Last week, I had the chance to visit a couple of friends that live in Thailand. I’ve known one of them for years, an Aussie guy who came to the Kingdom of Siam ten years ago and started a new life there, marrying a wonderful Thai woman and having a little son who is three now. The other has been visiting Thailand on and off for decades, but just moved over a year ago once he retired from his job in the U.S.
They both live in Jomtien, a quiet seaside suburb of crazy Pattaya, which is like the adult Las Vegas of Thailand and only 1 ½ hours from Bangkok. Well, one of my friends purchased two condominiums when he got here, one called Park Lane and the other Park Place, both by the same builder. Since he’s a rockstar of a friend, he’s let me stay at both places (for free!) while I’ve visited, so today, I’ll tell ya a little about Park Lane, first.
The Park Lane Condos
Just like Jomtien is the much quieter, more peaceful, and manageable little sister of Pattaya, Park Lane is in an area that’s less touristy and developed than the many long streets of bars, cafes, laundries, cell phone shops, etc. that run perpendicular to the beach, or Beach Road. But it’s not far off, an easy moto ride or even a healthy walk from the beach. The cool thing is that Park Lane is on a small road that’s usually traveled only by people living or working in these two condos, or packs of wild but friendly dogs that sleep in the dirt lot next door.
But despite its humble surroundings, Park Lane is a seriously nice condo. It’s divided into about eight buildings that contain all of the individual condos, so you access your building by its own separate entrance. The single bedroom condos are small by U.S. standards but perfectly functional for a single person, a couple, or even if you’re visiting and have one young child. But they are modern, clean, well laid out, and well built. I’m sure they have bigger two bedroom condos, too, and each unit has a balcony either facing the outside or the pool.
Inside these buildings is a huge courtyard in the middle, which is really the highlight of Park Lane. In this massive courtyard – about as big as a football field – is an epically nice swimming pool, with sub-pools, shallow areas, grottos, meandering tributaries that wind around, and walking bridges spanning it all.
Around and within the pool are little garden areas with palm trees and beautiful plantings, so it’s so nice to hang out poolside in the shade or sun and just relax and swim for an afternoon. In the courtyard, they also have a fitness area, an oval building with floor to ceiling glass for the walls. While the building may be striking, I find the exercise equipment to be a little lightweight, old, and flimsy, although I get it that it’s not for serious exercising – just breaking a sweat while you’re on vacation. The highlight of the courtyard other than the pool is the café, so you can sit outside overlooking the pool and drink a coffee or have a beer, go inside and order some great Thai or international food from a huge menu, or even shop for food, drinks, toiletries, or drop your laundry off.
The food at this little café is REALLY good, even by amazing Thai standards, and the gals working there, just like everyone at secure and spotless Park Lane, are friendly, respectful, and downright sweet.
You can book longterm, month-to-month, or even daily or weekly rentals, and there are always units for sale.