the founder’s personal collection of books.

An ocean room.

Room with cove.

The resort has its own health and wellness centre, offering treatments and therapies.

my bedroom

I stayed three days and two nights in the ocean room on the 4th floor of the building by the sea. It includes a living room, a bathroom with dressing room and a bedroom. A butler came in and offered to unpack my suitcase. Sliding partitions make the room more spacious. Made of bamboo and teak wood, the furniture exudes a warm and cozy atmosphere.

A comfortable bed can accommodate two people. As I lay down, I could see a cove shaped like a gabled roof. Old clocks and lamps sit on bedside tables. Don’t worry about mosquitoes because an insect screen door is perfectly installed. From a balcony, I was treated to the panorama of the beach. At night, fishermen would turn on the lights to attract sea creatures.

My bathroom was in white and with a transparent glass door. Her dressing area featured an open wardrobe with drawers for personal belongings. I was provided with a dressing gown, pajamas, slippers and sandals for outdoor activities. Customers are encouraged to use free refill bottles and take them home. Drinking water dispensers are available in the station.

Gumbo with prawns.

To eat

Located near an outdoor swimming pool, the Taste of Siam brings culinary well-being in a mix of local and foreign specialties for all diners, including vegetarians. It can accommodate up to 100 people with an additional dining area by the sea. They can order à la carte at the table or choose a wide range of dishes from the buffet. On Saturday evening, they can join in a barbecue party.

A chef told me that the portioned meal plan will help vacationers design a healthy diet and manage daily calorie intake. Dishes contain vegetables and protein, followed by carbohydrates. Alternatives to sugar, including honey and coconut syrup, are offered. Food is served in small portions to ensure customers can try different dishes without blowing their calorie budget.

My favorite dish was the shrimp gumbo, a twist on the signature New Orleans dish, served with sliced ​​vegetables and homemade tomato sauce. I loved how the chef experimented with quinoa in many dishes, especially the porridge and pomelo salad served with betel leaves and crispy fish. After every meal, I could break the rules without feeling guilty. Desserts, such as butterfly pea sorbet and khuy kai koa moul (young bananas wrapped in rice with a sweet coconut sauce and ice cream), are delicious.

The fishermen go out to sea in the evening.

Fishermen turn on lights to attract sea creatures at night.

Leisure experience

I went to the organic garden where vegetables are grown and used for wellness cooking. Situated on a 2 rai plot, the garden is not far from the station. It has outdoor plots and greenhouses because each plant can grow well in different conditions. Some are more susceptible to weather and insects and therefore need protection. It meets an international organic standard.

I also went through the Krailart Niwate mangrove. The wetland restoration project is a collaboration between Chiva-Som and its partners. The area was once a wasteland. Launched in 2013, it is now home to around 10,000 trees, including curly root mangroves and portia. He installed an 800 m promenade for public use. At the top of the mountain is a temple where guests can meditate during their stay.

Chiva-Som sources its vegetables from its own organic garden.

Set in a lush garden, the lodges offer a private retreat for longer stays.


On the last day, I came across the missing piece of life: joy. Looking back, my retirement allowed me to stay focused on my well-being. Little things, from old clocks to well-prepared food, made me happy. Of course, they will always stay with me. Chiva-Som is more than a resort, but a philosophy of well-being. As the founder said, “above all, enjoy your life”.

Chiva-Som is located at 73/4-6 Soi Moo Baan Nong Kae, Phetkasem Road, Nong Kae, Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan. Call +66 (0) 3253-6536 or visit

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