Amari Orchid Resort & Tower offers a high living with the view.
Hunted out by locals and foreigners alike for almost 30 years now, Pattaya's Amari Orchid has a rare reputation for leafy relaxation in the seaside concrete jungle. Just a year ago, this four-star hotel grew a new shoot, the Ocean Tower, offering 297 spacious rooms where the standards have been upped a star.
Unlike the Amari's Garden Wing - resortstyle accommodation in a landscaped garden the Ocean Tower comes dressed in executive, modern attire. As well as its guestrooms, the 20-storey tower houses a business centre, Amari's signature Sivara Spa and gym, and Ice bar in the lobby. Peek behind a gue¬stroom door and you'll find chic décor and an energising colour scheme of reds, oranges and purples. Probe further and there's a flatscreen TV with cable channels, DVD player, private balcony, tea and coffee making facilities, hot and cold shower plus bathtub, mini bar and chargeable Internet access. But the most spectacular feature is staring you in the face: the glistening blue of Pattaya Bay floods the eyes thanks to panoramic windows in all the rooms.
Whether you're in Pattaya for business, pleasure or a holiday with the family, there's a guestroom to fit. Single travellers and couples have 199 smallish but well-planned Ocean Deluxes, or for something a little larger and grander there's the Junior Suite's 63 square metres of oak wood decor. If you're here with a child, 15 Family Rooms each have a king-size bed with an extra single behind a partition, giving everyone a bit of privacy.
For an even wider-angle view of the ocean, there are super-spacious rooms on the top floors. Nineteen storeys' up, the 119 square-metre Executive Ocean Suites give you a view of the bay that only birds got before the tower was built. Besides a massive bedroom and open-plan bathroom with Jacuzzi, the room has a large living area and pantry corner plus extra toilet. The whole bay unfolds at your feet through the gigantic, floor-to-ceiling window in the living room.
Want more space? Try one of the 10 Duplex Suites on the 20th floor, where you can hop up the staircase to the mezzanine floor for some privacy.
Guests in the Executive Ocean and Duplex Suites can also sail into the Horizon Club, a business lounge on the 19th floor where canapes, champagne and cocktails are served at 5pm. During the day you can check your emails here or leaf through the newspapers and magazines will supping a complimentary soft drink, coffee or tea. Other privileges for upper-floor guests include express check-in and checkout at Horizon Club, a butler service, free in-room wireless Internet, a "pillow menu" and late check out if the room isn't needed.
Take a glance out of a window and you'll see that the beach is in spitting distance, but save the saliva for the feast of local food once you get there. Or if you're peckish and don't want to wander too far from the nest, there are a couple of good dining and drinking options nearby. The hotel's Mantra Restaurant & Bar serves Asian and Mediterranean cuisine as well as stiff drinks. Check out its bountiful brunch, rustled up every Sunday from 11 till 3. For a more happening scene, try the Tex-Mex grub and live music at Henry J Bean's Bar and Grill.
AT A GLANCE
High point: Spacious, clean and airy rooms, five-star standards, near the beach and Pattaya town, fully equipped business centre, family friendly
Low point: noise and dust from nearby construction site, rooms overlooking the ocean get direct sun during the day
Find it: Amari Orchid Resort & Tower is on Pattaya Beach, Chonburi, 20150
Pay for it: Contact the hotel for the best price
Phone it: (038) 418 418
Browse it: www.Amari.com/Orchid