Pattaya is a seaside resort town most famous for its go-g0 bars and discotheques. Heh, “discotheques” – what a retro word. Wikitravel says, “If you are going to be offended by the sight of fat old men hand in hand with young Thai women, then Pattaya is probably not the place for you.” With that said, turns out it is possible to enjoy Pattaya in style and my recent visit brought me to Hilton Pattaya, an elegantly designed hotel with coastal-themed interior.
Hilton Pattaya was named ‘Best Hotel Thailand’ by the International Hotel Awards 2013-2014 and has also received the 2014 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award. Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) is 90 minutes away by car, while downtown Bangkok is about two hours away.
A metal scuplture of a paper boatie, one of my fave motifs, welcomes guests at the ground level entrance. Meanwhile, up on the 16th floor, the hotel’s expansive grand lobby has a unique gilled ceiling that evoke the ruffles of ocean waves. The contemporary coastal theme is hard to miss here. Plush pebble-shaped cushions, undulating crystal chandeliers, and jellyfish-like wire cages embellished with diamantes can be seen throughout the corridors.
Every room in the Hilton Pattaya has an unobstructed ocean view, so everyone get to watch the spectacular Pattaya sunset from a private balcony. Be welcomed by a relaxing floral bath when you first walked into your room too. Between that and the sprawling view seen from the balcony, this is unmistakably a luxurious and cozy resort experience in the making.
Located on level 14 of the Hilton Pattaya hotel, this contemporary restaurant caters for a wide variety of tastes offering a buffet selection of delicious international and Asian faves. The mood is relaxed and welcoming, offering casual dining by day and transforming into a stylish venue with a seductive vibe by night. Edge offers indoor and outdoor terrace dining, stunning views of Pattaya Bay and an abundance of natural light. The open show kitchen allows guests to interact with the chefs, creating a memorable experience. Choose to sit on the terrace or inside by the open kitchen; and don’t miss the Sunday international brunch buffet here (THB 1,400 nett per guest , plus optional wine buffet at THB 1,100 nett per guest).
Located on level 34, this unique rooftop dining venue offers some of the most breathtaking views of Pattaya. Sleek and sophisticated, this restaurant and bar is a chic exclusive hideaway from the bustling city below. Indulge in the delicious menu with a twist, and then relax in the adjoining Infinity Bar outside to enjoy the gentle sea breeze and evening landscape in comfort and style.
I had several signature dishes at Horizon and enjoyed pretty much all of them! I honestly wasn’t expecting it, but every dish packed decent flavours – I couldn’t find anything to complain about. I’m generally wary of any form of salad prepared by an Asian kitchen as those tend to be either overly dressed and soggy, or overly flavored, or have unbalanced greens to star ingredient/fluff ratio. Horizon did a superb job in the Blue Crab Salad. Meanwhile, the Lobster Risotto was executed beautifully with the right texture and richness that was spot on.
Horizon 8 Shot Tower – comprising of Pattaya Sling (Red Wine, Rum, Lime Juice) and A Tribute To Yello (Vodka, Triple Sec, Lime Juice, Passion Fruit).
Fines De Claire Oysters – served with mignonette, Thai spicy seafood sauce, fried shallot and most notably, a Thai herb named kratin that enhances the brininess of these delicious bivalves. I enjoyed the embellishment of kratin on my oysters; totally giddy with the excitement of having discovered a new ingredient.
Fire Cracker – golden fried tiger prawn rolled in soya wrapper. THIS is super addictive! Essentially it’s a prawn roll that’s been fried to attain a yummy crunch; the thin long shape made them infinitely more irresistible than the usual short chubby ones we see.
Blue Crab Salad – Avocado, pomelo, coconut, citrus dressing, crispy soft shell crab, salmon caviar & micro salad.
Roast Snow Fish – Butternut pumpkin, chorizo sausage, sundried tomato salsa & Hokkaido scallop.
Lobster Risotto – fava beans, snap peas & fennel salad.
Naturally, had to have Mango with Sticky Rice for a sweet ending.
Take in sweeping views of Pattaya Bay here while munching on tapas-style tea canapés and sipping healthy juices in this light-filled stylish lounge that features scattered water ponds outdoors and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Located on level 33 for private check-in/out, daily breakfast, refreshments throughout the day and evening cocktails, this executive lounge has a great view of North Pattaya Bay.
The outdoor infinity pool – while small, is set in a landscaped garden furnished with sundecks and exhibits full seascapes of Pattaya Bay. Sip a cocktail or enjoy a light snack while soaking up the sun here.
I can honestly say that after frolicking in the secret (and not-so-secret) beaches in the Southern Thai islands late last year, it’s not easy to top that experience. Other beaches that I’ve come across after that are meh in comparison, so I didn’t bother to go to the beach at Pattaya even though it’s just right across the hotel. Anyway I was told the water’s dirty plus I also didn’t have a lot of time, so I lounged for a bit at the pool instead.
Conclusion: Hilton Pattaya Hotel is well-appointed and tastefully designed with elegant thematic details. It certainly has a lot more personality compared to other beach-side resorts that I’ve seen. The hotel is also conveniently connected to Central Festival Mall, accessible directly from the hotel lobby on the 16th floor. Aside from the Pattaya Floating Market, I didn’t get to explore much of Pattaya City due to time constraint, but I’d have liked to check out the go-g0 bars since that’s what Pattaya is famous for. Save that for my next visit!
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