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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Royal Cliff Hotels: A 20-Year GM’s Luxe Revisit

As the former GM of this iconic hotel, it was a special occasion to stay overnight after 20 years. I live in Bangkok and have holiday properties in Pattaya, so the need to stay elsewhere is generally not necessary on my visits to the resort city; however, this was a celebration.

On arrival, we were shown a delightful sea view room in the Royal Cliff Grand Hotel, one of 4 of the group’s hotels. Now entering its fifth decade, I have been associated with this grande dame for a small part of its illustrious history under the extraordinary leadership of the Vathanakul family, particularly Khun Panga Vathanakul, the Managing Director. Today, the next generation of the family helps hold the reins with Khun Vitanart  ‘Gap’ Vathanakul as the Group’s CEO.

I was the general manager of this magnificent property, which has grown from a small one-hotel resort into four great hotels with world-class facilities and restaurants on 64 acres of grounds. It has an impressive arsenal of 280 top awards (including 15 TTG Travel Hall of Fame Awards) since being established in 1973.

It was the first hotel in Thailand to build a privately owned, fully equipped Convention Centre – PEACH (Pattaya Exhibition and Convention Hall). Capable of seating 4,900 people.

I had the responsibility with the MD and all of her family to welcome former PM General Prem Tinsulanonda in 2000 as a guest of honour during the official opening. On behalf of my team of over 1,500 associates, it was a proud day.

Following expansion, PEACH today is four times larger and is heralded as one of Asia’s leading resort convention venues, offering an all-in-one convention solution, recognised as a forerunner in Thailand’s MICE sector. It has over 23,500 sqm of event space and boasts state-of-the-art amenities, impeccable services, and advanced technical support. It is ideal for hosting events ranging from trade shows, international conferences and exhibitions to product launches and banquets.

The Royal Cliff Group of Hotels has been a beacon of luxury and hospitality. The Royal Cliff Grand, with its inauguration at the time of PEACH’s opening, redefined and lifted the bar higher.  Designed to cater to the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions (MICE) sector in conjunction with PEACH, providing service at the highest levels.

The Royal Cliff Hotels Group stands as a unique destination in a spectacular location and goes beyond just providing luxurious accommodations.

Delivering a comprehensive and world-class experience, the resort boasts an impressive array of amenities. With 20 restaurants, bars, and a bakery, the property caters to all preferences and palates, offering a culinary journey that is simply exceptional.

As the former GM, I wanted to try the signature Grand BBQ Buffett. Available on the last Saturday night of each month – it is a highlight. The choice was excellent, and we all overate. Khun Panga, the MD, said hello and, along with the GM, warmly welcomed our table.

The Saturday Evening Grand Barbecue Buffet at Larn Thong restaurant, with both indoor and outdoor seating options, is open every last Saturday of the month from 18:45 to 22:30.

We sat outdoors, just perfect with live music and cool breezes. A good selection of Thai, Chinese, Italian, Indian and Japanese dishes. BBQ meats, fresh seafood and other goodies straight from the grill along with a varied dessert menu. Just THB 1,650++ per person (USD 56 net).

The resort has seven pools; the private beaches add extra choices of sandy beaches, waves and sea views.

Sports enthusiasts can find solace in the myriad of sporting facilities available within the resort. From well-equipped fitness centres to 8 excellent tennis courts with 2 squash courts plus spaces for various outdoor activities, the Royal Cliff caters to a diverse range of interests.

As the General Manager, my time overseeing the operations of this magnificent property was marked by a commitment to excellence and a dedication to maintaining the Royal Cliff Group of Hotels’ position as a leader in luxury hospitality.

As one of Thailand’s premier resorts, The Royal Cliff Group of Hotels will continue to set new standards, offering guests an unparalleled experience on the East Coast of Thailand.




Written by: Andrew J Wood







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