Where to Stay in Pattaya

SD › Best Places to Stay in Pattaya
Updated: February 16, 2024
By Santorini Dave

Our Favorite Hotels in Pattaya

• 5-star: Hilton
• 4-star: Monttra
• 3-star: COSI
• New: Arbour
• Boutique: Siam@Siam
• Cheap: Blue Sky
• For families: Grand Centre
• For couples: Cape Dara
• Pool: Grand CentreInterContinental
• Beach: Centara Grand Mirage

A snaking blue pool sits next to the beach.

The stunning pool at the Royal Wing Suites & Spa.

The Best Areas to Stay in Pattaya

See Also

Best Hotels in Pattaya
Best Family Hotels in Pattaya

In less than 50 years, this former fishing village has become one of Thailand’s major tourist destinations. It’s just 130km from downtown Bangkok. Some come for the beach, while others visit for the nightlife.
To enjoy both, the best place to stay is along Pattaya’s central (downtown) area. It’s home to a 4km stretch of sand and seemingly endless shops, cafés, bars, top-end hotels, and world-class malls. It’s a vibrant area with the sounds of water sports and busy roads.

A view of the blue sea water and beach from a balcony.

Views of Pattaya Beach from Drift bistro in the Hilton hotel perched above the Central Pattaya shopping center in South Beach.

There are three areas in the central part of Pattaya: Around Walking Street, South Beach, and North Beach. Around Walking Street is a collection of alleys overcrowded with bars, cafes, and, to be honest, questionable hangouts. There are few recommended hotels here. It’s more known for its nightlife. Hotels line the main roads in South Beach–some more affordable than elsewhere–and inexpensive places to eat, drink, and shop cram the backstreets. North Beach is similar to South Beach but more upscale.

Na-Klua is north of central Pattaya and has high-end hotels, often high-rise and facing the ocean. Classy restaurants and boutiques line the streets. Between the Walking Street area and Jomtien Beach, Buddha Hill has numerous luxury resorts facing secluded and immaculate beaches. Although facilities are limited, it seems a world away from the noise, traffic, and crowds elsewhere.

Colorful kayaks sit on the beach under an evergreen tree.

The only water-sports available at Dongtan Beach are kayaking and wind-surfing.

Buddha Hill is not connected by road or footpath to the far northern part of Jomtien Beach called Dongtan. This beach is peaceful, clean, and shaded. The area is known for its gay bars and nightlife – with a few establishments pushing toward the raunchier end of the spectrum.

Long, straight, and wide, Jomtien Beach is better for swimming than central Pattaya, and the beachside path is ideal for walking and cycling. Inexpensive places to eat, drink, and shop crowd the back streets. North Jomtien is convenient to the rest of Pattaya and has terrific food markets, while South Jomtien is a bit more distant and quieter.

A man rides a bike on a path.

One advantage to staying in this area is the beachside path that extends for several kilometers in both directions.

Safety in Pattaya

Most dangers when visiting Pattaya are self-inflicted – e.g., hard drugs and excessive drinking – which may result in physical assault and arrest. These sorts of problems are not uncommon around late-night areas like Walking Street. The other real possible danger for all visitors is getting hit by a vehicle while cycling or crossing the street. Take much more caution than you probably would at home and always make two assumptions: everyone will ignore road rules, and pedestrians have no rights whatsoever. Also, take the usual precautions around crowded streets, markets, and bus stations, where opportunistic petty crimes like bag-snatching and pick-pocketing can be prevalent. Buddha Hill is far from the noisy, seedy, and potentially dangerous nightlife areas.

The Best Places to Stay in Pattaya

A pool with red umbrellas sits next to a multi-story hotel.

Amari resort in North Beach offers space and amenities rarely possible at other hotels in the area.

Best Areas in Pattaya for…

  • Best Area in Pattaya for Sightseeing: North Jomtien
    An outdoor sign reads Jomtien Night Market.

    The fabulous Jomtien Night Market, with all sorts of delicious cheap food.

    With so many tourists – Thai and foreign – there are plenty of things to see and do in and around Pattaya. North Jomtien has worthwhile local attractions like the Jomtien Night Market (along the beachside road) and Rompho Market (Jomtien Second Road). It’s just a short stroll to Pattaya’s premier beach at Dongtan. This area is easily accessible by public transportation. Take Songthaew taxi trucks to the nightlife at Walking Street. Some attractions are designed for Thai families, such as Pattaya Dolphinarium and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum of oddities. Others are ethically questionable, like Crocodile Farm and Elephant Village. Few agencies sell organized tours because many visitors and residents have private vehicles. If not, arranging a trip with a taxi driver is best. Rates are negotiable.
  • Best Area in Pattaya for Nightlife: Around Walking Street
    Of course, many visitors come just for the nightlife. There is no shortage of places to drink and eat around Walking Street. During the day, vehicles partially use the street, but at night, it quickly turns into a pedestrian-only thoroughfare. Most places are “girly bars” – loud and staffed by young Thai women and men, typically sex workers. This is not the area for a quiet drink or a meal, and it’s best not to bring children. It can also attract trouble – from pickpockets and drunken brawls to drug-taking – so always take care.
  • Best Area in Pattaya for Food and Restaurants: North Beach (Northern Central Pattaya)
    Prawns, fish, chicken, and seafood sit on tables at food stalls.

    All sorts of seafood is available at stalls and cafes along the beachside roads throughout Pattaya.

    Many visit Thailand for the delicious food. Pattaya is renowned for its seafood. Two fantastic places for tasty food at low prices are the Jomtien Night Market perfectly positioned facing the sea, and the vibrant Rompho Market. The range of eateries along Jomtien Beach isn’t that impressive, so head to the North Beach area. Catering to guests at nearby top-end hotels are several elegant restaurants such as Prego Pattaya and Playa Bistro & Lounge. These and many inviting eateries offer pleasant sea views and ocean breezes within an area that’s classier and quieter than South Beach.

  • Best Area in Pattaya for the Beach: Dongtan
    A prime attraction for most visitors is the beaches. They stretch for about 4km along the central part of Pattaya, extend another 6km further south at Jomtien, and pepper the coastlines at Na-Klua and Buddha Hill. However, the quality, position, and amenities vary considerably. North Beach and South Beach are narrow in places, crowded with umbrellas and deck chairs, often with noisy water sports, and next to traffic-clogged roads. Beaches at North Jomtien and South Jomtien are wider, cleaner, and quieter but are still affected by jet skis and other watercraft. Quietly tucked away from the main roads and curiously ignored by most visitors is the beach at Dongtan. This shaded extension of North Jomtien is determined to remain clean and peaceful. Prominent signs state, “No Loud Noises * No Littering.”
  • Best Area in Pattaya for Swimming: Dongtan
    Dongtan Beach (described above) is the finest place in Pattaya for swimming, sunbathing, and splashing about the water, especially with children. It’s conveniently located along an undeveloped dead-end street and distant from main roads and big resorts. Most areas of the water are roped off from noisy water sports. The sand is clean and shaded. Only a few hotels overlook the sea, but there are plenty of places to stay among the adjacent backstreets.
  • Best Area in Pattaya for Water Sports: North Jomtien
    Two jet skis sit on the sand are covered with faded orange life jackets drying in the sun.

    Jet skis in North Jomtien.

    Love or loathe them, jet skis and all types of water sports are available at most beaches in Pattaya. Except for Dongtan Beach (see above), which offers quieter alternatives like kayaking and windsurfing. While some beach areas at resorts are roped off from jet skis, the noise is still inescapable. Rent jet skis from single-person operators on the beach at negotiable rates. Pattaya doesn’t have Phuket’s reputation for untrustworthy jet ski operators who insist on exorbitant fees for “damage” to the underside (which can’t be seen below the water when renting). Still, take great care when renting an expensive jet ski or boat and ask for recommendations from your hotel. A few reputable dive agencies, such as Pattaya Dive Centre (South Beach) and Jomtien Dive Center (South Jomtien), offer scuba-diving and snorkeling trips.
  • Best Area in Pattaya for Outdoor Activities and Organized Tours: South Beach (South Central Pattaya)
    Compared to other popular island destinations like Phuket and Koh Samui, Pattaya has few outdoor activities besides those above. Ask at travel agencies along the backstreets of South Beach about joining a tour, especially of nearby coral islands such as Koh Larm. It is also accessible from Pattaya by regular public ferries. Advertising on the windows of travel agencies may offer “tours,” but this means they can help you charter a car with a driver for a negotiable rate.
  • Best Areas in Pattaya for Views: Buddha Hill and Na-Klua
    Most hotels in Pattaya are along the crowded backstreets and alleyways of Jomtien and central Pattaya. So, a balcony is likely to directly face another balcony across a busy thoroughfare. Only a handful of expensive high-rise hotels offer views of the sea across a busy road. The two peninsulas known as Buddha Hill and Na-Klua are spacious, hilly, and pleasingly underdeveloped. Rooms in these hotels are within about 100 m of the coastline and offer uninterrupted views of the islands, bays, and beaches
  • Best Area in Pattaya for Peace and Quiet: Dongtan Beach
    Two people sit on the beach and eat under palm trees while staring at the sea.

    It’s easy to have quiet stretches of sand and sea to yourself at Dongtan.

    The frequent signs along the white, shaded, and spotless beach at Dongtan say it all, “No Loud Noises * No Littering * No Bar-B-Q,” and most swimmers and sunbathers comply. This loveable extension of North Jomtien is quietly distant from main roads, big resorts, and rowdy bars. Patrons can enjoy a beer, coffee, or meal at a laidback café facing the sea, unaffected by jet skis, motorbikes, and loud background music. Dongtan Beach is along a dead-end street. The range of places to stay facing the sea is limited, so the area remains peaceful and quiet. However, the back streets of Dongtan are comparatively noisy but not as loud and busy as the central Pattaya area.
  • Best Area in Pattaya for Walking and Cycling: North Jomtien Beach
    The delightful beachside path is the best place to exercise or explore on two feet or on two wheels. It stretches over 6 km along Jomtien Beach and further north at Dongtan before the path stops at Buddha Hill. This wide, straight, and flat path is mostly obstruction-free. However, it is shared with other walkers, joggers, and cyclists, relishing the views and breezes. Renting a bike is more challenging than you would imagine. A few vendors along North Jomtien Beach, where it merges into Dongtan, offer rentals. Otherwise, some hotels offer bicycle rental, some even free for guests.
  • Best Area in Pattaya for Shops and Malls: North Beach (North Central Pattaya)
    The backstreets and alleyways around central Pattaya and Jomtien are packed with boutiques selling exquisite jewelry and stalls offering souvenirs. However, many visitors and locals like to shop in air-conditioned comfort at a Western-style shopping mall. Just down from the landmark Dolphin Roundabout at North Beach is Terminal 21 Pattaya. It’s a remarkable mall with an airplane out front, many shops, a food court, a gym, and cinemas. Hotels in North Beach are also within a short walk of the fantastic multi-level Central Pattaya mall, still known by its old name: Central Festival.
  • Best Area in Pattaya for Transportation: North Jomtien
    Public transportation connects all major roads around Pattaya and the backstreets. These taxi trucks called a songthaew, have bench seats for about 12 people while several more passengers can (and do) stand on the back edge. Every few minutes, songthaew trucks travel along both roads through Jomtien and central Pattaya via an entrance to Walking Street. They don’t go to Buddha Hill and, less frequently, to Na-Klua. They can be flagged down anywhere along these roads for a local fare of 10 baht (less than 30 cents). Despite the words “taxi meter” on top, most taxis are private cars that don’t use or even have a meter. Fares for tourists are outrageous but far more reasonable using the ride-share app Bolt (like Uber). North Jomtien is convenient for all public transportation.
  • Best Areas in Pattaya for Airports: South Beach (South Central Pattaya)
    Three airports serve Pattaya. Many visitors arrive via Bangkok – the international Suvarnabhumi Airport (123km) or domestic Don Mueang Airport (170km), which handles budget-priced international flights. To either airport from Pattaya, arrange a direct taxi or minibus (which may pick you up from your hotel) through a travel agency for a set fare. Otherwise, regular direct buses (about two hours) leave for both airports from Jomtien Bus Station. It’s on the main road between Buddha Hill and Jomtien Beach. The local airport Utapao is used for military flights but has a few domestic connections to Chiang Mai and chartered international flights from Russia. Utapao is 45 km from South Beach and can be reached via taxi or, infrequently, by minibus from Central Pattaya Mall. Fares for taxis booked at a travel agency are set (but inflated), and “metered taxis” are rarely metered and will charge more. The ride-share app Bolt (like Uber) is much cheaper, although fares may increase if demand is high.
  • Best Area in Pattaya for Families: Buddha Hill
    Kids play area.

    Part of the kids play area at the InterContinental in Buddha Hill.

    The best place for families to stay is at a comfortable hotel or resort at Buddha Hill. This peninsula is convenient, spacious, and quiet and offers views, fresh air, and greenery rarely seen elsewhere in Pattaya. Although a popular destination for Thai families from Bangkok, some parts of Pattaya have a well-deserved reputation. The area around Walking Street at night is not for children.
  • Best Area in Pattaya for a Romantic Holiday: Na-Klua
    People swim in a lagoon pool by the ocean.

    The Grand Mirage lagoon pool.

    Stay at Na-Klua for some privacy, seclusion, and serenity. Most boutique hotels and major resorts are within walking distance of numerous chic restaurants and classy boutiques just north and south of the Dolphin Roundabout.
  • Best Area in Pattaya for First-Time Visitors: Buddha Hill
    As explained earlier, the crowds, noise, and traffic can be tiring for regular visitors, let alone those coming for the first time. Book a comfortable hotel in Buddha Hill that can offer fresh air, views, space, greenery, and serenity that is not possible elsewhere in Pattaya (with the exception of Na-Klua). Buddha Hill is also convenient to – but quietly distant from – the three popular areas: central Pattaya (for shopping), Jomtien (for beaches), and Walking Street (for nightlife).
People sit on the beach.

Only a small fishing village about 50 years ago, Pattaya is now a pulsating beach.

The 8 Best Areas in Pattaya for Tourists

1. South Beach (Southern Central Pattaya)

Benches and palm trees line a seaside path.

Jomtien beaches have shaded paths that run alongside the sea.

The vibe is budget-friendly holiday with organized tours, outdoor activities, and easy airport transfers from travel agencies. The backstreets are heaving with inexpensive places to eat, drink, and shop with numerous internationally-known fast-food outlets. It’s a short stroll from Walking Street, known unofficially as South Beach. The beach is decent enough but far less appealing as it approaches Walking Street. It’s within the busiest part of central Pattaya and stretches from the sea to Pattaya Second (Sai Song) Road and from South Pattaya Road to Central Pattaya Road.

There is also a fantastic shopping center – Central Pattaya – also known as Central Festival. Some affordable hotels face the sea (and busy road). South Beach is well-connected by public transportation (songthaew taxi trucks) to North Beach and Jomtien Beach to the south.

A curvy pool winds around lounge chairs in the sun.

One of three swimming pools at The Bayview Hotel.

2. North Beach (Northern Central Pattaya)

A tall hotel towers over the beach.

Along the northern area of Pattaya Beach known as North Beach is the high-rise Amari.

Conveniently within walking distance of South Beach and Na-Klua (see later), North Beach is more upscale than South Beach and dominated by international-brand resorts and high-rise hotels. The backstreets are also (over)crowded with inexpensive hotels, cafes, shops, and, of course, bars, but there is also a range of chic restaurants and elegant boutiques. The beach is generally well-maintained, but noisy water sports can be intrusive.

This area is the other half of the central section of Pattaya. It extends from the sea to Pattaya Second (Sai Song) Road and Central Pattaya Road, where Beach Road heads inland and joins the landmark Dolphin Roundabout. At the far northern end, is a massive shopping mall, Terminal 21 Pattaya, with a food court and cinemas. North Beach is easily connected to South Beach, Jomtien, and Na-Klua by public transportation. (songthaew taxi truck).

Kids play in a pool with bright red slides, water fountains, and palm trees.

The fabulous facilities for children at the Hard Rock Hotel.

3. Around Walking Street

A wood table and bench sits on a deck looking out at a beach and colorful town.

Relax at Pattaya Beer Garden near Walking Street and admire the views of South Beach and beyond.

Walking Street is listed because it’s a major attraction for many. The central location is an obvious reference point for other regions of Pattaya. Used by a few vehicles during the day before turning into a pedestrian-only laneway after dark, Walking Street is packed with bars – and almost nothing else. All are staffed by young Thai ladies, and, in some places, young Thai men and some staff are available for sex work. The beach is so unappealing that vendors don’t even bother offering any umbrellas or deck chairs. Hotels exist for the convenience of late-night revelers and those renting by the hour. Public transportation called songthaew, a taxi truck, stops at the northern end of Walking Street.

The pool next to the water.

The view from the pool at Siam Bayshore Resort in the Walking Street area.

  • The Best Hotels Around Walking Street:
    Siam Bayshore Hotel phone: +66 38 428 678
    Balihai Bay Hotel phone: +66 38 252 797
  • Best Moderate Hotels:
    W14 Hotel phone: +66 38 420 268
    Grand Hotel phone: +66 38 429 696
    Nightstar Hotel phone: +66 33 122 632
    Galaxy Suites Hotel phone: +66 33 042 111
    Top Thai Hotel phone: +66 90 132 5559

4. Na-Klua

People lounge in beach chairs on a sandy shore.

Guests at the Centara Grand Mirage resort enjoy a clean, shaded, and secluded beach.

North of the well-known Dolphin Roundabout at the top of North Beach is the extended peninsula generally called Na-Klua. It incorporates the beach areas of Wong Amat (within walking distance or a songthaew ride of North Beach) and Wong Phrachan (only accessible by taxi).

The narrow but quiet beaches are immaculately groomed in front of resorts, ideal for a romantic holiday. Much of the water is roped off for guests in front of major hotels, which reduces the intrusion of noisy water sports.

People stand on the beach at a fish market.

Among the huge resorts and towering condo buildings in Na-Klua is a busy fish market.

The access road south of the Centara Grand Mirage resort leads to a fish market and public beach. Most accommodations in Na-Klua are huge resorts, boutique hotels, or apartments for families. Upscale cafés and shops line the main road and backstreets. Songthaew public transportation connects to South Beach, but some taxi trucks detour into the chaotic backstreets rather than along the beachside road.

Children plan in a blue pool next to a tall resort.

Perfectly positioned where North Beach merges into the Na-Klua peninsula, the Dusit Thani resort is always popular.

5. Buddha Hill

White balconies sit on top of each other surrounded by lush tropical greens.

The Royal Cliff Beach Hotel is one of four within the Royal chain of resorts located close to each other at Buddha Hill.

The peninsula known as Buddha Hill (or Pratumnak) is between Walking Street and Jomtien Beach but, unfortunately, not within walking distance of either place. In stark contrast to most of Pattaya’s crowded and noisy parts, Buddha Hill is safe, spacious, green, and quietly absent from traffic. It’s ideal for families and first-time visitors. Massive condo complexes and mega-resorts offering vast, uninterrupted sea views dominate the area. On the downside, only a few sections of the coastline have decent beaches, and there are limited tourist amenities, except in the south, where Buddha Hill merges with Dongtan Beach. It’s not connected by public songthaew taxi trucks, but taxis are easily arranged at hotels.

A person sits in a blue pool.

The huge pool is just one reason why the InterContinental resort is popular with families.

6. Dongtan

A green branch of coconuts lay on the freshly raked beach next to folded colorful mats and chairs.

The beach at Dongtan is shaded, clean, and quiet – ideal for anyone seeking a respite from the crowds.

This surprisingly tranquil yet convenient area has a few modest hotels, some facing the glorious beach and many more among the backstreets, with a reputation for gay bars. Dongtan Beach is where patrons can enjoy a drink or meal at a laid back café with sea views and minimal traffic. The sand is white and shaded, and the water is mainly cordoned off from noisy water sports. In fact, frequent signs on the sand indicate a determination to remain peaceful – “No Loud Noises * No Littering * No Bar-B-Q” – so it’s ideal for relaxing and swimming, especially with children.

A bright blue pool with sun chairs and umbrellas.

The Avalon Beach Resort is one of a few hotels facing the sea at Dongtan.

A large bed is dressed with a hand woven blanket and pillows.

Our gorgeous room at the Rabbit Resort with beautiful décor and furnishings throughout.

  • The Best Hotels in Dongtan:
    Avalon Hotel phone: +66 38 303 999
    The Heritage Hotel phone: +66 38 250 888
  • Best Boutique Hotels:
    Rabbit Hotel phone: +66 38 251 731
    East Suites Hotel phone: +66 89 005 0012
    The Agate Hotel phone: +66 38 250 797
  • Best Family Hotels:
    Avalon Hotel phone: +66 38 303 999
    Zing Hotel phone: +66 38 304 037
    The Heritage Hotel phone: +66 38 250 888
  • Welcome World Hotel phone: +66 82 505 4655

  • Best Moderate Hotels:
    D.D. Inn Hotel phone: +66 96 205 6988
    The Venue Hotel phone: +66 38 303 787

7. North Jomtien

A paved path runs alongside the sand of the beach.

Strolling or cycling along the extended beachside path through North Jomtien and South Jomtien is enjoyable.

The main road from central Pattaya detours south around Buddha Hill and then runs parallel to a lovely, long (6km) beach called Jomtien. The northern section is convenient to central Pattaya and Walking Street by songthaew taxi trucks. It gets packed after 5 pm, but it’s walkable to Dongtan’s quieter, shaded beach.

Rows of bright red dragon fruit, yellow bananas, and mangos sit on a table at a market.

Delicious and fresh tropical fruit at the Jomtien Night Market.

The extended beachside path through North Jomtien, South Jomtien, and Dongtan is ideal for strolling, jogging, and cycling. Most hotels are low-key but comfortable and affordable. With calm water and white sand packed with umbrellas and deck chairs, this is a far more relaxing area for swimming and sunbathing than central Pattaya. Water sports are still prevalent, though. The food markets along the beachside and inner main roads (see earlier) are bonus attractions.

A long blue pool sits next to lounge chairs.

The pool at the Jomtien Palm Beach Hotel is spacious, comfortable, convenient, and great value.

8. South Jomtien

There is no shortage of places to buy souvenirs or, even, a fresh coconut along the road that parallels the beach.

After the beachside road through Jomtien crosses the first intersection with traffic lights, the beach doubles in width. There are only half as many deck chairs and umbrellas for rent. This is because along South Jomtien, especially further down the coast, there are more condos than hotels or resorts. Many people staying in South Jomtien have private vehicles, so public transport (songthaew taxi trucks) is less frequent. The beachside road eventually heads inland and joins the highway to Rayong, another beach resort area, and Utapao Airport, about 45 km from central Pattaya.

A tall white hotel with curved balconies stands tall.

Towering over the beachside road through South Jomtien, most rooms at D Varee hotel offer incredible views of the ocean.

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About Santorini Dave

Santorini Dave Author Bio. Santorini Dave was started in 2011 by a guy who loved Greece, travel, and great hotels. We're now a small team of writers and researchers on a mission to deliver the most helpful travel content on the internet. We specialize in Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, and Greece and recommend the best hotels, best neighborhoods, and best family hotels in top destinations around the world. We also make hotel maps and travel videos. I can be contacted at dave@santorinidave.com.