Wednesday 16 March 2011

The only international resort style hotel in Pataya? Wow.

One of three pools: like Goldilocks, one of them's just right
Well, blow me down! When you think of Pattaya you think of ... well, I  mean, you ALSO think of resorts, resorts and more resorts catering to the sun-worshippers flocking to the beaches of its bays.

So you could've knocked me over with a feather when Khun Pat, a senior sales manager at Sheraton Pattaya Resort, fixed me in the eye and said: "We are the only international resort-style property in Pattaya." No, that can't be right ... there's ... there's ... well I guess she is right. "The others are city type."

The Sheraton occupies the headland near that old stalwart the Royal Cliff Resort (now a multi-hotel-cum-exhibition extravaganza called PEACH), so it's a little ways out of town, but shuttle buses run frequently into the guts of town if that's where you'd rather be.

But out here, the views towards Koh Laan are forever on a clear day, watching the flotilla of pleasure boats plying their way towards that island.

Can you hear the tinkle?
A massive chandelier-like wind chime tinkles in the breeze, knocking several valuable points off my blood pressure immediately. And if it needs more reduction, I can hop a golf buggy down to the Amburaya Spa where five different techniques will be applied over an hour and a half, along with English, French and Thai natural products in a super signature called Amburaya Embrace.

There are plenty of wistful touches in this 3-pool resort (like a golfer, I judge a hotel by how many 'holes' it offers, in this case swimming holes or water hazards). The bougainvillea in the receptionists' hair for instance. And the pant-skirts they wear, which look like they have three legs, but they have the grace to carry it off.

Exhibit A: solid door
Solid wooden doors are a feature throughout the resort, and shoulder injuries must be the leading cause of days off work here, as the petite lasses try to open and close guests' doors, and doors to the various outlets such as Elements, Latitude Lounge, Papaya meeting room. Thankfully Infiniti -- their Italian restaurant -- is al fresco with no wooden barricades to barge down.

As for the rooms, cool mint tones soothe like a choc-mint ice-cream on a summer's day, jing jing.

A feeling of airy spaciousness, and a balcony from which to survey the pools, the ocean, and the rest of the resort's villas, which present something half way between traditional Thai and Spanish-Mexican hacienda.

A sophisticated playground atmosphere. But if you've still got work on your plate, Link@Sheraton business centre can sort you out with free internet (or you can pay to play in your room).

So Khun Pat is absolutely right. It is international. It is a resort. And it's the only one like it in Pattaya.

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