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PBRHotelier

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About PBRHotelier

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    Pattaya Warrior

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    Thailand
  1. Thanks for the update. Too bad their website does not specify this. It would have saved me a few thousand baht !
  2. Hi Everyone ! I just finished the Australian Tourist Visa process (Visitor visa e600) for my Thai girlfriend and her 14 year old sister for a holiday to Australia in November. I thought I might share my experience. I am an American, so I am eligible to apply online for a ETA (Electronic Travel Authority). Simple process, one page questionnaire - basic passport information, pay the 20 AUD fee via credit card and you get a return email approval almost instantly. For Thais, it is a much more complicated. It is a very lengthily process requiring a great deal of documentation. There are three avenues in which you can apply; online through their web portal http://www.border.gov.au/, paper application through their visa center in Bangkok (Sukhumvit Soi 13) http://www.vfsglobal.com/Australia/Thailand// or using a visa specialist (mitigation agent) - many are advertised on this forum and the prices vary starting at 10,000 Baht plus application fees. I chose the online application process as it seemed the easiest for me and least expensive of the three. First, it would be extremely difficult for any person who is not a native English speaker to complete the online process correctly. There are three pages of instructions, multiple web links explaining the process, a comprehensive list of the required documentation and a 18 page online application form. The biggest hurdle is gathering all the required documentation, having the Thai language documents translated and copies certified, executing the required Australian Forms and having them notarized, scanning them into the proper format for download and naming each file per the Australian specifications. Each applicant has to submit a separate application even if they are from the same family traveling together. So I had to do the process twice. Gathering the required information took 4 full days (including translating, certified copies and executing forms), scanning all the information into the specific computer formats took another day and completing the two online applications took about 4 - 5 hours. Pray your internet does not cut out during the online application process and you have to start over (hit the save button often !!). In the end, each application had 27 documents and 60+ pages of required information attached. Once submitted, a reply was sent within one working day that the applications were being processed and both applicants needed to visit the Australian Visa Center in Bangkok within 14 days to have their biometric information obtained (finger prints and photo). No appointment is necessary, just show-up during their posted business hours with a copy of the email letter from Australia, their passports and the fees. The line and process time in Bangkok took about one hour. Since we had a minor traveling with us, one parent had to accompany us to the visa center to confirm the travel was authorized and OK the biometric collection process. One week later we received email notification both visa applications were approved and entry letters with a QR code were attached - multiple entry visas valid for one year. For the online process there are no visa labels inserted in the passport. Just the official letter which you print out and bring with you to the airport. You can also confirm the approved entry status using their online verification system called VEVO https://www.border.gov.au/Busi/VisaThis is the same system the airlines use to verify your entry status when you get to the airport. If you are capable of obtaining all the required documents, well organized and fairly computer literate, although extremely time consuming, this process was straight forward. However, I do not think the majority of Thais, even educated ones, would be able to complete the online process correctly. The bottom line regarding visa approval is that you have to clearly demonstrate the applicants are solely traveling for the purpose of tourism and they will return to their home country upon completion of the trip. Since the online application process presents a major hurdle due to all the requirements, if completed properly, your application should be approved in a short period of time. Good luck !!!
  3. Walking Street AgoGo & Hotel for Sale Great Walking Street location, well established club and adjacent hotel (12 Deluxe rooms, 1 Jacuzzi suite & 1 private party room), excellent reputation with strong expat customer base, long-term leases, profitable for last seven years, owners wish to sell due to age & health reasons. Interested parties should contact Patrick at 081-861-8369 (after 14:00)
  4. Both hotels have great service and excellent facilities. The Dusit D2 attracts a younger age group and the rooms are more modern in design. Most rooms have an open design bathroom - so you can watch your partner take a shower. The Marriott has a better pool & fitness and convenience of being attached to the Royal Garden Shopping Mall. If you make your reservation for two, no problem bringing your guest to breakfast. The executive lounge lets you bring in one guest and will also serve you breakfast there if you like. I have eaten at all the Marriott restaurants many times and never a problem with a joiner - staff always very polite and friendly.
  5. As a previous hotel owner, the reason I did not take AMEX was their fees were almost double that of VISA and MC until you reached a very high user level. That is why small to mid-size hotels do not accept it. Also their refund and dispute resolution process is very complicated.
  6. Oasis Hotel on Soi Happy off of WS has very up-scale rooms with great mirrors on the ceiling and 3 sides of the bed. However, it is mostly a late night short-time hotel !
  7. If you are still looking for a good hotel in Bangkok, try Kingston Suites, Soi 15. It is half-way between Nana and Soi Cowboy, easy walk in either direction and close to Nana BTS. Small boutique hotel, great rooms with huge bathrooms and walk-in shower for two. Guest friendly and very friendly staff, free WiFi and a above average breakfast buffet. http://www.kingstonbangkok.com/
  8. +1 Hotels have to give booking sites a specific number of rooms so they can confirm instant reservations - doesn't mean the hotel is full. Check another site as recommended above or go direct to the hotel's website. Historically, after Songkran, most hotels in Pattaya run around 50% vacancy and offer low season promotional rates and discounts for longer stays.
  9. Drove by this evening. It is now open. Sort of a Miami Beach hotel design. The hotel group owned the land already which in Pattaya ( especially beachfront property ) is some of the most expensive land in the world. I am sure they will do just fine, even at the high end rates. Good luck !!!
  10. Drove by the site today. It is definitely a hotel, 4 - 5 stars judging by the quality of the workmanship and fixtures. 100's of workers there from all different trades. Still looks like a couple of months away from completion. Design and size look very similar to the Discovery Hotel adjacent to it.
  11. I have a rental condo (studio) in The Avenue for almost two years. Never experienced any of the mentioned problems either with the project. Both tenants ( 9 months & 1 year ) enjoyed their stays. FYI - the unit is becoming available on May 1. You can view the information on the link below if interested. http://www.pattayabaycondos.com/Pages/TheAvenue.aspx
  12. Galaxy Suites on Walking Street above Heaven Above AgoGo has a jacuzzi room.
  13. There are many different models of the key card switch. The newer models have a chip or magnetic strip inside so you cannot easily bypass them.
  14. I just got back from a stay at the Luxe Manor Hong Kong- Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. This is a small boutique hotel located just off Nathan Road in the main shopping district - great central location. The best description is luxurious. My TGF and I have taken about 20 trips, usually staying in 4 - 5 star hotels and she thought this hotel had the best rooms; very large, incredibly comfortable beds and pillows, designer showcase interiors, huge bathroom with rain shower for two, large LCD TV with integrated home theater and entertainment system, very fast free Internet and one of the best hotel buffet breakfasts I have had in a long time. Young staff, very friendly, went out of their way to be helpful - really made us feel comfortable. Only downside is no views. Everything else is top notch !!!! http://www.theluxemanor.com/