Dusit Thani Pattaya – A Review By Punam Mohandas
The Dusit Thani Pattaya appears almost as an oasis surrounded by the sea, with its plentiful green spaces. One enters a large, open-air lobby with plenty of seating, offset by a circular ceiling with what looks like polished copper that is supposed to represent celestial light. Facing the lobby is a fantastic atrium with a gushing waterfall. A quaint walking path around it leads to the spa as well as Cascades outlet. In fact, there is the soothing sound of rushing water all over the property.
With 457-keys, accommodation is divided into the Deluxe Garden View, Deluxe Sea View, the Club Room and the Club Grand Room categories. A notable feature is that every floor has a pillared, circular ‘lobby’ space with discreet seating, that gives on to sweeping sea views; really quite marvellous.
At 40sqm, Deluxe category rooms differ essentially in the view offered. The furnishings are pale brown and beige offset by rich maroon and pale green cushions and a big work area.The bathroom is slightly smaller compared to the Club floor, but will all necessary amenities provided. Most of the rooms feature a daybed, unless it is a twin-bedded room where space then becomes a constraint.
The Club Rooms (40sqm) are minimally yet tastefully furnished, with a huge, dull silver framed mirror. The wardrobe doors too reflect the same dull silver finish. There is a daybed by the French windows overlooking the sea as well as swimming pool. All bathrooms have bathtubs, while the shower cubicle looks out across the room and beyond, to the sea.
At 80sqm, he Club Grand rooms are all sea-facing. Although they have a smaller study desk than the Club rooms, they have a larger balcony space, with an outdoor shower cubicle as well. A walk-in closet leads to the bathroom that has double washbasins and a separate bathtub area, along with another indoor shower. This room category provides BALANCE toiletries in pleasing, pastel packaging.
All rooms come with balconies and are equipped with electronic safe, 32” TV sets, tea/coffee maker, espresso machine (Club floor) two complimentary bottles of drinking water, minibar, dressing gowns, umbrella, torch and iron with ironing board.
F&B options include the all-day dining 200-cover Cascades; the 150-cover Italian speciality The Bay, open only for dinner, offering indoor seating as well as a superb alfresco dining with a semi-circular view across Pattaya Bay; the 70- cover Chinese fine dining The Peak on the 8th floor with a panoramic sea view; the Lobby Bar, with live music in the evenings, the Chaba (pool) Bar and of course, the Club Lounge for Club floor guests, offering light refreshments through the day and Happy Hours in the evening. Allow me to offer a word in praise here of The Peak. Although I partook of just a light luncheon it has made me determined to go back for seconds; the soup was seasoned to perfection while the main course, a delicate medley of crisp fish balanced atop a bed of fine noodles Schezwan style, was like no Chinese I have tasted in this part of Asia. Truly a culinary discovery. The chef ought to be carefully preserved in his own Five Treasure spices!
The Dusit has a whopping 350-car space and can lay proud claim to offering a multitude of choices when it comes to convention facilities in Pattaya. The biggest, of course, is Napalai, which can be partitioned into five sections and which, when fully opened, can accommodate 2500 pax cocktail style. There are also 14 Dusit meeting rooms, all on the fifth floor, ranging in size to accommodate from 8-100 pax. Apart from this, there is the Atrium overlooking the tranquil atrium garden, that can take 300 pax buffet style. The Bay also has a sea-facing, private dining room with the added advantage of a projector and thus, can easily be turned into a high-level meeting room for senior management, accommodating 15-20 pax.
The Dusit Thani Pattaya further offers three unbelievable outdoor locations especially suited for Indian weddings, a segment the hotel plans to pursue most assiduously in its business strategy for this year. The Palm Court overlooking the sea can easily accommodate the mandap, and has restrooms nearby. The Point, with close access to the Italian restaurant, The Bay, also overlooks the sea and can take either a mandap or a small cocktail function. The benefit of this location is that as The Bay is only open for dinner, it can be used by the wedding group during the day for a mehendi function or suchlike; the hotel is quite flexible on such details. The Chaba Pool is also available for pool parties or dinners; as the hotel has two swimming pools, it can quite easily curtail guest use to one while using the other for a private function.
Recreational activities include three tennis courts (World Tennis Association’ Ladies Tournament for more than 20 years) the Lagoon Pool that is salt water, and the Chaba pool with an adjoining kids pool and a little play nook for little children. DFit is the well equipped fitness centre by the pool, offering separate sauna and steam facilities for men and women. Guests can avail of classes such as yoga, zumba dancing, Thai kick boxing etc, at a charge of THB200 per hour. Although no beach is owned outright by any resort, the beachfront for the Dusit Thani Pattaya is pretty individual to the hotel and maintained by its staff. Aside from these, the hotel offers a little shopping galleria at lobby level, with jewellery stores and a Jim Thompson outlet.
And of course, the Devarana Spa that has a reputation all its own and has developed itself as a singular brand offering authentic Thai & Eastern treatments. Highly polished wooden floors and the ubiquitous spa fragrance that is a combination ofuplifting basil and essential oils, lead to eight treatment rooms, four single and four double. While all rooms offer individual steam facilities, the double rooms come withbalneotherapy. Each room is spacious, with a separate relaxing area lit by natural light.
The signature treatment at the Devarana Spa Pattaya is the 2.5 hours ‘Heavenly Nantha Garden Experience.’ According to Thai mythology, Nantha is a divine garden with magical flowers and herbs, and the Devarana recreates this heavenly treatment. With a 30-minute flower petals bath and followed by a body scrub blending fresh pink lotus and champaca flowers with aromatic ylang ylang and jasmine oils with and mineral sea salts. As if this were not bliss-inducing enough, now comes the part (which you deserves the most relaxing moment of 90-minutes (Devarana Signature Massage combines the strong pressure moves of the Ayurveda, Thai and Shiatsu techniques with the gentler, surer stroke of the Swedish and aromatherapy influences. A blow of hot water with lemon & lime essential oil, for clearing your respiratory tract the natural way. This treatment stands out for combining various massage forms; while the eastern therapies believe in clearing the energy pathways of the body, the western methods focus on the muscles and joints as well as the major organs.
This being the Dusit group, service standards are fairly high and one cannot fault the housekeeping or F&B standards. The staff are courteous and smiling and most speak enough English to understand guests. It would be remiss of me if I did not mention a point that particularly struck me – the HK pantries on the floors are extremely commodious areas, something other hotels (particularly Indian) can definitely learn from. Food is about 50:50; F&B at this property scores higher, which should for a very happy bunch of people. Pest control, as at all Dusit properties, is extremely commendable. A small suggestion would be if the management could ensure that the floors for the pool, restaurants, spa etc are clearly marked in all elevators.
The Dusit Thani is located at the absolute end of the Pattaya beach promenade, so, although of course one is facing the sea, it’s a brisk 15-minute walk to what one would call the ‘heart’ of the promenade, past the Central Mall to where the Starbucks and suchlike are located. Local transport in the form of songtaews (open mini vans with a tin roof and bench seats lined on either side) are available in plenty and it costs 20baht per person to get to a point on the promenade (you must negotiate price if you wish to go elsewhere). The popular Walking Street with its night life of go-go bars and pubs is located at the other end of the promenade from the hotel.
While Pattaya does have its own airport, there are many more inexpensive options to travel to this island. If you are flying into Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and intend to leave for Pattaya the same day, note that it takes only an hour to get there from the airport, while from within the city, it takes two hours (by car). Taxis charge 1500baht irrespective of how many passengers there are (no more than four). Air conditioned buses are exceedingly comfortable and leave from the airport every hour; price roughly 110baht per person. Buses from Ekkamai in Sukhumvit leave every half an hour and the cost is 115 baht per person. You can also do the minivan from Victory Monument which costs 100baht per person; the van load is 14-pax and it takes close to three hours.
DUSIT THANI PATTAYA
TEL: +66 38425611
FAX: +66 38428239