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“You won't find anywhere else like this - UNIQUE and UN-MATCHABLE!!”
Review of Pa Sak Tong

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Pa Sak Tong
Ranked #17 of 109 Hotels in Chiang Rai
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“You won't find anywhere else like this - UNIQUE and UN-MATCHABLE!!”
Reviewed 2 October 2013

We are somewhat reluctant to add to the previous glowing reports of Pa Sak Tong because it may just get booked out 365 days year in, year out, which they deserve, but could mean we miss out...! BUT we would be doing a disservice to John Dunbar (GM) and his FABULOUS Thai “family team” – because that is what they truly are! We knew John previously from a past position he held at another hotel and immediately felt a rapport with his easy style and humour, which is how we came to know of Pa Sak Tong and to be visiting this AWESOME establishment at his insistence. Neither John nor his team disappointed and within 3 (too short!) days (on route to our usual haunt in Southern Thailand), we already felt part of the warm family, who not only tended to our every need, but made us laugh until our bellies ached. We went with my fiancé’s 10 year old daughter, so there were just three of us and it was blissfully private. The villa is gorgeously decked out in polished wood floors with warm colours and beautiful artwork, an exquisite demonstration of taste in architecture and simple, tasteful interior design – spacious, airy, modern but not at all ‘coldly modern’ – it really makes you feel “at home”, helped immensely by the warm service from the staff and John’s relaxed style of hosting. The grounds are gorgeous, with a large pond in front with 5 water buffalo grazing peacefully (occasionally MOOOOOOO-ing) and rice paddy fields beyond. Little plant lined paths lead down to and around the pond (and fortunately the buffalo are not only tethered but placid!). The swimming pool is gorgeous and surrounded by lawns with exquisite flower beds and a flowing fountain with a vast marble ball turning in the centre, somehow magically suspended.

We felt we had total privacy and yet there was an extra sensory perception from our personal hostess, Khun Ni (who as somebody else said must be psychic!) to know when we might need or want something – anything! We are not into yoga or gyms and really just wanted to chill, drink some booze (fruit smoothies on the ready for my fiancé’s daughter at any moment!) and hang around. With only three days, we did not wish to spend too much time out and about as we didn’t want to miss out on the Pa Sak Tong experience! Chef Khun Boi was fabulous and catered tailored meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner (my fiancé’s daughter being vegetarian, she got her own special dishes each meal – she is fussy and she was not disappointed with his special creations!). He consulted with us each morning about what we might wish to eat, making mouth-watering suggestions for us to choose from.

When we were collected from the airport by Khun Ni, we were first taken to the famous and quite staggeringly elaborate ‘wedding cake’ white temple 5 minutes from Pa Sak Tong – we have never seen anything like it! John offered us several options for excursions during our stay, but with our limited time we opted only for the one hour traditional Thai ‘long boat trip’ along the river and a 30 minute elephant ride before returning by road to enjoy a relaxing afternoon by the pool. The boat trip was amazing – such incredible scenery and local women fishing in traditional garb with nets along the banks, wearing their ‘coolie’ hats and waving merrily with their gorgeous Thai smiles. We bought small bags of food (bananas and sugar cane) for the elephants and I was so busy photographing that it was fortunate that I suddenly realised that I had ants from the food bag swinging from my wrist climbing up my arms and into my armpits that I jumped back just as I realised that 5 very BIG and HUNGRY elephants looked ready to trample me if I didn’t give them that food! My fiance’s daughter and I were somewhat disappointed as John had informed us that he got ‘conned’ into doing a 2 hour elephant trip when he first arrived in Chiang Rai and that within 20 mins he not only had blisters on his backside but he was covered in elephant snot!!! We laughed until we cried – especially at my other half’s expression of disgust and declaration that he was going to walk beside the elephant ‘out of snot range’ – NO WAY! Sadly, there was NO elephant snot and it was actually perfectly comfortable on the padded seats, so John must have been ‘set up’ with a concrete seat and an elephant with a heavy cold! Each elephant has his or her own special (can’t remember the proper name!) devoted carer (all of them are TINY, with various styles of ‘top knot’ hair sprouting like little palm trees from the tops of their heads) who commits to training and bonding with his personal elephant from a young age and stays with that elephant for life, forming a close family love bond, practically living with his elephant, which is kind of nice – they’re in the job together fully.

John also arranged the incredibly talented Thai Musicians and Dancers for us on our second night before dinner, with all the lanterns lighting up the paths in front of the villa. We know the brilliant Dr Ant from a previous hotel spa and she is one of the best – sadly she was on holiday during our visit, but is to be HIGHLY recommended. As is Khun Taew, soon to join the spa at Pa Sak Tong! If you like a good spa treatment, besides the other therapists, these two are worth the visit alone, as if there wasn’t enough on offer!

Khun Nam was lovely and she invited my fiancé’s daughter to join her in handing out Teddy Bears as gifts to the injured and sick children in the local hospital one morning, which was a fabulous and moving experience for her – she just loved the happiness on all the little kids’ faces as they received their teddies!

Lastly, I don’t wish to spoil things for the staff by letting on what we did prank-wise, but John had informed us that they have a great sense of humour and it would go down well if we played some jokes on Khun Ni. Our ‘prank’ had the whole team running to see what was up, screaming and then in relief, hugging and kissing us – and the joke has continued to run with the gifts we sent from London on our return! Little Khun Ni is like a tiny, fearless little Meerkat and is simply THE BEST!

We simply cannot recommend this lovely retreat enough – if you want quiet, peaceful, healthy time with plenty of meditation and yoga, it is perfect! If you want (like us!) to smoke copious cigarettes, drink booze (even Bloody Marys for breakfast!) and listen to music of your own choice, it is also PERFECT! If you are serious people, it is perfect! If (like us), you have a sense of humour with which you wish to engage the staff (and John), it is PERFECT! This place caters for all – couples, families, a group of mixed friends – you name it! There really is something for EVERYONE – unless you prefer nightclubbing in Ibiza, in which case, don’t bother!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Katie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
5 reviews
Reviewed 5 August 2013

I do not know where to begin....Staying at Pa Sak Tong and getting to know the manager and staff there has changed us. Khun John, Nam, Nee and Chef Boi are the best! We have never felt better taken care of in our lives and consider you part of our family now. From the moment we arrived, we felt "Home". We stayed here for 5 days and loved every minute. The moment you arrive you are met with warmth and kindness. Our every need was met and then some. From the staff picking up on little things like the smoothies we loved and having them available at every turn to having tissues magically appear next to me right when I needed them (I swear Nee is psychic!) to custom breakfast, lunches and dinners....even coconut ice-cream for breakfast for the kids...nothing went unnoticed. The villa is beautifully appointed and comfortable, the grounds stunning both day and night. Torches are lit throughout the rice fields at night and it is gorgeous. The spa and steam room was heaven as well as the pool. The manager, John, arranged for all of the excursions we wanted to do and had wonderful suggestions. He even brought in special musicians and Thai dancers for a private show after dinner one evening and arranged for traditional Thai lanterns to be brought in for us to light off with our good wishes. We also were able to see all the sights Chiang Rai had to offer, which are many and beautiful. Khun Nam also shared some of her Thai culture with us by taking us to her local temple for a traditional buddist celebration that she helped us be a part of...magical! Then John gave us the opportunity to visit a local orphanage/school at a hill top village where we got to spend a wonderful day with the children...again...words cannot discribe.

I feel like Chiang Rai is a well kept secret...very authentic and not very touristy, which we loved. If you have any doubts as to where to stay on your next trip to Chiang Mai, considered them abolished. Pa Sak Tong is not to be missed! Come see where the last rose ceremony was filmed for the Bachelor...my daughter really loved that part! We are hoping to return again soon.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Jane F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 May 2013

OMG ! I don't even know where to begin .... Pa Sak Tong was the best part of an amazing 4 week long adventure my best friend and I experienced in Thailand .
We found the villa completely by accident . We had spent 3 days at the Anantara resort .We were drawn there by our curiosity , as several of the final episodes of the television show `The Bachelor ` had been filmed there . We pumped the staff for ANY information they had regarding the details of the past filming and the concierge informed us the actual proposal episode had been filmed at the Pa Sak Tong ... our curiosity peeked further we pestered her to arrange for us to see the property.
On our way to Chaing Rai our driver made a stop for us to view the Pa Sak Tong ....A magical property , and as if by magic, as we exited the vehicle ,the property manager John Dunbar was at the entrance with Paula by his side ... she bearing a silver try with cold refreshment for us !!
He graciously entertained our excitement and curiosity about the Villa and property where the proposal occurred and gave us a full tour of the grounds and villa
After sitting and chatting ... it was decided we would stay, as the villa was available for a few days ... as luck would have it . Truly a VERY fortunate bit of luck for us .
The villa itself is very well appointed yet has an extremely comfortable feel.
There is a large central living area .I can attest that it is equipped with a great indoor out door sound system as we tested this out by having our own dance party til the wee hours ... there is no one to bother, save the lone water buffalo in the rice paddy !!
The grounds surrounding the property are beautiful and meticulously manicured with many meandering paths to walk . At night hundreds of lamps are lite along the pathways giving the property a truly romantic air ...
John , Paula and 2 house staff took very good care of us .Our every possible need was meet and beyond . My friend follows a vegetarian diet and each day Paula would ask what we both would like to eat ... the food was prepared by the chef and all our meals were delicious .
On one of the days John arranged to take us on a lovely hike in the hillside and had then set up a beautiful picnic area for us with a captivating valley view complete with table, chairs, linens and Paula !
We utilized the fully equipped massage therapy room in the house . John arranged for 2 masseurs to come in .There is a work out room as well ... which we toasted a glass of wine to and instead We lounged by the private pool , enjoyed cocktails in the gazebo at the side of the pond and on the deck of the villa enjoying the serenity and panoramic view of the surrounding rice paddy
The villa is perfect for families , 3 couples or simply one couple .
Pa Sak Tong rents a huge amount of real estate in both our heads and hearts ... not a day passes that I don't relive my experience there and long to return.
John Dunbar is far more than simply the property manager at Pa Sak Tong .... he is completely responsible for the memorable experience we enjoyed at Pa Sak Tong
John , thank you taking such good care of us , introducing us to your friends and providing us the opportunity to experience a very beautiful area of Thailand . Oh, and for naming 2 of the Koi fish after us !!
I will be back ... perhaps I`ll get the final Rose !

If you are in Northern Thailand , (if not ,GET there ) ... this is a MUST ... do stay at the Pa Sak Tong ......

Cheers !
Lisa Lalonde and Ann Love
Alberta Canada

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank sunseeker365
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tokyo, Japan
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2013

We were very surprise to find Pa Sak Tong Resort last minute. When we arrived we found out we get all of the villa just for the 2 of us. Villa is very large and beautiful. Very peaceful place with private lake and rice fields. This is the best villa we have ever stayed in.

We had very nice hostess named Paula and cook to take care of us. Food was also very nice and breakfast full of fresh fruit and anything we want to eat. We had massage each day in the spa and it was very relaxing.

Took 2 tours, one to Golden Triangle and one to Chiang Rai. Both interesting and driver was helpful to explain everything.

General manager John was very helpful and explained all things. The villa is completely private so very nice for relaxing. Has a nice view and at night there are torches on the lake and rice fields. We will go back here for another relaxing stay.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank japanjourney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 July 2012

Their website promised 'the ultimate in indulgence in a peaceful natural setting', and didn't disappoint. From the moment we arrived we were pampered by the charming hostesses Paula and Pleow and our every need taken care of. This sumptuous and graceful villa is a great place to base yourself when exploring the very beautiful far north of Thailand.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank paulgreg0ry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beijing, China
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2012

Having traveled extensively in Thailand we felt we wanted to experience a less touristy and more genuine part of Thailand. By chance we stumbled on Pa Sak Tong’s website and decided to give the place a go, a decision that we would not regret. The villa is amazing and is only rivaled by the staffs friendly service. During our too short stay we went on a couple of excursions organized by the estate all of which were perfectly conducted. Our two kids enjoyed the pool and entertainment room as much as we enjoyed the views and out of this world serenity. The villa was the perfect place to relax and spend quality time. I left feeling totally rejuvenated and we all long to go back.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Charles W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pa Sak Tong

Property: Pa Sak Tong
Address: 15 Moo 13 | Maekorn, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand
Region: Thailand > Chiang Rai Province > Chiang Rai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 109 Hotels in Chiang Rai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Pa Sak Tong 5*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pa Sak Tong is Northern Thailand’s most exclusive and luxurious resort villa. This private sanctuary of serenity and tranquility is surrounded by lush tropical gardens and offers spectacular, uninterrupted views over rice fields of a beautiful panorama of the mountains. Pa Sak Tong is an all-inclusive experience. The service is personalized and friendly and ensures the ultimate in pampering and care that comes naturally from the genuinely warm and caring people of Northern Thailand. ... more   less 
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