Towering over the competition at Jomtien Beach
In my early 20s I spent some time living in Zürich, Switzerland, and that’s where I first discovered the Mövenpick brand. The company name is synonymous with fine food and exacting attention to detail, so it’s no surprise that all four of their properties in Thailand—there’s also one in Bangkok and two in Phuket— make excellent vacation spots.
I had the opportunity to visit the Mövenpick Siam Hotel Pattaya once before, shortly after it opened earlier this year, and in the interim between then and now they’ve made a considerable number of improvements. The most striking is the completion of La Costa, the open-air poolside restaurant that also looks out over the ocean. Open from 10am till 1am, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy sea breezes while dining on Thai and Mediterranean inspired dishes—try one of the yummy pizzas—and sampling an array of tropical cocktails, including their signature Watermelon Margarita. Directly above the restaurant is a secondary recreation level, with four curtained daybed cabanas, and several reclining lounge chairs and shade umbrellas—a nice spot to soak up the sun, or take a shady afternoon siesta.
As far as the rooms go nothing much has changed, and once again I check into a 61 sq.m Junior Suite (amusingly, one floor directly above the same room I occupied last time). The 35-storey hotel—which somewhat resembles a tall, upright sail—is designed so that all 260 guest accommodations are ocean facing, and from the 25th floor my view of the sun setting over Jomtien Beach is, in a word, spectacular!
The suite itself is sleek and modern, with white walls and linens offset by natural brown hues and accents. The standard luxury room accessories are all there—mini-bar, flatscreen TV, fridge, rainforest shower—but the centerpiece of the large bathroom area, which is separated from the bedroom by a clear glass wall, is an enormous and very deep circular bathtub built-fortwo. I only wish I wasn’t travelling solo this time around.
For dinner I choose to revisit T55, the hotel’s steakhouse-style restaurant. Specializing in prime cuts of beef, the design theme here takes its cue from New York City’s meatpacking district, complete with a glassed-in butcher shop area by the front entrance that showcases the many cuts of meat available. Joining me for dinner is Adel Mojarrad, the hotel’s Director of F&B, who points out many of the recent changes to the menu. More non-beef and vegetarian friendly items have been added, but beef still commands the spotlight here and we opt to share a mammoth Tomahawk Steak, paired beautifully with a bottle of 2014 La Posta Malbec from Argentina (a label Adel only recently added to the wine list). Other drink highlights include the Bloody Lager, a surprisingly refreshing blend of vodka, tomato juice, and beer (garnished with paprika and bacon), while the veg-friendly Farm To Table Vegetable salad—crafted to resemble tiny veggies peeking out of dark soil— and the Waldorf Salad—a cylindrical tower—are both don’t-miss menu items. You should also not miss the chef’s excellent NYC Apple Cheesecake, served with cinnamon ice cream.
Speaking of food, the beautiful and bountiful daily breakfast buffet is served in Twist, the hotel’s bright and cheerful all-day dining establishment. But for guests booked in suites— either Junior, Executive, Family or Presidential—breakfast can also be had in the Panorama Club Lounge. I much prefer this third floor private dining and relaxing area, which is full of plump sofas and cushy armchairs. And although breakfast is smaller than the one served in Twist, it still offers everything from fresh baked croissants to custom-made omlettes, fresh fruits, and piping hot coffees. It’s the perfect spot for skimming the morning paper while enjoying the magnificent view of the swimming pool, the beach, and the neighbouring Ocean Marina Yacht Club.
Before check out I pay a visit to the Wave Spa. I choose their 60-minute signature treatment, which combines traditional Thai massage with Western relaxation techniques enhanced by hot stone therapy—my favourite. I tell my masseuse not to go easy on me and she dutifully responds by giving me some healing, deep tissue muscle maintenance.
NOTE: If you carefully schedule your check-in you can arrive just in time for the delightful ‘Chocolate Hour’ buffet, which takes over the area in front of Twist restaurant from 4pm till 5pm every day.
Mövenpick Siam Pattaya
55 Moo 2, Na Jomtien, Sattahip, Chonburi
Tel: 03 307 8888