This hotel turned out to be a disaster in many different ways. First the check-in turned out to be unpleasant. Even though I booked the room six months ago with arrival time and flight number, at 17.00, I was surprised that I was asked to wait in the hall while loads of stored luggage were moved from the room. Looks like a small tour group or large family had left everything in the room. Afterwards, while I was storing my own belongings, I found two wet, smelly towels in a plastic bag in the bottom of the wardrobe, which I promptly put outside with the rest of the luggage now blocking the hallway.
The room itself was sparsely furnished. Other than the bed, there was only one open shelf for clothes, a small vanity table with hard stool, a low, hard wooden chair, a small inadequately stocked fridge and small flatscreen TV with local Thai channels. The balcony was only small enough for two people to stand. No picture or decoration whatsoever was on the wall. With bare walls, the concrete structure of the hotel magnified all sound and noise from every direction. Additionally, the room had windows on three sides including two full-length decorative panels which were in the wall towards the hallway. All were covered with a very light material which left the room very bright at night. This hinders a good night’s sleep for any tourists and is probably a real problem for those coming from Europe or America who need to adjust to the time in a quiet dark room.
The bathroom was small but adequate. It had a set of sliding wooden windows which opened over the basin towards the bedroom, so that the occupants would not lose contact with another while one was sleeping and the other was, well… This is fine and good and even seems to be a trend in the hotel business; however, as the windows were over the basin, there was no mirror on the wall and only a small hand mirror on the basin side. While sliding wooden windows might seem like a nice touch, a mirror in the bathroom simply makes more sense to me!
On the first evening, just after 9 p.m., I was reading on the bed and heard a rattling of keys outside. Not sure if this was my room or opposite, I was surprised when my locked door popped opened, someone said “Sorry” from outside, and quickly pulled the door closed again. After dressing, I went downstairs to inform the reception that the locks were so old that another room key had fit and my door was thus unlocked. (I believe that is what happened.) Not believing me, I was accused of leaving the door unlocked or that I had just imagined it. In addition, I was admonished for not chaining the door—my room did not have a chain which I had explained several times and was not believed until the clerk came and saw for himself. He promised to have it fixed the next day. Nothing happened the next day nor the day after. I have to believe that nothing has happened with the door since.
The first day, I was out all day and there was ample opportunity for the maid to make up my room. Indeed, the bed was made, but the bathroom was left untouched. I am a very neat person and really don’t mind, still I expect this small service from a middle-class Thai hotel.
The check out proved to be another bad experience. Requesting a receipt of the gross amount for the room, plus 7% VAT, and then the total net price is a normal procedure for expense accounts although the price of the room is often quoted as net in Thailand. The (same) clerk as before did not understand until I took the calculator and divided the end sum by 107% giving us the gross amount which he entered on the receipt. The simple math step of subtracting this from the net amount to give the tax or even just taking 7% proved too much for him and he made a mistake on the receipt. Instead of giving a new receipt, he crossed out the amount and entered what I told him. I hope this goes through with accounting. Normally, the bills may not be ‘tampered with’.
One must say that the morning staff was very friendly but still just a small group of 20-something-year-olds trying to run a hotel without taking any kind of responsibility for the guests.
All-in-all this hotel is lacking in décor, cleanliness, efficiency, and security. The first three problems are small in comparison to one’s safety being compromised and then nothing being done to rectify the problem. There are hundreds of hotels in Chiang Mai and in the future, I will be staying at one of those and would advise anyone else to do the same.
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