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Phu Chaisai Mountain Resort
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Mae Chan
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 14, 2013

This hotel is advertised as an eco friendly 4 star hotel in a peaceful remote location. Unfortunately that is not what we experienced and luckily we only stayed here for two nights.
The hotel is in a lovely location with stunning views but that is all it has - the maintenance is very poor and the place is dilapidated looking. The hotel is not new but it looks unfinished i.e. the conference area has bits of building equipment lying around, we passed an open shed in the gardens with broken bits in it and our balcony overlooked an old shed with broken furniture piled into it etc.
If you have any difficulty with stairs or have small children this is not the place for you. The steps are steep and the balconies are very low.
In our room the safety deposit box was broken, the phone didn't work, the toilet seat could swivel to a 45 degree angle and the blue bath robes were badly stained, frayed and old looking.
We did not see anything remotely eco friendly about the hotel.
We were allocated a bamboo 'cottage' room 403. These are not actually cottages as they are built in a staggered fashion one on top of the other. When we arrived I decided to go for a swim but when I discovered there were so many children at the pool I changed my mind. I was surprised at the number of children. The room above us (402) was noisy that night and it wasn't until the next day that we discovered that the hotel was running a kids camp and the children were sleeping on mattresses on the floor in the room above us. I don't know why we were allocated a room below the kids camp as the hotel did not appear to be full. We were not told that there was a children's' camp when we were booking nor is this mentioned in the brochure.
I decided to visit the spa on my second day but was disappointed to find that the treatment I selected from the hotel brochure was not available.
The food was overpriced and not good - this is the first time we ever sent a dinner back as it was so bad. The hotel owner seems to have 4 dogs, we saw three - one very large dog and two wire haired terriers. As we sat on the hotel balcony for dinner the hotel owners' dogs wandered around. The large dog stopped between our table and the next and did a large 'pee'. A few seconds later one of the wire haired dogs came along and decided to drink it! We like dogs but this is not suitable for a hotel restaurant and would certainly put anyone off dinner.
I agree with a previous tripadvisor reviewer who referred to the place as an ovepriced dump. You are stranded there and have no choice but to pay their prices. The services manager was not in the least helpful and she just said sorry when we pointed out the broken equipment in our room - nothing was done.
In my opinion that this is definitely not a four star experience and the hotel is only getting customers based on its location. We saw other lovely hotels in the mountains so my advice is - look elsewhere and don't waste your time or money going here.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank Bonniepippa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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83 - 89 of 273 reviews

Reviewed June 29, 2013

If you do one thing before you book a few days at this run down dump of a hotel do yourself a favour and read the review by Mends.( I wish I had) We stayed for only 2 days of the 4 days we booked and that was 2 days to long.
The lady running this hole is called Ay, and be warned she will rip you off for everything she can (food, drinks, transport and accomodation).
The room we were given was not the one we paid for, the meal at nearly 500baht a plate was the size of a 120baht meal in town, the taxi to town she tried to charge us 2000baht for (we asked the girl at reception who arranged the same trip in 2 seconds for 1000baht)
She would not rent us a car or motorbike because it had rained the night before????
Noisy airconditioning - we had to turn it off.
Cafe - what a joke, first you have to find Ay who then arranges for somebody to make you a coffee. I just hope thats all you want because thats all there is.
Bar - what a joke, first you have to find Ay who then arranges for somebody to get you a drink.
Library - This room is filthy and honestly looks like it was last used about 20 years ago.
Taxi - All day taxi from this hotel 4800baht, all day taxi arranged in town 2400baht.
I could go on and on but I won't.

Room Tip: Make sure you see your room before you pay anything.
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank Partialgraynomad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2013

This resort was recommended to us by a friend who visits it three times each year as a place of retreat from his banker job.

Phu Chaisai is a winner where location is concerned. They are not too far from the city or the airport. They give you that much needed change of vibe from your typical days, unless you live in a mini jungle with an unobstructed view of the skyline, of course.

Parents should mind their young children as there is a risk of falling from your own balcony or minimally barricaded rooftop viewpoints. See the enclosed pics and you will understand. We did not fear for the safety of our niece or nephew, though. This is mentioned only as a precaution.

We noticed two small dogs outside the lobby and a large one on leash. They are obviously pet dogs of the resort owners. Again, this is mentioned so that you will know what you may run into in case you are averse to animals. They are not an intrusion into your holidays. In our case, we found their brief companion an enrichment of our memory of the stay.

As we are already on the subject of non-human residents, we must say we were pretty much bothered by the ants. We kept running into them again and again and we didn't even have food in our room. This is partly due to the proximity to the trees but we feel something could have been done to at least keep the ant population to the minimum if total extermination is not possible.

The friendly staffs more than made up for the ant problem and the mediocre breakfast. The reception staffs were helpful. Their colleagues at the restaurant were very precise and accommodating with our seating requests. We also had a chance of short but cheerful conversation with the manager as we checked out. It is personal touch like this that makes a place more appealing for us.

Breakfast was underwhelming. We expected a bit more variety from a resort this size and price. For the other meals, food is slightly on the expensive side but that is totally understandable, given the class of property. We have zero complaint about food quality.

The above comments should help you develop a realistic expectation of Phu Chaisai. We are just being honest here about the shortcomings. It is in fact a great place. We will stay there again if the opportunity presents itself.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank Ruckdee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for two nights on our honeymoon. We were very impressed with the serenity and beautiful views. The pool was amazing - and very quiet. The room was big (a deluxe room) and comfortable, although needs touching up a little - the safe box was hanging off the wall, the curtains didn't stretch across the toilet and the fridge was a little old! However in many ways this added to the rustic charm! There were a fair few ants in the shower, although that is perhaps to be expected half way up a mountain. The staff were friendly and polite but on arrival no-one told us what time breakfast was, what time the restaurant closed, what the pool times were etc, and there was no 'hotel information' book or sheet in the room either. One night when we did go to ask a question at reception we couldn't find anyone so had to go to the bar. The food in the restaurant was delicious at dinner, and basic but nice at breakfast. We would definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed: April 2013
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Thank JennieE7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2013

This place is a rundown dump in an amazing wilderness mountaintop location, we prepaid via hotels.com so we had to stay there for 3 nights of bad service and dirty everything, im uploading photos to give a clear picture of what I mean when I say that phu chi sai is a run down unkept with bad service.

The travel coordinator named "a" that over charges for everything. it shares a mountain with another resort that we would up switching to which we loved called Katilya which we stayed at and loved. Will write a review with photos for that place next.

There is rustic and then there is a roach motel unfortunately this place falls into the category of the latter, its a shame and i hope the owners are reading this because this place has the potential to be a mountaintop paradise, they simply have neglected it and allowed it to be treated like a slumlord squeezing out rent without proper upkeep.

above all else its not cheep...

My Advise is try the other hotel on the same mountain Katiliya Mountain Resort & Spa

Room Tip: We stayed in the best rooms with the private pool, it was amazing to wake and be able to slop into t...
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled solo
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10  Thank Mends
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2013

Like many places in Chaing Rei province this resort is in a stunning location. The views from the rooms and the resort are incredible. The power went out while we were there so it may well have affected the quality of our stay. The breakfast was quite mediocre. I expect that the resort was stunning when it opened twenty years ago. More attention to overall maintenance would improve this place.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled solo
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4  Thank scollinson79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2013

More of a retreat than a hotel, if you like things super-slick and modern, then don't come here. If you want to experience something totally different, love nature, peace and tranquility then this is for you.

Not convenient to get to, unless you have a car, but the hotel can arrange pick up from airport, bus station etc. The resort is about 40 minutes from Chiang Rai, but even the journey is interesting, and language skills permitting the staff are really keen to tell you about the area as you travel.

The resort is set halfway up a hillside, amongst a very beautiful jungle garden, the noise from birds and insects can be deafening in the peace. We thought we might have a problem with bugs but not a chance as the cooler temperature seems to keep them at bay.

Rooms (we had a bamboo cottage), are begining to show a little wear, but are kept spotlessly clean. A little basic, we missed the use of a fridge/minibar to keep drinks cool, the 'curtain' on the toilet was pointless and gave no privacy at all, and the safety deposit box looked less than secure on the wall. Minor details, but at this end of the market, basics that you come to expect. However, the setting and the hospitality more than compensates. The pool is fantastic, and despite a full resort we hardly saw anybody there, very tranquil.

Take advantage of the morning yoga and meditation, even if you have never tried it or are unlikely to do it again (and no, you don't have to be stretchy to do it), but you'll have woken with the dawn chorus anyway, and this is by far the best part of the day at Phu Chasai. Shaun, the yoga coach, tailors the class depending on who turns up, it really is all part of the experience. Sets you up for breakfast, which is served outdoors in the garden.

We only stayed 3 nights (5 would have been better), but wanted to see a lot of the area in a short time. The easiest way is to hire a car and driver at the resort, discuss with Aey at reception what you want to see, she'll put an itinerary together, quite often an English speaking guide will be sent with you. Our favourite trips were the Hall of Opium (possibly one of the best museums I have ever visited), the tea plantations and the Chinese village Mae Salong... the worst was the Golden Triangle and the boat trip on the Mekong to Laos...it's just tourist-tat stalls of the worst kind, and the boat trip was a rip-off, there was nothing to see that you wouldn't see from the shore, avoid unless you like buying cheap knock-off handbags and cigarettes. If you don't want to visit the usual 'tourist' spots, it's worth asking Steve the GM to help with your itinerary...most Thai's seem to think all westerners want to shop, it's hard to get through to them that this is not the case, Steve can help to make other suggestions based on his experience of the area (this also applies to the resort menu, which is very geared to western style food and 'safe' Thai options, Steve kindly ordered off the menu some other local style dishes for us to try).

I loved this place, it's well worth the detour to this part of the country...go with an open mind and you'll come back with a peaceful heart.

Room Tip: Book through the hotel website where possible. We booked through Booking.com and did not get the ro...
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank BunnyRuns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Phu Chaisai Mountain Resort

Address: 142 Moo 8, Ban Mae Salong Nok | Si Kham Subdistrict, Mae Chan 57110, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Chiang Rai Province > Mae Chan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Mae Chan
Price Range: $55 - $123 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Phu Chaisai Mountain Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 33
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Close by but a world away, Phu Chaisai is the iconic Northern Thailand destination resort and one of the first boutique resorts of Thailand and first to incorporate lifestyle and wellness into the holiday experience; For example, yoga and organically grown produce. Set among 500 hectare of unspoiled and lush subtropical mountain forest, peace and tranquility await you at Phu Chaisai. Choose from four room categories: bamboo cottages, mountain cottages, authentic Thai wooden houses, and grande deluxe cottages. All lodging incorporates natural building materials like bamboo and leaf covered roofs to blend into the natural surroundings. There are over sixty seasonal activities and excursions available, from trekking and horseback riding to mediation and yoga. Phu Chaisai is noted for its gentle Northern Thai hospitality, authentic regional Thai cuisine and open-air spa, which offers exceptional value as well as highly skilled therapists. Phu Chaisai is a perfect destination for travelers seeking tranquility and self discovery as part of a fun and enjoyable holiday. At Phu Chaisai you will discover there is no television in our rooms. You may also discover yourself. Phu Chaisai: because sometimes it’s about how you feel in a place. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Phu Chaisai Mountain Hotel Mae Chan
Phu Chaisai Mountain Resort And Spa
Hotel Phu Chaisai Mountain
Phu Chaisai Mountain Resort Thailand/Chiang Rai Province, Asia

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