Has Pattaya really gone upscale?
More than once I almost had to justify my reasons to work and live in Pattaya to those that have a certain judgmental prejudice about what they think is ‘Sin City’ point-blank…
A short while ago I was invited to an agency gathering on the roof-top pool area at Raimon Land’s Northpoint condominium project. Standing on the 44th floor of this modern ocean-front high-riser I was fascinated by the great skyline of Pattaya City underneath. For a second I remembered some of the great metropolitans I visited in my life and suddenly realized I was simply admiring Pattaya City on the Gold Coast of Thailand. My home.
Cees ‘KC’ Cuijpers, MD & Partner, Town & Country Property presents Pattaya City’s panoramaWhat happened with Pattaya? Has it lost its youth and suddenly matured? This could well be the case.
On my first ever trips to Thailand nearly 20 years ago I remember Pattaya being a village more than anything else. Still large chunks of bare land everywhere you wandered. A ‘rough diamond in the making’, back then. I would never have thought that Pattaya would become my safe haven for many years to come. The face of Pattaya was (and still is) dominated by a large number of tourists that are enjoying many of the pleasures Thailand has to offer them and Pattaya in particular. As a tourist destination, I remember clearly over past years, that certain months of the year were much quieter than others. September for example has always been one of those typical off-season periods where shopping malls stayed empty and (foot-) traffic was at an absolute bare minimum. Organizing property roadshows (after all I am in the property business here) during these months was a clear “no-no”. No point to look for customers if they are not around.
Last week I was having a café Latte (with apple pie) together with one of my closest friends here who happens to be one of the leading hospitality entrepreneurs and one of the most successful property developers here in Pattaya. The coffee shop where we often meet is renowned for its great pastry and is called “La Baguette”, part of the Woodlands Hotel on Naklua Road. While we were chatting about everything and nothing in a time-span of not more than 45 minutes there must have been at least 30-35 guests in and out that I would love to class as “Typical Hi-So Bangkok Thais”… Now, that more or less surprised both of us, as this would not even have happened 5 years ago if we were sitting there ALL day!
The majority of these Thai was probably not even 25 years old, mainly female and all ‘dressed’ for a relaxed weekend with friends and intimates. Of course, taking loads of photos of each other that are posted on their Facebook profiles the next day; ready for everyone to be ‘tagged’. [“Tagging” is a popular activity on the worlds’ largest social network Facebook (FB), and it shows ‘who is who’ in the photo albums that are posted online and visible to hundreds if not thousands of friends that are connected to your FB account.]
So back to our conversation over our nice cup of café Latte… Both of us, long-term residents here in Pattaya, came to the same conclusion and we fully agreed “Pattaya is BACK on the map”. Not that much for foreign tourists (as Pattaya has always been popular anyway), no, Pattaya is back for the Thais! Now, that immediately explains why the city nowadays has a constant “buzz” throughout the year inclusive of the month of September. Pattaya is rediscovered!
I feel that Pattaya’s changes over just a very limited number of years have created a warm safety net for those that seek comfort in their “own” trusted and familiar environment. Now that explains why the Bangkokians restarted to adore Pattaya again. Imagine yourself seated in one of the ‘plunge chairs’ (pool & lounge) on the 16th floor of the newly opened 5-star Hilton Hotel overlooking the city and ocean in front of you, sipping a fresh cocktail with trendy lounge music in the background and an evening sea breeze tickling your neck… Yeah, if this is a crime then by God let me enjoy it before I am struck by lightning.
Pattaya isn’t Pattaya anymore. If you look down from above, a few clutches of beer bars and massage parlors have become nothing more than a small row of pink neon lights… That’s the dawn of a new era to me. And to everyone. Gosh, I would love to invite everyone to celebrate the rebirth of Pattaya City with me. Just the way I wanted it to be: Pattaya, my home.
Cees Cuijpers (KC) is Dutch; born in the Netherlands and moved his home base to Thailand in 1997.
The experience and background of Cees were in the hospitality industry and logistics where he specialized in sales & marketing.
Ever since Cuijpers arrived in Asia he has been active in the business.
Cees Cuijpers is Managing Director/Partner of Town & Country Property Co., Ltd, based on the Eastern Seaboard of Thailand; one of Pattaya’s leading real-estate outfits.
Cuijpers joined T&C right after the company became active in Thailand in 2003.
Heading the architectural and design department, T&C rapidly gained popularity as not many real-estate agencies were offering similar services.
After a buyout in early 2005 Cuijpers partnered with Herman van Gucht and became Managing Director of Town & Country Property.
Since then the company has grown and ‘hands-on’ Cees has become one of the most respected property entrepreneurs on the Eastern Seaboard of Thailand.
His expertise and knowledge focus on Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard, the city of Pattaya in particular.
An impressive portfolio of completed turnkey remodeling- and renovation projects resulted in a strategic move whereby Cuijpers decided to focus only on company-dedicated residential projects.
His last commercial turnkey outfit was reserved for Jameson’s | The Irish Pub at Nova Park which to date is still one of the most popular establishments of its kind here in Pattaya.
On most of the signature projects from Town & Country Property, the showcases are made by Cees himself with a great eye for detail.
Under his portfolio are: The Residence (68 boutique-style luxury apartments); Whispering Palms (executive villa estate) and The Meadows (46 trendy modern city-villas).
The latter received warm recommendations by the judges of the Thailand Property Awards 2009 as silver-finalist “Best Villa Project Thailand”.