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“Very nice surroundings, but don't eat there”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Old Tree's House

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Old Tree's House
Ranked #1 of 5 Mae Ai B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Houston
Level Contributor
133 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Very nice surroundings, but don't eat there”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2012

While this hotel is listed as being located in Mae Ai, it is really in Thaton. The hotel has about 6 bungalows in lovely grounds with beautiful gardens and a small infinity pool surrounded by two of the bungalows and the main lodge. It is quiet and off the main road. When we arrived and when we left, help with the luggage was not offered. The bungalow that we rented was next to the pool. It was cozy and nicely decorated, though lighting in the room was abysmal and reading lamps are not terribly bright. This is a real problem in mainy Thai hotels so if you like to read (and I suspect that many people coming to this hotel would be in this category), you better bring a headlamp! There is no AC in the rooms which can get warm during the day. Electronic gadgetry was excellent once you figured out to use it; unfortunately, no one came to instruct us. Shoes must be removed for entrance to all rooms and the lodge. I understand the reasons, but it is not my favorite custom There was a house next door to our bungalow whose owner seemed to be right outside our windoiw. They have a lending library in the lounge that is well-stocked with books and DVDs in French and English. The proprietor was not on premises and from reading other reviews, this seems to be a common occurrence, although his wife was in attendance. A full breakfast is included in the room rate. A fixed price meal is served almost every evening in the dining room and must be reserved in advance. We stayed one night and ate the evening meal which cost 240 baht per person and was billed as 3 courses. The fare that night was an over-garlicky soup, a virtually inedible main course of raw vegetables, rice and a tomato-based sauce which we were told was "like a curry". We couldn't believe that this was the main course until dessert was served (a plate of small tangerines). It was the only bad meal we had during our week in Thailand. When you are there, you should see the Wat Tha ton monastery. It is beautiful and has great views of the valley below.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank KUFBH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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268 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
29 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 2011

We are a young Australian vegetarian couple and we had just the one night in Thaton on our short trip around Northern Thailand.

We would have loved to have stayed longer at Old Tree's House.

After the bus from Chiang Mai dropped us off in Thaton, we used the phone box nearby to phone to be picked up. Shortly after, Nid and another gentleman arrived on scooters. We note that this might not be for everyone, but for us it was great fun, perched on the back with our huge backpacks. I noticed the guest house has a van and a ute, so if you aren't keen on scooters, perhaps ask them to send the van instead.

If you're backpacking like we were, you can quite easily walk from the bus stop to the guest house, however if you have heavy backpacks, reasonable fitness is required as the driveway is very steep.

We had a really hot and sweaty walk up to the wat nearby, which I highly recommend. Amazing views. My favourite wat of the whole trip.

That evening we met Paulo, who speaks great English and is a very warm and friendly host. He told us a little about the work they are doing in the area. We got on well, as he's really not into the Tiger Kingdom/Hill tribe/Elephant exploitation, instead preferring to take visitors on treks to see farmland, natural attractions, and introduce visitors to the school he had built for Burmese refugee children.

Nid brought out a beautiful vegetarian dinner. We can happily announce it was the yummiest food we ate on our entire trip! Very generous servings, not too spicy and rich for us westerners. Really hit the spot. As we ate out on the deck, a beautiful monsoon storm moved across the valley below.

The quality of the room was excellent. No issues with mosquitoes, etc. Pillows on the bed were a bit fat and dense, probably the only negative thing I can think of!

We're keen to go back in a year or two and spend quite a few more days in Thaton!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank vandirk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lille, France
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 28, 2011

I stayed 4 nights in June in Thaton which is a lovely mountain village on my way
from Chiang Mai to Laos. Thaton offers a big choice of GH so as usual i used TripAdvisor to get usefull advices. I was quite astonished to discover a very bad brand new review amongst lots of very good ones and I thought maybe this adress is no longer a good one. So I phoned the owner before leaving Chiang Mai and my doubts disappeared.
This GH is really a pearl, the best place to stay in Thaton. Location, rooms, cleaness, food and especially the services are excellent - You really feel at ease and the owners Nid and Paulo are very friendly and helpful. Paulo organized for me fantastic tours off the beaten track and gave me lots of good advices for my trip to Luang Prabang. Nid fed me like never before in Thailand. On the fifth morning, to go away was a tear...
.
So don't hesitate when in Thaton - go to Old Tree's House, you won't regret your choice.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JohnStud59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wisconsin
Level Contributor
73 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 26, 2011

My husband and I selected this B&B based on the Trip Advisor reviews and several emails with Paulo (the owner) who made it clear that we would be his only guests for 3 nights and he would be able to escort us on all of the excursions listed on his web site. We never would have chosen to stay in such a remote area if we thought we would be on our own. He stated in emails that we would discuss the many tours (with him) when we arrived. The web site mentions tours that he will take you on. We had read one negative review on Trip Advisor which complained that the guests did not feel welcome. We ignored that review and booked 3 nights.
Thaton was a 4 hour bus ride from Chiang Mai. I sent an email as to our approximate arrival time and called the B&B when we arrived, just as we were informed to do. The owner's wife (Nid) acted surprised when I called...as if she had no inkling we were coming. She eventually said she would pick us up (as promised on the web site and in emails.) She sent a scooter! My husband and I rode one at a time with our backpacks and no helmets. My husband and I were very upset as it was not expected AND there was a mini van in the parking lot with their B&B name on it. We felt she did not want to be troubled with picking us up so she sent an employee.
The grounds are beautiful and the cottage very nice. The young woman who showed us to our room said Nid was sick when I asked about tours. I asked when we could talk with her and she said maybe tomorrow. We were beginning to get upset as we were in the middle of nowhere with no promise of the tours we had traveled so far to experience!
A while later, Nid made an appearance and showed us some tours. She made it VERY CLEAR that her husband was in France and she was not taking us anywhere. In all fairness, Paulo had emailed me a few days before we left for Asia and said he would be in France on business. He said Nid spoke English and it would be "no problem" to keep our reservation. He apparently never asked Nid if this was ok. She was cold toward us and we were made to feel like an imposition from the moment we arrived.
She gave us 2 glasses of juice and some fruit and hesitantly agreed to make dinner for us, also a service available according to the website. My husband joked and said "Want to bet these juie glasses will be here tomorrow morning?" By the way, he was correct, the ant covered glasses were stil on our patio table the following morning. We swam and drank the 2 beers in the refrigerator. I had read o previous reviews that the free mini bar is limited in what it contains, but guests can request additional beverages without a charge. We had 2 more beers and we were charged for them.
We decided quickly that we would not be staying here. My husband and I have been traveling for 20 years and have never felt so uncomfortable and unwelcome, especially in Thailand where everyone is so friendly. I went to the common area to use the computer and felt very uncomfortable as it felt as if I were intruding in someone's living room. There were several children and other adults (living?) there and my attempt to smile and be friendly was ignored. I left. By 6:00 there was no mention of when or if we would be eating so we headed up to the patio and were ignored for about another 45 minutes until Nid finally said dinner would be at 7:30. The dinner was delicious, I believe it was 240 baht per person. It was at dinner that my husband said we would be leaving the next day and could she please arrange a driver.
The next day we drove to Chiang Rai. Summary: We wasted over a day and night with this experience. We left a wonderful place in Chiang Mai, hoping to travel the less beaten path (as promised) and wasted money and time for nothing. The negative energy and feelings of discomfort were a shame on a vacation. I emailed Paulo after the incident and never heard from him.
I waited several days to write this so I could make a fair and calm review. We felt there should have been at least an apology for promises not kept. I can not speak for what the experience would be like if Paulo was there...but if it is only his wife DO NOT GO!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
16 Thank Sheri&Todd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maclean, Australia
Level Contributor
70 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 24, 2011

we stayed in a poolside bungalow, which was clean and well maintained.

We could not eat here other than breakfast as the owners were away, and the staff cannot prepare meals.

The position is good, an easy 10 minute walk to town. We used the rainbow cafe in tha ton. It was ok.

You are staying with the family, so the pool is a popular place for the children to play.

We hired a motor bike to go to mae salong. It overheated in the mountains and stopped dead.....try to make sure that the motor bike has enough power for this mountain road. We wasted the whole day and would have been better off going by songthaew. All part of the adventure, but.....

Our experience might have been different if the owners were home.

Room Tip: the garden bungalows are quieter
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Bruce_and_Megan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tehran, Iran
Level Contributor
34 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 10, 2011

I've been in Old tree house on 13th march 2011 for 2 nights, I wish I could have stayed there more, the bungalows were just magnificant in a beautiful garden and a lovely pool, my bungalow was very modern inside, dvd player, nice bathroom, a king bed, everything I needed to get some relax after lots of hard work in home town, The hotel has free laundry service, good breakfast,adorable jusmin tea on need and for lunch and dinner I just needed to tell them what I want to eat, the food was just magnificant, Paulo and Nid and their family friend Philip were so friendly and kind to me, although I was traveling alone I didn't feel alone, because we had dinner and launch and nice conversations together, I'm sure I will be back there some time, because Thaton is a village in which you should be absolutly a bit on the hill, otherwise it could be hot, but there in Old tree house it was just fresh air! the value for money was Perfect comparing to lots of hotels that I have been to in my other trips.
Recommend every one to go to this hotel, I have seen all others recommended by LP, but I didn't like them absolutely from outside!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank timo59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 16, 2011

If you want to stay in a quiet, beautiful and peaceful place in North Thaïland, choose this one. Far away from the cities, Thaton is the best spot to explore the Gold Triangle and get to know about people, tribes and refugees.

Paulo, the Frenchman who designed, built and now owns Old Tree's house (whose name was inspired by ... the huge tree at the top of the hill on which this guesthouse is situated), is such a good host and he has thought the place over, in order to allow you to chill and relax in a family atmosphere (every room has its own DVD player and mini bar is free !!!).

Of course, if you speak French, you will get much much more from Paulo, if you want to know about everyday life in Thaïland, but do not worry : he speaks english very well, as he has been traveling for quite some time around the world. No need to say his wife and the rest of his family are all smiling, helpful and... perfect cooks !!!!!!

From old tree's house, Paulo organizes tours where you're unlikely to see any other tourist. Among them, we enjoyed so much our journey with Renato, a real phenomena ... !

We highly recommand this place : go and see for yourself !

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Maillekeul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Old Tree's House

Property: Old Tree's House
Address: 323 Moo 14, Ban Rumthai | Thaton, Mae Ai 50280, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Chiang Mai Province > Mae Ai
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Mae Ai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just out of Thaton, on a hill with a great view over the Mae Kok river, the mountains and the rice fields.Includes breakfast, internet acces + WIFI, Laundry, swimming pool ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Old Tree`s House Hotel Mae Ai
Old Tree's House Thailand/Chiang Mai Province - Mae Ai

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