Wednesday 16 March 2011

DusitD2 Baraquda Pattaya: a new wave hotel

Check out the check-in bar area. 
Every hotel boasts of their warm welcome. Here's one that prides itself on a cold welcome ...

I like a place that calls its reception area the 'check-in bar' and immediately proceeds to hand you a drinks list and invites you to choose your welcome drink. None of this namby-pamby lemongrass punch stuff -- ANYTHING you like off the bar list, sir.

Right-o, make mine a Cuba Libre. And my friend will have a Vodka Screwdriver, jing jing.

My cheeky request for a double is derisively dismissed, as it should be. Such is the easy and friendly tone of this D2 resort, part of the funky Dusit spin-off franchise.

You immediately feel as though you've got the sand between your toes here, and you're about to built a giant sand castle that no wave could ever knock over. The team is dressed in casual creams and blues, the walls are all wavy, and out there is what they call 'Thailand's sexiest swimming pool'. (OK, so the PR team's been at the Vodka Screwdrivers, too!)

The Gods must be crazy ...
Their restaurant is like an Asian tribute to Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein with huge explosions of Oriental pop-art bursting all the way up to the ceiling. As fun and fresh as their breakfast selection.

Pressing the flesh ...
The rooms are like my favourite swimsuits: one-piece. Open the door and it's all there before you -- bathroom  in a curved glass panel to the left, smart work desk ahead, big comfy bed behind that, with one wall just about all mirrors for that extra feeling of spaciousness and whatever your imagination might conjure up. Which brings us the the tempting Desires button on the telephone ...

But while many couples may well lose themselves in the room, D2's location puts you right in the throbbing heart of Pattaya. Cross the road and you'll be enjoying happy hour with the lads at Bodega Bar (never mind the facial tattoos, he's quite a nice boy, really!). Or 50 metres down, there's Dicey Reilly's Irish pub (one of at least 1000 Irish pubs and bars in Pattaya, conservatively speaking). And the beach is at the bottom of that block, oh a couple of hundred metres down. And Walking Street.

Bottom line: I would give this D2 an A1 grade (as have several renowned magazines and travel awards). And that's not just the rum talking.

Ever experienced a more fun check in somewhere?

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