Sunday, February 15, 2009

Siam Bayshore Resort in Pattaya -- Bangkok, Thailand

Our latest resort visit in Pattaya had us staying at the Siam Bayshore Resort, one of three hotels in a sport of mini-chain, the others being the Siam Bayview Hotel, also in Pattaya, and the Siam City Hotel in Bangkok. The Bayshore would probably be considered the flagship of the chain, with its beautiful 20 acres of gardens containing 272 rooms and suites right on Pattaya Bay.

Our visit gave us a chance to experience firsthand the many amenities that this beautiful resort has to offer. As with the other resorts we've visited in Pattaya, the Bayshore offers its guests the opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and completely relax for a much-needed rest.

The size of the grounds themselves guarantees that you'll be far away from any of the noise associated with the center of downtown Pattaya. Also, being at the end of the Walking Street, at the front entrance of the hotel, means that there is very little traffic in the area anyway. The back entrance to the property is on Second Road and it's a good 200 meter walk to reach the hotel from there.

The grounds are carefully landscaped and manicured with many trees for shade and open, grassy spaces all around. There are quiet areas for sitting and relaxing and recreation areas as well that contain the property's two swimming pools and four tennis courts that are lit for night play. A children's pool and slide area and also a jacuzzi are available in addition to the two large pools.

Other recreational facilities include table tennis, billiards, darts, an exercise room and a football lawn. There's also a private beach club across the street in front of the hotel. As for other water sports, there are plenty nearby and they can be arranged for you by the hotel, including water skiing, fishing, scuba diving and parasailing. And, of course, as any Bangkok resident knows, there are many quality golf courses around if that's your sports interest.

However, with the number of activities available on the property, there's really no need to leave, anyway. And, the biggest attraction of all may be non-activity - lying on a chaise lounge by the pool and reading a book is certainly one of our favorite ways to spend some time and is guaranteed to leave you in a peaceful frame of mind when you're done.

That's fine for the day, but what about the night. Since the nighttime entertainment possibilities at the hotel are somewhat limited, you'll probably want to venture into Pattaya for a trip to your favorite nightspot. Fortunately, the hotel is located very conveniently at the end of Walking Street, as mentioned above, which means that a short stroll will bring you to any number of places to have some fun.

There are live music venues, live seafood restaurants and just plain lively scenes all up and down this colorful street so you won't be without plenty of possibilities for fun and entertainment. Or, you can walk out the back entrance of the hotel to Second Road for a short baht bus ride to anywhere downtown. You're not far from the places on the way to Jomtien Beach either and a climb up the hill between Pattaya and Jomtien provides some nice views of the whole bay.

If you decide to stay on the property for dining you'll have several choices for a pleasant dinner. If you'd like to dine by the ocean, you can try either the Bali-Hai Chinese restaurant or the Beachside BBQ, both of which are across the street from the hotel and right on the sandy beach. There's an inside, air-conditioned area for when the weather is hot but this time of year you'll want to sit outside and enjoy the refreshing ocean breezes. Fresh, barbecued seafood is the specialty of the Beachside while a variety of Chinese food including Szechuan, Cantonese and Shanghainese is available at Bali-Hai.

There are other choices too, as you can opt for Italian and European cuisine in the Camillo restaurant or Thai and international cuisine ion the Bird of Paradise restaurant. The Bird of Paradise is also the scene for the morning breakfast buffet which features a wide variety of both western and Asian dishes as well as some excellent freshly made omelettes. The Camillo is a quiet, intimate type of place where you may want to go for a romantic dinner while the Bird of Paradise is more open and looks out over the water.

In terms of the basics, the rooms are well appointed with all of the features you'd expect from a five-star destination as well as some you wouldn't. How about reasonable prices in the minibar for a change? Instead of trying to gouge you on the prices, the Bayshore provides a wide variety of drinks at normal prices which are actually less than you'd pay in many bars. It's a small detail perhaps, but one that shows that the hotel has some consideration for its guests unlike many places that take advantage whenever they can.

One other thing that struck us about the hotel is the level of service. When our morning paper was mislaid somehow, the guest relations person, Khun Kwan, somehow found us another in a few minutes and had it delivered to our door. It's small touches like these that make you want to return to a hotel again and again, and we're sure that that will be the case for us and the Siam Bayshore Resort.

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