Editor’s note: The following is a submission from one of our readers who offered to share his recent experiences of going through the alternative state quarantine process and other requirements to enter Thailand recently and is currently wrapping up his quarantine period. He shares this to hopefully give others an idea of the experience. His thoughts, photos, and opinions are his own. This is PART FOUR. Part one can be found here. Also, part two can be found here. And, here is part three. This continues directly from part three, we suggest you read that first.
I spent many hours before booking an ASQ hotel reviewing trip advisor, youtube, and other social media ensuring that when I chose a hotel it was the correct one to suit my needs.
I love Bangkok and they have great hotels in which I’ve stayed many times but they don’t, for the most part, have balconies. So I quickly ruled them out. Especially when, on youtube, a blogger who was staying in a 28SqM bedroom, jogged 6 KM around his bed every day!
So I decided I needed a room with a balcony and Pattaya had some to chose from. My budget was 50,000 baht for the 14 nights 15-day stay. I, in fact, wrote to 4 or more hotels but the Grand Bella, Pattaya, e-mailed me back instantly and the communications were always professional and friendly. (Editor-Grand Bella was the first ASQ and field hospital in Pattaya and has had significant experience with perfecting the process. It is also the regular site for proactive community testing.)
They charged 42,000 baht for a deluxe pool room with a balcony. This included 2 covid tests, 3 meals a day, room cleaning, and many other extras plus 2,000 baht for a journey from the airport to the hotel.
This, I thought, was excellent value when you consider I paid nearly 16,000 baht for 2 covid tests in England. Additionally, the hotel was next to the Pattaya Memorial Hospital if anything should go wrong.
On arrival at the Grand Bella hotel, I had to sit on a chair outside the hotel whilst a health check and some formalities were professionally and quickly taken, but then I was brought to my room 1412.
The room was a perfect size and clean, which I would expect, but the first thing I did was go out onto the balcony (You probably would too after many hours on a plane and going through various paperwork checks!). WHAM. Absolutely fabulous, just what I had hoped a real Mediterranean feel with fantastic warm weather as opposed to the winter in the UK I had left behind. Glorious.
I instantly knew I’d made the correct decision. I’d brought many reading books and knew I’d spend many happy hours reading on this sun-drenched space. My first meal arrived shortly afterward. You have 3 choices for each meal. The food was fabulous, far better than I could have imagined, plentiful, and of great quality. When I read the reviews of others staying in other hotels their food wasn’t of an acceptable standard. But this was brilliant..again, glad I chose the Grand Bella.
The next thing, I, in England, am a TV addict and in my room was NETFLIX. So I have a great balcony overlooking the pool, great food, Netflix which is a dream, and I have a bathtub in the bathroom as well as a shower. All in all my experience could not be better.
After 5 days I had a negative Covid-19 test and so I am allowed 1-hour exercise on the rooftop. I became friendly with an Englishman next door as we spoke over the balcony and his positive experience is the same as mine. This ASQ at the Grand Bella has exceeded all my expectations and I am now waiting for my next covid test which if negative allows me to travel…
Part Five will be coming soon, there are two parts left…my later time in ASQ and the process for getting out/what I did after getting out. I hope you are enjoying this as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Photo: Pattaya News staff of Grand Bella during a testing period last year.