One of the great things about living in Pattaya is not only its varied lifestyle, quality restaurants and 5 star hotels, but also its location, which easily allows for long weekends away to the likes of Koh Chang, Koh Samet and of course to Hua Hin by utilizing the new ferry.
However, if you are interested in nature you may want to venture to the north east towards Nakhon Ratchasima, Sa Kaeo, Nakhon Nayok and an ideal way to break the journey is to stop in Kabinburi in the province of Prachin Buri.
Kabinburi is two hours east of Bangkok, and roughly the same travelling time from Nakhon Ratchasima and Pattaya.
In February of 2017 a brand new hotel opened in Kabinburi called Serenity Hotel & Spa, which has quickly become very popular with Thais and foreigners who fancy a weekend away or as an ideal stopover on their onwards journey.
The hotel is a family owned business and very ably managed by Olivier Daniel, an energetic Frenchman with an eye for detail and over 20 years in the hospitality sector as an executive chef at 5 star resorts around the globe.
The 70-key hotel comes with four room types, most of which face the immense swimming pool while some additional deluxe rooms face the front of the hotel.
The pool view rooms consist of Executive Pool, Executive Garden, Standard King and Standard Twin They are spacious, well laid out and bring a feeling of pure quality, in fact the Serenity Hotels motto is ‘affordable luxury’.
Wooden floors offer a nice change from polished tiles and each room type has either baths or high quality showers and all with excellent bedding and blackout curtains ensuring a truly relaxing and refreshing sleep.
During the conception of the property, Olivier met with freelance architects so that they could bring his vision to life. He also travelled extensively and was impressed with the facilities at attractions and hotels in Japan, especially the onsens.
An onsen is a Japanese hot spring and bathing facility that comes in many types and shapes, including outdoor ones in Japan because of the natural volcanic activity. You can find an onsen at traditional Japanese hotels called ryokan, where they are often heated electronically.
This appealed to Olivier and his team, and it was decided that this would be a major attraction for the resort, the result being two onsens, one which is similar to a traditional indoor heated swimming pool and the other being formed around rocks where you can either simply paddle your feet or lie back and enjoy the therapeutic waters which are heated up to 42 degrees.
In Japan guests normally bath naked with separate onsens for males and females, however Olivier recognized that the Thai culture is somewhat different, so guests are supplied with undergarments and traditional robes which of course allows for the perfect selfie.
The resort also features a dedicated spa with the traditional Thai set-up of many individual beds for massage, complimented by individual rooms and even a massage room for couples. Foot massage, Thai massage, aromatherapy, sport massage and body scrubs are all available.
Serenity also has an in-house yoga teacher who does group and one on one classes and a fully equipped gymnasium with two personal trainers.
Another great aspect of Serenity is its proximity to the Kabinburi Sports Club Golf Course (KBSC) which is a par-72 world class golf club that acts as a venue for the Thailand LPGA championship. There is also another local course nearby called Hillside Golf Club.
Serenity has caught the attention of many golfers from Pattaya, including the members of the Pattaya Sports Club who enjoy the drive up to Kabinburi for a couple of nights stay at the hotel with a great game of golf wedged in between.
Food and beverage comes in the form of ‘Mady’, a large well laid out restaurant with attentive English speaking staff, a comprehensive menu, featuring many cuisines such as Japanese sushi and sashimi, French, Thai, Italian, desserts and everyday promotions. Beers and spirits are of course available as are a selection of fine wines from Italy, France, Australia, Chile, South Africa, Argentina and New Zealand.
The restaurant also features a brick build wood-fired pizza oven which reaches up to 600 degrees and is the only one in the province. In addition there is a separate dining area for private parties, following the Japanese style with a sunken floor, lowered table and a karaoke system for that full party effect.
Serenity Hotel & Spa has recently been awarded a 9.5 rating from Agoda and 9.3 from Booking.com.
The hotel has a strong concept and vision and because of its independent nature it allows the owners to take on feedback from customers and make changes that enhance the guest’s experience.
For more information go to www.serenityhotelonsen.com or call 037 625 444.