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“a very bad experience” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Sabai Empress

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Sabai Empress
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   436 / 21 Pattaya 2nd Road, Pattaya 20150, Thailand   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #158 of 377 Hotels in Pattaya
Bengaluru (Bangalore), India
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“a very bad experience”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2014

No proper welcome,unfriendly staff,rooms were terrible.the rooms didnot hv a good view.bed's were too hard.breakfast was too poor with very less to eat fo vegetarians. overall... i would not recommend anyone to look for this hotel

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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63 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    8
    38
    11
    4
    2
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3
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Leeds, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2014

After visiting pattaya on newmarous occasions I have stayed in a few hotels and this one ticks all the boxes for me the location is on second road you can get were you need to be around the city from hear the rooms are done in traditional Thi stile very clean and comfertuble with all the items you require for a solo traveler breakfast is good staff friendly pool on the roof is good and clean with bar I would strongly recommend this hotel for value for money and cleanliness

Room Tip: Stayed hear for three nights I had a delux room which was fine
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
klang
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2014

Like:
facing street, 5-10mins walk to the beach. nearby Tiffany as well. there are some restaurant opposite and a small market and food market ! Big C is just opposite the road (they are open till 12am). on the left there are some small shop, a few travel agency and yelling "Tiffany Show @ 600bath" .. you can purchase some package with them :)

on the right is the sabai Dee massage place, if you wanted to try out some sexy massage (a nice place for you?) the hotel flyers said lady can try too ? next to it (Soi 2), there is a motor bbq (manage by a young handsome Thai guy), taste nice !

when you walk down to the beach @ Soi 2, on your left you will see a Yai Massage place (green paint), get your ever best massage there !! i've tried the head & shoulder masssage for 200bath / hour and i have a nice sleep for the nite ! they open from 9am - 12am.

Dislike:
the hotel staff wasn't that helpful whenever i ask something (probably i'm a asian), the bell boll is not helping us to send the luggage to taxi when we check out (standing next to the counter and do nothing)

the same breakfast choice for everyday...but they open from 7am - 11am. good for those who can't wake up in the early morning.

Room Tip: spacious room, simple swimming pool.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

Summary: NOT recommended. A reasonable location, ok room, average facilities, average breakfast. good and bad staff, hard bed, ok TV, minor sea view from my room 703 (I stayed here for 19 nights).

Good: 2 complimentary bottles of water each day
Annoyances: charged 300B for small blood stain on sheet (UNACCEPTABLE!), no kettle or tea/coffee in room (poor), little control over A/C (bearable), noisy doors/thin walls.

So, a year ago I stayed at the Amari Orchid, and liked this area, so wanted to stay somewhere similar (for nearly 3 weeks) at a lower price (I didn't like the reviews of Amari's Garden Wing, and didn't want to pay for the Ocean Tower which I liked).

The taxi from the airport was a flat fare of 1500B (£30): various sites seem to suggest you can get lower, but this was the "official" fare from the official taxi rank, and I'm not sure how you can get this reduced. By the way, the taxi system is quite good: just exit the airport at the right level (I think it was one level down on the escalator), and there are a few small stands issuing the tickets for the taxis (keep the ticket and pay the driver on arrival).

You'll need cash, so pick some up inside the airport from the currency exchange booths. (I had a problem using my card last year, so also make sure you tell your bank and credit card people that you're travelling to Thailand as they may well block transactions from Thailand as there is a lot of fraudulent activity).

The trip is along a not very scenic motorway and takes around an hour and a half, unless, of course, you are lucky enough to arrive during the International Fireworks Festival when they close off Beach Road and create one giant logjam! It took my unsuspecting taxi driver another hour or so getting 1 mile up the road after arriving at Pattaya (that would normally take 5 minutes), so be warned if you're arriving this time of year.

The fireworks by the way, were pretty huge and, even to someone who's seen it all before, it's quite a fun atmosphere: a market takes over the whole of Beach Road, there's no cars, live music, and of course the majesty of huge fireworks being reflected in the sea to an echo of iPads and cameras recording below. Very busy and family friendly (but they can be very loud, so the poor young child wouldn't stop crying as her ears were being bombarded in front of me).

I was glad I printed off directions for the taxi driver. It seems that they are unlikely to know details, so print off a map.
TIP: print a copy of driving instructions in Thai. I had to print an image (by taking a screen shot of a webpage first) so that my printer would print Thai characters. but you might have better luck.

So, finally, we were there: there were lots of things/places called "Sabai" something, and the taxi driver said his English wasn't so good, so he was asking me which one it was! We arrived to a couple of cheerful porters and a couple of miserable reception staff! If I was running this place, I'd definitely try to improve reception: I've been here 4 days now and the reception staff are some of the less friendly for some weird reason. To be fair, there seems a mix of all sorts here (I like the jolly cleaner), but reception is where you want/need a smile!

The room is of a decent size, with a King Bed. The bed is rock hard, as are the pillows, but somehow I'm sleeping ok so far. The TV has 99 channels, but reception for a few is very poor, others are ok. There's a small fridge/mini-bar with a freezing area at the top, but no tea/coffee or kettle in the room which is a shame. There's a shower, but no bath. and a hairdryer in the room.

The view from this room is quite nice: I can see a snippet of the sea and watch the sun go down. The hotel is at the 2nd Road end of the Soi 1 alley, not at the Beach Rd end as google maps seems to think (follow the alley all the way away from the beach and its on your left, across from Sabai Wing on Soi 1). So, Sabai Empress is on the intersection of Soi 1 ("Pattaya Alley 1" in google maps) and the busy Second Road (which is the first road parallel to Beach Road).

A little orientation as I found it confusing without being here: I see Pattaya as being the main Beach which has Beach Road (unsurprisingly) running beside it. At the South end of this road is Walking Street. This hotel is at the other, North, end of the road. The north end is also referred to as "Pattaya Nua", and the south is, I believe, "Pattaya Klang" (Nua means North and I guess Klang means South: clever me!). The traffic runs one way (from North to South) along Beach Road. It takes 5/10 mins to ride the "Baht Bus" (the hop-on/hop-off open-air taxi - cost 10B per ride: wave down a moving one; hop on; press the buzzer on the roof to ask to stop; then hand the driver 10B as you leave) to get to Walking Street, or you can stroll along in half an hour or so. The Baht Bus then turns around to return via Second Road (all traffic is one way South to North here).

Parallel to Beach Road, are Second Road, then Third Road, then Sukhumvit Road.
Cutting across these in the middle is Central Pattaya Road. to the North (near this hotel) is North Pattaya Road going up the hill, and at the Walking street end is South Pattaya Road.

So is this a good area to stay?

I like it. There are bars right here on Second Road and all the way up along Second Road and along Beach Road. At this (North) end, things are slightly quieter than at the Walking Street (South) end.

There's an open-air market right across the road and a few indoor supermarkets (Best, Big C, and Tesco Lotus) dotted around: Big C is directly opposite just to the right at the end of the Central Shopping Mall (behind the KFC and live band). There's a McDonalds just to the right, a Burger King to the left, a KFC over the road, and a Starbucks-clone called Tom's Coffee just next door too. If you want a ladyboy show, Tiffanys is right next door to the left, and Alcatraz is a couple of minutes along to the right (even if you don't want to see the show, pop along just before or after a show and the "ladies" will be congregating outside for photos - quite a stunning sight fully resplendent in ball gowns and feathers, etc).

If you want a clean, un-crowded beach (Pattaya Beach usually seems full of rubbish and is invisible behind the masses of deck-chairs), I recommend a short (20 mins max) walk to what I think of as "Best Western beach" (officially Wong Amat beach): head North (left out of the hotel) along Second Road, across the big roundabout, then follow the Best Western signs along the alley that goes along the side of the Dusit Resort hotel (apparently called Naklua 24). Opposite the Best Western, there's a short alley to the left and some steps that lead down to a small set of clean, sandy beaches, complete with the obligatory hawkers and the more welcome beach huts serving food and drink. This area (and it seems all of the area to the North, called "Naklua", seems broadly populated with Russians and Germans. Last year I had a nice time at a music bar half way up the Pattaya North (Nua) Road to the left, and there are a few quieter beer bars on Pattaya North Rd too. One last point of note: I found some "Thai prices" in this area (as opposed to "Tourist prices", eg 20B instead of 200B for a massage).

Another reasonable beach is Jomtiuen and Dongtan: unsurprisingly (think about the innuendo) "Dong Tan" is a supposely gay area, although it seemed full of families and Russians when I was there: quite nice. You can get the Baht Bus by popping off just as it stops after Walking Street, cross the road, then up a little to the "terminal" where the Jomtien Baht Busses start from.

If you want to see dozens of girls just literally sitting, waiting for you to pick one for a "soapy massage", pop in to one of the Sabai Dee alike clubs that are all around here on Second Road. Apparently, around 2 or 3000B depending on the girl.

If you want some of the more friendly bars, including the best tranny-street (especially after dark), walk 4 alleys down to Soi 5/6. After the bars close, the trannys seem to stick around in the dark: some having amazing "work" done to make them look "perfect" (although I discovered that the feel of a plastic bottom, however perfect, isn't the same as a genuine fleshy female, no matter how apparently imperfect!).

The other streets for trannys or go-go boys is an area called "BoysTown" which is right at the other end (near Walking Street), I think on Soi 13/3 or so (note that the Sois start with Soi 1 at this North end, then count up as you go South, but they also sometimes have sub-numbers, so Soi 13 is 3 alleys: Soi 13/1, Soi 13/2, Soi 13/3, and to add to the confusion, the numbering re-starts from Soi 1 somewhere at the Walking Street end!). If you're on Beach Road, the street looks like it's full of Indian hotels and restaurants (as is the previous street), but just walk up and all will become clear. I recommend The Kitten Club: playful and outrageous, these she-males will make your night fun!

One word of caution: if you're "tranny-friendly", then be aware that I (apparently like many others) was pick-pocketed by a pair along Beach Road as they seemed to be feeling me up (luckily I noticed and got everything back, but was very annoyed as it was my first day in Pattaya!). Having said this, most are fun, just be aware of any prized possessions (other than your crown jewels of course).

Just outside Walking Street is a beer bar on the right that has a mini boxing ring where you can watch (and tip) some real Muay Thai boxers: a nice way to get a taste of this boxing scene: I found it surprisingly hard and violent!

Walking Street is unmissable: at the end of Beach Road: walk in and there are go go bars everywhere you look and lots of tighter than tight shorts, some leggy Russians, but my favourite is the heavy metal/rock bar half way along: great musicians and a pleasant meander away from "girls girls girls".

I found it all a bit odd: some very strict door policies: even to the bars, including what I'd describe as racial segregation/discrimination (for example there's one club in Walking Street which clearly only allows white Russians, and there are some places, like LimaLima, I was told, who will not allow Indians), and there's the side street that seems only for Middle Eastern people. Equally galling for someone like me who likes to fetishamuse, many places won't let you in if you are a man dressed in women's clothes (but it's okay if you look 100% convincing in the Thai Ladyboy-style apparently).

Last year I went to Mixx Discotheque and the music was really good: up to Ibiza standards (and I'd recommend it as a place to dance), but they also operated the "no fabulousness" door policy which includes no shiny leggings (LMFAO wouldn't be allowed in, but their music would get played): unfortunately you have to look like Joe Normal!. So liberal, yet so traditional in odd areas they are: Privilege at Ibiza it ain't!

Having said this, it seems to depend on the place. One of my best nights so far in Walking Street was in "A1 Heaven Above": a little go-go bar up some stairs in the street with the "Shark Club" at the end. A cute little Tom (that's Thai for "butch lesbian"), Pat, welcomed me outside one day. I went back the next to say hello and went in this time. Full of lovely petite girls, many taking their tops off, all having fun, and with reasonable drinks prices to boot. And they let me in while I was dressed fabulously..half way through my time there, one of the girls decided to make me up with mascara and lipstick: I looked silly and I loved it! So, take that Joe Normal!

The next day I went back and had as much fun there and at Spankys over the road: not anywhere as risque as you might imagine (they aren't really into BDSM: it's a normal go-go bar, but I managed to get some lovely girls to spank me for fun at least).

(By the way I wasn't allowed to get onto the Bangkok subway last year due to the way I was dressed: annoyingly this was when I wanted to return from a trip; my attire was apparently okay when I went out: and I thought all that entrance security was for terrorists not funsters! I eventually got the bus home and had a ball people watching and enjoying a dancing lady conductor!)

Don't miss Art Street (next to Mike Shopping Mall): go through and across to a little corner street LK Metro, and then Soi Diana for a less touristy, more seedy, version of Walking Street.

The Breakfast Buffet isn't as bad as other reviews make it sound. it's 7 to 11am, but, If you arrive after 10am, you'll have whatever's left. There's cooked food: made-to-order eggs or freshly made omelette, rice and spicy chicken or fish (changes daily), boiled rice (congee) with chicken or pork, small hot dogs, bacon and ham, fresh toast and jam, french toast, sauteed potatoes, 2 cheap cereals, yoghurt and mini croissants. There's also some salad bits: tomatoes, cucumber, coleslaw and boiled eggs. The fresh fruit is good (papaya, pineapple, watermelon), the coffee and tea are atrocious, and the juice isn't fresh, but drinking water is available.

Room service is similar food and okay and not too over-priced. Don't order the "American breakfast": no pancakes or hash browns to be seen (more a buffet-selection on a plate) :(

There's a laptop-sized safe in the room, and laundry is apparently available.

Wifi worked reasonably well for me.

The fridge has some cans, beer and water as a mini-bar.

I haven't heard any of the construction noise yet (maybe they're having a break over Christmas?), but I guess it's all from the Hilton hotel's new floors that they are building, so maybe check if this has been completed or not.

Overall, so far this hotel is average, and today I'm marking it down for being asked to pay 300B for a small blood stain on a sheet (and indeed spoiling my holiday today), like a review in Sabai Lodge, so I guess it's all Sabai properties: had I known I would have looked elsewhere, and probably shall next time. I've bought myself an 800B single sheet from Big C to avoid any more charges (there were cheaper options, but this is 250 thread count cotton)!

The walls are thin: just hope that your next door man doesn't get too lucky (like last night's noise). You can hear the loud, live band over the road (but I quite like that).

You can open the window, but there's no balcony. Not many power-points, but that's normal I think. You can control the lights only from one side of the bed, which gets annoying when you sleep on the other.

Cleaning is pretty reasonable, but they need a hoover (the room is swept and the hard-floor mopped daily but always seems to leave some fluff around).
Maid delivers 2 bottles of complimentary water each day which is very welcome.

Air Conditioning is okay: the fan speed is either off or speed 1,2,3. There's no temperature setting, and it turns off when you leave the room (but it's bearable).

You have to hand your metal keys into the lobby when you leave and pick up again when you return (which I don't like to do, but at least you can't lose them).

The room decor is traditional (think dark brown wood) rather than contemporary and the lighting is quite dull and in-sufficient for my taste.

In summary, this hotel is NOT RECOMMENDED due to the guest-un-friendly policy regarding minor stains (even most hostels don't do this). Other than that I have to be fair and say it's okay and reasonably good value for money and in what I think is a nice part of town.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2013

Good quality hotel for Pattaya. Rooms are well-appointed, with wood floors and furnishings, and include safe-deposit box. Large, comfortable bed. Hotel has roof-top pool with good view. However, no attendant on duty, you have to call for food or beverage service.

Location in North Pattaya is good, only 10-minutes and 10-Baht on
songtow (or 50-baht by motorbike) to Walking Street, yet far enough away to allow restful sleep.

Excellent breakfast; restaurant staff very accommodating, made omelets and French toast when requested. I am surprised that some reviews gave less than good evaluation of breakfast. I travel worldwide frequently, and was quite satisfied. You cannot expect the same selection as in a 5-star Tokyo hotel.

The only reason I did not give overall Excellent rating was that front desk personnel at check-in and check-out were not very welcoming or friendly,
no Thai smiles. This was only disappointing aspect of an otherwise enjoyable stay. Nevertheless, I would go back.

Room Tip: Request high floor, away from elevators (but not 9th floor, as that is where pool area is located
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2013

We stayed from 18th October to 22nd October 2013 (4 nights) in room 506. There was no tea/coffee making facility in the room. Luckily we had a heater with us for making milk for our little daughter which became very handy. There is no variety in Breakfast and we ended up eating the same things on all four days. The pool was small but had a jaccuzi and on all occasions the pool was not crowded. Close to the Big C. There are a lot of places to eat around the hotel. The staff were very polite and helpful. They did charge for the breakfast for our daughter aged 5 + years although she hardly ate anything.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pattaya, Thailand
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

I have stayed at the Sabai Lodge, Sabai Resort, and now the Sabai Empress. I have to say the Sabai Empress is the best of the bunch.

The Sabai Empress is the newest of the Sabai Group has a great location across from Big C Shopping Mall.

The room was good size and I had no issue with noise both from other rooms or outside the hotel.

Didn't try the breakfast so can't comment.

Pool area small but nice, good view from the top of the hotel (9th floor).

Recommended.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sabai Empress

Address: 436 / 21 Pattaya 2nd Road, Pattaya 20150, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Chonburi Province > Pattaya
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #158 of 377 Hotels in Pattaya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sabai Empress 3.5*
Number of rooms: 125
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Also Known As:
Sabai Empress Hotel Pattaya

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