Asia, Gary Fong, Pattaya, Stay, Thailand — April 25, 2012 at 11:57 am




D2 Hotel, my go-to-retreat-when-shit-flares-up

PATTAYA, THAILAND - Civil unrest, political coups and floods… if you’re a frequent visitor to Thailand, chances are, you’ll probably have the unfortunate experience of encountering one or more of these dramas.  For me, it was the Red Shirt Protests, whose leaders chose to make Ratchadamri, my neighborhood at the time, their very own ground zero for all red activity.  I also had the bad luck – or good fortune depending on one’s perspective – of being in Bangkok on December 26, 2004, the date of the Boxing Day tsunami.

Pool at the D2

So, where does one go when disaster and discord strike?  Do you flee the country and forfeit the holiday?  Or is it safer to hole up in your hotel or apartment and wait it out?  Well, if you’re in Bangkok when the shit hits, a great way to escape the drama (and one I employed quite often during the red shirt protests) is to grab the first taxi you see and have it take you directly to the D2 Hotel (part of the Dusit hotel group) in the beach city of Pattaya which tends to be oddly unaffected when strife occurs in Thailand.

Once in Pattaya, you can wait out the drama while ensconced in the safety and security of the D2.  There’s a great roof top lounge, an awesome pool and pretty good spa/gym facilities.  Plus, the D2 attracts a more upscale crowd (locals and ex-pats) so there’s no dealing with those package tour groups or elderly folk who seemingly flock to Pattaya in droves.  Another thing I like about the D2 is that it’s located in the center of town which makes it easy to indulge in a bit of that revelry which Pattaya is known for (see sex, sand and sleaze by the seashore) – restaurants and bars are nearby, the beach is a couple of blocks away, and Central Festival Mall (where you can find Kuppa and its fab chocolate torte cake) is easily reached via a short scooter ride.

So, if you find yourself in Thailand when something bad is going down, or if you just need a great place to stay for your weekend away from Bangkok, remember there’s always the D2 Hotel, my go-to-retreat-when-shit-flares-up. For more info on the D2, here’s their website:

What’s the little thing that makes the D2 worthwhile?  The comfort of knowing that you can get any taxi in Bangkok, and in a couple of hours be poolside at the D2, away from all the strife and drama.

Getting there – Pattaya is about a two hour drive from Bangkok.  Most taxi drivers are keen on doing the run though you will have to negotiate the fare – figure on paying around 1000 THB or about US$30 each way.

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Standard Room at D2

Outdoor Spa Area









Photos:  Gary Fong

Author:  Gary Fong


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