The Haad Tien sprawls along the entire length of Haad Tien Beach, with a second, slightly cheaper resort, Beach Club by Haad Tien, wedged into the eastern corner of the bay.
We're covering both properties in the one review as they share the same owner and are sometimes a little difficult to unravel. The Haad Tien (why is it that hotels incorporate the leading The into their name? Please stop it.) sprawls across the palm grove lawn gardens with very generously spaced out and luxurious wooden bungalows scattered over the grounds.
They're in pockets here and here, scattered across the grounds and up the hill, with a single row or absolute beachfront bungalows attracting the uber premium pricing but there is plenty of space to go around. All but the furtherest away garden bungalows have at least a limited ocean view but if you absolutely require a sandy view, you'll need to go for one of the beachfront shacks.
We were shown a garden bungalow that seemed to be about 14 kilometres from reception, but it served to give us a good idea of the standards they're trying to deliver here. The dark wooden decked, glass fronted bungalow had a decent sized terrace with two recliners and a table (no hammocks). Inside was a wood finished room, smooth underfoot with a mosquito fitted white linen bed and bedside lamps positioned to take in the best of the view – which was most definitely a garden view – though our guide did point out a blue triangle in the distance.
The room is air-con with a hot water bathroom but when we asked about the WiFi, specifically the in-room WiFi, we got a long garbled explanation that really was nonsensical – this, combined with a sign at reception stating that internet connectivity is beyond the control of the resort, left us thinking perhaps internet is a bit of an issue here. So, if you've specific internet needs, do check with the resort beforehand.
Rooms closer to the beach (but not on it) are more appealing than the back-blocks room we were shown and have a shaded sala out front – a tad exposed for our tastes, but good for frolicking and relaxing. Also near the beach is a lap pool that seemed small in such a spacious resort (there is a second pool up by the reception for the Beach Club), but we guess when it gets too crowded you can just head to the beach!
The Beach Club by Haad Tien offers hotel style rooms in a couple of blocks at the eastern end of the resort. When we asked at reception if guests at the Beach Club could use the main pool we got an answer that rivalled the WiFi question for incoherence, so again, run this by the resort before making a booking if it is of concern. The Beach Club website is at http://www.haadtienbeachclub.com/.
The Haad Tien doesn't come cheap and you're paying a significant premium to be in such a spacious resort on such a glorious beach, but it is considerably more appealing than the nearby Jamahkiri (which, while especially friendly is too big to the point of being unwieldy for our tastes) or the more isolated Cape Shark, which is extremely isolated.
By Stuart McDonald
Last updated on 1st November, 2016.