One of the top 5 most-booked resorts in Pattaya South, 3.2 km from Jomtien Beach, and 8.1 km from Koh Larn (Coral Island), this strategic location in the most exclusive area has an exceptional bonus: it totally made us forget that we were in Pattaya! Though there is a complimentary shuttle bus, those staying at InterContinental Pattaya Resort can skip the once infamous downtown (which is changing a lot, much upgraded since the last five years and the post-COVID 19 tourist policy), and enjoy this little Paradise after a two-hour maximum taxi or comfy shuttle bus ride from Suvarnabhumi International Airport. So did we, completely changing our mind regarding this destination. Seen from this country-club-like resort, Pattaya can be glamourous!
A beachfront hideaway, the 156 rooms InterContinental Pattaya Resort (featuring two 125 and 210 sq.m private Beachfront Pool-Villas) boasts three delightfully designed swimming pools, a totally private beach area. Set on a breezy, forested cliff, among lush gardens, it features stunning views of the ocean. We could see the whole of Pattaya Bay, and the Gulf of Siam with its small islands: protected by the government, their ecosystem remains intact. A few of them -like the enchanting Koh Phai- can be visited using the hotel speedboat (at a fee). They are the closest clear-azure water beaches to Bangkok. Koh Larn is ideal for an affordable excursion, departing from the 5-minute taxi ride Bali Hai pier. Koh Larn has 6 main beaches (with toilet, shower, and basic BBQ seafood restaurants); the most picturesque is Tien Beach. Don't miss it during your stay.
Though the bliss lobby of the hotel, enlighted by an awesome sea view, was quite crowded the day of our arrival, there was immediately some reception staff to take care of us, and too us to check-in voluptuously in the Club InterContinental Lounge. IHG improved its lounges a lot during the last decade. Sometimes beating their best competitors (Ritz-Carlton, Sofitel...) in term of quality. The Club-InterContinental Pattaya had been launched after the resort rebranded from Sheraton in 2017 and, after experiencing many lounges around the world, we re-discovered, after two or three pre-COVID stays, the extravagant bonuses of this very unique “Paradise in Paradise” where nothing changed since those two dreadful pandemic years.
Where shall we begin? Surely with the staff, welcoming us in the unique Thai style, with a twist of InterContinental efficiency... and much charm. Khun Ja Oh, lounge manager, and her team of angelic hostesses; took care of us personally, proudly pampering the VIP guest with a touch of typically Siamese respectful friendliness. They served us snacks and refreshments before introducing us to the lounge cornucopia of advantages. Complimentary non-alcoholic drinks, and light snacks available throughout the day and night. Afternoon High-Tea (so smart, with TWG Imperial Oolong tea, and yummy "Katsu Sando" sandwiches, "Orange Macaroon", and a symphony of cakes). Evening happy hours, come with premium quality wine (like Australian "Hardys, Prosecco" and "Taras, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2019"), branded liquors, and unlimited succulent “tapas” and canapés. We liked the barman's "Mai Tai" signature cocktail. That was actually the favorite moment of the day, with the breakfast, served either in the air-conditioned lounge, either in the connecting small terrace, with a refreshing pounds and cascades. F&B at Club InterContinental was impressive in term of selection, freshness, and first class quality of the ingredients.
The design of the lounge is definitely trendy. It offers much space for relaxing, socializing... or flirting. The distance between each seating area (sofas and tables, plus a long working / Internet desk) assures a perfect intimacy. Large bay windows provide much light and a breathtaking beachfront panorama. We liked the warm, homey hardwood paneled floor. Shelves, displaying decorative items and books, help to provide a personal touch. One can also enjoy the al fresco cascades-view deck where we had our breakfast. Few guests visited the lounge during our three days stay, thought the hotel was on a peak occupancy: all wearing the casual attire, recommended to develop a posh club atmosphere. This is the best ClubIntercontinental Lounge visited in South East Asia during our most recent trips. Together with the cyclopean lounge at InterContinental Bangkok, and the classy one at InterContinental Asiana Saigon.
We have been escorted to the same Junior Suite Club Access Oceanfront, which we occupied during our previous stay, in 2019. A preferred accommodation, it has to be booked one week or two in advance. Housed in individual pavilions among the lushly gardens and the pools, it is very private, exclusive, spacious with a 77 sq.m room plus a 12 sq.m panoramic outdoor “sala” (Siamese-style veranda). Snug as a bug in a rug in our home away from home, we enjoyed the privacy of this sensuous, plush lodging, with a trendy Thai design. The bathroom is as practical as fancy, with a large tub. Bedding is a signature by InterContinental: supremely comfortable, as always. Soft like a cloud. There is free high-speed WiFi, a large flat-screen Smart TV with a DVD player. And tea/coffee making facilities, which we never used: preferring the rich espresso enjoyed surrounded by our delicious hostesses at the nearby club lounge... The way from our pavilion to the lobby was winding, with many picturesque staircases across the gardens. Golf carts can be used to ferry quickly and easily to/from the pavilions and rooms. We would globally say that few resorts in Pattaya offer such a high quality of accommodation. Even the neighboring Royal Cliff, which we always compared with a “luxury lodging factory”. InterContinental Pattaya provides a boutique feeling in a chain resort.
Our pavilion stood just two minutes from the immaculate, artificial white sand beach. So private, it makes such a pleasant contrast with the crowded and nuisy central Pattaya public beach. We don't like to swim in the sea in Pattaya. This is such a large city now, with still an unreliable waste water treatment. Like everybody, we preferred to enjoy alternatively the three lovely, amazingly quiet lagoon-style pools. Set amongst the greenery, with plenty of sunbeds. More than 70% of them remained empty, despite the large number of hotel guests. We particularly enjoyed the serenity pool: with an intimate “lazy river” design, and a small whirlpool. The Spirituality Lagoon, largest and deepest pool, is tailored made for sportsmen doing energizing lengths. The service is one of the best ever experienced in Asia: after swimming, the supervisor proposed to clean our sun-glasses, and actually did it so professionally that we realized that even hotels of exception like Mandarin-Oriental Bangkok don't pamper their guests as well as the InterContinental Pattaya! We concluded one of our tiring swimming sessions with a massage at the sensuous Amburaya SPA, providing all sorts of Asian and Western treatments, using excellent natural oils, and Harnn body care products. We had a great experience there, and found the massage suites particularly elegant. The SPA has got a city-wide reputation and welcomes a lot of clients from outside.
Very much absorbed by the Club Lounge, where the staff fed us up deliciously from morning until night, with a special mention for the Asian and western gourmet tapas available at will, either by the buffet or on special order, we skipped little bit the restaurants.
Yet, as Club InterContinental guests enjoy a preferential reservation seating, we couldn't miss the “Sensational BBQ Night”. A name which doesn't lie. Every Wednesdays and Saturdays a most romantic and delicious BBQ is organized by the private beach. Featuring fish and meat on Wednesdays, the buffet specializes in seafood each Saturdays. At THB 1,599 ++ (USD 57, with one glass of local beer), the Wednesday “Gourmet Beach BBQ Buffet” was an exciting, actually entertaining gastronomic experience.
INTERCONTINENTAL PATTAYA RESORT: 437 Phra Tamnak Road , Chonburi, Pattaya , 20150 , Thailand
PHONE: +66 38 259888