Although the Sabai Resort is not in the center of the Beach Road or near the Walking Street area, it is in a very convenient location on Second Road in Pattaya. The location next door to Big C shopping mall, a mall with few restaurants, a department store, and a small cineplex.
It is also across the road from a few beer bars and small eateries. The hotel is also close to Alcazar, if you haven’t seen one of the world’s most famous ladyboy cabarets yet, it’s a very short walk to the theater. It’s also right across the street from Pattaya International Hospital.
The hotel itself boasts three swimming pools, a restaurant, and The Nest, a coffee shop on the edge of the property on Second Road. There is a parking area, covered walkways, three swimming pools, even golf cart shuttle service if you want.
The property itself is huge. It has 239 rooms and lies on 16 acres and is divided into three zones. Some of the villas require nearly a one block walk inside the property to the room. My first room was one of these villas.
While I was there it was raining, and I had just completed some tattoo (sakyant) work on my back, but pools look nice and well maintained. They seemed very popular and there were guests, mostly the family types at the front pool all day and into the evening.
The center pool didn’t seem to get as much use (reserved for only Ruen Thai room guests, and the pool all the way in the back seemed a bit more private with just an occasional couple. Guests were mostly westerners, some families, some Thai families here. Western men with Thai girlfriends were less populous, but it did not seem that anyone was discouraged from staying at the hotel. (note: each of the three pool photos are of different swimming pools. The three pools of Sabai Resort.)
My First Room (630 series Villa)
My first impression was that the room was good sized. It has a combined living and sleeping area. It’s also equipped with television, minibar, and wi-fi. The wi-fi was only so-so. Its ability to reach the internet was on and off. I’d be on one moment, then I would lose connectivity. After a while it would come back. The major problem was that the villa was the on edge of the property (back right as you look into the property from Second Road) and as a result was very close to a disco or something.
The THUMP THUMP THUMP kept me up all night and I’m not talking about ending at 2am or 3am. It seemed to keep going well until 5am or more. I seem to recall, though my sleep deprived memory, that it went a bit later during the weekend. The first picture is the wall behind the villa. You can see Hollywood disco’s sign peeking over the wall. The second picture shows the villa’s bathroom, which was fine. Good water pressure, and plenty of hot water.
Then, of course the cockroach. I don’t really blame them for the cockroach(es) so much, as when it rains, all manner of beasties come out to play. In fact, that they were dead was a good indicator the hotel was doing it’s job with regard to pest control. The only negative I’d say about that is that it doesn’t seem like they vacuum (at least not to the corners) and the room is carpeted.
My Second Room (436 Villa)
I complained to the desk staff about the noise issue after the third night of no sleep, and although they were limited in rooms, offered me an upgrade to a central room, which – while not set apart like the first villa – was larger than the villa and the sitting room was separate from the bedroom.
Unfortunately the second room had an internet issue. For those who understand networking, the problem was not the signal, the router wasn’t far and I had full bars on the signal strength. The problem was that from that particular router the DNS information was not being forwarded (they have a radius server or something like it to control access to the internet and you need to log in to use it). Therefore, wi-fi, but with no internet connectivity. I complained about this almost daily for the week I was there. Despite two or three attempts by their local engineer to solve the problem, it was never resolved, requiring me to sit in the lobby for hours to use the internet. Yes. I use the internet a lot. One of the problems with the lobby is that it’s an open air lobby, so I was eaten alive by mosquitoes. If internet is not important to you, then this fault won’t matter. If you have to work, if you blog, or otherwise need to spend more than thirty minutes a day on the internet you may find it intolerable.
In both rooms, the furniture appears a bit older, but still in good shape. The room, being in the middle of the property is remarkably peaceful and quiet and I had no problems resting or sleeping.
The breakfast buffet was average. The cost per day was 200 baht per person. Typical menu items included spaghetti, rice, cashew chicken, potato, egg, ham, sausage, bacon, juice, coffee etc… the taste of the food was nothing to write home about. It was just ok. On the last day they substituted some Thai food in the buffet and it was better than all the other days I ate there.
I also tried The Nest one day. An interesting coffee shop, as there is almost never customers in there. It’s in soft launch, but they may need to find their niche to make it worth keeping. When I was there, the items from the menu were the same as the restaurant and it appears that they utilize the same kitchen. The exception being that they have an espresso machine inside the cafe. The lady working there was excellent as I had my computer with me (trying to escape the mosquitoes for the price of a meal) and although there were no tables with outlets, she found an extension cord and ran power to me at the first table away from the cashier. Nice that she was willing to problem solve and it means a lot to me. As for the meal, the coffee was good. The food just ok… I’d rank it 6/10.
The staff was friendly and as accommodating as they could be. The engineer did come and reset the router a couple times and if that’s the limit of the level of service he could provide then I can’t say he didn’t try. The security in front was friendly. Overall, staff was excellent.
At that point in the trip, I was blogging, spending my waking hour skyping with my wife, as well as talking to her just before bed. Not having internet access as I was expecting was disappointing. From what I learned, some hotels use an offsite validation server, so they’d need to call their internet company, however internet authorization/validation/DNS worked fine in the lobby so really I don’t know.
Cleaning staff was nice enough. I think they could use a review of their cleaning protocol as guests finding cockroaches is never a nice thing.
I wish the buffet was a bit more tasty. I found myself skipping breakfast and going to eat street food or at the mall. The exception would be if I was going to the dining room to use the wi-fi after I finished eating breakfast.
Would I stay here again? Yes. I found that the positives outweighed the negatives and the price point is nice for something spacious and easy to get back and forth to. Further, in the right part of the property, it’s very peaceful and quiet. The mall is very close and street food and decent restaurants are just a couple hundred feet away.
The caveats being, you will need to be on the right part of the property if noise bothers you. You need to be lucky with the internet (unless of course it’s not important to you). If you like to hang out at the pool, huge plus here, as they have one of the best selection and quality pools in the price bracket in Pattaya.
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