Well placed in the southern half of Pattaya Beach Road and just across from the beach, Siam Bayview Hotel is a grand four-star affair dressed in lavish upper-class style. Alongside traditional wais (Thai greeting), here you are welcomed by classic dcor and a tranquil tropical ambience thats pleasingly at odds with its bustling downtown location.
Entrance is through either a tasteful low-rise shopping arcade on Beach Road, or a palm-fringed driveway on Second Road. Both reveal a lush garden hideaway filled with much to calm and charm grown-ups: mythical statues, ornamental furniture, water features, exotic plants, elegant restaurants, tennis courts, inviting swimming pools and, above all, a calming hush.
Recently renovated, its hard to believe somewhere so classy exists within strolling distance of Pattayas brash neon-lit nightlife, namely Walking Street. Located on a slice of land between Soi 9 and 10, it has to be one of the most central and easily accessible resorts in town, not just for entertainment, but also eating or shopping.
Elegant, understated rooms
The grand open-plan lobby, with its marble columns, oversize Oriental vases and plush red sofas, hints at the formal, if not slightly more understated style of the 260 rooms. Found down stately wood-panel corridors, each is decorated simply but elegantly: think plush carpets, king-size or twin beds, balconies, floor-to-ceiling windows and simple but comfy bamboo and rattan furnishings (work desk, arm chairs and coffee table). Depending on whether they have mountain or sea views, each also has a corresponding earthtone or sea blue fabric colour scheme.
The 83 Deluxe Mountain View rooms are cheaper, probably compensation for their lack of panoramic ocean views and sea breezes. Otherwise, they offer exactly the same blend of interior dcor, modest floor space (35 square metres) and modern amenities as seen in the 76 Deluxe Sea View rooms (33 square metres). Open the balcony doors, and there is surprisingly little disturbing background noise.
Amidst all the refined dcor sit contemporary trimmings like large cable TV, beside CD player/radio, and high-speed Internet (costs extra and is available also around the swimming pools and lobby). The safety-conscious may be concerned to learn there is no electronic safe in rooms, however there is one in reception. Bathrooms are plush and modern with marble surfaces.
Rollaway beds are available (surcharge) for those with children, but families will probably be better catered for in one of the three Deluxe Suites. These feature a generous floor size of 72 square metres, separate living room with sofas, desk, dining table, electronic safe and two balconies (one sea view, one mountain view).
Tranquil pools and fragrant pavilions
Aside from nearby sand and sea, there are a host of stylish facilities where you can exercise or unwind. These include two floodlit tennis courts, a small air-conditioned gym, and two gorgeous swimming pools (one freeform pool, one lap pool). The latter are great places to relax under a chic parasol and the gaze of exotic elephant statues. Unlike poolside areas at many resorts, theyre usually calm and quiet. Nearby each is a small Thai massage pavilion where you can indulge in Thai massage, foot massage and aromatherapy treatments. Each has a serene, fragrant atmosphere, cozy teak wood floors and professional masseuses.
Finally, be sure to catch some live music in the open-air Fontainebleau Lounge, or inhabit the sumptuous dark wood interiors of the adjacent colonial Exotica Bar (10:00 01:00). Here, among art deco statues, ravishing furnishings and louvered shutters, play a game of bridge, shoot some pool or find a corner to enjoy a quiet cocktail.
Classy restaurants, sumptuous cuisine
Those staying here can easily reap the edible rewards of the superb location take a wander and youll find reasonably-priced cuisine from pretty much every corner of the world. For in-house cuisine however, Siam Bayview Hotel offers a couple of swanky restaurants with a la carte menus serving everything from fresh seafood to pizza, dim sum and traditional Thai.
The Garden Terrace Caf which overlooks the pool is open all day (a la carte menu) and is also where a breakfast buffet is served (includes cereals, fresh fruit, croissants, rice dishes, made-to-order cooked breakfast). Its posh interior is decorated with gorgeous avian-themed murals painted on wall-mounted panels, but dining here is definitely best when done al fresco. Popular with passersby, the beachfront Narissa Oriental Restaurant (18:00 23:00) also offers al fresco dining, alongside live music, a bustling street scene and an extensive menu of Chinese specialties and fresh seafood. Try their barbeque or the seafood hotpot, in which you prepare fresh local crab, fish, shrimp with an array of tender vegetables and herbs at your table.
If you dont fancy moving from your room, dishes from any of these in-house restaurants can be dutifully delivered to your door, while those whod like to concoct classic Thai dishes once theyre back home, can take a Thai Cooking Class (12:00 18:00, Garden Terrace Cafe).
Siam Bayview is a member of the Green Leaf Foundation, which annually assesses hotels environmental standards and practices. The environmentally-conscious will be pleased to learn that the hotel has continually attained the highest standard possible. With its grand style and extensive function facilities, this is a great place for a wedding reception or business presentation. They have four rooms ranging from 45 to 210 square metres in size, and with the capacity to accommodate anywhere from 20 to 200 guests. Hi-tech audio-visual equipment and services ranging from events coordinators and wedding planning to catering is also offered.
Reviewed by: Max Crosbie-Jones