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“fifth visit”
Review of Sea Orchid

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Sea Orchid
Ranked #201 of 458 Hotels in Pattaya
Reviewed November 25, 2012

An excellent report by michaelkinghorn just about sums up the Sea Orchid and i endorse all he has to say. I first stayed here about 4 years ago and have returned several times and never been dissapointed. The location away from the city center is great for a quiet break and it's easy enough to get around anyway.
The only changes made in the area is the development of apartments and hotels and i think that it years to come it will not be as good.
No offence intended to our Russian travellers but Pattaya and surrounding areas is becoming more influenced by the influx of Russians (perhaps they are the only ones with money!) with many menus in Russian and Thai only.
I only stayed in the hotel for 3 days this visit due to prior arrangements but would have been happy to stay longer. I would suggest that people take advantage of its location and facilities when visiting Pattaya

Room Tip: Try to get a pool room with your own little terrace as that's the icing on the cake.
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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Thank nickerleg6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7 - 13 of 51 reviews

Reviewed June 3, 2012

This hotel is a little outside the hustle and bustle of Pattaya but is ideal. They have a car pak too. You wouldn't find that in the city centre. I would hate to stay in central Pattaya. Taxi fare into the centre was about £1 I think. Pool was good, rooms were good and so was the breakfast. Only downside was that wifi was only available in the bar. I'd stay there again.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank needtotravelmore47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2012

It was in November 2010 that I was last at the Sea Orchid Hotel, and, 18 months on, I couldn't wait to return. I loved the accommodation first time around and with family already staying there for the fortnight before my arrival, I was assured that little had changed.

My chosen combination of flights saw me arriving at the hotel at around 11.30pm on a Tuesday evening and my stay was to be for 13 nights. Having stayed in a pool access room before (room 112, in particular), I opted to pay the minimal premium for the very same room again. The rear sliding door opens onto a private terrace and the poolside. The pool itself is about five steps away, so perfect for lazy visitors like myself. The room colour had changed since my last visit, from purple to orange, but everything else remained the same. The room was unquestionably clean, the mini-bar was well-stocked (including my two complimentary bottles of water, which were replaced daily) and I had still had access to free internet in the room.

I woke on the first morning and went to the breakfast buffet in the open-air restaurant, which was of the same good standard that I remembered. The buffet is a self-service, eat-as-much-as-you-like affair, with western options (sausages, ham, egg, toast, fruit, pancakes etc) and Thai options (curry dishes that rotate on a daily basis, steamed rice and fried rice, noodles etc) to choose from. A basket of pastries mean that there is something for everybody and the restaurant and kitchen staff do a great job of ensuring that the buffet is constantly replenished.

Grabbing my complimentary towels, I took my position at the pool, choosing to sit right outside my room, which allowed me to use my own facilities during the day, if there was a need. The pool was quiet (and it was that way for most of my stay) but all of the other customers around were Russian. Since my visit 18 months previously, it was clear that the number of Russian visitors to Pattaya had soared. The weekends see a number of visitors from Bangkok and they tend to stay for 1-2 nights at most, no doubt to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, whilst coach loads of Chinese tourists descend on the hotel (again for short durations) on a regular basis

The hotel still offers the same facilities and services as it did during my previous visit; a well-equipped gym next to the restaurant, a very affordable restaurant and bar service available until 11.00pm, complimentary internet (wireless around the pool and wired in the rooms), daily housekeeping, complimentary transport to the city centre (twice a day - 10.30am and 6.00pm), a small play area for younger visitors and a swimming pool (complete with shallow end for children and various bubbly parts and waterfalls).

Just a 5-minute stroll down a very shallow hill is the public beach, which offers plenty of room to relax and enjoy the sunshine, with sunbeds available to hire at ฿40 each (£0.80 on the current rate) but that sees you through until sunset and there is really not a need to leave your seat at all. Vendors selling all sorts will approach you during the day, keeping you fed and watered or offering you souvenirs. Alternatively, a 7-Eleven and a new Tesco Lotus Express are located immediately off of the beach, offering cheap drinks and snacks. It is also worth pointing out that a new Family Mart convenience store has opened just down the hill, no more than 2 minutes walk from the hotel, and it is open 24/7.

In the vicinity of the hotel are no shortage of Thai kitchens and all serve up tasty food at great prices. A kitchen that I recommended in my previous review (Four Sisters) is now one I would steer clear of. Prices have doubled since my last visit and it is clear that the owners now target only Russian visitors - evident by the lack of English menus! Turning left out of the hotel and left again (effectively passing behind it), you will come across Kwon's, which is a restaurant in a bamboo garden setting, lit up by no end of fairy lights. For authentic Thai food, this place is a must. Dishes range in price from ฿50-100 (£1.00 to £2.00) whilst some fish dishes rise to well over ฿300 (approximately £6.00). Continuing up Soi 5 of Pratumnak Hill, you will soon reach a row of Thai kitchens with a market behind. These kitchens won't appeal to all, but don't judge based on looks, and do sample their delights before making up your mind. I can guarantee that you will want to return again and again. One of my favourite dishes of the trip was enjoyed in one of these kitchens - a Tom Yum soup costing a mere ฿50!

Going back to the hotel, the size of the place ensures that all visitors receive a very personal service. There were very few new faces since the last visit and all staff, with their amazing memories, remembered repeat customers and their names. You would not get this sort of service from any of the international chain hotels that are popping up in Pattaya - the sorts of hotels that are motivated only by money and not by guest satisfaction.

One observation I did make during this stay was the quality of the daily maid service. The maid did a fantastic job of keeping my room in tip-top condition during my stay. No part of the room was left untouched and every speck of dust and dirt was eliminated - including outside on the terrace. With the toiletries provided in the room, the maid was quick to replace them.

On checking out, a 10.00am flight home meant leaving the hotel at 6.00am. With a little warning, the hotel provided a takeaway breakfast box, which offered a couple of sandwiches (cheese and ham), a croissant and a can of fruit juice. Our early departure meant missing the breakfast buffet so this was a more-than-adequate alternative.

All in all, this was another most enjoyable stay, and I would urge people to consider the Sea Orchid Hotel when visiting Pattaya. As explained previously, the out-of-town location isn't for everybody, but when the shopping, bars and markets can be reached within 5 minutes by taxi, it isn't the end of the world. Frankly, being in a town centre location would drive me bonkers, so tranquillity of Pratumnak Hill suits me perfectly.

Room Tip: The 53 rooms are spread across five floors, with the pool access rooms on the bottom floor and the s...
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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6  Thank michaelkinghorn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2012

The hotel is well maintained and was very clean throughout and room servicing was excellent. The mini bar prices and laundry service was reasonably priced also. Breakfast was varied and on the whole perfectly satisfactory during my recent 5 night stay. The only real drawback is the location but a short stroll downhill towards the beach will find 2 locations with baht buses for hire. Expect to haggle but a trip downtown should cost no more than 150 baht depending upon your haggling skills for the bus whether there is 1 or 6 persons in the group.. The journey back from downtown (buses from junction 2nd road/South Road ) should be similar although may run to 200 baht depending upon time of day. The local restaurants and bars are cheap and the food quality as good as in town and less than a 5minute walk from the hotel. There is a Family Mart,7/11 and a Tesco all within a short walk. The swimming pool was one of the better maintained ones I have seen in my Thailand travels. There is also a small local market a short stroll uphill from the hotel.

Room Tip: All rooms are good so it is not an issue
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank KURIPOT45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 13, 2011

It is situated near to the beach - walking distance - and also near good restaurants and massage facilities. The reception staff is very kind and helpfull. ALthough my room was not yet ready upon arrival at 11.00 a.m. they kept me well informed and brought me the key after 1 hour. The garden is fantastic: you can listen to many birds while reading in the pool area. The hotelrate is really good and when you become a member you get a good discount. It is literally 5 minutes walk to the beach and for me a great location.

Room Tip: If you like a quiet area near the beach with at reasonable driving distance very good fish restauran...
  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank AMBBangkok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2011

Thai Tranquillity on Soi 5

Holidaymakers of a certain vintage, mine particularly, could be forgiven for mistaking the frontage of the Sea Orchid Hotel as the backdrop for Eric Clapton’s 1974 Album Cover; ‘461 Ocean Boulevard’ – the iridescence thrown-off from its Colgate-white veneer; coupled with its splendid accompaniment of tall palm trees, the same which encircle much of pool area – bear an uncanny yet welcoming resemblance to the Rock legend’s former Floridian residence.

First-time visitors to the Sea Orchid will be struck on their arrival by a soothing air of serenity and stillness, the same that consumes the entire establishment throughout both night and day. The hotel stands quite magnificently on Soi 5 in South Pattaya, thus being strategically placed and conveniently nestled within the most sought-after area on the Chonburi coastline – this known as the neighborhood of Pratumnak.

Once checked-in, guests quickly discover the true joys of the hotel, the rooms are spacious, well-maintained and immaculately clean, each with a capacious balcony overlooking the pool and from the majority of balconies, a magnificent panorama of the Gulf of Thailand. Each lodging has a large refrigerator with mini-bar, free Internet, Satellite TV offering 64 Thai and international channels plus, a strong and sizable electronic safe, securely housed within the main wardrobe.

The pool area is superbly designed and is seldom busy, it provides a realistic number of loungers for those wishing to just "chill" and catch the sunshine. The children's area is well defined thanks largely to a barrier of heavy raindrops that fall from a large wooden beam, this in itself provides more of a signal rather than a barrier to children and works very well as most infants particularly, seldom, if ever, stray from the confines of their specified area. Food and refreshments may be ordered from poolside and this service continues until closing time at 8pm

Beach towels are supplied by the hotel therefore there is no need to use those provided in the room, these can be taken for either use on the beach or by the pool and are signed-for by each guest on a daily basis. There are also two shower points by the pool, extremely handy for a pre-swim scrub or simply as an additional aid to cool down, it can and does become very warm in this garden setting

Within the rooms, the bathroom provides both shower and bathing facilities and although [on rare occasions] the water can be somewhat tepid – this remains a [quintessentially] minor inconvenience as the highly efficient Sea Orchid maintenance crew invariably rectify the problem most speedily.

I can report somewhat pleasingly, that the hotel employs its own team of Artificers and gardeners; consequently, the Sea Orchid is somewhat Utopian in its faultless maintenance and horticultural attention-to-detail, the place just ticks over a dream and seldom, if ever, permits its patrons to be inconvenienced through malfunctions within their system of working.

The staff at the Sea Orchid are by far the finest team of hotel personnel I have ever come across, collectively speaking, they are hugely effective in what they do and strive constantly to deliver the best product available to them…and indeed to us, the guests. They are always ready to assist and any help is always accompanied with the famous Thai smile, (Yim Tak Tai) a ubiquitous feature amongst this great nation’s populace and something that renders one incapable of not returning the gesture with - in the very least, a cheery grin.

The cuisine on offer at the Sea Orchid is splendid, it’s value-for-money culinary fare is mouth-wateringly superb and provides a combination of victuals for the most discerning palate or, for those who wish to remain with the simpler delights of holiday sustenance, they too shall find that their specific tastes are catered for in-abundance. Breakfast at the Sea Orchid is also extremely tasty, wonderfully varied and plentiful, one can enjoy food ranging from basic bacon and eggs through to exquisite Thai dishes, accompanied by tea, coffee, fruit juice and ice cold water. Fruit is also in abundance as is bread, croissants and cakes, dining commences at 0630hrs and ends at 1030hrs - most wise not to miss out on breakfast at the Sea Orchid - a veritable feast for sure.

The hotel bar boasts some of the most imaginative and inexpensive cocktails to be found in Pattaya, each liquid concoction possessing a colour, texture and presentation all its own – subsequently making the purchase of either a Brandy Alexander, Gin Fizz or Banana Daiquiri a rather special occasion. The bar provides alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails plus a plethora of beers, spirits and soft drinks – subsequently catering for all tastes and indeed ages.

The bar/restaurant area is ideal for those wishing for a bit of respite from the hot Thai sun or the bustle of Pattaya City centre - one may enjoy a drink in the shade whilst navigating through emails on their PC, courtesy of the free wi-fi facility, or simply opt to lazily watch the sun dip below the lush island of Koh Larn, (Coral Island) for yet another day.

The beach lies only a pleasant five-minute saunter from the hotel - as one makes their way down to the sands, they shall pass numerous eating places, bars and shops, all largely inexpensive and providing a wide-range of products and services; including a Thai massage salon, hairdresser and Pharmacy. Town can be reached within a few minutes either by taxi or Bath Bus; transportation by such means should cost no more than Baht150. (£3.00)

Should the more athletic of travellers chose to walk from the Sea Orchid into the thriving and exciting nub of Pattaya life, they could reach Walking Street in under 25-minutes. I stress to point out that strolling into town may be easier for some than walking back. There is a rather large Buddha-adorned knoll, (Pratumnak Hill) that must be negotiated before returning to Soi 5. It is truly lovely to amble down it, however, an enjoyable stroll may soon translate itself into a route-march of Herculean proportion on the return leg of the journey – the unrelenting sun and draining humidity can quickly quell the physical aspirations of many well-meaning adventurers – a workable Plan B and copious amounts of water is therefore highly recommended for all - this before starting-out on any hike throughout the streets of Pattaya.

There exists only one tiny black mark against the Sea Orchid at the present time, the wooden walkway that encircles the Sea Orchid’s watery sanctuary has become worn – in some areas there is a clear and present danger as some of the wood panels have come away from their housing - thus presenting a hazardous ‘trip-factor’. I remain certain that that it is only a matter of time before steps are taken to eradicate this blemish that besmirches an otherwise unique and sublime hostelry.

In summary, my family and I have used the Sea Orchid for a number of years and shall continue to do so for [hopefully] many years to come. In addition, we have also encouraged others to discover for themselves the pleasures of occupancy at our Thai retreat – none have been disappointed.

Eric Clapton has the last word on my review - on his afore-mentioned album there sits a track that perfectly sums-up the advice one needs for visiting the Sea Orchid, or indeed Thailand for the very first time…simply put, “Let it Grow.”

I simply can't wait to return in March 21012

© Gordon G Kinghorn - 2012

Room Tip: Analyse the layout of the hotel and determine precisely what you are after. One may be happy with a...
  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank Gordon K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2011

Some people complain that the Sea Orchid is to far out of Pattaya centre? I could not imagine staying in a hotel on beach road or near walking street, it would be to full on, unless you were a bunch of lads aged 18-22. The Sea Orchid is the only hotel I stay in when in Pattaya, the reason being it is spotless form top to bottom, rooms are well presented and equiped, the nearby streets are quiet, the mini bar prices are very good -nearly the same as the 7-11, pool is quiet and well maintained, breakfast is great and the rooms have a lan cable for people like me who hate slow wireless. It has a secure car park for guests which is hard to get downtown. Staff are friendly and polite. And if you want to go down town - get a taxi - its only a few quid return.

Room Tip: Some good places locally to eat and drink!!
  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank BelfastChrisjack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sea Orchid

Address: 359/109 Moo 12, Phra Tamnak Hill Road, Soi 5 | Nongprue, Banglamung, Pattaya 20150, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Chonburi Province > Pattaya
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #201 of 458 Hotels in Pattaya
Price Range: $36 - $66 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 53
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