Dusit Thani Pattaya Review
Serene Coastal Seclusion
Set amidst acres of lush gardens on a raised headland to the north of Pattaya Bay (at the top of Beach Road), this five-star resort is one of Pattaya’s most exclusive and expansive hideaways. With epic sea views, direct access to a private beach and a host of places to feel secluded, absolute privacy awaits. Spend days soothing away stress in the lavish spa, lounging around pools, working up a sweat in the gym, or relishing sumptuous cuisine in plush restaurants. If there’s a danger of a stay here, it’s that you may find it tough to leave.
Entry is via a driveway off Second Road that weaves through a charming garden filled with ornamental trees and sculpted shrubbery. Behind the grand lobby it leads to, is a roofed atrium with lush vegetation, meandering paths and a cascading waterfall. It’s an exotic welcome that charms as much as the smiley, helpful staff manning reception.
Stylish, Contemporary Rooms
The 462 guest rooms and suites are comfy, spacious and bright. Generic features include a warm contemporary design, state-of-the-art amenities and private balconies with impressive views.
The 132 Superior Garden View Rooms are the most affordable. Strung out along a wing that overlooks a manicured garden beside the lagoon swimming pool, these have good-looking views despite the absence of ocean, and at 40 square metres they’re hardly pokey. They the same elegance and features as the 150 ocean-facing Superior Sea View Rooms: king-size or twin singles, flexible bedside lights, stately work desk, reading chair with footrest, flatscreen TV, high-speed Internet (costs extra), and all the little extras one would expect. Bathrooms have a tub with shower, and a nifty speaker that plays sound from your TV.
Dusit Club Rooms (7th and 8th floor) represent a big step up in luxury and benefits for varying cost (the 45 Dusit Club Garden Views cost only slightly more than Superior rooms, the 44 Dusit Club Sea Views significantly more). For the extra money, guests get an executive-friendly pad that, while no bigger in size, is as suited to conducting business as relaxing. Available in singles or doubles, extras include a leather office chair and recliner, oversize writing desk, free high-speed Internet, free local calls, breakfast at The Peak Restaurant and an on-call personal assistant. Moreover, you get free rein of the 8th floor’s Dusit Club Lounge: a swanky curving oval-shaped space where guests enjoy complimentary snacks and drinks and surf the Internet, or relax in stately armchairs while staring at the ocean through full-length windows.
Those wanting to patronize the Club Lounge, but more room space, should opt for one of the 42 Dusit Grand Rooms (all with sea views). Oozing class and great for families, these have 80 square metres, two queen size-beds, LCD TV, lacquered wooden fittings, plush modern sofa with coffee table, vanity mirror and dresser, and a giant bathroom with separate walk-in shower and deep bathtub. Their quirkiest touch, however, is the chic balcony shower with wooden slats.
There are no less than three restaurants at the Dusit Resort, each with its own unique specialties and decorative style. The Peak (8th floor) serves modern Chinese and, like the Club Lounge, has postcard-perfect sea views. You sit at immaculately laid out dinner tables with starched tablecloths, and its modern interior feels very glamorous (note: you’d feel awkward here in shorts and a T-shirt). The Bay (4th floor) is equally swanky, only it has a minimal, verging on industrial design, overlooks the lagoon pool, and serves fine Italian. Breakfast is served at Cascade Café; a delicious spread catering to Asian and European tastes.
Those wanting to escape the sun or a pre-dinner cocktail can do so in style at the Lobby Lounge (live music in the evenings). And on Saturdays there’s an outdoor barbeque on the terrace area outside The Bay, with a live band and everything from fresh seafood and steak to vegetables being griddled.
Dusit Resort’s recreational facilities are seemingly endless. At the end of a path that weaves its way past shrubbery to the back of the resort, there’s a small but private strip of sandy beach. Enjoy sun loungers along the beachfront grass terrace (though there aren’t many), or dive into a sea that, unlike Pattaya Beach, is free of noisy sea traffic. Nearby are three tennis courts with floodlights and – perhaps the most popular of all facilities – the two large swimming pools. Both the Chaba Pool (a 15 x 30 metre lap pool) and the Lagoon Pool (a freeform pool with Jacuzzi, swim-up bar and kids wading pool) overlook Pattaya Bay and, with wooden sun loungers huddled around them, are places you can happily lose afternoons, if not days.
The hotel’s fitness club, or DFiT, is also impressive. With hi-tech equipment, cardio-theatre, aerobics studio, sauna and steam rooms, Dusit Resort claims it is Pattaya’s most comprehensive gym facility. Devarana Spa is a heavenly basement sanctuary where a long list of fragrant massage, body scrub, facial and water treatments are offered. Don’t miss the signature Devarana Massage, which uses Thai, Ayurvedic and Shiatsu techniques and is delivered while you inhale steam rising off a bowl of kaffir lime and orange-infused water.
Dusit Resort has a host of available extras that only serve to enhance the sense of being cared for. Wireless Internet is offered throughout the resort. Prepaid Internet cards are available from reception (from 200 baht for 30 minutes). There are also a couple of boutique shops onsite: a Dusit Shop peddling tourist knick-knacks, papers, books and souvenirs, as well as a Jim Thompson’s outlet.
The conference facilities are huge and impressive, with a capacity to accommodate tiny work meetings and theme parties, marriages or large conventions. Whether it’s the 2,400 square metre Napalai Convention Hall, or one of the twelve smaller meeting rooms, all have state-of-the-art facilities (wireless Internet, projectors, sounds systems), and Dusit Resort prides itself on its ability to provide in-house catering and onsite event experts.
Reviewed by: Max Crosbie-Jones