Centara Azure Hotel Pattaya, Thailand

The Azure, suitably themed in marine blues, is a strategic retreat from the honky-tonk intensity of Fun City, aka Pattaya.

Tucked down a central but relatively quiet soi, here is where you can recoup and regroup after day-night shopping and bar-hopping forays.

Centara Azure Hotel Pattaya – to give the resort its full name – has 96 rooms, a 73-metre pool and is 90 minutes from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport. Those numbers count. With a modest number of rooms the resort still retains intimacy.

Its long, long pool (with twin waterslides) offers good swimming because the suspect and crowded waters of nearby Pattaya Bay do not. (The better beach is at Jomtien, two kilometres away.) And the quick highway cruise from the airport to Pattaya means you can completely bypass Bangkok.

Meanwhile, back at the Azure, the rooms (many with pool views) are compact but well-appointed with all the expected accoutrements – free WiFi, safe, TV, mini-bar and so on. The lobby-side Atlantis restaurant features a mesmerising, column-shaped aquarium. Around its vivid distractions, a surprisingly varied breakfast buffet is deployed each morning and then, later, lunch and dinner with la carte international and Asian menus.

In all, this is a friendly retreat for singles, couples or families seeking somewhere that’s central, won’t break the bank and has design flare, too.


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