Bars and Restaurants
Skoop Beach Cafe
Decked out with wooden tables, nautical-striped cushions and bean-bags, this cute container cafe is a real ray of sunshine on Na Jomthien Beach. Skoop is all about sweets like waffles, brownies and, our pick, the ice cream sandwiches made from cookies and rice crackers. Try the dark chocolate chip cookie with dark mocha ice cream or Froot Loops with Bora Bora vanilla ice cream. Right nearby you’ll find Burgler Burger, a Bangkok-born food truck that doles out rather extreme burgers like the triple-cheese Nuclear Burger which feature a 180g patty made from Australian, US and wagyu beef.
Tree Tales Pratumnak
The health-centric cafe on Naklua Road has rolled out a second branch on Pratumnak Hill. The smaller venue consists of a slightly shorter menu, but you can still get the usual fresh-pressed juices such as the Green Potion (spinach, green apple, fennel and mandarin orange). Aussie-style all-day breakfast is king here—try the Eggs Benny (poached egg, lemon hollandaise sauce, bacon, toast, rocket and radish). There’s also an enticing pulled-pork “green burger,” so named because the bun is flavor with basil, spinach and rosemary. For dessert, there are Australian classics like pavlova and lamingtons.
Khao Yai’s iconic chocolate shop has branched out to the seaside, where it offers some stunning ocean views from Pratumnak Hill. Besides chocolate, they offer a gorgeous selection of French pastries from Eric Perez, a French chef with a macaron pastry training center in Bangkok. Come at sunset for more substantial dishes like grilled Australian lamb rack with rosemary sauce and salmon chae nampla (salmon in fish sauce). Drop by on the weekend to take part in chocolate workshops.
Opened just in time for summer, this tiny cafe deals in sweet icy treats. The main attractions are the soft-serve ice cream (try the milky vanilla or Belgian chocolate) and Japanese-style shaved ice in flavors like soymilk, which you can customize with toppings like banana caramel.
Mike Shopping Mall, 262 Moo 10 Pattaya 2nd Rd. Open daily 9:30am-10pm. goo.gl/7GaqkH
This quaint new complex takes the shape of a European country village, but its offerings are plenty Asian. Aside from Thai-Isaan restaurant Somtam Villa, there’s Tea Factory & More, a glasshouse that doubles as a tea lab with imported leaves from Japan, Sri Lanka, India, Taiwan and Israel, plus comfort dishes, “healthy” desserts, tea cocktails and kombucha. There’s also a shop and gallery, as well as an event venue for weekend activities like yoga classes and workshops. Making the most of the beautiful space, they’re also launching a Weekend Farmers’ Market which kicks off this Mar 26-27.
Sukhumvit Rd., before the Huay Yai intersection, 061-441-5181. Open Mon-Thu 10am-8pm, Fri-Sun 10am-10pm. goo.gl/SqOQfe
The luxurious Pattaya Resort Cape Dara just unveiled its first serious bar. Sphere Bar may be set on the lobby floor, but its inspiration comes from the stars—as reflected in the futuristic decor and lighting, and space-themed drink list (think names like Interstellar and Berry Comet—plus lots of nitrogen).
Cape Dara Resort, 256 Dara Beach Soi 20, Pattaya-Naklua Rd., 038-933-888. Open daily 5pm-2am. www.capedarapattaya.com
Set to be Thailand’s biggest waterpark when it opens mid-April, Ramayana spans 184,000 sq meters (or more than 700 tennis courts). It takes its inspiration from the epic tale of the same name, with seven zones comprising more than 50 rides and attractions, including a FlowRider wave machine. There will also be an adult’s zone with a pool bar and sports like water volleyball. Book ahead for a 20 percent discount.
The newest beachfront mall offers something different. Set to open Apr 1, Rather than shopping, Harbor puts the focus on fun and healthy activities with highlights including a 10-meter-high rock climbing wall, Jump XL Trampoline Park (opens Apr 12) and The Rink and Snow Land, which will be the largest snow park in Thailand once it opens October. Top of the food picks is the first Thai branch of Kumkun, a famous fried chicken chain from Korea.
Veranda Resort Pattaya Hotel
This oceanfront design resort on Na Jomthien Beach is the work of reputed architecture firms Office of Bangkok Architects and T.R.O.P. The 145 rooms are modern, bright blue and range from 40 sq meter rooms to a 136-sq-meter villa with two bedrooms and a swimming pool terrace with sun loungers. The free-form swimming pool with its geometric sun loungers is a pretty picture, too. There are two dining areas, one of which has an alfresco rooftop zone from which to catch the sunset. They’re currently offering 15-percent discounts on rooms, which start at B3,823 per night.
The Monttra proves that Pattaya hotels don’t always need to feel like tower blocks. Located next to the Royal Varuna Yacht Club on the leafy Phra Tumnak Hill, this all-suite property with private beach access boasts an exclusive island resort feel thanks to 23 suites that look out over nearby Koh Larn and put the emphasis on open space. Other notable features include a beachside pool, tai chi classes and even a soap concierge. Special opening rates start at B4,400 (from B8,000) for the 42-meter garden suite up to B7,150 (from 13,000) for the 83-meter canopy suite with private plunge pool.
Pullman Pattaya Hotel G
Pullman Pattaya Hotel G recently underwent a total revamp. It now features chic rooms in a palette of bleeched wood and white, as well as its own beach club. Their Songkran package costs B8,900 for a two-night stay between Apr 9-16.