The Bay Balance
By Shradha Aswani
As the years unapologetically add themselves to my existence, I value balance more and more. This reflects in every choice I make, be it the way I space my meals, the people I spend time with, or the work I take on. If you, like me, want your getaways to have scenic exhilaration but only with a comfortable and cosy living experience, you will find that InterContinental Pattaya Resort checks every box.
Even though the hotel was only a two-hour drive from Bangkok, the journey left me longing to get there as soon as possible and take a nap. But once I set foot in the spaced-out, colourful interiors of the hotel’s lobby, true of all IHG properties, the stunning ocean view infused unexpected vigour within me. The warm and welcoming staff members took away our luggage and their smiles were almost as soothing as the welcome drink (or perhaps a notch more).
Located in a hilly corner of Pattaya, the resort had its head stretched up to the sky, while at its foot was the vast Gulf of Thailand. Not too steep, the tapestry of the resort was lined with stairs and slopes to navigate the incline. After a quick and smooth check-in, I was ushered into a buggy that led me to my room through a zig-zag ride surrounded by lush green on both sides.
The green lent itself to my beautiful garden-view suite, with a king-sized bed, contemporary furniture, and a balcony I made a mental note to lazily sprawl in later. What fascinated me most was the way in which the bathroom was incorporated into the room, separated by a door instead of a wall, which you could completely leave open for an enhanced illusion of space. With its two wash-basins, two mirrors, two luggage platforms, and two wardrobes, it was clear that the place wanted to keep all conflicts at bay.
The highlight of the room for me was the magnificent fit-for-two bathtub that was topped by a glass roof, letting you experience the liberation that comes with being out in the open, even whilst being indoors.
The resort had 156 keys in all, a mix of standard and executive rooms, along with one-bedroom and two-bedroom villas, all distinct in their views – some overlooking the garden while others giving you a peek of the ocean. With its three pools, separate for kids and adults, inclusive of a whirlpool-designed one suitable for hydro-therapy; a cushioned play-area for toddlers; and a sandy sea-lined sun-deck for guests to relax in; the property has been designed to welcome families, friends, couples and individuals alike.
Specifically for families, the resort also has a Kids Club for your little ones, with a Planet Trekkers programme for children aged 4 to 12, that allows families to “explore the world together and cultivate a deeper understanding of the world around them,” which I thought was a very thoughtful and fun addition to family vacations. I was also pleased to learn that there are regular shuttle buses throughout the day to and from the Central Festive Shopping Mall in the city, extremely convenient for guests who wish to explore Pattaya’s sights – make sure to book in advance.
FOOD AND DRINK
The resort’s luxe and expansive terrain got me really excited for the food I was going to encounter, and my excitement was well-met. Elements, their all-day-dining restaurant,
cooked up a feast of continental and Thai dishes for the breakfast buffet that went on
from 6.30am to 11am. I went for classic Scrambled eggs that were perfectly cooked, Stir-fried vegetables, Sauteed potatoes with garlic on the side, and fluffy Pancakes that were served hot. Their Strawberry-flavoured milk deserved a guilt-free second serving as did their Honey cake, which quietly took its corner in the massive dessert spread. I alternated between the restaurant’s indoor and outdoor options in the two days of my stay, and each was as good as the other.
After breakfast, the restaurant turns into an à la carte diner, boasting interesting and well-prepared recipes like Tom kha gai, Penang, and Gang kiew wan; all of which can be made vegetarian upon request. If you would rather go for continental dishes, there is a range of burgers, pizzas, wraps and sandwiches to choose from. To my surprise, I was also treated with sizeable portions of mouth-watering Daal makhni, Daal takda and spicy Onion gravy that went perfectly with the Garlic naan and Vegetable biryani, prepared by the chef especially. Finally, you could opt for classics like Mango sticky rice or a scoop of your choice of flavour of ice-cream or sorbet to wrap up your meal.
Alternatively, if you have Club InterContinental Lounge privileges, you could spend your mornings in this sun-drenched haven, with unlimited gourmet options and your choice of tea or coffee, with a selection of some of the nation’s most renowned newspapers and magazines to kick-start your day. The lounge also offers an exquisite tea service, with freshly-made khanoms and petit fours, tarts, and scones, as well as savoury bites; a truly luxurious experience. Premium tea and coffee is, of course, also served. In the evenings, make sure to indulge in a pre-dinner tipple with complimentary evening drinks, from wines, to cocktails, beers, and spirits, as well as a selection of canapés; all while you enjoy the best sunset view in Pattaya.
For dinner, head towards Infiniti, the resort’s nighttime restaurant that boasts spectacular global preparations. Overlooking the sea, this al-fresco restaurant can easily be called one of the most beautiful parts of the property, ideal for a quiet and intimate meal with loved ones or your own self.
You could choose from a variety of other salads and appetisers – I chose to go with the
heartwarming Roasted shitake mushroom soup. For the main course, you can opt for pizzas piping hot from the brick oven, or an array of other pastas: I especially loved their Spinach ricotta ravioli. For large groups, their Seafood platter and Beef steaks could come in handy.
The resort had many self-care facilities, including a fitness centre; a verdant walking trail; man-made waterfalls gushing with water that you can spend hours listening to as you find inner peace; and an unmissable spa. Home to elaborate wellness treatments embodying the rich Thai legacy of holistic relaxation, Amburaya Spa was the perfect spot to let your mind and body get away from the idiosyncrasies of the world.
My Signature Spa Treatment started with a hot towel and refreshing pre-massage drink, quickly followed by the Rajkumari-style indulgence of dipping my feet into water filled with rose petals. The detoxifying salts in the water were a small foretaste of the ultimate zenith I was going to experience in the next sixty minutes or so.
The property offers plenty of event spaces that are more than big enough to host events for a big fat Indian wedding. Latitude by the Beach is ideal for a small and private event or wedding that could also extend to the sandy beach-front outside, while the indoor Phratamnak spaces, including the Ballroom, Foyer, Courtyard, and other Phratamnak rooms, are suited to host larger gatherings of varying sizes.
Tongkamol Maidee, the General Manager of InterContinental Pattaya Resort, gives us her unique insight into the property.
Apart from Pattaya’s proximity to Bangkok, what are the other features of the place that you think would entice tourists?
You can enjoy the beautiful beach and nearby islands, and there are plenty of non-beach activities and attractions suitable for families, including shopping, nightlife, and interesting cultural and gastronomic experiences. There’s also a lot of delightful food that the central part of Thailand offers, including fresh seafood and authentic Thai dishes.
What makes InterContinental distinct as a brand? In addition, what would you say are the highlights of this particular property?
The first and foremost attribute that defines InterContinental is discreet luxury. Knowing rather than showing defines our delivery of the subtle yet consistent luxury experience.
Our global etiquette ensures that we maintain the highest standards across all our hotels, nuanced with both local cultural wisdom and international know-how. The InterContinental® Ambassador is our end-to-end heightened guest experience that combines personal service with exclusive privileges, designed to make your stay with us extra special. We are passionate about our culinary and cocktail mixology expertise, which ensures that our signature restaurants, destination bars, and ballrooms are the perfect backdrop to some of our guests’ most iconic and celebrated moments in time.
The highlight of the InterContinental Pattaya Resort is Club InterContinental, an end-to-end luxury experience that epitomises sophistication. It evolves with the values of guests, such as the need for increased privacy and personalisation, mixed with a desire for normalcy. The guests can enjoy breakfast, afternoon tea, and evening cocktails throughout their days here, with luxury privileges.
A lot of visitors opt for this resort for anniversary and birthday celebrations. What makes you popular in this context?
The resort is located on a private beach, which allows for a more exclusive and private ambience for your special moment with your loved ones. We can organise tailor-made memorable events because of the scale of the space, and our specialised teams for MICE events and other expansive events are more than ready to make things happen for celebrations of any size.
Could you tell us about the F&B options that particularly set you apart?
Our Elements restaurant offers diners a complete gourmet experience, where guests can choose from an extensive menu of Thai, Asian, and Western favourites, together with a daily breakfast buffet and a children’s menu. We have Thai signature dishes from all regions of Thailand, all year round, and a premium international barbecue seafood buffet with imported products and a variety of dessert selections to pamper you and your beloved ones every Saturday.
The Infiniti restaurant offers a variety of international cuisine, exotic cocktails, fine wines
and panoramic views of the ocean from an idyllic cliff-side elevation, creating the ultimate relaxing, picturesque dining experience. Chefs cook in a live cooking station while guests enjoy the sunset-view from over our seats.
Tell us a bit about your event spaces, and your experience in hosting Indian events/weddings. Are you open to a complete buy out of the property for large events like these?
The Indian market is one of the top five geographical markets who come and stay with us, and enjoy our services, partly because of our private beach and isolated location which differentiate us from others in the destination.
Latitude by the Beach is a multi-purpose luxury meeting and event space, located on the resort’s private beachfront, and our experts can customise the space to suit your needs for events of up to 160 people.
The new-look Phratamnak Ballroom (411sqm) has been redesigned to create an elegant, spacious and contemporary ambience. With no pillars restricting access, the space can be transformed to meet the needs of up to 200 guests. The ballroom also opens on to the beautiful Phratamnak Courtyard, a tranquil oriental garden with its own waterfall; a popular venue for receptions and parties.
We are open to a complete buy-out, based on a few pre-requisite terms and conditions of course.
INTERCONTINENTAL PATTAYA RESORT
437 Phra Tamnak Road, Pattaya, Chonburi 20150, Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 38-259-888
Line ID: @interconpattaya