DUSIT D2 BARAQUDA (*****): The funkiest hotel in Pattaya opened its door in the second half of 2008, located on the Pattaya 2nd Road: right next to the community mall. One more time, the Dusit Group did a great job, spending countless to bring to Pattaya one of its top 5 most luxurious hotels: by all means the most original and coolest. Those who still believe that Pattaya is nothing but a red light city, will be astonished to find in the Dusit D2 a warm family atmosphere. Dusit hotels have always been family friendly and, maybe because the D2 is «boutique», much smaller than all the Dusit properties we visited, we consider the D2 as a real paradise for those looking for a homey atmosphere.
We checked within less than five minutes in the trendiest lobby in town: wondering if we stepped into a hotel or a UFO. The staff working in this spotless, whiter shade of pale environment is amazingly Zen: wearing well tailored design clothes. There is no director but a « Guru ». The service was splendid, from check in till check out: so gentle, and so anticipating. Not stiff like in many European five star hotels; but 100% professional. Proud and happy to serve guests in such a nice property.
The 72 rooms and suites are impressively chic. We booked two connecting Deluxe King rooms (rate was THB 4,200++ / EUR 103 net), featuring a king-size bed, panoramic flat screen television, full entertainment units including cable tv, cd, dvd, ipod dock, in-room refreshments including coffee & tea making facilities, mini bar, in-room safe, high-speed internet access both broad band and wireless... so high-tech! The bathroom is «separated» -or not separated at all, depending how you consider the funky design- by a glass: you can see -and be seen- while using the sink. Of course, the WC and shower are not visible from the room. The bed is one of the most attractive and luxurious we have seen in our active travellers' life: Made out of leather, with an amazingly comfortable mattress and soft linen, it looks like more or less -though of course much larger- the new first class flat beds available in five star airlines. We liked it so much: feeling like travelling while sleeping. Each detail shows how imaginative and generous the Dusit Group designers can be when it comes to attract a new category of clientele: D2 is obviously targeting a generation of young, active, healthy travellers who will love the concept at first sight.
One of the most attractive D2 advantage to the competitors, are the "desire benefits": it costs a EUR 40 extra charge, but brings plenty of privileges worth up to five times the modest "investment". It would be too long to describe all of them in such a short review: let's say that the most visible bonus are some complimentary drinks at check in and in the Deep Bar, exclusive breakfast with Italian sparkling wine served in the S.E.A restaurant, complimentary local land-line calls and complimentary high-speed Internet. So, do like us: consider the attractive rates and promotions, and book your room with the "desire benefits", indeed.
A 30 minutes complimentary foot massage in the SPA came with our "desire benefits". The D'SPA is a modern, relaxing place we enjoyed very much. Stylish, with luxurious private suites, it employs a gentle, very professional staff. Convinced by the high quality of our foot massage, we came back for a «D'sire Sea» treatment: 2 ½ hours of divine relaxation, featuring massage, wrap, scrub... Warmly recommended: needless to say that, of course, this has nothing to do, in term of quality and price, with the hanky panky «massages» provided in Pattaya... Though well worth the relative expense (THB 4,700++ for the «D'sire Sea»).
We had a pleasant lunch in the lovingly designed “S.E.A.” D2 signature restaurant, with a pleasant pool-side view. We would like to suggest the excellent « Baraquda Platter for Two »: a selection of steamed and fried top quality seafood (the day of our visit, we even got some oysters, imported the same day from Tasmania!), served with garlic-ginger dip and home-made mayonnaise. The portion was so generous that we shared it with our kids... At THB 1200, this was a give away, indeed!
effervescent boutique concept. Warmly recommended.
PHONE: +66 (0) 3876 9999 FACSIMILE: +66 (0) 3876 9900
DUSIT THANI PATTAYA (*****): One of the best hotels in own, the Dusit Thani Pattaya offers to his guests a much upgraded comfort since a recent complete refurbishment revamped all the rooms. Ours was number 830: a very distinguished Dusic Club Sea View King Room. Just like in its sister hotel in Bangkok, the Dusit Thani, those deluxe accommodations are worth the stay. Huge, ritzy with their smartly designed furniture, they have from far the largest bathrooms in town: equipped with a very glamourous oval tub reflected by gold framed mirrors, with a separate shower cabin, they match any European palace-hotel. Plush and expensive fabrics, tapestries, wood panels, items and furniture: all reflect astral themes. Stars for the superstition; but also stars for the comfort and service ! From four when we inspected it, the Dusit Thani Pattaya just won a fifth one, indeed. Just like if comfort inside the room wouldn't be sufficient for the distinguished guests, it was also extended outside: on the wide individual terraces, all equipped with shower. We spend much time there: installed on our sunbeds, enjoying the unique panorama over one of the most beautiful bay in Thailand. We are in North Pattaya, and this is the best location to fully enjoy a complete and dramatic view over this popular beach resort.
The Dusit Thani Pattaya is a hotel for upper class tourists. Nevertheless, businessmen would like it very much also: The Club Rooms are equipped with a large desk. Many plugs all around (for computer and Internet), and of course WiFi: we were able to work in our bed, at the desk, and even on the terrace. Just like in western palace hotels, the Dusit Thani Pattaya has large cloakrooms: which makes long stay easier.
Other rooms, though smaller, are enjoyable. Tastefully designed, they are all equipped with amenities like IDD telephone, satellite TV with in-house movies, minibar and nice bathroom with hair dryer.
Service is courteous and anticipating. When coming back from having breakfast, we were sure the maid already made up our room. Service always tend to be slightly more "relaxed" upcountry; but here, actually, it is as perfect as in Bangkok.
When it comes to the resort, the hotel is the rival of the Royal Cliff: it offers much greenery, a nice beach, and two pools. The Lagoon Pool being the most sophisticated, with whirlpool and bar; while the quiet Chaba Pool is ideal for sportsmen. The latter will like the Fitness Centre: one of the most complete in Pattaya, with sauna and steambath, equipped with Californian work out equipments and offering aerobics lessons.
Good restaurants also: we had a fine dinner in the very exclusive Peak restaurant, offering modern Chinese cuisine complemented by a romantic view of the whole Pattaya Bay. We can recommend palatable specialities like the Jelly Fish (we loved both its taste and unique texture), the delicious "Shark Fin Soup", the steamed "Pla Ka Pong" (sea-bass, with a lot of garlic), and the chef's signature: the "Drunken Chicken", marinated in Chinese wine. The place is both chic and affordable: this is where the remarkable Exclusive Breakfast caters guests of the Dusit Club.
For whom likes classic and top comfortable hospitality.
Part of the DUSIT
GROUP OF HOTELS
Actually you won't miss the place: a twin-engines red plane just crashed in its wall. For fun, of course: it has been cemented above the main entrance of the Royal Garden Plaza, which is the most fashionable shopping mall in town and adjacent to the hotel. The hotels all wood and rattan sala Thai style lobby creates an amazing contrast with the American concept of the plaza. Just like, when entering from the opposite Beach Road, this is a most pleasant feeling to leave the crowd and, after getting through a Bali style gate controlled by a vigilant security, to enter a secret garden planted with coconut and tropical trees, orchids and jasmine, waterways and ponds. Happy few will certainly like to have a Garden Terrace room, with direct access to this Eden. We stayed in one of them, and felt like so far away from bustling Pattaya that we did love the place at first sight. Those deluxe rooms have just been totally refurbished according to the "back to nature" concept which characterizes the properties of the Royal Garden group of hotels. No more wall-to-wall carpet; but a nicely polished parquet floor, with a smooth carpet only on the bed area. Wood again in the splendid bathroom, where steel is scarcely used, and conventional tiles are changed to green Chiang Mai style enamel. Wood, last but not least, on the wall panels. This creates a warm sensation: quite unique compared with more conventional five star hotels in the Kingdom. Also unique were the orchids decorating our room: they remained in a pot, as cut flowers are not part of the eco philosophy of the Pattaya Marriott Resort & SPA. If you are travelling with kids, that kind of room is ideal: you can relax in the room or at the terrace, letting children wandering in the gardens or swim at the pool (the largest in the center of Pattaya) equipped with a Jacuzzi and Gazebo for open-air traditional Thai massage. Such a superlative room costs about THB 5,000.
Little cheaper, though definitely great, are the Seaview rooms. We tried of them also. If this is your first trip in Pattaya, maybe you would prefer it to the Garden Terrace: the view over the Gulf of Siam is breathtaking. We could see the fishing boats and ferries sailing back and forth the nearby Coral Islands. At sunset we relaxed with a drink on the broad and comfortable long chairs installed on our balcony (let's rather call it "terrace" !), and experienced a very romantic feeling. Can South Pattaya and its bars be that close ? You would never believe it, indeed, with such a living postcard being displayed for your eyes only. Our room was quite similar to those at the Garden Terrace. Very slightly less luxurious: this is certainly why they only charge approximately THB 4,500 for it.
If you like larger and even more superlative accommodation, note that the Pattaya Marriott Resort & SPA also gets 4 Junior Suites, 2 splendid Seaview Terrace (one room) and 4 Executive Deluxe (2 rooms) suites. There is also a Presidential Suite, which goes up for THB 25,000.
Should we mention that all rooms and suites are fully equipped with personal four digit safe, satellite stereo TV sets (showing in-house movies, NHK, DW, Australian TV, Cartoon Network...) and, we liked it, complimentary tea & coffee amenities.
The Thai concept of the hotel extends to the breakfast: while listening to traditional Siamese music softly peeping from loudspeakers, we enjoyed delicious noodle soups, steamed vegetables, or fried soy bean paste. More international course are also available: this is the unique place in Thailand where we have been served Beef Wellington (definitely palatable) for breakfast !
The Pattaya Marriott Resort & SPA gets three restaurants (much more if we consider the neighbouring Plaza). In its premise are the Garden Café (an informal coffee shop) open 24 hours, and a nightly BBQ Buffet for only 250 per person, excluding service charge & VAT. The Benihana is located in the Plaza: this is a Japanese-American Steakhouse, with its Kabuki sushi-bar. The way they prepare Japanese food is a show in itself. As distracting, indeed, as the "Ripley's Believe It or Not" museum. One of only two in South East Asia (the other one located on the Peak in Hong Kong), displaying some world records, strange objects, and pictures of Barnum style monsters. Worth the visit.
Last but not least, the Pattaya Marriott Resort & SPA is also very much recommended for its SPA & Fitness Club . Five star, its 2,000 sq.m facilities mean life fitness (tread mills, steppers, bikes, rowers...), cybex (VR single station, free weights...), aerobic studio and top luxurious SPA with sauna. Hotel guests will need to pay extras for herbal steam, indoor Jacuzzi, massage and aromatheraphy. Packages are available for complete SPA treatments. There are also two floodlit tennis courts, with Wimbledon artificial grass, supervised by PBI (Peter Burwash Intl): a world famous training, which only operates three exclusive clubs in Thailand (Capitol in Bangkok, The Regent in Chiang Mai, and the Pattaya Marriott Resort & SPA).
The hotel just opened a kids club where, for about THB 900 per day, children can enjoy a wide range of activities. We found it good value for money, as luncheon and drinks are included.
Of course, golf packages are also available: as there are plenty of greens all around.
This is the unique hotel in Pattaya employing a full time Japanese guest relations officer.
Thai style service: which means both courteous and efficient.
Well worth being experienced.
MARRIOTT RESORT & SPA:218/2-4 M.10 Beach Road,
THE ROYAL CLIFF BEACH RESORT (****): This multi awarded complex, founded in 1973 and still on a permanent extension, has been voted "PATA Best Resort Hotel Asia/Pacific" for 8 consecutive years. There is actually a Royal Cliff legend. May be not only because of its splendid location on the Pattaya Hills: overlooking the most beautiful bay in the region, with a preserved and wild environment all around, the resort is only a five minutes drive from the bustling "South Pattaya". Nor only because of its rich and famous guests: from the Thai royal family till Roger Moore, kings, singers and movie stars stay nowhere else but here. The actual reputation of the Royal Cliff rather comes from its ability to accommodate a wide range of travellers: the resort offers different levels of services and comfort, ranking from four till five star deluxe.
The Royal Cliff Beach Hotel, a huge, crowded though much enjoyable four star hotel, is the heart of the resort. Now targetting upper market package tourists, it offers 545 large and comfortable rooms: most of them are suites. From the tailor shop till the Children Paradise (its staff takes care of your kids free of charge !), this comes most complete. Published rates go from THB 4,200 for a Superior Room, till THB 17,000 for a two bedroom Theme Suite.
Its main lobby -certainly the largest in Pattaya- is connected to the more personalized and much intimate Royal Cliff Terrace. This is where we stayed with our two children. We received a 2 bedrooms Family Suite: which was actually matching our tastes and needs. Our large and elegant appartment, nicely furnished in the tropical style, with light tones of white and pink colour, came with two balconies/solarium. The view over the bay is dramatic. This is also the favourite place for honeymooners. We loved it at first sight. There is a direct lift access to the beach. The 90 suites rates go from THB 5,500 till 9,000 (which is the official price for a Family Suite).
We like very much the Royal Cliff Grand. This condominium style tower was erected in 1992. Its large lobby remains quiet and reflects the supreme intimacy of the 382 luxurious rooms and suites. All of them have most lovely large black marble bathrooms, with separate walk-in showers. There are 19 floors: booking a room on a upper floor allows a view over the off shore coral islands, from spacious balconies equiped with sunloungers and a shower. Deluxe Rooms cost THB 6,000. Distinctive travellers will choose a Regency Suite (THB 18,000).
The supreme distinction stands at the Royal Wing. This five star deluxe super exclusive all suites hotel was built in 1986 to please the happy few. We still remember our stay there, five years ago: the walls of our suites were covered with raw silk, orchids were blooming in our large sitting room decorated with Thai handicrafts, and our personal buttler remained at our permanent disposal round the clock. It seems that nothing has changed. Maybe did it even improve ? This is a place where guests like to come back to. Our one bedroom Executive Suite now costs THB 9,500. The ritzy three bedrooms Presidential Suites (they have a couple of them) goes easily for THB 45,000: they must be the most luxurious -and expensive- suites in Pattaya. The Royal Wing gets private pools and beach, with reserved sun-loungers. Presidential Suite guests enjoy a personal "sala" (pavillion) at the beach side: with buttler ! All Royal Wing happy guests are provided iced hand-towels at regular interval. Service is superlative, indeed.
Being suite guests, we have been given permanent access to the Cliff Club. There are the most beautiful pools: multi-level, with Jacuzzi and waterfalls, they are the best alternative to the sea which, as everybody knows, still need some improvement in term of cleaness. This is why the Royal Cliff Beach Resort is very active in term of "green policy": water is filtered and recycled. Same goes with paper. The gardeners only use biodegradable natural compost (tea leaves, eggshells, etc.). It was therefore voted "Most Environmentally Aware Hotel" by Thailand Traveller magazine, in October 1996.
The Royal Cliff Beach Resort has 8 restaurants (excluding the pool and beach bars, offering light snacks): it goes from the classical Coffee Shop (excellent breakfast), to the more sophisticated and trendy Rossini tratoria style Italian restaurant, or to the much reputed gourmet Benjarong serving a high level quality of French specialties. Those two restaurants are considered the best in Pattaya. They have a unique choice of vintage wines and Cuban cigars (their Cohiba come fresh and smooth to your mouth: few restaurants in Thailand can pretend keeping those fragile treasure in such an unspoiled condition).
Last but not least, the resort displays all kinds of activities: it goes from 3 holes practice golf course to cruising on the resort catamaran. Thanks to the very entertaining management, it is impossible to feel bored even one second: some guests would never drop by the 5 kilometers away Pattaya.
Simply unique.THE ROYAL CLIFF BEACH RESORT : 353 Phra Tamnuk Rd, Pattaya, Cholburi 20150
PHONE: +66 (0) 38250.421 FACSIMILE: +66 (0) 38250511, +66 (0) 38250.513
THE BEST LUXURY HOTELS IN