Pattaya has an extensive selection of inexpensive mid-range accommodation, and a good variety of more upmarket options. Standard rooms (double bed, air-con, cable TV, refrigerator, hot shower) start from 400 baht/night, and rates are invariably per room, not per person.
Soi Buakhao has many relatively cheap guest houses and is popular with long-stay visitors, with other budget places along Soi LK Metro and Soi Honey Inn.
Very few of these can be booked online, or appear on hotel booking sites. The cheaper places are often above bars or massage shops, and may therefore be noisy at night. There’s generally no need to book in advance.
Like all resort areas in Thailand, hotel pricing is highly seasonal. High season dates vary from hotel to hotel, but typically prices go up considerably during the Christmas-New Year’s period (which co-incides neatly with the season of best weather), and are lower between February and October/November. In addition to higher rates during the holiday period, guests staying over Christmas and New Year’s Eve will often be required to pay for compulsory “gala dinners” which can substantially increase the cost of the room. In recent years some hotels have started to insist that March is also covered by ‘high season’ prices — presumably because professional Western visitors are usually free to visit during a long Easter holiday break from work, and are happy to do so despite the worsening weather.
With the exception of large resorts or international chains such as the Hard Rock and Marriott, the lowest rates available from abroad are typically those available from the hotels directly. Except for the least expensive, many will handle reservations via email or a web form. Many will expect a deposit, especially during high season, usually by credit card or bank transfer.
While some hotels do not allow working girls to accompany guests to their rooms, the majority of hotels in Pattaya are used to (and even expect) it — though some “upmarket” hotels may charge a “joiner fee” for unregistered visitors as discouragement. In most hotels, security staff will keep hold of visitors’ ID cards until they leave, to help protect the client from possible theft or assault, and to deter prostitutes under 20 years of age from entering the hotel. On leaving, staff will ask the girl if she had any complaints about the client.
For visitors who simply want to sleep soundly, a box of high-grade foam earplugs is a wise investment when staying at many Pattaya hotels. Also be aware that many hotels in Pattaya allow smoking in all rooms. This is nearly universal in the budget range. With the exception of those operated under the auspices of large international chains, those hotels that have dedicated non-smoking rooms will typically only have a few of them. If you are intolerant of tobacco smoke, make sure to inquire directly with the hotels about their policies and the availability of non-smoking rooms.