Last December, we were in Chonburi, Thailand, for the inaugural Wonderfruit Festival and we decided against camping onsite because we’re really no Boy/Girl Scouts. So we checked into Pattaya Marriott Resort & Spa instead – which was probably our smartest decision of our trip.
If you’re thinking that the property looks slightly dated, you’re right – the hotel has been in operation for more than two decades, initially opened to cater to the business that flocked to the city when it was known as the Detroit of Asia. Anyway, we’re sure you agree it’s the inside that counts.
Located a mere two hour drive from Bangkok, it’s easy to see why there are plenty of families even though Pattaya isn’t exactly a family friendly destination. Incidentally, we have to point out the property has a private entrance to the beach (awesome!) and is located a 5-minute walk away from the infamous Walking Street. If location is everything to you, then Pattaya Marriott Resort & Spa is definitely one of your options.
As expected of older properties, the rooms are pretty big by modern standards – we had lots of space to jump around our uber comfy Deluxe Premier Sea View room (the party ended too early, in our opinion). The balcony was a huge plus; sitting and watching the sunset is something you should totally do too. Our only complaint about the room is about the bathroom, where the glass just couldn’t contain the shower spray to the tub, so we were left with wet floors all the time. We resolved the problem by getting more floor mats from housekeeping, but it’d be nice if they fixed larger glass panels in the next round of upgrading!
Tip: if you’re in town with your significant other, get one of the 25 Terrace Suites instead. Housed in a different building, you’ll feel like you have your own large cottage, sunken tub and large bathroom included.
The pool and pool bar – surrounded by tropical gardens of Thai, Burmese, and Cambodian design – surpassed our expectations, as did the gym. Not only does the latter feature your usual host of gym equipment, they also have an aerobic studio, two tennis courts, and saunas. Plus, yoga and aerobic classes are conducted at the fitness centre everyday.
Though we didn’t get to try the Royal Garden Spa, we took a peek and it looked exactly like how it does in the photos. Decked out in rustic wood in an elegantly Asian fashion, the spa offers a host of massages, body and facial treatments with an emphasis on Asian methods. With only two spa suites and three deluxe spa rooms, it’s best to book ahead if you want to indulge in some spa therapy.
Breakfast is served at the Garden Cafe from 6-11am, and we looove a hotel that understands our need to sleep in while we’re on holiday. The spread was extensively Thai and International; if we had to nitpick, it’d be that the bagels were not bagels, just bread shaped like bagels.
Last but not least, if you need a break from Thai food or whatever the hawkers have on the street, the hotel’s Japanese restaurant Benihana (located in the mall attached) is worth a try. The seafood teppanyaki is decent, just don’t expect too much of the sushi – we were surprised that they actually rolled French beans in them.
Overall, our stay with Pattaya Marriott Resort & Spa was seamless, and hence, really enjoyable. The staff were also really polite and helpful. Now, if they’ll fix the bathroom, we’d gladly give them that rare five-star rating.
Written by Emily S