Six of the best: Pattaya Thailand resorts

See smartraveller.gov.au before you go.

WAVE HOTEL

The Wave stands like a post-Capone dandy, flash as a rat in an aqua-blue zoot suit. A cherry red mock-rod Cadillac parked in the forecourt adds to the look. Newest kid on the block, Wave is like nothing that Pattaya Beach Road has seen before - and that's saying something. This boutique art deco bolthole that samples Miami glam of the 1940s is the latest creation of the savvy Sukusol family, Thailand's "musical hoteliers". Wave is "hip" in the best-fun sense and has just 21 rooms. Sometimes the playful deco-style decor is a bit too busy but each room has a front-stalls view of Pattaya Bay and its day-night follies. Sunset rooms from $158.

See wavepattaya.com.

PATTAYA MARRIOTT RESORT & SPA

Pattaya Marriott flips the idea of urban jungle inside out. Uber-urban Pattaya hustles and jives 24/7 but once you step into the resort's three-hectare haven, all is calm, all is cool. The Marriott's intimacy belies its size of 298 rooms and the place is in top nick, including its two tennis courts, Garden Cafe, pool and Pattaya's best resort gym. A kid's club and its own farm-grown produce complement other Marriott "standards" such as the business centre and Club Lounge. If the "worst" thing one can say about this place is that the lift was a little slow, well ...

Deluxe garden view rooms from $153. See marriott.com/hotels/travel/pyxmc-pattaya-marriott-resort-and-spa.

DUSIT THANI PATTAYA

Sufficiently distant from the sunstroke days and boogie nights of the town proper (and sometimes improper), the Dusit is traditional and tranquil, with marble arcades, topiary gardens and a secluded beach. It is large, at 457 rooms, but not impersonal. It specifically welcomes families - indeed, kids dine free with their parents. The eighth-floor club lounge spoils your afternoon in the best sense with cocktails, canapes and newspapers, plus a regal view of the bay. It's a view shared by the deluxe sea-view rooms. Don't miss the Bay Restaurant's Saturday night buffet, a cornucopia of gourmet sensations. Garden view rooms from $106.

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See dusit.com/dusit-thani/dusit-thani-pattaya.

PULLMAN PATTAYA HOTEL G

The 353-room Pullman G is a family-friendly oasis on Naklua-Wong Amat beach in North Pattaya. From here you can balance mornings by the sea with later excursions for downtown shopping or checking out Walking Street's circus a go-go. There's a hotel shuttle running part of the way. Rooms and suites come in a range of styles - an executive club room, for instance, has a 42 square metre layout and sea-view balcony. There are two large swimming pools and, a few steps across the beach, Pattaya Bay. Hit the Beach Club for breakfast and other feasts and the Aisawan Spa for a spectacular massage. Deluxe room from $70.

See pullmanpattayahotelg.com.

AMARI OCEAN PATTAYA

From the Amari Ocean's upper-floor Horizon Club you can gaze out over the Gulf of Thailand, seemingly halfway to Cambodia. An open-plan sea-view room sports a similar view. Muted hallways mean no trolley clatter or late-nighters' party blather. Downstairs, the Breeze Spa is sanely priced and its menu includes the well-targeted Workaholics Reprieve massage. Amari Ocean (formerly Amari Orchid) has two large pools and a sports pub but the standout is its stylish Mantra restaurant. The cuisine - Thai, Western, Japanese and more - is unmatched in Pattaya and the Sunday brunch is a local legend in its own brunchtime. Sea-view rooms from $106.

See amari.com/ocean-pattaya.

CENTARA GRAND MODUS RESORT PATTAYA

The very new Centara Grand Modus (not to be confused with nearby Centara Grand Mirage) on Wong Amat Beach, North Pattaya, features faux industrial "steampunk" architecture that's reminiscent of Fritz Lang's Metropolis with chandeliers. Of the 252 guest rooms, opt for a deluxe ocean view over the no-balcony superior room. There is a semi-private beach and three pools plus other play facilities to keep the kids entertained. This a quiet area some 25 minutes from central Pattaya's shops and nightlife riot but next door is the massive, all-wood Sanctuary of Truth temple, and the shops, cafes and bars of Naklua are just a shuttle ride away. Superior rooms from $80.

See centarahotelsresorts.com/centaragrand/CGMP.

The writer was a guest of Pattaya and stayed at all six resorts.

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