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Bayphere Hotel Pattaya on Jomtien Beach: A review

Bayphere Hotel Pattaya is a brand-new 5-star beachfront hotel that opened in 2021. I stayed there for three nights along with my husband during our recent trip in Thailand. It’s not in Pattaya city itself, but further south along Jomtien Beach.

Disclosure: My husband and I were sponsored by Bayphere Hotel, a 5-star beachfront hotel, for a three-nights’ stay. Nevertheless, I have endeavored to keep this review as objective and honest as I can.

two low buildings partly visible above trees, one much taller building beside them.
The hotel as seen from one of the bridges that crosses the small lagoon to the beach. The building at the end of the bridge is the Bayphere Hotel Pattaya. The shorter building next to it will be part of the hotel when it’s been renovated. The tall building next to that is an apartment or condo complex, I think.

The hotel offers 174 air-conditioned rooms, all of them either 30 or 33 square meters in size. Each has a private bathroom. Some “executive” rooms facing the sea also have “al fresco” bathtubs on their balconies. Besides its beach access, the hotel has a pool with whirlpools, a 24-hour fitness center, two restaurants, a cafe and a beach bar. We didn’t need it, but the hotel provides free private parking too.

And another disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. This will not affect your price.

But Pattaya? Why travel to Pattaya?

Mention Pattaya to any Thailand travelers and you’ll often get disapproving comments. Pattaya is “a very seedy part of Thailand with nothing to recommend it,” as one poster in a Facebook group put it recently. Many others chimed in with similar comments.

After all, this coastal city’s reputation is tied to sex tourism. There is in fact a particular street referred to as “Walking Street”: the center of Pattaya’s huge Red Light District. Lined with bars, nightclubs and stripclubs, restaurants and fast food joints, street performers and massage places, it’s a cacaphony of neon and loud music. Teeming with gawkers and partiers in the evenings, it also teems with prostitutes trawling for customers.

The thing is, though, that Pattaya is a city like any other large city in Thailand. I spotted many prostitutes looking for clients in bars in Bangkok when I was there, and in Chiang Mai, where I spent a month recently. It may not be quite so openly centered in one street as in Pattaya, but it’s not hard to find.

I’m here to say that there’s another side to Pattaya that is often ignored: the beaches south of the city are pretty and have lovely hotels that cater to tourists looking for a less frenetic, more restful vacation. We recently stayed at two of these hotels on a 6-kilometer-long beach called Na Jomtien or Jomtien Beach. Here I’ll review the Bayphere Hotel Pattaya, while in a separate article I’ll review Sea Sand Sun Resort.

Text: Bayphere Hotel in Pattaya, Thailand: An in-depth review. Image: the rooftop infinity pool.
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Jomtien Beach

Thailand is a beach destination – the most well-known are in places like Phuket and Koh Samui. Jomtien Beach, more properly called Na Jomtien Beach, has one great advantage over any of them: it’s near Bangkok, so you don’t have to fly. On our recent trip in Thailand we decided only to fly to Thailand and back, avoiding flights within the region in favor of ground transportation. (See my post on traveling sustainably.) So that meant that a trip to, for example, Phuket would mean losing a whole day in each direction as we traveled by train or bus. Pattaya, on the other hand, is only about an hour and a half from Bangkok. Bayphere Hotel is less than a half hour south of Pattaya city center.

Jomtien Beach is a long, slightly curved, white-sand strip about six kilometers (four miles) long on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Thailand. Along North Jomtien Beach, there’s a road separating the beach from the hotels and businesses. Further south, though, the hotels, condos and apartment buildings have direct access to the beach. Yet it’s not like some beaches in, for example, Spain, where the buildings are huge and sit right on the beach. They’re set a bit back from the sand. That makes it not feel crowded, and allows room for vegetation like palm trees to edge the beach picturesquely. 

The water is quite calm, though it varies along the length of the beach. Some parts of the beach are pretty much deserted, at least when we were there on weekdays. That’s because the apartments and condos are second homes, so their owners only come here on vacations or weekends. Other parts, where hotels tend to be, have small restaurants and bars along the beach to cater to the tourists. The beach’s sheer length means it’s easy to get away from the noise of beach bars or the crowds of sun worshippers.

Our room at Bayphere

When we arrived at Bayphere Hotel Pattaya, the lobby felt like an oasis after the busy traffic through Pattaya city. The décor is a chic look combining organic curves of concrete and tile with lots of water – in shallow pools or trickling in gentle waterfalls down the walls. It is open to the outside on three sides, yet immediately felt cooler because, I suppose, of both the perpetual shade and the water. 

At the Bayphere hotel Pattaya: Curved low sills on the right in sandy shades, a long passage to an opening beyond.
One small part of the long lobby. The white tiled section on the right is shallow water.

Our room, a “deluxe” double room (a term lots of hotels use to describe their basic room) was beautifully appointed and perfectly clean. The chic décor of the room continues from the lobby: dark walls on one side match the blackout curtains, while the other walls are lighter. The lighting is mostly indirect. The bed is big and comfortable, with quality bedding and good pillows without lumps.

A thing that I love about high-end hotels is that you can count on them to have certain things that other hotels often don’t have. There are bedside tables with reading lights on both sides of the bed. Electrical outlets are available on both sides as well – no need to move furniture to get to an outlet! They also tend to have a decent-sized desk with a convenient light. I was pleased to find an outlet within reach of the desktop too, so I didn’t have to go crawling underneath it to plug in my laptop. All of this matters more to me than the size of the room.

I very much liked that the room had a long shelf for luggage, with a long rod above it for hanging clothing. Often even high-end hotels have only a single luggage rack. That’s fine if I’m alone but not if there are two of us. It was nice to be able to sit on the sofa rather than have to use it for luggage.

The balcony looks onto the neighboring condos across a parking lot, so we could only see the sea some distance to the left. The hotel has a beachfront location, but only the more expensive “executive ocean view” rooms have good views of the sea.

The toilet and shower are each in a separate cubicle, with the sink area outside of them. Both have glass doors – the shower is frosted glass on three sides. This is a trend I most definitely don’t like. All the more recently built or refurbished hotels seem to have gone over to this glass-wall trend. It goes on the assumption that the couple using the room are intimate, but I sometimes travel with a friend, for example, or my sister. Even with my husband, I don’t need him to see me doing my business on the toilet, and I don’t want to see him! Fortunately, at the Bayphere this wasn’t really a problem like some I’ve seen because these glass walls are frosted. As long as you’re not too near them, you’re not visible while you shower.

A long counter with a sink at one end, mirror above showing glazed glass doors.
In the mirror above the sink, you can see the double door that leads to the toilet cubicle.

In any case, the shower had good water pressure and the temperature adjusted well. It had a traditional shower as well as a rain shower. The complimentary toiletries in the shower room are all excellent quality, by Malin+Goetz, a brand I’d never heard of.

To complete the list of additional features in the room, there is a kettle with tea fixings and instant coffee, but no coffee maker. I realize this may be a problem for some, but I’m not a coffee drinker. There’s also a mini-fridge but with some ridiculously high prices for the things in it – not unusual for hotel mini-bars. We received two free bottles of water each day when housekeeping cleaned the room, which was, by the way, absolutely immaculate.

A flat-screen tv is mounted on the wall, and offers some cable channels as well as things like BBC news. The whole hotel building includes complimentary wireless internet access, and I found the wifi to be very reliable and fast. There is a safety deposit box, a hair dryer, an iron and ironing board, and a magnifying makeup mirror. 

The room has excellent quiet air conditioning, and also robes, slippers and flip-flops.

All of this is to say that despite the relatively small rooms, there is no mistaking that this is a high-end luxury hotel. 

Book the Bayphere Hotel Pattaya.

Bayphere’s beach and pool

A small lagoon edged by mangroves is the only thing separating the hotel from South Na Jomtien Beach . Two walking bridges cross the lagoon to the beach. It’s a great location partly because of that small separation between the beach and hotel. It means there’s an area of greenery to pass through before arriving on the sand.

View from above of a river-like lagoon with a small bridge over it, greenery on both sides of it and the ocean beyond.
You can see one of the walking bridges here across the lagoon and the mangroves that surround it.

The hotel provides some beach loungers, but most of the beach in front of the hotel – and to both sides as well, where apartment buildings front the beach – is empty. That means even on a crowded vacation weekend I think it would be easy to find a place away from other people.

The beach here has several small open-air businesses: restaurants and bars. In the evenings they’re lit up cheerfully with strings of colored lights and the sea breeze is cooling.

A dark beach, but with a line of businesses lit by strings of lights.
Looking north along Jomtien Beach after the sunset. The tall building must be all weekend places because we saw no lights in it until the Thursday evening.

In my view, Bayphere’s outdoor swimming pool is its unique selling point. On the roof overlooking the sea, its design echoes the contemporary décor – the organic, water-centered curves – of the lobby. It’s not huge, but fits a lot into a small area. To reach the pool, you step on curved stepping stones over (or in) shallow tiled pools of water, climbing a few steps to your first sight of the rooftop infinity pool. It offers wonderful views of the ocean and along the beach in both directions. I usually choose the sea over a pool, but in this case, the pool had my preference.

Blue water in an irregularly-shaped infinity pool, with the darker blue of the sea beyond, and a tall apartment building as well.

Being an outdoor pool on the eighth-floor roof, it catches the breeze from the ocean. In the mornings, the rooftop trees shade the loungers next to the pool. In the afternoon, though, there is little shade. At dusk, expect to see lots of people in or around the pool to take in the amazing sight of the sun setting into the ocean.

Several round or oval whirlpool baths are part of the design. Cleverly, they’re not heated, which makes perfect sense in this hot climate. Like the pool, they’re full to the brim so they splash over when you get in.

round or oval tubs with white tile on the outside, one higher than the other, the pool visible beyond and below them, and the sea beyond that.
Two of the whirlpools with the pool below them.

The food

Bayphere Hotel has several places to eat. 

The Rocks Restaurant

The Rocks, on the ground floor, is a casual restaurant. The indoor dining room is air-conditioned and decorated in the same palette as the lobby. Some tables stand outdoors too. There’s also an adjacent coffee shop for snacks or drinks, and a stand in the space between the two for ice cream. Breakfast is served here and it offers meals from a menu the rest of the day. 

The breakfast has all the requisite items you’d expect from a high-end buffet breakfast. There are eggs, bacon, sausage, breads, items to put on bread, fruit, cereal, and so on. For the Asian customers there are a range of hot Asian dishes as well. We weren’t particularly impressed at the quality of what was on offer, though. There was yogurt, but none was unsweetened. The breads weren’t great quality – soft crusts and little flavor. There were juices, but the orange juice tasted like it was watered down and sugared. On the other hand, the local fruits are so good that you could make a great meal just of fruit.

People at scattered tables outdoors, glass walls behind them and people at tables indoors behind the glass.
The Rocks at brealfast. The server at the table makes pancakes and eggs.

We ate dinner just once at The Rocks, and again it disappointed. They serve both western and Thai entrees, and we chose Thai. We’d spent the last month and a half eating Thai food (and occasionally Chinese or Indian) in little hole-in-the-wall restaurants: very cheap and very good. By contrast, this food was less flavorful – it seemed that it was “dumbed down.” And it was far more expensive – which we expected, but we also expected it to be extra good.

Lunar Italian Restaurant

On the other hand, we very much enjoyed the hotel’s restaurant on the top floor: Lunar Italian. We’d stayed away from Italian food for the whole trip because we can get good Italian food at home in Europe. Well, this place has surprisingly good pizza and the added advantage of its location on the roof. We ate on the balcony, enjoying the warm breeze and the distance view of the city, listening to some wonderful 1940s jazz vocals on the speakers.

kaBARna Beach Bar

The Bayphere also owns the kaBARna Beach Bar on the beach. We didn’t eat there, but it looked pleasant as well, with offerings like BBQ, burgers and fries, as well as beer and cocktails. During the day it’s the place where hotel guests can borrow a lounger and a towel for sunbathing on the beach.

Other meals

For our other meals we ate at two or three of the little restaurants on the beach which served more authentic Thai cuisine. It was still pricey compared to what we were used to, but generally good, and more authentic tasting as well. We loved sitting at a table right on the sand, listening to the lapping waves and drinking mango smoothies.

Me drinking a smoothie with, in the background, tables and chairs in sand, shaded by colorful umbrellas.

So should you stay at Bayphere? 

The customer service at Bayphere was excellent in every way. It is a high-quality, well-run hotel, with restful, comfortable rooms and a gorgeous pool deck on the roof. If you’re looking to spend time on a very remote beach with lots of tropical greenery, this isn’t it. But if you’re looking for a great place to stay with a vast white-sand beach where you can swim and do water sports and hang out in some fairly low-key bars and restaurants, this would suit you perfectly.

As for the physical environments – the lobby, the room, the pool deck on the roof, the beach itself – they are all attractive and seem designed to instill calm. The location felt a bit strange when we first got there because of the empty buildings around it. Two of them belong to the same owner and will eventually offer more hotel rooms, doubling Bayphere’s capacity. But the presence of these other buildings had no effect on us. We didn’t even hear any noise from the work going on in one of them.

If you can afford it, I’d advise getting one of the “executive ocean view” rooms. It will give you astounding sunset views right from your own room.

Book the Bayphere Hotel Pattaya.

Sunset over the sea with a kitesurfer.
Sunset as seen from the pool deck.

The general vibe is pretty lively, especially in the evenings, with music playing on the beach and a lot of sociable drinking as well. While the room is very well sound-proofed, in the shared spaces it’s not particularly quiet. If you like a pool with no piped-in music, this isn’t the place for you. If you like background music and a social atmosphere, this place is perfect for you.

Bayphere caters increasingly to Europeans, but its biggest clientele is local: people come down from Bangkok for a weekend at the beach. It’s only about 90 minutes to two hours from Bangkok. This makes it an excellent choice if you want some beach time but don’t have the time for a more complicated trip to a place like Phuket or Koh Samui, which would involve flying.

There are also some fun attractions nearby that you can reach without going into the city of Pattaya. You could easily spend an entire day at the Columbia Pictures Aquaverse Theme Water Park, for example, or Ramayana Water Park. There’s also Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden not far away, if that’s more your thing. Or you could take advantage of recreation opportunities like snorkeling, banana boat rides, jetskiing, kayaking or kitesailing. To be honest, we just stayed at the hotel the entire time – it was such a pleasant place to be.

Was there anything I didn’t like about Bayphere Hotel Pattaya?

Not much. I would have preferred, I suppose, more tropical greenery – a garden of some sort, though there isn’t much the hotel can do about that given their limited space. The breakfast could be improved with better bread and juice, and maybe a smoothie. The room could have used a few more hooks to hang towels or wet bathing suits on. That’s about it as far as negative points.

In other words, the place comes highly recommended!

If you’re going to be in Bangkok, make sure to read these articles:

Getting there

Bayphere Hotel Pattaya is at 159 Moo 2, Soi Na Jomtien 18, in Na Chom Thian (i.e. Na Jomtien), Sattahip, Chonburi, Thailand.

The nearest airport is U-Tapao Rayong-Pattaya International Airport, but that is actually a very small airport with very limited flights. Most people, if they don’t already live in Thailand, arrive via Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok.

From Bangkok, you can get to Pattaya in about an hour and a half by car, bus or train. Some buses leave from Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK). Others leave from either Mochit or Ekkamai stations in the city of Bangkok. The hotel is about 15 minutes south of Pattaya city. We took a Grab car from Pattaya – I definitely recommend downloading that app and/or Bolt to your phone before your trip. Get them all set up with a credit card before you leave, so you can do all the payments and tipping online instead of messing with cash or negotiating with drivers. 

Of course, if you’re heading straight for Pattaya from the airport, renting a car would be easiest. That would also make it easier for you to get to any attractions or activities you want to do while you stay at the Bayphere. But calling a Grab is easy enough too.

My travel recommendations

Planning travel

  • Skyscanner is where I always start my flight searches.
  • Booking.com is the company I use most for finding accommodations. If you prefer, Expedia offers more or less the same.
  • Discover Cars offers an easy way to compare prices from all of the major car-rental companies in one place.
  • Use Viator or GetYourGuide to find walking tours, day tours, airport pickups, city cards, tickets and whatever else you need at your destination.
  • Bookmundi is great when you’re looking for a longer tour of a few days to a few weeks, private or with a group, pretty much anywhere in the world. Lots of different tour companies list their tours here, so you can comparison shop.
  • GetTransfer is the place to book your airport-to-hotel transfers (and vice-versa). It’s so reassuring to have this all set up and paid for ahead of time, rather than having to make decisions after a long, tiring flight!
  • Buy a GoCity Pass when you’re planning to do a lot of sightseeing on a city trip. It can save you a lot on admissions to museums and other attractions in big cities like New York and Amsterdam.
  • I’m a fan of SCOTTeVEST’s jackets and vests because when I wear one, I don’t have to carry a handbag. I feel like all my stuff is safer when I travel because it’s in inside pockets close to my body.
  • Airalo is an e-sim card. You buy it through an app and activate it when you need it. I tried it on my trip to Thailand and it worked just like any other sim card, but without my having to fuss with physical cards.
  • I use ExpressVPN on my phone and laptop when I travel. It keeps me safe from hackers when I use public or hotel wifi.

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