It takes just three hours to get from Bangkok to Hua Hin, the amount of time many of us spend daily in our cars trying to get to and from work.
You can make a lazy morning of the journey too, taking along a picnic box and stopping off on the route that leads to the InterContinental Hua Hin Resort in the heart of Hua Hin, a popular weekend destination for Bangkokians. The resort is a stone's throw away from fancy shopping malls and markets packed with delicious local street food, fine restaurants and boutique coffee shops.
Stepping into the elegant and peaceful lobby is a world away from the bustling and vibrant streets of Hua Hin. A refreshing welcome drink and fragrant jasmine garland quickly melt away the tiredness from the road.
The hotel recently launched its new extension, known as the BluPort Wing, which is easily reached by a convenient bridge from the main property and is home to 40 new rooms and suites, furnished in contemporary Thai design, and with its own swimming pool, all-day dining restaurant, Le Colonial, and its own bar, the Saraan Lounge.
My Club InterContinental Room is in the Beach Wing but no matter what part of the hotel I am staying, I am more than welcome to enjoy the best each wing has to offer: eight restaurants and bars, spa, swimming pools, fitness centre plus shuttle service access to Vana Nava water park and True Arena Hua Hin.
The Beach Wing, a charming colonial-style beachfront resort inspired by royal Thai heritage, houses 158 rooms including suites and villas and La Residence Hua Hin, the private two-storey Thai-Victorian mansion overlooking the Gulf of Thailand.
The central lawn leading to the huge pool next to the beach is stunning. I ponder heading for a dip in the tempting azure pool but a few minutes in the blazing afternoon sun sends me quickly back to my spacious air-conditioned room. Equipped with LCD TV with international satellite channels, CD/DVD player, Bose entertainment system with iPod docking station, tea and coffee maker and a fully stocked minibar, my Club InterContinental Room also includes access to the beachfront Club InterContinental lounge and personalised butler service.
The private balcony with an oversized daybed looks like a nice place to enjoy the sea breeze in the late afternoon and I look forward to enjoying a lazy evening with a good book.
That's not to be as my mobile phone buzzes with a pop-up note "cocktail at Azure bar" reminding me that I already have other plans. Bidding farewell to the inviting daybed, I walk into the marble bathroom for a quick shower, look longingly at the invitingly large tub - a long soak will have to wait until tonight - and five minutes later I'm dressed and ready for cocktails.
Watching the sun goes down and waiting for the moon to rise, we enjoy the sea breeze, cocktails and a good laugh at the outdoor bar.
A good time indeed but every time the laughter subsides, my mind wanders back to the shiny bathtub and the huge comfortable bed. "Soon," I tell myself, "soon".
AT A GLANCE
High point: Spacious and well-equipped rooms with a beautiful landscape. The resort is within an easy reach of malls, restaurants and markets.
Low point: None
Pay for it: Visit the hotel's website for the best deal
Find it: 33/33 Petchkasem Road, Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan 77110, Thailand
Call it: +66 (0) 32 616999
Browse it: HuaHin.intercontinental.com