Thai Thani resort reassures guests right off the bat with its magnificent gardening.
A peaceful getaway in Pattaya might sound like a contradiction in terms - unless you've been to the Thai Thani Pool Villa Resort.
My expectations weren't high: This was Pattaya, after all, where the wildlife is nocturnal (and wild), and I thought there'd be little difference between the Thai Thani and the various other hotels in the city that range from one to five stars.
But no matter what you think of Pattaya, it always has surprises.
The Thai Thani resort reassures guests right off the bat with its magnificent gardening. The path to my villa blooms with all kinds of flowers and tropical plants, and the villa's entrance is covered in a thick curtain of greenery.
My "pool villa", Villa Sabai, has just a small pool, the sort that only children love, but inside there's a minibar, kingsize bed, vintage Chinesestyle bench, dark wood wardrobe and TV set. It's fairly spacious.
The bathroom and toilet occupy different corners, and in between is a long counter with a pair of wash basins. That's new to me, but what's downright disconcerting is not having 24hour room service. There isn't even a telephone in the villa.
Perhaps the guests in the twobedroom Villa Natthan, with its own hometheatre system, and the twostorey Villa Bussaba, with three bedrooms and a kitchen, have phones.
The resort accommodates people in wheelchairs with wide ramps in the hallways and driveway and large doors.
Breakfast and dinner are served a la carte at the restaurant, everything prepared with natural ingredients.
There's a small fitness centre with highquality equipment, great for a workout before heading to the spa, which quickly becomes my favourite place at the resort.
The oil massage is a great relief after a hectic workweek in Bangkok, and the facials are divine, as are the pedicures and manicures. Unfortunately there are only three therapists, so sometimes you end up in a queue.
The Thai Thani offers a peaceful escape, a 10minute drive from the city centre. You can have the best of both worlds - partying in town by night and shrugging off your hangover by day in a spa bath at the resort.
AT A GLANCE
High points: A peaceful, Thaistyle boutique resort with private villas and great wellness services.
Low points: Not easy to find; no wireless Internet access.
Find it: 100/3 Moo 4 Soi Greang 4 Aumphur Banglamung Pattaya.
Pay for it: Rates start at Bt6,500 per night for Villa Sabai, Bt8,500 for Villa Natthan, Bt9,900 for Villa Bussaba.
Phone it: (038) 371 320
Browse it: www.ThaiThani.co.th