I did not choose this hotel, in the usual manner as I was assigned this hotel as part of a package my company took as it sent a delegation (for which I was part of) to a conference at Pattaya recently. So I cannot say I was excited about coming to stay at the Royal Cliff Grand Hotel. In fact, based on my idea of a good hotel resort and a relaxing time, I don't even think I would like Pattaya famed for its racy girlie shows, raucous bar scene and titillating massage services.
Much to my pleasant surprise, this hotel turns out to be a decent option. Although the age of the hotel as shown in its design, amenities and furniture is very obvious, this outfit is still relatively well maintained. I must say the hotel must have been at least 10 years old, if not longer. It seems trapped in many ways early 1990s style, or even 1980s style. The music of Kylie Minogue in her Locomotion days drift into my mind as I walk from the lobby, took the 1980s look lift and enter my room, how bizarre!
Thankfully the old-ness of the hotel stops there. The TV set used is modern LCD, flat screen and the wifi / wired internet speed was acceptably fast. In fact, if you so desire super fast net speed, you can pay a small sum to get it. I did not opt for this option so cannot say how good or bad it is.
The size of my normal, deluxe room is fine and cleanliness was acceptable. Some stray hairs and a small bit of a tortilla chip were found on the floor, but otherwise the wood parquet flooring and the well maintained tiled bathroom were neat and fresh. What was not truly acceptable was the stale smell in the corridors, not only in my floor but also in other floors which I visited for meetings. The smell on the 12th floor was especially bad, as if some dead rat's rotting away in the ventilator (it just might be the case!).
The amenities of this hotel are impressive. It is actually part of a huge convention centre, and there are other hotels which are linked through walkways, and all connected to the main convention halls. I suppose that's why the conference was held there, and that helps in having many meeting rooms and similar facilities, some 10 or more restaurants to choose from, many bars and several swimming pools of varying sizes. It also has its own private beach, but the colour of the sand was not very inviting I must admit.
I ate at the Breezeo restaurant which was costly but adequate, while breakfasts were all at the Panorama restaurant in the hotel next to the Grand. I was told by colleagues staying at the attached outfits that the rooms there aren't exactly that clean, and cockroaches and lots of lizards are found, even bed bugs on the mattresses used. Thankfully, I did not meet with such issues over at the Grand.
The location of this hotel is geared towards being exclusive and meant for people attending conferences and events at the nearby convention centre. That means travelling out to the main thoroughfare of Pattaya is a major issue, and taxis (whether official taxis or the so-called tuk tuk or the pick-up buses) are very expensive for tourists here. I cannot accept having to pay 500 baht from this hotel to another one in north Pattaya which would take no more than 20 minutes of driving, but there seems no option other than accepting this harsh fact. Hence, my trips for meetings in the Hilton and the Dusit Thani raked up quite a sum in total for taxi fares.
Service wise, perhaps because this conference is one of the largest in my industry, so the staff seemed prepared. But by and large, I cannot say it's the best and far from many of the best I have come across in this beautiful Land of the Smiles in my years of travel to this kingdom. Pattaya as a resort city in fact gives me that rustic, bordering on being uncouth and in-your-face feeling, unlike the family-oriented, carnival feel of Phuket, the relaxing elegance of Koh Samui and the regal holiday feel of Hua Hin. All are beach resorts but Pattaya, especially after walking the bar street, is clearly geared towards the adult audience. Despite so many years after the end of the Vietnam War, Pattaya has yet to redefine its raison d'etre as an R&R centre for American troops in the 1950s and 1960s.
So perhaps there will be no return trip to Pattaya, and in extension the Grand for me. I feel I prefer the mountains and the rivers, and even the cities for some form of relaxation be them spa massages, manicures and pedicures and even retail therapy. The Grand is not a bad option, but unless I am tasked to return to Pattaya for business again, I'd unlikely return to stay here again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A modern architectural wonder, the Royal Cliff Grand Hotel (formal luxury) fulfills every expectation implied by its name, from the sweeping curves of its sea-facing balconies to the impressive atrium lobby. Its beautifully landscaped area, infinity edge swimming pool and sun decks are for the exclusive use of the hotel's guests. The hotel has just gone through a major upgrade in 2015 and has added many new facilities including a cigar lounge. Furthermore the hotel offers the sophisticated business travelers with state of the art technology and business center suites. All the rooms and suites are equipped with IPTV solution and balcony so all guests can enjoy the breathtaking view. Finally you are always connected staying at the Grand Hotel as fast Wifi is offered free of charge. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Royal Cliff Grand Pattaya