Fondcome Village was to be the final leg of our two week stay in Chiang Mai, having seen its apparent appeal on their website we booked and pre-paid our seven night stay through Wotif and were looking forward to our visit but never ended up staying one night and lost all of our money. First let me say that it is indeed an isolated location and the grounds are rather petite, so as a tourist you are pretty much stranded unless you are prepared to cab it everywhere or be out on a daily basis doing organised tours.
Anyway, on arrival we were greeted by a friendly but very poor English speaking receptionist (even by Thai's hospitality standards) who checked us in to our room. The room itself was indeed something unique but it was also quite dirty particularly the bed linen and the smell was quite unpleasant. Ok, so we figure we will try to air it out a little but the window which you could not see through would not open. Hmm. The mattresses on our twin beds were ridiculously soft (trust me there is such a thing) but we tried to make the most of it by laying down to watch a bit of television before going down to the restaurant for some lunch. Turned the tv on and flicked through all of the channels to discover that not one of them had any english speaking programs. From what we could determine they cater to Thai and Chinese only. They must not anticipate that many of their guests watching tv would speak english even though the reviews on here clearly indicate they do. We try not to let that bother us too much and decide to take a look around the property. We venture outside and observe that the pool infact resembled a dirty pond. Honestly, I dont think it is safe to swim in, so we cross that off our list of things we can do. The place is incredibly quiet like we are possibly the only guests staying there and it makes us feel a little uncomfortable and like intruders as the few staff members watch our every move. We continue to smile and take a look around. We enter the empty restaurant needing something to eat and by this stage we are getting concerned that no-one is there to serve us as it's dead quiet. It's around 1pm by now. I dash back down to reception to ask for help and eventually a staff member emerges from the kitchen area to take our order. Thank goodness we can atleast have a feed and an alcoholic beverage to calm our rising panic of what isolation and boredom lies ahead for the next seven days. Menus are left at our table and we decide our orders. Waiter returns and upon ordering I feel like I've just had a carrot dangled in front of my nose as they take the cocktail menu away from me and tell me that they aren't selling cocktails. What the? But my husband can order a beer. The waiter got my husband his tall bottle of Singha, poured him one and then left his half full bottle sitting two tables away from where we are sitting. After a minute or two we retrieve it. Our orders of fries come out in about twenty minutes and we eat. The meal is neither good or bad. Another half an hour passes and no sign of the waiter. My husband would like another beer and by this stage I am parched too. Just as I make my way back towards the kitchen area the waiter comes out. I politely indicate to him that we need service and after another two minutes he returns to us with our bill. Ok, forget that drink. My husband mistakenly drops two one thousand baht notes on the table to pay, instead of two one hundred baht notes (our bill came under two hundred baht) and the waiter picks up both notes and attempts to walk away with it when I stop him and the correct noteage is then given. He walks in to the kitchen where within seconds a huge eruption of laughter can be heard (wasn't sure till that point if there was more than one person in there) and I will leave that laughter to your own interpretation but from the look on his face when he came back out we figured the joke was on us. We left the restaurant and headed back to our smelly room, annoyed to say the least. Sitting on our balcony which was directly across from a dirty, smelly rabbit pen with atleast ten very unhappy looking rabbits enclosed (I know how they felt) we decided in desperation that this was just not the place for us. We were there for no more than two hours and had to get out quickly as the overall service and conditions were miserable and they could not facilitate the relaxation we hoped for. I approached reception and tried explaining what was wrong and asked for a refund. I was put on the phone to her superior who made the agreement with me (in excellent english) that if we paid one night they would refund the remainder. I was then told to call Wotif to arrange the papers. I called the hotline and was at first told by Wotif that we had to pay for two nights and the remainder would be refunded, but then after putting me on hold they said that the terms of our stay had a no refund policy, so we had to forfeit all our money. (about $300AUD) We had the choice to stay or go and decided to count our losses, book elsewhere, and enjoy the remainder of our stay in Chiang Mai which we tried our best to do.
On a final note, my husband emailed Fondcome Village management on our return to Australia within a few days of getting back, reminding them with kindness and tact of our experience and asked them if they would be prepared to honour the refund they said the'yd give us or atleast a portion of our money considering they still got paid in full by Wotif for a stay that never happened. We take their lack of response as a flat no.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Huarn Jana Boutique Resort, a special hotel of arts, culture and nature is located on Hang Dong - Samoeng Road a famous tourist route in Chiang Mai, only 15 minutes from Chiang Mai International Airport and 20 minutes from city center. Ther hotel is settling in a lush valley of Doi Suthep-Pui National Park with a natural stream running through the back. There are 50 unique guest rooms that designed in various styles inspired by Lanna, Sibsongpanna, Tai Yai, tribal arts and cultures. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Fondcome Village Hotel
- Fondcome Village Chiang Mai