I’ve probably reviewed a couple of hundred hotels, restaurants, bars, festivals, airlines and other touristy stuff over my years of traveling. I try to be very balanced, leaving at least as many positive remarks as I do negative. I’m also not prone to hyperbole, so your ears should perk up when I tell you that the Red Hill Café in Jomtien, Thailand is THE nicest café I’ve ever been in and one of the coolest cafes in the world! Amazing, right?
Finding the Red Hill Cafe
Located on a nondescript road filled with the usual beer bars, cheap pension houses, 7-11’s and laundries, the café is a short walk from the beach but offers little in view or outdoor ambiance.
They do have a front porch seating area with tables, but no one ever sits out there. But step inside, and you’ll be amazed. The café is set up like a luxury eco-hotel lobby and a National Geographic museum had a love child. Where do I even start? It’s a big space with polished concrete floors, big floor to ceiling windows on the street side letting plenty of natural light in. It really flows as an open space, but also they created different zones or pockets based on how the furniture is situated. There are a few standard square tables with restaurant style chairs, but also a variety of natural wood tables, round wooden tables, super comfy leather couches and lounge chairs with a coffee table, and more.
If you want more privacy, there’s also a side room off of the main area with a huge wooden table that can seat about ten people.
Aside a myriad of different tables and seating, the decorations are really sublime From lighting fixtures to lamps, wall hangings to photography and artwork, and even eclectic decorations like a shelf with military-themed items like a jeep, toy gun and grenade (odd!) – your eye will also have something interesting to explore.
Even the bathrooms are insanely nice, and we joke around that we can just sit in the bathroom with a laptop to do some work and it would be nicer than most cafes!
I’ve come this far, and I still haven’t even told you about the coffee or the food. They make great lattes, cappuccinos, and every other coffee drink you can imagine. They also serve Thai and international beers. The menu goes from muffins, cakes, etc. to breakfast of big omelets and pancakes. Around lunch time, you can get a variety of traditional Thai dishes like Pad Thais, soups, barbecued ribs, etc. and other Asian fare like fried rice.
While the food is good and the portions are solid, I would say that they do take a long time to bring out your coffee or food. It’s not because they don’t care, as the young staff (it seems there is one young girl and guy always working, and then a nice middle-aged woman – who is possibly the owner) are always hustling. It’s just that they are a little spread thin. The kitchen is outside in a separate building so they’re constantly running back and forth, and they put care into making every coffee. So it’s not the place for you if you’re in a rush, but these same workers are super friendly, helpful, and cheery.
In all, you’ve GOT to check out the Red Hill Café if you’re in Jomtien or even Pattaya, and take a bunch of photos because my review doesn’t do it justice!