Review: Centara Grand Phratamnak Pattaya – upscale beach getaway from Bangkok

The Centara Grand Phratamnak Pattaya is an upscale city hotel, between South Pattaya and Jomtien, a short walk from the beach. You get a small room with upscale finishes and fast internet, as well as professional service and a very good breakfast. You’ll have a nice rooftop pool, but are not oceanfront. It wouldn’t be my first choice for a beach trip to Jomtien, but it has some strong features – check out my detailed review and photos to find out if it would fit your plans!

Location: The Centara Grand Phratamnak Pattaya is located half-way between Pattaya city and Jomtien. It’s a block away from the beach and you’ll have nice oceanviews from the rooftop pool! There are a number of small restaurants just a block away and a local market with food and market stalls is a five-minute walk. There are also plenty of tour operators and massage shops. The Phratamnak neighborhood is very popular with Russian travelers and I was surprised to find more signs in Russian than in Thai or English on the markets, but the staff generally will speak English, so it’s easy to get what you need.

The location isn’t ideal for transport or to access the nightlife and restaurants in Pattaya or Jomtien. There is no public transportation in this area, so you’ll have to rely on taxis or grab to get around. The trip from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport is approximately 2 hours by car, a little more by bus & taxi.

Centara Grand Pattaya Lobby

Service: Centara Grand is the top brand in this Thai hotel group, you’ll notice when you enter the impressive lobby and the service reflects that as well. Staff was well trained, professional and friendly throughout my stay. The check-in was quick, staff provided all the necessary information about the property and amenities and bell staff guided me to the escalators, offering to assist with luggage.
The staff at the restaurant worked hard during the busy breakfast hour to keep tables clean and the buffet stocked. They didn’t serve drinks or took customer orders at the table, it was all self-serve. Given how busy the restaurant was, that’s ok, although in this category of hotel I’d expect more attentive service at breakfast. 
Check-out was as quick and easy as check-in and I was on my way in minutes.


Room: I had reserved a standard room and that’s what I got. It was at the very back of the property, facing the opposite building and had little view.
The room is very compact, but it feels very upscale due to the high-end materials used. The decor is high on gold and bling, not necessarily my style but inoffensive. The floors are marble, with a soft rug around the bed.  The King Bed is very comfortable and has a very good mattress and nice sheets, pillows and comforter. You have a soft head-board and an ingraved mirror/glass above it. On each side is a small night stand and just enough space to walk around.

Across from the bed is a small desk with chair that doubles as work desk and make-up spot. It’s enough to work in a pinch, but I wouldn’t recommend it for long hours of work.

My room unfortunately had a connecting door that made the room a little more noisy. The door can only be opened from the inside, but doesn’t have a lock.
By the door is a bar cabinet with coffee/tea facilities, a small mini-bar with drinks and snacks and a nespresso machine. Sadly, the Centara charges for the coffee pods – an unusual decision for an upscale hotel and rather tacky.

The small wardrobe holds a laptop size safe and provides a bathrobe, as well as a beach bag and an umbrella, a nice touch.

Each room has a balcony with nice wicker chairs and a table. While it is an inviting spot, the view of the building across the narrow opening is much less appealing.

The bathroom is separated from the bedroom by a window, one of my favorite design features. In this case, it has a double-paned window with a motorized blind inside for privacy. While this is a good concept, it was poorly installed and dust got between the glass, causing it to look very dirty.
The bathroom itself is very large, with a deep soaking tub by the window and a vanity in the center. The bathroom is also held in marble, looks upscale and was in very good condition. 

A separate, glass enclosed shower is in the corner. The toilet is next to it and doesn’t offer a bidet seat. 

The provided towels were thick and plush. A full set of bath amenities, including dental kits and even some bath salt are provided, reflecting the upscale standards of the brand well.

The free WiFi internet was reliable and very fast with an average download speed of 40Mbps and similar upload speeds, making it great to stream movies, have video calls or get work done.

Restaurant & Amenities: The Centara Grand Pattaya has a rooftop pool and bar with stunning ocean views. There are rows of loungers with umbrellas facing the pool and ocean beyond. I was able to find a spot without issues. 

There is also a jacuzzi tub in the corner – looks like a great spot to watch the sunset!

Next to the pool is a small bar that serves drinks and food, but I didn’t try it during my stay.

On the same level is the gym, overlooking the pool and ocean.

It has a good selection of cardio and weight equipment, allowing for a full workout during your stay.

The restaurant in the hotel lobby has one of the most instagrammable features of the hotel – a shark tank with a number of sharks behind the tables. I felt bad for the sharks in what surely is a too small tank for them, but I’m sure it’s all over guest’s facebook/wechat pages…

The hotel serves tour groups and the restaurant was overwhelmed during breakfast hour, adding tables in the lobby to accommodate the crowd. I wasn’t able to find a spot on my first visit and returned an hour later. Both, the food selection and quality of items was very good, reflective of the hotel category more so than the modest price. You get a wide selection of fresh fruit, fruit salad, yogurt, very good pastries, bread, as well as cold cuts and cheese. You’ll also get a number of hot dishes, including Asian choices, eggs and breakfast meats. You can order made-to-order egg dishes and they tasted great.
Coffee drinks are available from automated machines and the coffee was very good. You’ll also find juices and tea. 

Overall, this was probably the best breakfast I’ve had in Pattaya. Make sure you go early or late to enjoy it. Unfortunately, due to the number of guests, I wasn’t able to take photos of the buffet. 

Value & Rewards: I booked the Centara Grand Phratamnak Pattaya at a rate of $99/night. I booked it through and earned 9% in Welcome Rewards. I paid with my CapitalOne VentureOne card and earned 10% in reward points.
I consider that price good value and it’s comparable to similar properties in the area. You can find the current price for the Centara Grand Pattaya here.

Bottomline: The Centara Grand Phratamnak Pattaya feels like an upscale city hotel that happens to be near the beach. You get a small room with upscale finishes and fast internet, as well as professional service and a very good breakfast. You’ll have a nice rooftop pool, but are not oceanfront. You are between Jomtien and Pattaya, but don’t have easy access to either. That makes the target audience for the Centara fairly narrow: If you are visiting Bangkok and want a short getaway to the beach, prefer a city-feel over resort style, without the Pattaya nightlife and are planning to take a taxi or private-hire car to get there, the Centara Grand works well enough. If you want a resort experience, the similarly priced Heritage Pattaya nearby might work better.

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