PATTAYA, Thailand - Situated in the exclusive district of Phratamnak near the Royal Palace lies Centara Hotel's new Grand Dame - the Centara Grand Phratamnak.
by Andrew Wood, eTN Thailand
The hotel has 165 rooms, suites and family rooms. The hotel is fully focused on its soft opening and currently has 131 rooms ready for letting and will have its full complement of rooms in the first quarter of 2014. The brand-new five star property enjoys an exclusive setting in a quiet residential area of South Pattaya, yet close to the beach.
The hotel oozes quality and literally dazzles you on arrival with its glittering crystal and marble. There is a nautical underwater theme that runs throughout the hotel and its shark filled tanks and underwater displays are breathtaking.
It's sophisticated ambiance and sheer quality leaves guests smiling with so many WOW factors at every turn.
With six restaurants and bars offering a wealth of dining experiences. Guests will be spoilt for choice once the hotel has completed all its facilities.
My first introduction to the hotel was over coffee on my arrival, at the aptly-named Espresso Bakery with great coffee and a stunning bakery. It was filled with deliciousness and looked inviting. The colorful display of macaroons shows me that an expert was at work here. Both in the kitchen and at the retail end. A beautiful professional display.
I was with the General Manager, Dominique Ronge, who was quick to extend a hand of welcome. A good start. Later that evening we met again at the Skal Dinner taking place at his hotel.
The all-day dining restaurant, Oceana, offers a chic and elegant environment with a stunning aquarium in the background and open kitchens. The menu is inspired by Thai and international cuisines with the accent on in-season local produce.
The Steakhouse which is yet to open will be an intimate restaurant featuring fine dining with the emphasis on great steaks along with a large variety of wines from around the world.
Breeze is a versatile dining venue that serves light meals and snacks daytime then becomes a relaxing lounge in the evening.
Located on the rooftop the Ruffino Restaurant and Lounge caters to guests relaxing near the pool while enjoying ocean views and serves an Italian inspired menu.
The hotel's nautical theme also includes the jellyfish light fittings in the lobby and the amazing range of fish and sharks in tanks located all around the hotel.
The shark tank in the Oceana restaurant is my favorite but I also enjoyed watching the jellyfish in the three small round tanks, with surreal blue LED lighting in Ruffino Restaurant on the rooftop.
The hotel has spared no effort to cocoon its guests in total luxury, all the way from the lobby and public areas to the bedrooms. This hotel is something quite unique.
The swimming pool and adjacent gymnasium, on top of the hotel, offer breathtaking views of Jomtien bay and Koh Larn island. At sunset it is a perfect place for a sundowner.
Bedrooms are luxuriously appointed and cleverly introduced a number of features including mirror fronted TVs in the bathroom and automatic Venetian blinds that close to preset positions to offer instantaneous privacy.
I am a stickler for water pressure and in this hotel it is excellent. The shower envelopes you in a refreshing spray of high powered water.
The Centara group is no stranger to Pattaya, this is now their fifth property in the resort town.
General Manager Dominique Ronge has positioned the hotel extremely well and has done a sterling job. Centara's Grand Phratamnak is already becoming the talk of the town. I also met the highly active Amy, the bubbly and sociable food and beverage marketing manager who helps fill the restaurants.
The Centara Grand Phratamnak is a welcome addition to the many outstanding hotels in Pattaya, and I am convinced that the hotel will have a long and successful future in this vibrant and eclectic town.