Islands in the seascape

Wild views, wifi and water, high teas, monster mai tais, clamshell beds and illuminated eggs, make Drift at Pattaya Hilton an alluring oasis of chic and savvy

With all due respects to Tiffany, the best show in town when you're in Pattaya is the bay. Some of the city scenery may be a mite unsavoury but its geographic inheritance still trumps all. The only challenge is finding somewhere that measures up to the view from which to drink it in.

Not anymore. Hilton Pattaya has been expressly designed to incorporate a space specifically devoted to the purpose of soaking up the spectacle, especially the consistently stunning sunsets to the southwest.

Its name is Drift, which is appropriate because, consistent with the hotel's floating theme, it's a place where the smoky grey seats are half clamshell bamboo beds set on individual islands amidst a shallow sea so still it acts like a mirror while at the same time tapering infinity-fashion into the briny beyond.

Design-wise, Drift cleverly picks up on the location, both with its water theme and sculpted shapes that emanate mock moonlight. A glass wall ensures unobstructed views of the sea and, on a clear night, the moon and stars, so that you do indeed get a sense of being at one with creation in this particular little neck of the universe.

The other basic idea is to offer a space where you can really chillax, which is why the seating takes the form of beds onto which you flop Supperclub fashion with one or two intimates.

Limiting numbers to just the two of you, however, is more conducive to ordering up some of the refreshments in which Drift specialises; essentially cocktails, including the biggest Mai Tai in Pattaya, and high teas, elegantly served on silver trees as befits the hotel's upscale status and clientele.

Afternoon tea is reasonably priced at 400 baht net. The set includes one tree of two levels each, a thermos-like flask of Dilmah designer tea and one glass of white wine or rose{aac}. The edibles include Truffled quail's egg mayo finger sandwiches, Salmon, cucumber, dill cream cheese bagel, Chicken, roast peppers, mozzarella cheese wrapped in tortilla. Then there are Fruit Scones, clotted cream, home-made strawberry jam, Cheesecake, lemon tea cake, profiteroles, chocolate strawberries and macaroons.

Nibbling and sipping away in such a trendy space as the sun slips vermillion into the sea and you load images taken with your iPhone onto your Facebook page, is an experience well worth coming to Pattaya for alone.

Presumably, if you are taking tea, you are planning a latish supper but if your schedule includes some snacks, Drift also serves as an attractive cocktails spot on the way and its signature monster Mai Tais are especially conducive. With generous pourings of dark rum, light rum, three different liqueurs, pineapple juice and sweet and sour lemon syrup, served in a glass the size of an ice bucket with straws for all, chimes particularly well with the surrounds and sense of occasion. After all, the drink is the same colour as the sunset. Served with roasted cashews, it's a perfect early evening pick-me-up that sets the tone for a night of revelry.

All in all, much more than just intriguing place to immerse yourself in tropical seaside at sundowner time.

drift. Hilton Pattaya:
333/101 Moo 9 Nong Prue Banglamung, Pattaya Chonburi, 20260. Tel. +66 (0)3 825 3000.

About the author

Writer: Noel Maclean
Position: Holiday Time writer