Although not within walking distance of sand and sea, Centra by Centara Maris Resort Jomtien has plenty to keep holidaymakers entertained
Less than two hours by motorway from Suvarnabhumi Airport and a mere 35 kilometres away from U-Tapao International Airport, Centra by Centara Maris Resort Jomtien (CMJ) offers a pleasant retreat for families wanting a short holiday despite not being right by the sea.
Designed as a destination in its own right, the hotel has plenty of facilities to serve both parents and kids including large and clean rooms and friendly and helpful staff, even over a very busy New Year weekend.
Located on Soi Chaiyaphruek 3 near Soi Na Jomtien 2, it’s within easy driving distance of the Pattaya Floating Market on the main Sukhumvit Road and Jomtien Beach itself is a mere hop away thanks to a shuttle bus service that runs hourly from 8am to 8pm. Another shuttle bus service runs between the resort and Central Festival Pattaya shopping mall at 11am and 4pm returning 45 minutes later.
Without direct beach access, the resort focuses on family activities and the lagoon-shaped saline swimming pool. The hotel’s 282 rooms, suites and residences are in two wings of the connected buildings with the swimming pool in the middle. Every room has a balcony overlooking the pool. If you really must see the sea, book a corner room on a higher floor of the right wing, and you will be able to catch a glimpse, though most of the view is blocked by an adjacent condominium building.
The swimming pool is nice with several built-in Jacuzzi corners and a dedicated pool bar. There is also a kid’s pool next to the main pool with a water slide and water playground. I particularly liked the beach beds that are partially submerged in the water in a corner of the pool. It’s a great way of staying cool even when the sun is hot but do remember to wear lots of sun cream.
There’s a grassy area next to the pool with sofa beds and hanging sofa seats and plenty of activities for kids to enjoy including painting plaster dolls and cake making. The little ones can also play in the sandbox or head to the Hobbit House Theme Kids Club for batik painting, making accessories with beads and games.
The fitness centre to which admission is free is well equipped and after a long day working out and lying by the pool, you can indulge in a relaxing spa treatment at Cense by SPA Cenvaree.
The hotel provides in-room dining service or guests can enjoy fresh seafood at the Mix Bistro, which is open from 6.30am to 11pm. It offers an Amazing Maris BBQ on weekdays for Bt895 per head and a Weekend BBQ Seafood Buffet for Bt1,055.
The hotel has six types of rooms – Centra Superior, Centra Family, Centra Premium, Family Residence, Centra Suite and Suite Life Private Pool. Centra Superior is the most affordable while the private pool suite the most expensive.
The private pool suite has, as the name implies, a private pool with jacuzzi function and sleeps three adults or two adults and one child. The Family Residence provides a king-sized bed and bunk beds and is designed for two adults plus three children.
We stayed in the Centra Premium room, which was pleasantly large at 46 square metres and boasted a comfy king-sized bed. It has a large restroom with a bathtub and I was able to do some work over the break thanks to the hotel’s free Wi-Fi service.
Room prices vary depending on season and promotions but the starting price is a very reasonable Bt2,500.
AT A GLANCE
High points: Family resort not far from Bangkok, saline swimming pool, good family facilities, great food and friendly staff.
Low point: No direct beach access
Pay for it: Visit www.CentaraHotelsResorts.com/centra/cmj/ for the best online rates and promotion of the month.
Find it: 98/2 Moo 1, Chaiyaghruek Sai 2, Na Jomtien, Pattaya 20250, Thailand
Call it: +66(0) 3810 3333
Browse it: http://www.CentaraHotelsResorts.com/centra/cmj