Not seen many reviews on this specific forum, so thought I'd put down my experiences of Pattaya.
Overall we loved it. Did the research beforehand so knew exactly what were getting. And knowing 6 million (?) local Thai visitors a year can't be wrong.
Stayed at the Centara Grand Mirage. The hotel was fantastic, especially for the kids. Out of 9 days i think we had 6 or 7 pool days. There was enough to keep them amused all day with the slides and lazy river. The hotel was busy, but we never had issues with getting pool chairs or getting served etc. There was a large Russain contingent - did their reputation precede them ? No. Didn't experience any rudeness or queue barging.
We were in a Family Residence room, and I use the term 'room' loosely. This place was bigger than my first flat ! Would highly recommend for it for families. We did pay extra for club service, and although we used the lounge a fair amount I would say the level of detail isn't up to standard of other Centara Grand's. Wouldn't pay extra for it again, or even go for a club room if we went back.
Will stick more on about the hotel in the reviews section when I get round to it.
Going out and about wasn't a problem. I would say the hotel is isolated in the north, but not problematic. Ok, you pay over the odds at the 7-11 types store opposite the hotel, but its handy.
Headed into town most evenings. The row of songthews was handy. We never did manage to get a ride into town for less than 200THB, but for the sake of a pound I wasn't willing to put up with hassles of bartering. Went to Central Festival mainly for convenience - the kids love MK restaurants, and Hajime robot restaurant was worth a squirt for novelty value.
As expected we did do the trip into Walking Street when we went to Pattaya Beer Garden for dinner (highly recommended !). It was early evening and there were loads of other tourists getting the walking st experience. More a novelty than anything else.
Did a days diving/snorkelling with mermaids. Very professional organisation. Wasn;t expecting much, but theres not really much to see underwater. Only really worth it if like me this would be your only dive of the year.
We also did the Flight of the Gibbons zipline tour. This was probably the highlight of the holiday. The kids absolutely loved it ! It was a very unique thing to do. If it wasnt for the price I think we would have gone again.
I think we'd definitely go again if the opportunity arose. Its closeness to Bangkok makes it ideal if travel plans fitted. Have to be honest though, a major factor would be going back to the Centara Grand Mirage.