The question of where to book a hotel in Pattaya is actually not the complete question. Of course, the area where you stay will matter but another important aspect is that the hotel should be suitable for you. Let me elaborate. Two types of visitors go to Pattaya, one – the family tourist, and two – the solo male tourist. And both have different expectations from a hotel. The family tourist would like a peaceful stay in a family & kids friendly hotel where no “funny business” is visible. A solo male tourist in Pattaya would be looking for what is called a “guest friendly hotel.” If you are a family tourist, just ignore the “guest friendly” part. In this article I will first cover the suitable areas to stay in Pattaya and later, where and how to find family friendly hotels. The last part will be about “solo guest friendly hotels” and if you are not interested, you can stop reading the article at that point.
Which Area In Pattaya Is Best For Tourists
Pattaya has four main roads parallel to the beach – Beach Road, Second Road, Third Road, and Sukhumvit Road. The first two are suitable for stay in Pattaya. Third Road and Sukhumvit Road do not have many hotels and in any case are best avoided. Beach Road and Second Road are perfect for a stay. These two are long roads and are connected to Sukhumvit Road via three other roads: South Pattaya Road (Walking Street end), Central Road, and North Pattaya Road (Terminal 21 end). And then there is Soi Bua Khao that connects South Pattaya Road to Central Road, and runs parallel to Beach Road, sort of a sub-Third road. All these roads have hotels and many of them are good. If you could understand the layout I described above, we now have six areas, including Soi Bua Khao, where you can book a hotel in Pattaya.
- Beach Road (one way traffic towards Walking Street)
- Second Road (one way traffic towards Terminal 21)
- South Pattaya Road
- Central Road
- Soi Bua Khao
- North Pattaya Road
Beach Road and South Pattaya Road
If you wish to stay close to the Walking Street, a hotel on the Beach Road or South Pattaya Road will be good. The choice of hotels on these two roads is huge and you can find a hotel in any budget. All Baht buses on Beach Road go towards Walking Street, charge 10 THB per person and drop you right at the entrance of Walking Street. This is the point where the Baht bus will turn left towards South Pattaya Road. You need to get down before the left turn. From South Pattaya Road, many Baht buses will come to the Second Road. Some will turn into Soi Bua Khao or towards Third Road, so you need to ask before boarding a Baht bus. Say ‘Second Road’, and if they say ‘yes’, hop on.
Benefits of Staying on Beach Road and South Pattaya Road
Beach Road is obviously the road along Pattaya beach and is the best place to stay in Pattaya. To go towards Walking Street, you just have to come out of your hotel and hop on to a Baht bus. This road has three of the best shopping malls of Pattaya: Central Festival, Mike Shopping Center, and Royal Garden Plaza. Additionally there are countless restaurants, bars, burger & pizza joints, shopping alleys, and massage shops. There are several high-end hotels on Beach Road that are suitable for families.
South Pattaya Road has some high-end and many budget hotels. This road has two really nice Vegan restaurants – ‘Five Star J‘, and ‘A Pot Shabu.’ There are many bars, Thai and western restaurants, massage shops, and street markets. South Pattaya Road connects you to not just Walking Street but also to Second Road from where you can walk to Royal Garden Plaza and Mike Shopping Center or take a Baht bus to Central Festival Mall, Alcazar or Tiffany Shows, or further to Terminal 21 Shopping Mall.
Central Road has several budget hotels, bars & restaurants, massage shops, and a huge shopping center called ‘Big C Extra’. From Big C, you can buy items of daily use – food and others, fashion clothing, household stuff (if you are interested), and electronics – TVs, mobile phones, laptop computers, etc. From Central Road, you can get a Baht bus that would be going towards Terminal 21 via Second Road. If you want to go towards Walking Street, get down on Second Road after the Baht bus takes a right turn towards Terminal 21. Then there is a short walk on Central Road towards the Beach. Once at Beach Road, you can board a Baht bus going towards Walking Street.
Soi Bua Khao
Soi Bua Khao is a sub road that runs parallel to Second Road and connects South Pattaya Road to Central Road. Most hotels on Soi Bua Khao will be suitable for solo male tourists but I have also seen families staying there. Location-wise, any hotel on Soi Bua Khao is good because you can walk to Second Road within 5 minutes and to Beach Road within 10 minutes. There are several openings from Soi Bua Khao to Second Road that you can see on an online map. Your hotel on this road may be located close to Central Road or South Pattaya Road, so look at the location on the map carefully. If you wish to stay in South Pattaya, a hotel on Soi Bua Khao may be suitable for you.
Hotels on Second Road are located mostly in sub-roads on either side, some of which connect Second Road to Beach Road while some others lead to Soi Bua Khao. If you go further on Second Road towards Terminal 21, there are some hotels on the main road also such as ‘Hotel Red Planet’. Red Planet is suitable for both solo and family tourists. Second Road is a great road in terms of convenience. You can cross over to Beach Road within 5 minutes by walk or you can take a Baht bus to go to Alcazar, Tiffany’s, or Terminal 21. There is also a Big C on Second Road close to Alcazar and Red Planet. The road has access to the best shopping malls in Pattaya – Mike Shopping Center, Royal Garden Plaza, Central Festival, Big C, and Terminal 21. There are restaurants & bars, too many massage shops, street markets, and 7-Eleven/Family Mart outlets everywhere.
North Pattaya Road
There are a few hotels on North Pattaya Road, and staying there would make sense only if you are close to Terminal 21. When you are close to Terminal 21, you are also close to Alcazar, Tiffany’s, Big C, and Beach Road. There is a very nice vegan restaurant called Living Food Cafe, opposite Terminal 21 on North Pattaya Road.
See the location of your hotel carefully on a map. Of course, you will get a Baht bus from North Pattaya Road to come to Dolphin Circle that connects North Pattaya Road to Second Road and Beach Road, but still you are staying away from the action and a late night commute to or from a hotel on North Pattaya Road may be difficult.
How To Find A Family Friendly Hotel In Pattaya
Let me admit this right here that there is no 100% “family only” hotel in Pattaya. “Funny business” happens in every hotel – big or small, budget or expensive, even five-star hotels. The only difference will be in the discretion of the guests, i.e., how obvious things are. However, if you are traveling along with young children, you can still avoid embarrassment to a great extent by choosing your hotel carefully. To begin with, avoid any hotel that is cheap according to you. Book the most expensive that you can afford. Now this is going to make your stay expensive but this is Pattaya – take it or leave it. Avoid any hotel located on Walking Street or on Soi Bua Khao. Avoid any hotel whose name starts with LK, even if it is expensive. Do some research online. There are some articles online on the so-called “guest-friendly hotels”. Do a search for “Pattaya Guest Friendly Hotels” and see the list that comes up. Those are the ones you want to avoid. Another search that you can do is for “hotel name+joiner fee” or “hotel name+guest friendly”. if there is something related to the hotel you are considering, you will come to know. But you will not come to know of everything. You will need to keep an open mind and hope for the best.
Let me give an example of a hotel that you will believe to be family friendly. And it is. I am talking about Hotel Red Planet. Well, you will be surprised to know that this hotel is also solo-guest friendly. But still, I see Red Planet Pattaya always full of families and children brought in by travel agents. No one complains. Another example, many of my friends have visited Pattaya along with their families and some of them have stayed on Soi Bua Khao because the hotel was booked by their travel agent. I never heard anyone complaining.
How To Find A Solo Guest Friendly Hotel In Pattaya
A “guest friendly” hotel in Pattaya is the one that allows hotel guests to bring unregistered guests (called joiners) to the room without any additional charge. Some hotels charge a little but allow joiners. Such hotels are also considered guest friendly. However, most guest friendly hotels will not charge extra if you have booked a double room and are staying alone in it.
To find a guest friendly hotel in Pattaya, you have to do the exact opposite of what a person searching for a family friendly hotel will do. All LK Group hotels are guest friendly, and so are all hotels on Walking Street and Soi Bua Khao. To be sure if a hotel is guest friendly or not, you can try an online search for “hotel name+joiner fee” or “hotel name+guest friendly.” Another easy thing that you can do is to send an email to the hotel before booking it. Ask if the hotel will allow a joiner and if there are any additional charges. Most of the hotels in Pattaya will candidly reply to your email. Anyway, you are in luck because most of the hotels in Pattaya know they have to be flexible to remain in business.