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New hotels planned for Pattaya
Pattaya Beach has long been a magnet for tourists

The Thai seaside resort of Pattaya is set for expansion over the next few years, with new hotels and faster transport links with Bangkok in the pipeline.

The vibrant holiday city on Thailand’s eastern Gulf coast is renowned for its beaches, water sports and nightlife. And at just under 150kms from Bangkok, it is the capital’s closest major beach resort, as well as a popular holiday destination with international tourists.

Marriott has now revealed that it is set to open two brand new hotels in Pattaya over the next five years. It is anticipated that 2024 will see the launch of a 900-room Marriott Marquis hotel and a 398-room JW Marriott property. Combined, the properties will offer 11 food and beverage spaces.

The ‘mixed use destination project’ means the properties will include indoor and outdoor retail spaces, attractions for all age groups and luxury accommodation. The goal for the construction project is to create a new ‘Absolute Center of Pattaya – The Place To Be’, aimed at attracting both leisure and business tourism. 

The main sweep of Pattaya’s bay area is divided into two principal beachfronts. Pattaya Beach was the recipient of a 429 million baht beach restoration project in 2018, following significant beach erosion.

The area of Pattaya boasts 19 golf courses within 40 minutes of the town, plus a variety of family friendly attractions including theme and water parks and zoos.

Nearby day trip-friendly islands include Ko Lan, Ko Sak and Ko Krak, with other islands further out to sea.

Bullet train

In a further boost to the destination, a high-speed bullet train linking Pattaya with Bangkok is scheduled to start operating in 2023. 

The project is part of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative that aims to connect China with the rest of Asia through new transport infrastructure. Thailand declined Chinese loans to fund the project.

As part of the project, a massive new rail hub is scheduled to open in 2021, replacing Bangkok’s century-old Hualamphong Station. 

The new line to Pattaya will begin at Dum Mueang airport, passing through Makkasan in central Bangkok, then onto Chachoengsao, Chonburi, Sriracha and Pattaya. It will terminate at U-Tapao Airport near Pattaya. 

The government plans to move around 10% of flights that currently fly into Bangkok to U-Tapao airport to ease congestion.

The journey from Bangkok to Pattaya will take just 45 minutes. Transferring between Bangkok’s airports and the popular resort currently involves a tedious shuttle bus journey of over an hour.

Phuket

Away from the mainland, Marriott will also be opening a Courtyard by Marriott in Phuket Town, Phuket, in late 2020. The property will be a renovation of the former Metropole Phuket Hotel, which is located amongst the historic Chino-Portuguese buildings in the heart of Phuket Town.