Hotel Baraquda Pattaya, M Gallery by Sofitel, is a boutique hotel with a distinct personality. Located a block from the beach in the seaside resort’s top party district, the property offers fun-lovers a chance to detox in peaceful surroundings after a hedonistic night on the town.
Faced with midnight arrival at Bangkok’s impossible to pronounce Suvarnabhumi International Airport, I decided to book a room at a cheap hotel near the airport for the first night.
As it turns out, it was a smart move. The hotel I booked – there were SOOOO many to choose from, it was difficult to decide ! – offered just what I was looking for: an inexpensive place to spend a few hours before leaving for my real destination, the beach resort town of Pattaya.
The room was simple but clean, and the queen size bed had an excellent mattress. I slept like a log.
I awoke with just enough time to shower and shave, check my emails, and have a simple breakfast in my room.
There was a mini-mart across the street where I was able to buy something to take back to my room. Had I wanted to eat on the street or in a cafe, however, there were several options within a very short walk of the hotel.
And then I was off to my REAL travel destination: the Thai resort city of Pattaya!
The Trip …
I had mentioned when I checked in that I would be needing to arrange a taxi to Pattaya in the morning.
The woman at the front desk had been informed of this and she asked when I would like for the taxi to pick me up. I said 12 noon.
The driver picked me up and drove me to my hotel. It took 90 minutes to reach Pattaya and another 30 minutes to reach the hotel.
What I liked most was he played a soundtrack of American pop music that I LOVED! It took about 30 minutes before I realized there was a video screen in the dashboard of the car!
This sure was better than taking the shuttle, which is how I got to Pattaya on my last trip the Land of Smiles. What an ordeal that was …
And talk about perfect timing: it was 2 o’clock in the afternoon when I arrived at the very stylish Hotel Baraquda Pattaya, M Gallery by Sofitel.
The Arrival …
The Entrance …
The Lobby …
The Staff …
The Welcome Drink …
I paid the taxi driver and walked into the hotel’s very sophisticated lobby. While staff at the front desk checked my reservation, I was asked to take a seat in one of the comfortable chairs.
But it was hard to sit still! I wanted to take photos!
I was offered a choice of five welcome drinks, if I remember correctly. I chose the eponymously named Baraquda. It was very citrussy and refreshing. What a perfect way to start my Pattaya adventure!
The Vibe …
Hotel Baraquda has a subtle nautical vibe, which starts in the lobby and continues to the swimming pool, the four food and beverage outlets, and the 72 tastefully decorated rooms.
My Room …
I was housed in room 4001 on the fourth floor of the hotel. The room was a compact 37 square metres, with an open layout. It had a double bed, a lounge chair, a footstool, and a large mirror on one wall.
The colour scheme was pale gray, dark blue, and turquoise. The decor was smart and trendy, with a subtle nautical theme and a modernistic sculpture of a barracuda on the workstation.
I thought it was VERY, VERY, VERY cool!!!
The Mini Bar …
The mini-bar had four bottles of local beer, a bottle of Coke, a bottle of orange, juice, and a bottle of water.
The Bathroom …
The room had an open plan bathroom: the sink, toilet, and walk-in shower were all separate, which is always nice if you’re sharing a hotel room with someone else.
The sink was in the main room near the entrance to the toilet and the shower (top picture). The toilet was to the left (middle picture), and the shower was to the right (bottom picture).
The shower was especially large with a bench at one end. It was enclosed in glass, offering a view of the main room (see the bottom picture). There was a curtain for privacy.
The View …
My room had a balcony with one chair and a lovely view of the swimming pool. How could I resist doing laps in that gorgeous pool?
The Breakfast …
My mouth-watering breakfast was the highlight of my stay. It was served in the Sea Restaurant, with both indoor and outdoor seating. It overlooked the hotel’s swimming pool.
There were several hot dishes, cereals, fresh fruit, salad makings, pastries, and coffee made from a proper Italian-style espresso machine.
The eggs benedict came highly recommended by staff, and they were probably the best I’ve ever had.
I had a choice of either ham or smoked salmon, and I opted for smoked salmon. It was a wise decision. An unexpected layer of grainy French mustard added an undeniable kick.
Click HERE for more on my mouth-watering breakfast.
The Other Food and Beverage Outlets …
The hotel had a total of four food and beverage outlets. In addition to the restaurant I had breakfast in was three more outlets:
Sunset Lounge – open from 5 pm until 1 am, the Sunset Lounge (pictured above) serves cocktails and snacks. Not surprisingly, it attracts a large crowd at sundown.
Deep Bar – open from 6 pm until midnight, the Deep Bar serves beverages and light snacks.
Navti Cafe – open from 9 am until 7 pm, the Navti Cafe is located off the sidewalk in front of the hotel. It seemed especially popular with outside guests.
The Swimming Pool …
The swimming pool, which appeared to be in the abstract shape of a barracuda, was long enough to do proper laps in.
The Fitness Centre …
The two-storey fitness centre had two treadmills, a cross-trainer, a stationary bicycle, and one other cardiovascular device as well as weight-lifting equipment.
In a bid to save energy, the lights were activated by your room key.
The Hotel Baraquda Pattaya, M Gallery by Sofitel, is located in Central Pattaya, one block from the city’s most popular beach. It is surrounded by restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs, nightclubs, day spas – you name it.
Pattaya is the closest beach resort to Bangkok. It is located on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 100 kilometres (62 miles) southeast of Bangkok, the nation’s capital.
How to Get There
Pattaya is roughly a two hours’ drive from downtown Bangkok. Unless you want to drive, you can travel to Pattaya by shuttle, bus, or taxi.
If two or more of you are traveling together, I would recommend going by taxi – providing you can get the fare negotiated in advance.
If you are going directly to Pattaya from overseas, the good news is that it’s relatively close to Thailand’s busiest airport. And another airport, which is even closer, is starting to attract international service, as well.
A third option is Don Mueang International Airport, which is considerably more distant. The drive takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Suvarnabhumi Airport is served mostly by international airlines as well as domestic airlines flying to foreign travel destinations.
U-Tapao was traditionally used for travel to domestic travel destinations, but it is starting to attract major airlines flying to international destinations.
Qatar Airways launched service to the airport in December 2017, and other airlines are sure to follow suit shortly. This will make Pattaya an even more attractive travel destination for overseas beachgoers.
Don Mueang is used mostly for domestic flights and by budget carriers.
The Verdict …
This hotel had a cool nautical vibe and was located where the action is. I particularly liked the welcome drink (would love to get the recipe) and the breakfast buffet.
I liked the Eggs Benedict so much, in fact, that I’ve dedicated an entire blog post to it, which you can check out HERE. m THE REVIEW OF THE BREAKFAST BUFFET IS COMING