Things have been a bit quiet around here, and on the writing front in general, as I’ve been on leave the past few weeks. I’m in Thailand, and while it’s not entirely a leisure trip, I made a little time for R&R in Pattaya.
Why Pattaya? It’s a city about two hours’ drive from Bangkok (where I’ve been staying) that’s known as a hub of sex tourism. Ugh. Why would I head here when Thailand is famous for its many superior beaches? Essentially, because I needed a beach break that was close to Bangkok. Travelling with a newborn baby meant that the bus was out of the question, so accessibility by taxi from Bangkok was important.
Fortunately, I found out about the Rabbit Resort Pattaya. In a city full of damn ugly high-rise hotels and condos, the Rabbit Resort is a delightful breath of clean air. The four acre oceanfront property on Dongtan Beach, Jomtien, south of Pattaya, is made up of 49 rooms, all housed in traditional style Thai buildings. Think Jim Thompson’s House. It’s covered in lush palms and tropical flowering trees, has two gorgeous swimming pools (one for kids and families and the other for adults), and is utterly peaceful.
The beach is just metres from the Chef’s Company restaurant. While Dongtan Beach isn’t the most spectacular beach in the world–the water isn’t very clear, and the high rises of Pattaya city spread out along the coastline–after living in a landlocked country, it was still a bit of a treat. Fortunately, the strip of sand immediately outside the Rabbit Resort Pattaya doesn’t have any stalls or beach chairs obstructing the view. These start a few metres to the left, and spread north along the beach. Coming from a land of almost deserted beaches (New Zealand), I don’t find the commerce and squished together deck chairs of beaches in many parts of the world very appealing. Why would I want to rub shoulders on the beach with other tourists (mostly Russians, in this case)? Staying at the Rabbit Resort, I could block that out well enough, with its clear views of the beach and sea.
We had a forest view room (um, the cheapest), which was gorgeous. It was very spacious, with a little kitchenette area (just a jug and mini fridge) as well as a large bed, beautiful Thai details (like gold mirrored embellishments on the ceilings and elephant-adorned silks on the bed), and a large bathroom.
The Chef’s Company restaurant was a convenient addition, too. The menu included Thai and Western dishes, with an emphasis on seafood. The grilled sea bass was my favourite, and R ordered the wok-fried chicken with cashews three times, so I think that was a good choice, too! There were complimentary buffet breakfasts put on in the mornings, with a wide selection of Asian and non-Asian dishes; I loaded up on fresh tropical fruit and croissants. The service was really friendly there, too, and our newborn was a hit. On one of the three days we were at the Rabbit Resort Pattaya we wandered down the promenade and found an alternate place to eat. There are some decent restaurants within a short walking distance, too, but we ended up eating at Chef’s Company the majority of the time because it was convenient.
While I’m usually big on exploring as widely as I can while travelling–the thought of staying within the walls of a resort has never been the way I’ve travelled in the past–this time my circumstances were different, and exploring wasn’t on the cards. But as the Rabbit Resort was so beautiful and calm, and Pattaya city outside held zero appeal to me, I’m not ashamed to have cloistered myself in there on this particular trip.
The Rabbit Resort Pattaya cost a bit more than I would normally be willing to pay, but because it’s currently the off-season in Thailand, there were good discounts on the rooms. The skies aren’t at their clearest this time of year, but it didn’t actually rain at all while we were there. The air temperatures are still hot, and the sea warm, so I’m all in favour of travelling to Thailand in the ‘off season’.
For a short break from Bangkok, I couldn’t recommend the Rabbit Resort Pattaya more highly.
All costs were paid by myself, and all links in this post are for informational purposes only.