Wait, the site is called DreamTravel and you are reviewing a hotel in Pattaya?? ok, good point – rest assured Pattaya is not going to be featured as a Destination on this site anytime soon, but there is a good reason I stayed at the Mercure: I admit it, it’s all about the miles and status!
As part of the Power of Promotions (read more here), I had to make three stays at Accor hotels in or around Bangkok and I wanted to get some beach time. And, while Pattaya is one of my least favorite destinations in Thailand, it is the closest and easiest to reach beach from Bangkok. Which is also the only reason I’d recommend Pattaya: You are on your way to the beautiful islands in the South, like Ko Samet or Ko Chang and want to stop over or you just have a day or two and are desperate for some beach time. Reachable by taxi or bus in about 2h for as little as $3, you could go to just dip your toes into the Gulf of Thailand. It’s also one of the least expensive places on the beach with some kind of infrastructure. To make it even better, there are a Mercure and Ibis hotel right next to each other on Pattaya beach at the presumably quieter North end. What sealed the deal was that the Mercure was brand new and I hadn’t stayed at one in a long time.
Location: The Mercure Ocean Resort Pattaya is at the very Northern End of Pattaya. It is separated from the beach by Beach Road and a row of buildings. The Northern bus station (with connection to Bangkok) and the “baht buses” (taking you around Pattaya) are a few steps away. It’s about 1.5-2hours from Bangkok aiport and about 2-3h from downtown Bangkok, depending on your mode of transportation.
Service: Service at check-in was quick and friendly and didn’t show any of the hick-ups a brand new hotel typically displays. Housekeeping had done a nice job and everything in the common areas and room was squeaky clean. What looked like representatives of the launch or management team were hovering discreetly to ensure things were going well. Service at the restaurant was ok, although they had trouble keeping up with refills after a tour group had decended on the buffet. The same management team was helping hands-on in trying to keep it up – which is really the best you can expect from any hotel, new or not. The check out was as quick and friendly as the check-in, and I was very pleased to not have a single issue at this brand new hotel. That must have been a first for me!
Room: I had reserved an Ocean View room with a king-size bed and that’s what I got! The room was modern and a little more colorful that the currently trendy earth-tones with some yellow and turquoise (I’m not a color-guy, it was blu’ish-green’ish?) sprinkled in to make it fresh and friendly. The bathroom had a glass wall with privacy shades to the bedroom, making it airy, and a sliding frosted-glass door, making it more practical. The closet also had a frosted-glass door, adding to the fresh design. The room had a good-size TV (which I didn’t use), a laptop size safe, kettle and mini-fridge. The bed was queen-size with comfortable sheets, comforter and pillows. There were plenty of power outlets and the light switches were all in places were they made sense – no hunting around for either. The ocean view was available from the balcony, but don’t hold your breath – even from my room on the top 16th floor, you are looking past or over other high-rise buildings to see the water ahead and more of Pattaya all around. Truth in marketing, but I don’t think you’d be missing much by opting for a room without a view.
Amenities: If the trip to Pattaya was brought about by the demands of your children for a beach, you are in luck: The Mercure has a pool and mini-water park with a slide, waterfall and rock wall, making it as family friendly as Pattaya can be! If you didn’t bring children, there is another, quieter pool at the fifth floor to relax and go for a dip. There is also a small gym and a concierge to help you fill your day with activities (which you can also book from any of the hundreds of friendly touts on the beach).
Food/Drink: The main restaurant is on the 5th floor near the pool. I tried it for the breakfast and it was, hands down, the best breakfast of this trip. The quality of the croissants, danishes and breads can keep up with much more expensive hotels and if a coffee is the first order of your day, you will be happy to know that two espresso machines are available for your morning – caffeine fix, I sure was! The rest of the buffet was pretty much inline with other hotels of similar category in Asia (which means much better than what you’ll get in the US at anything but top luxury hotels)!
Overall, the Mercure Ocean Resort was a very pleasant surprise and a good deal at less than $70/night. If for one reason or the other, your travels bring you to Pattaya, the Mercure Ocean Resort is well worth your consideration as a single, couple or family.