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By Rhiannon Caldwell

In the 1960s Pattaya was discovered by the US military personnel who would travel from U-Tapao Army Air Field 40 km away in order to enjoy the beautiful half moon bay called Pattaya Beach. At the time of the Vietnam war Pattaya was nothing more than a simple fishing village, much like Na Klua still is today. The draw of the golden sands and the 4 km of perfect beach in a tropical setting was just the draw the soldiers needed to rest and relax. Hotels, shops, bars and restaurants began to open and now Pattaya is a bustling international tourist destination.

At the epicenter of what makes Pattaya great. If you want the best location in Pattaya then you simply must experience the Hilton.

Today at the center of Pattaya Beach you will now find a beautiful shopping mall overlooking the sea, and attached to it is the Pattaya Hilton. At the epicenter of what makes Pattaya great. If you want the best location in Pattaya then you simply must experience the Hilton.

The mall is not the only thing overlooking Pattaya Bay, the Pattaya Hilton has an amazing infinity pool with lush tropical landscaping and views from the center of the bay overlooking the sunset in the evenings. An absolute perfect place to enjoy an afternoon cocktail, or the company of your beloved tee rak. The lounge chairs poolside are simply divine giving you a bit of privacy and views that will take your breath away. It is little wonder that the Pattaya Hilton was awarded the prestigious Best Hotel in Thailand Award by the International Hotel Awards in 2013-2014.

Photographer's note! If you get the chance the photo opportunities for sunset shots are absolutely breathtaking, especially the panoramic shots with a good camera. The end of the rainy season going into the cold season is the best! You can catch purple skies and spectacular lighting shots if you get the right weather. Maybe you will even catch a glimpse of the Admirillica Pirate ship that has been pillaging the Bali Hai Pier since last year.

Ok so the pool is great, but what about the spa? Well what would a luxury resort be without a spa? It wouldn’t be a luxury resort that is for sure. The Hilton has hotels all over the world and they are renowned for the spa days that they offer the world over. Thailand is also known worldwide for their massage and spa treatments. Combine these two experts together and you have one of the most euphoric spa experiences I have ever received.

Let’s put that into perspective a little, my introduction to the world of spa treatments such as facials and massage was at 19 when I became a concierge at a 5 star resort, I was literally given massages and facials by all the different therapists so that I could properly recommend the services to my clients based on what they needed. The BEST on the job training I have ever or will ever receive hands down. I now consider myself a spa expert as I have carried that training with me for more years than I care to admit in this article. the eforea Spa in the Hilton Pattaya takes the cake. You literally get your own bespoke spa package for whatever your wants needs and desires are. Facials, massages in multiple styles, body scrubs, aromatherapy, reflexology, and overall wellness are all available and in ready supply. The staff are friendly, knowledgeable, and best of all extremely skilled. Even if you are not staying in the hotel, book your spa treatments at eforea Spa.

Since Hilton is known for doing everything over the top, they of course have a top notch hair and nail salon available as well. If it were me and, I had an endless budget to pamper myself I would show up and book the jet lag treatment, then get my hair and nails done, since travelling is always murder on my manicure, and then hit the pool for sunset cocktails and then perhaps a night dancing out on the town.

Dining Options

Taking a holiday and dining out, just go together. There are five options for dining at the Hilton. The Shore is open 8 - 8 seven days a week and is located at the pool! There is a swim up bar, and many healthy options if you want something after a good workout. Don’t fret, if comfort food is what you crave there is plenty of that on the menu as well. Shore has a diverse menu, fantastic cocktails and a stellar location.

Flare is an interesting one, open for dinner only from 6pm to 10:30 every evening they serve rural Thai cuisine cooked with ingredients from around the world and paired with wine. It makes about as much sense as adding sweet, salt, sour, spicy, and bitter to one bowl of ma ma noodles and having it taste like a gourmet meal but they have pulled it off. If you have a foodie friend that complains there is no fine dining in Thailand, take them to Flare, and you will win!

The Edge is open at 6 o’clock in the morning and stays open until 11:30 pm. Each day has a different theme, and Friday is a celebration of seafood and should not be missed if you can help it. A veritable feast of the finest fish Pattaya has to offer. The kitchen is open and the chefs regularly interact with patrons. There is seating both indoors and outside on the terrace. All around the Edge is a great choice.

Drift along as from 9 am to midnight in this special lounge. The ceiling is the coolest part, combined with the floor to ceiling windows overlooking the sea and the indoor water features you feel like you are adrift at sea when you visit Drift. Drift is not really for sitting down for a heavy meal but rather lounging to read a book, or chat with friends and enjoy healthy juice, or light tapas. The vibe is relaxed, and it can be a really cool place to hang out when it rains and the windows become waterfalls.

Perfect on one of Thailand's spectacular full moons. This is another place photographers will love, and grabbing a selfie with lights of the city behind you is killer.

For night owls take to the sky at the Hiltons rooftop bar Horizon. Escape from the madness of Pattaya and enjoy the view of the bay with the wind in your face, and the moon in your view. Perfect on one of Thailand's spectacular full moons. This is another place photographers will love, and grabbing a selfie with lights of the city behind you is killer.

Hilton is an international hotel chain and they have built the Pattaya Hilton hotel to follow the Americans with Disabilities Act standards. There is wheelchair accessibility, alarm systems to alert both visually impaired guests as well as hearing impaired guests, and a host of other amenities designed to give all guests equal access regardless of ability. Hilton Hotels was started by Conrad Hilton with a single hotel in Texas, USA in 1919. Today there are over 530 Hilton branded hotels around the world in over 78 countries spanning 6 continents.