The property was recommended by someone who had never been a guest there but was impressed by the general roadside appearance, (otherwise called “Great Curb Appeal” by real estate agents), a great hall with various outbuildings on the property. The name of the “resort”, Château de Khaoyai was also inviting and of course the web site subsequently was found to be filled with hyperbole and photo shopped pictures.. Now, the French word château means a castle or large house in France, often one that has a vineyard attached and gives its name to wine produced there. There were no vineyards to be seen which should have been the first clue as to the reproductive authenticity of the “estate”.
The principal building does indeed resemble a French château from afar and is situated in a breathtaking scenic area very reminiscent of the Loire Valley. But, unfortunately, that is where the alleged likeliness and 5-star rating ceases. This property is;
1. the supreme example of style over substance;
2. where the developer is more interested in profits than service; and
3. where the property was developed without the consultation of professional hoteliers.
The main building is impressive but is of shoddy construction. The actual accommodation, more of the motel style of architecture, was a kilometer away down a hill located adjacent to an artificial lake dotted with floating debris and Styrofoam remnants.
The “premium” room, confirmed as a suite, was a very mediocre one room with bath, small and sparsely decorated something totally unexpected considering the 5-star rack rate and the incredibly impressive French frontage. Luke warm water was available for showering, provided that you waited about 5 minutes between showers. The mattress had been designed by Grand Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada. Dinner at the nearby Ann Hathaway look-alike (English architecture in a French setting!) cottage was an experience of International House of Pancakes level of service and passable but expensive food. However, our order of sweet and sour chicken contained no chicken and when presented with the bill we refused to pay for it. The dish reappeared on a new bill as “stir-fried vegetables” which we did not order nor consume. Again the bill had to be recalculated.
We ordered a bottle of premium wine from the list and it was delivered from the kitchen already poured with no bottle in evidence. We tasted the wine and found it good but not the specific varietal ordered (members of our party are all associated with premium wineries in Thailand and California). A subsequent inspection of the source bottle proved that we were not served what we selected. The bill reflected the more expensive bottle than requested.
Breakfast was a fiasco. It was touted as an “American Breakfast” and every egg portion was sunny-side up regardless of what style had been ordered. Apparently the cook knew only one way to prepare breakfast eggs that being uncooked yolk swimming in oil. Toast was self service for which you had to stand in line to access the toaster. The orange juice was actually some kind of sugar water made from powder and the eggs were served with two slices of cold sandwich ham and two uncooked miniature hot dogs (which we fed to the present mascot cats): certainly not the caliber of the American breakfast common in the United States. Thailand is known for its superior pork products and beautiful bacon which was not evident on the plate. Water for the instant coffee, tea and coco was tepid from a jug which was self serve. We had to wait for the waiter to actually provide flatware after the food was delivered.
The tragedy of this property is that the theme idea is beautiful and undoubtedly cost a major fortune to establish (land, lakes, landscapes & buildings) but the infrastructure of amenities and service, which are of a minor cost in comparison, is disappointing.
Needless to say that when our party of four exited this property we were not happy campers and will not return nor recommend.
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- Also Known As:
- Chateau De Khaoyai Hotel & Resort Thailand/Pak Chong