Rayong Marriott Resort & Spa – A Review By Punam Mohandas
The Rayong Marriott, barely opened a year ago, is a property that has all its hardware in place. Located in the seclusion of tranquil Rayong, about three and a half hours from Bangkok, it makes for a perfect weekend get-a-way spent in the lap of Nature – and luxury.
The hotel is located twenty minutes away from Ban Phe pier, a drive that takes you through a lush green area with glimpses of the sea between the trees.
At the hotel, a couple of large elephants made of recycled wood just inside the entrance lead the way to an open-air lobby that gives on to views of manicured lawns and the sea beyond. Apart from the usual settee and sofa seating, there are faux boulders invitingly placed around the lobby space for you to perch on. The hotel is spread across 6.7 acres, making for a lot of green spaces on the property.
With 205-keys, the room categories are divided into: Deluxe Mountain View; Deluxe Ocean View; Premier Ocean View; Studio Corner Suites; One Bedroom Ocean Suites and The Ocean Suite. While the one-bedroom suites are sea-facing and well-appointed, the studio suites have the bed facing spectacular views of the sea, with the bathroom giving on to a sea view on one side and a garden view on the other. This room category is more romantic than all other more lavishly appointed rooms put together.
The Premier Ocean View room is large and tastefully appointed. Instead of the usual framed paintings one is apt to find in hotels, there is a metallic sculpture depicting waves and seashells above the bed, with a comfortable daybed by a huge bay window overlooking the sea. Discreet sliding doors section off the bathroom from the bedroom, or the toilet area from the shower cubicle, while the bathtub occupies centre pride of place. The Marriott uses the prestigious Thann brand of bath care products in all its rooms.
F&B options are varied and include C-Salt, the 205-cover multi-cuisine, all-day dining outlet; the 55-cover Fish Bar by the sea, serving seafood; The Lounge just off the lobby with 50-covers; Java+ with 23 informal, café style seating serving homemade pastries, ice creams, soups, salads and sandwiches; Water Bar by the swimming pool and synC, colourful in red, burnt orange and turquoise blue with funky 150-cover seating and a karaoke room, perfect for private parties. As the hotel has begun dealing with a fair amount of Indian wedding business, the kind of versatility that synC offers is a welcome addition.
Business facilities include four meetings rooms and a boardroom that can accommodate 12pax.The ballroom, which can be sectioned into three, can accommodate 450 pax cocktail style and 300 in a round-table seating. It has a separate entrance; this is also where group check-ins are done to avoid inconvenience to other guests.
Recreational facilities include a basic, functional gym with personalised trainers on call. Bicycles too are available for rent at THB 250 for two hours. Apart from this, there are two swimming pools, both overlooking the sea; one by the Fish Bar and the other a meandering lagoon-like stretch of water. There is a separate kids play zone and dedicated rain dance area.
The Quan Spa is pretty well geared to handle various kinds of therapies and uses natural essential oils in its massage therapies while body scrubs and wraps are made from fresh fruits and vegetables. The spa has seven treatment rooms, three of which are couple rooms and have a bathtub. The single rooms come with steam rooms instead. The milk bath along with a body scrub of your choice followed by a massage of essential oils is one of the signature treatments at Quan. The therapist here deserves a strong word of praise for her skills as also her demeanour, for nothing can be more off-putting than having a chattering masseuse hover over you as you try in vain to unwind.
As mentioned elsewhere above, the hotel is witnessing a number of Indian wedding groups and therefore, has an Indian chef, Anil Rawat, on board to cater to the exhaustive food demands which usually tend more toward the vegetarian and tandoori items. Indian chefs from the sister Marriott hotels in Thailand are flown in as well to lend a hand and cater to large groups. There are plenty of suitable spaces to host the outdoor fire and other wedding ceremonies, with three lawn areas and a small hillock on the premises.
It must be said that pest control is quite good and one is not too bothered by insects and creepy-crawlies although one is in the midst of verdant surroundings. The biggest downside would probably be the software in terms of staff training; F&B usually holds its act together, but other departments need to improve, especially front office.
Although Rayong itself is quiet and not very touristy, 45-minutes away by speedboat is Koh Samet with its white soft sands that offer a variety of water sports. For pulsating nightlife, Pattaya is just 90-km away. There are plenty of things to see in Rayong as well, such as the Ban Phe market, Ban Kon Ao (fisherman’s village) and the national parks of Khao Laem Ya and Khao Chamao, to name a few.
Rayong is just three and a half hours away from Bangkok. You can take a bus from Suvarnabhumi airport or, if you are already in Bangkok, take a minivan from Victory Monument or the bus from Ekkamai Bus Terminal (THB 306 return trip per person, in an air conditioned bus.) The bus drops you at Ban Phe from where the hotel shuttle can pick you. Ban Phe is also where the Nuanthip pier is located, from where you get the speedboat to Koh Samet.
RAYONG MARRIOTT RESORT & SPA
TEL: +66 38 998 000
FAX: +66 38 998111