Planning your first trip, booking a hotel in Pattaya for the first time? Here’s some handy tips to help you with those tough decisions, like where to stay in Pattaya, when is the best time to visit, and how and where to get the best hotel deals.
Where to Stay in Pattaya
Choosing the best place to stay in Pattaya is a question of what you want, what you need, and in some instances – what you prefer to avoid. Fortunately, Pattaya has a lot to offer by way of location, and just about every kind of accommodation – including fantastic family friendly hotels, backpacker hostels, luxury villas, and some gorgeous beach-front resorts, in every price range.
The area between North Pattaya Road and South Pattaya Road, and including 2nd and 3rd roads in the vicinity of Walking Street and Bali Hai.
This is the busiest area of Pattaya, especially the areas around central and south Pattaya roads between Pattaya Beach Road and 3rd Road. The area is home to Pattaya’s most vibrant nightlife zones, major shopping malls, Pattaya Beach and Walking Street.
Downtown Pattaya is a convenient place to stay, and everything you want or need – including 24 hour dining or a convenience store is only a short walk, or baht bus ride away.
Being home to the best nightlife spots in Pattaya means it’s the most popular location for single men seeking guest friendly hotels near the nightlife zones. But by contrast there’s there’s what you could call ‘get away from it all resorts‘ where you can completely forget the hustle and bustle, and nightlife of downtown Pattaya.
Naklua & Wongamat
The area immediately north of downtown and Pattaya Beach. Naklua Beach starts where Pattaya Beach ends, just on the other side of the Dusit Thani hotel, and continues until it meets Wongamat Beach – which continues north to Wongprachan Beach in the vicinity of the Sanctuary of Truth.
There’s no major roads in the vicinity of the beaches at Naklua, Wongamat and Wongprachan, there’s also no major shopping malls or nightlife zones. It’s generally a very peaceful area, populated mainly by beach resorts and condominiums.
Pratumnak is often referred to ‘the hill’ or Paratumnak Hill. This is the area between South Pattaya and Jomtien. It starts just beyond Bali Hai and Walking Street, and includes the areas of Cosy Beach, Asia Beach (Hu Kwang Bay), Pratumnak Beach, and Dongtan Beach – which continues on to Jomtien Beach.
This is another relatively quiet area, there’s no major roads, nightlife zones or shopping malls. There are a handful of beach front resorts – including the popular family resort – The Birds & Bees, and like in Naklua and Wongamat – there are lots of condominiums.
Jomtien is south of Pattaya, just the other side of Pratumnak Hill, it’s about 3 kilometers from Jomtien Beach to the baht bus terminal near the junction of 2nd Road and South Pattaya Road.
Jomtien Beach stretches 5 kilometers south to Na Jomtien. Like Pattaya, Jomtien has a beach road and 2nd road which are connected by numerous streets (sois). Jomtien has a ‘seaside holiday town’ feel about it, whereas Pattaya has a ‘seaside city’ feel.
Na Jomtien Beach is located immediately south of Jomtien Beach, a distance of approximately 7.5 kilometers south of the South Pattaya Road junction on Sukhumvit highway. The main ‘popular’ stretch of the beach is around 3 kilometers long, and finishes at Ocean Marina yacht club.
Na Jomtien is the most remote, and quietest of the popular tourist destinations in Pattaya. The stretch of beach is populated mainly by resorts, and quite a few condominiums. Aside from the areas in front of the resorts and a couple of beachfront restaurants and bars, the beach is mainly free of visitors.
When to Stay in Pattaya
Best weather is the cool period from November to the end of February. March and April remain dry, but hot. May could see the arrival of the rainy season. June to the end of October will most certainly be rainy season, with September and October being the wettest months.
The cheapest time to visit Pattaya is during the low (rainy season) from May 1st to November 1st, when most hotels are offering reduced low season rates. The dates which hotels decide to charge low season rates DOES vary from one hotel to the next. So expect to see high season rates for a minority of hotels beginning October 1st and continuing to May 31st.
When is the best time to stay in Pattaya?
It comes down to good weather and high season rates vs cheapest hotel rates, and possibility of bad weather. To help you decide, read more about high and low seasons in Pattaya.
How & Where to Get Best Hotel Deals in Pattaya
Booking direct with hotel vs booking agent (Agoda etc) vs walk-in deal.
You have to compare prices. I’ve compared prices on Agoda vs booking direct with the hotel. At that time Agoda beat the hotel’s direct rate in most cases, but the only thing that proves is, you MIGHT get the best rates through booking sites like Agoda, or you might get the best rate by booking direct.
Rewards and loyalty discounts: Some hotels offer loyalty discounts and perks, as do booking sites. So, if you’re a frequent visitor to Pattaya, you could certainly benefit from choosing a hotel or agent which offers rewards.
Things to watch out for: Check the cancellation policy, especially if your travel plans are likely to change. If you’re visiting Pattaya during the festive season, check the hotel website for mandatory gala dinners or functions, the information might not be displayed on third party booking sites, which means you might asked to pay the mandatory fee when you check-in.
Where to start?
Some important things you need to find, and choose the right hotel are – extensive choice, lots of genuine user reviews, and search filters to help narrow down your search. Agoda has all of them, start your search for hotels in Pattaya on Agoda.
Make a short-list of your preferred hotels, check the rates on the hotel website – if their is one. Check for deals on HotelsCombined.com, they compare prices of all the major booking sites to find the lowest available rates, often including the rates direct with the hotel.
First off, if you plan on just packing your bag, jumping on a bus, and finding a room when you arrive in Pattaya, you’re at a big disadvantage. You don’t know the rates, you never read any reviews, you’re basically just wandering from one hotel to the next, trying to find a hotel within your budget.
And, when you walk to the front-desk and ask the rate, they tell you the rate, they don’t have ‘special’ discounts for walk-in customers, otherwise everyone would walk-in for the discounted rates.
There’s really no reason to not book online, unless you are looking for basic and cheap ‘backpacker’ type accommodation, which has no online presence or online booking facility. Or perhaps you don’t have a credit card, but even then, you can book hotels in Pattaya without a credit card on Agoda.
Secret Pattaya Hotel Deals
On Agoda, you can choose to book a mystery hotel, which is supposedly heavily discounted. It’s only when you have made the booking that the name of the hotel will be revealed.
With a bit of sleuthing, and perhaps in some cases a bit of luck, you can reveal the identity of the mystery hotel. For example the mystery hotel is a 5 star hotel in North Pattaya, review rating of Fantastic 8+, based on 4130+ reviews. Make a note of those details, and search for 5 stars, North Pattaya, 8+ rating, and look for hotels with a similar review count. Finally, you should be able match it by a unique room name or type.
In fact, I did manage to find the mystery hotel quite easily, only to discover room rates were very similar anyway, so maybe a little bit of a gimmick, but give it a try, and see what you find.
Airbnb’s in Pattaya
If you’re considering staying at Airbnb (short term vacation rental) in Pattaya, you should know that according to the Thailand Hotel Act, renting-out certain types of privately owned accommodation in Thailand, mainly condos and apartments, for a period of less than 30 days is illegal.
The reality is, the Airbnb industry is thriving in Pattaya, and you can rent an Airbnb for short stays, less than 30 days. So far as the law is concerned, according to this article on bk.asia-city.com the property owners risk being fined.
There’s been no reports of renters of Airbnb’s in Pattaya having any difficulties booking, or staying at Airbnb’s. Yet for the convenience of property owners and renters alike, in most condominium buildings, notices stating “short term rentals are not allowed” are prominently displayed throughout the building.
That information is not intended to put you off the idea of Airbnb’s, it’s just for your benefit. If you’re seriously considering an Airbnb in Pattaya, use this Airbnb referral link and get up to 1,100 baht off your first booking.
Get the Room You Booked, the Room You Want
Imagine, after all the time you spent finding your perfect room, perhaps a room at a hotel on Pattaya Beach Road, on a high floor – with a balcony and a glorious view over Pattaya Bay and the ocean. You arrive at the hotel, and they tell you “sorry sir, that room is taken”.
There’s no guarantee you can prevent it from happening, but calling, or preferably sending an email to confirm your booking, and that you have been allocated the room on a high floor with balcony and sea view, will significantly lessen the chances of it happening. And if you use email, you have the confirmation as proof.
There might be times you need more details about a room. Like is there a walk-in shower, blackout curtains, is the room-safe large enough for a laptop. In case you do need to know the finer details, and you have a long shortlist of hotels, you might find the message service on Agoda very handy.