Monthly Archives: April 2016

Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya, Thailand

Centara Grand Mirage Pattaya

Hotel Review of the Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort in Pattaya, Thailand

The Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort certainly dispels the myth that the city of Pattaya in Thailand is no place to travel with kids. This “Lost World” themed resort is an ideal place to stay when travelling with a young family. Located on the sands of Wong Amat Beach in North Pattaya, the Centara Grand Mirage Resort is just a 10 minute drive away from the hustle and bustle of Central Pattaya.

On our recent trip here we chose to stay in a Club Mirage Ocean Facing Room and upon check-in were given a room on the 16th level. The room was a good size for the four of us (we travelled with our two boys aged 9 & 10). There was a balcony which gave expansive views down to Central Pattaya and overlooked the beach and whole resort pool area.

The bath here is certainly different, looks a bit like you are in prison! There is a separate shower as well as plenty of Centara Lotus Flower bathroom amenities which included 20+ sun lotion and after sun hydrating gel which is a nice touch.

The pool area at the Centara Grand Mirage is the real highlight of this resort. It includes pools, waterslides, a lazy river, waterfalls, rope bridges, rock jumping and pool basketball.

The younger kids will also love Monsoon Island which is a water fun play park.

There are 5 Cabanas available for rental in the pool area. Numbers one and two are right by the main pool, three and four are by the toddler area and five is a little bit away from any pool. We reserved one for the day by the toddler area as the main pool ones were already taken. It turned out to be a good location as it was a little quieter than those by the main pool. Costs were 900 baht for the full day from 8.00am – 6.00pm (they also have half day rental available for 600 baht).

The pool area opens at 8.00am but you can’t use the waterslides or Monsoon Island until 9.00am. When you check in you are given a pool towel card for each person so you need to exchange the card for a pool towel at one of the towel huts each day. There is also a pool shop in the pool area that sells goggles, floaties, waterproof phone covers and other pool accessories. Please note that you cannot charge purchases from the pool shop to your room, cash or card only.

There is also a swim-up pool bar for those that like to relax with a cocktail by the pool, happy hour is from 3.00pm to 5.00pm (buy one get one free – including cocktails).

For those adults that want a bit of quiet pool time without being surrounded by kids, there is an adults only infinity pool that overlooks the beach area.

There is also an adults only lap pool outside the fitness centre. The fitness centre is a good size with quite a few fitness classes available to take throughout the day.

Right across the hall from the fitness centre is Camp Safari (kids club) as well as the E-Zone for kids a bit older like ours who were happy to go along and play for a while on their own (do need coins to play games here).

As we were staying in a Club Mirage Room we had access to the two club lounges here at the Centara Grand Mirage. They have an adults only club lounge on the 12th level or the Zulu Family Club Lounge on the lobby level. The club lounges are open daily from 7.00am until 10.00pm. Guests can enjoy coffee, teas, soft drinks and juices any time throughout those times as well as the following features;

  • Breakfast is from 7.00am – 11.00am
  • Refreshments served between 12.00pm – 2.00pm
  • Afternoon Tea between 3.00pm – 4.30pm
  • Evening Cocktails & Canapés served between 5.30pm – 7.00pm
  • Cordials from 8.30pm – 9.30pm

The Zulu Family Lounge comes complete with kids play area, mini theatre and games room. It was nice to be able to use a club lounge without worrying about whether they are being quiet and behaving as they were always busy in the theatre or games room.

The accommodation package we booked included the buffet breakfast which is served in Oasis Restaurant and serves a huge variety of international foods. There were plenty of choices which varied daily and seating is available both inside and outside.

The Oasis Restaurant is also open for lunch and dinner with A La Carte Dining. There are quite a few other restaurants at Centara Grand Mirage with a variety of cuisines including;

  • Aqua Italian Restaurant
  • Flames BBQ Grill
  • Ginger & Lime Thai and Asian
  • Coast Beach Bar & Grill
  • Vista Lobby Bar which serves light refreshments & drinks

The Centara Gand Mirage always has plenty of activities on throughout the day led by the Carpe Diem entertainment crew. Whether it was Aqua Aerobics, Pool Games, Water Volleyball, Beach Volleyball or Kids Disco, there is plenty to keep the kids entertained throughout the day. We also stayed over Easter and the Centara Grand Mirage held an Easter Egg Hunt and Easter Activities including cookie making, games and inflatable slides.

We certainly wouldn’t hesitate to return to the Centara Grand Mirage Resort in Pattaya when travelling with kids as we loved our stay here and would highly recommend it for families of all ages.

You can view our Centara Grand Mirage room tour you tube video here.

For more information on Centara Grand Mirage go to www.centarahotelsresorts.com

While in Pattaya we also stayed at the Hilton Pattaya – read review here.

Pool area at the Millennium Hilton Bangkok Hotel, Thailand

Millennium Hilton Bangkok Review

Review of the Millennium Hilton Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand

We recently stayed at the Millennium Hilton Bangkok for the second time (first time was April 2014) with our two boys aged 9 and 10. With both trips to Bangkok we have started our stay at the Millennium Hilton by using the hotel airport pick-up service which has been hassle-free both times. While it is more expensive than getting a cab, we like the convenience when travelling with kids.

We had booked two standard rooms but due to our Hilton HHonors Diamond status we were upgraded to two interconnecting executive rooms on level 29 which had fantastic views of the Chao Phraya river. The rooms were clean and spacious (although no desk in the room which we thought was odd). The bathroom was nice and a good size with both bath and a separate shower. We received two little soft elephant toys which the kids loved.

The pool area on level 4 at the Millennium Hilton Bangkok is called “the Beach” and it is definitely one of the features of this hotel. There are sun lounges that are situated in the water overlooking the river as well as some undercover in the shade. There is a good-sized beach area that also has some private little areas with sun lounges. There are hammocks available and even little private spas with lounges hidden around the corner from the pool. Our kids used the pool but it was definitely more aimed at adults rather than children. There were always plenty of sun lounges available in all the different locations while we were there. Food and drinks are available around the pool so it was nice to kick back and enjoy a few cocktails while the kids enjoyed some pool time in the hot Bangkok weather (happy hour is from 4.00pm-5.00pm). There is also a massage area at The Beach if you feel like a bit of pampering – they even have a Spa Bar menu where you  can combine a massage with a cocktail!

Next to the pool area is a good-sized Fitness Centre, complete with a circuit training and boxing studio.

For those that enjoy some pampering in a nice relaxing environment then look no further than the Eforea Spa located next to the Lobby. This was a very nice day spa, loved that they provided a lovely welcome drink with nice cold refreshing towel beforehand and after the treatment was some ginger tea and sorbet.

The Millennium Hilton Executive Lounge on level 31 is definitely one of the better lounges we have ever been to. The views are amazing and there is plenty of room (seating outside available as well). The pre-evening cocktails are available from 5.30-7.30pm and all the staff really look after you. They have a nice selection of canapés and pretty much any drink that you like (cocktails included). The drinks are not self pour, you just go up to the drink station and order whatever you like with the staff. It is also worth going for afternoon tea in the executive lounge as they serve a high tea stand of sweet goodies. They have I-Pads that can be borrowed for use in the lounge but there isn’t a computer with printer, you need to go down to the business centre on level 30 for that.

Just up the stairs from the Executive Lounge is 360 Rooftop Bar and we would definitely recommend going up to have a look. It is worth going up for at least one drink (prices are pretty steep though) at night to just enjoy the amazing views of Bangkok. The bar opens at 5.00pm and closes at 1.00am.

The buffet breakfast at Flow Restaurant was fabulous. There is an extensive range of food options available here with a variety of cuisines. You have the choice of eating indoors or outdoors with the river views. This is definitely one of the best hotel breakfasts that we have experienced.

If you prefer a light breakfast rather than a buffet, there is a little cafe called The Lantern where you can grab snacks and refreshments.

Have read that others don’t like the location of the Millennium Hilton as it’s away from the main area of Bangkok but we really love the location. They have a free shuttle boat that will take you to BTS Saphan Taksin Station on the opposite side of the river. From there you can hop on the BTS skytrain or grab a local boat from the pier to explore the river. We also grabbed a tuk-tuk from there that took us around the main shopping areas. At night there is another free shuttle that will take you to Asiatique The Riverfront which our kids loved as they got to go on the big wheel and see the city of Bangkok at night.

If staying at the Millennium Hilton Bangkok our one tip would be to get a room with executive floor access, totally worth it for the amazing views!

For more information go to www.hilton.com

You can also view our youtube video of the Hilton Millennium king room and the pool area.

While in Bangkok we have also stayed at the Conrad Bangkok – you can read our review here.