There’s nothing quite like the combination of sun, sand and surf — and as Bangkok residents, we’re lucky to have this option just over an hour away by car, in Pattaya. We recently stayed at the Mercure Pattaya Ocean Resort, enjoying a range of family-friendly activities, easy beach access and great service — just the ticket when your crew needs a break from the hustle and bustle of the Thai capital.
Located on Pattaya 2nd Road, Mercure Pattaya Ocean Resort features good-sized, clean and comfortable rooms, fusing a modern setting with Thai aesthetic touches. Guestroom choices include the Deluxe or Superior King, Deluxe or Superior Twin, and Suites, including a Family Suite with two bedrooms and a living room with a balcony, accommodating up to six guests. Some rooms offer ocean views, and you can request connecting rooms in advance. Standard in-room amenities include a flat-screen TV with lots of cable channels, free wi-fi, a fridge, a mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities and an electric kettle.
The highlight for families is an outdoor kids’ pool and a mini-water park with a rock wall and caves, suitable for children around ages 2 to 10. There are a few different water play features and slides; older children who are comfortable around water can play by themselves, having a blast, while parents lounge nearby. A life guard is on duty all day to ensure safety. Nearby, kids wanting a new challenge can check out a tall climbing wall (there is a small fee involved). An upper floor houses a second swimming pool.
Other activities include playing video games and doing simple crafts in the kids’ club (there was no babysitting service available at the time we visited), making use of a fitness centre (for parents, that is), joining water sports and other activities at the beach including an excursion to Coral Island, and walking to nearby attractions such as Pattaya Beach, the Art in Paradise 3D art gallery and themed destinations like Hard Rock Cafe.
For meals, the on-site restaurant serves a variety of local, Asian and international dishes. The breakfast buffet provides a generous spread, from simple, comforting foods to more elaborate dishes. The hotel is also within walking distance to the new Terminal 21 Pattaya mall, which boasts plenty of great dining venues. In addition, you can easily find some beachside eateries by the hotel that serve decent and inexpensive Thai food.
The hotel service was attentive, with the staff trying hard to anticipate our family’s needs. We found everyone helpful and friendly. On the whole, the atmosphere at the hotel is very diverse, with lots of international families with kids, so we felt right at home.
The next time you are seeking an affordable family weekend getaway, consider the Mercure Pattaya Ocean Resort. It’s a quick and easy trip from Bangkok, with on-site parking, nice accommodations and a fantastic pool setting for the kids, who can play happily for hours. The latter was definitely key to our getting some much needed down time!
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