Visiting a brand new resort always offer an element of excitement, as one builds up a mixture of expectation (perhaps based on the pre-visit browsing) and pure curiosity, also of course in relation to the particular destination. The journey here goes to Jomtien, a few hours on the east coast south of Bangkok.
Getting through to southern Jomtien can be a challenge these days, as Pattaya is undergoing major road construction on its main road (though one can also access this destination from further down south) and as the area is becoming increasingly crowded and seeing increasing tourism.
Once reaching the area it has something of a much more relaxed and beachside resort feel than in downtown Pattaya itself, though, while Jomtien is also seeing its fair share of development (condominiums, beachfront dining venues and even beach clubs). Basically, the further south one goes, the more relaxed and slow-paced things get. At the southern end of Jomtien’s beach road, one has pretty much escaped beach mongrels. The will also be some great beaches a bit further south of Bang Sare as a day excursion, as southern Jomtien does not really have a sandy beach stretch.
There are empty pieces of land here, and it’s not densely built – at least not yet. What the future has in store for Jomtien is unpredictable but it would benefit from keeping today’s relaxed vibe, rather than evolving into a second downtown Pattaya (which is first and foremost critically ill-managed in terms of its road infrastructure and volume of vehicles on the streets, while it also offers many nice resorts and also upscale venues among its other infamous “nightlife” mix). The local Thais are more inclined to visit southern Jomtien, while westerners in this area traditionally prefers to stay a few kilometres further up north and close to and within Pratumnak hill. There are quite a few of the kind of traditional beach restaurants that the Thais prefer. Westerners, in particular Scandinavians now have a good reason to rethink, in the addition of Centra Maris Resort Jomtien, which really has a design appeal that would appeal to them.
Local transportation from Pattaya ends in Southern Jomtien and here the main road, Sukhumvit, is less than one kilometre inland.
One can be landed and stranded. The new centre of attention in southern Jomtien, and also in focus for this review, is the Centra Maris Resort Jomtien (brand new in 2016) resort. But it’s not in my eyesight! A phone call to the hotel and the writer is briskly picked up next to the mini mart and driven to the resort via a road that is going inland to then go backwards towards the beach again. This, it turns out is due to the resort being a bit hidden behind a high-rise condominium. Not that it matters too much, given the resort’s own pool zone and resort garden within its enclosed surroundings.
The brand new resort’s seasoned Thai General Manager and his team will greet you with excellent signature Centara-Thai hospitality service, once you arrive. And the tastefully designed hotel, in particular the oversized rooms, definitely surpass expectations for the hotel brand – this is clearly a four+ star property! Meanwhile, it is a most suitable addition to Centara’s Centra portfolio. Especially the bright feel and large rooms and suites are a positive surprise, and, as indicated the room interiors have a strong touch of Scandinavian summer – or the French-Italian Riviera for that matter! As one enters and explores the premises after check-in it soon becomes clear that this resort breeds vacation atmosphere and seaside bliss.
Step right into the open-air lobby, on the ground floor of one of the resort’s seven buildings, arriving at the far back of the resort. The lobby’s lounge area really hands this hotel its resort feel, as does also the orange-hued Mix Bistro all-day restaurant.
The lobby is furnished with seating areas in tropical island style: made of natural materials (rope, wood, leaves) circle-formed, semi-enclosed and thatched-roofed. They seem to be hanging from elevations in the ceiling for each of them. Come evening this relaxing zone turns really cosy when lit with soft, warm light. This is an excellent waiting zone, while processing the check-in, or when awaiting transportation (the resort also provides complimentary shuttle service to downtown Pattaya).
Additional designed rattan seats are placed adjacent a reflecting pool that separates the lobby and the restaurant. Mix Bistro also has outdoor half-circle rattan sofas that are sliced (like lemon) and designed with yellow upholstering, paired with tasteful Windsor chairs!
But the most striking thing of the arrival must be: a Tree of Life! Placed to the right, outside the meeting facilities, which is right behind the lobby, nature-worshippers find a large tree that has been kept on the premises and now stands proud in its own corner of the resort. Safely inside the enclosing white wall, it stands proud in view of all the outdoor tables and seats of the restaurant. This tree really gives character to the resort landscaping, and it also fits nicely with the nature-oriented modern design of this lovely resort.
Indeed it is designed as a destination in its own right (while guests looking for surroundings that have things on offer certainly have many choices of the sort that tourists seek), so for a weekend stay there will be little need to venture outside.
Continue reading: Centra Maris Resort Jomtien review
See also: Centara Maris Jomtien Resort photo album