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“Once in a lifetime (or more) opportunity to look after elephants”
Review of Elephantstay

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Elephantstay
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Once in a lifetime (or more) opportunity to look after elephants”
Reviewed May 26, 2014 via mobile

I would 100% recommend staying at Elephantstay for a week or more. If you can only afford 3 nights, you won't regret it and will likely want to come back for more later.

Elephantstay are there to look out for the elephants. They have a successful breeding program (58 babies born so far, with the birth of the 59th baby imminent), have guests look after the daily needs of their assigned elephants, and educate visitors and guests (or "Elephantstayers") on why Elephantstay exists.

I arrived not necessarily in love with elephants to start with. I was born in South Africa, my mum has a fear of elephants and we have had one or two scary incidents involving African elephants in the game parks in South Africa. African elephants are majestic and beautiful, but I would not want to go near one if I could help it. So seeing and being near Asian elephants left me a little nervous at first. While I knew they were gentler and generally safer to be around than African Elephants, they still looked very similar to me. They're big and grey and heavy, what's not to fear?

The first day, I went for the bare-necked ride and didn't really enjoy it. So I chose not to go on the afternoon ride. Strangely, I chose to walk alongside my elephant to the river. They walk very slowly, so it's easy to keep up.

Knowing that I wasn't riding, the volunteers that work there (Matt and John) and the managers (Michelle and Ewa) made it their mission to get me back on my elephant. By the third day, they were successful and I rode every day until the end of my stay. Of course I'd wished I'd ridden those 3 times that I missed out, but I'm just so glad that I got back on for the rest of the rides.

The elephants at Elephantstay are domesticated and retired from work. They all have their own personalities and my elephant Jumpee was definitely the sweetest, quietest and loveliest elephant. You'll think this of your elephant too, so it doesn't matter which one you are assigned. The bond between you and your elephant will be strong!

The accommodation is basic but comfortable. They're bamboo huts and have managed to survive some flooding!

The food is fantastic! It's home cooked Thai food and delicious. After a long day of working with your elephant, the food is much appreciated!!!

I am now an elephant convert. They're beautiful creatures! If you are even remotely interested or just don't feel like doing the beach resort holiday anymore, want something a bit different, I'd definitely recommend staying at Elephantstay for a week or more.

Oh and FYI, it is very hot and you will be working, but the time you get to spend with your elephant is worth all the sweat and dirt!!

Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
7 Thank caz_770
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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40 reviews from our community

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  • English first
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2014

This is the most WONDERFUL experience I have ever had. www.elephantstay.com is dedicated to helping keep the culture of elephants in Thai culture alive. I learnt so much about elephants here and was really grateful to the staff and management who made my role with the elephants a unique experience. Thank you to Ewa and Michelle who made my time in Thailand so special. I love your Facebook page Elephantstay which keeps me updated on the latest births and progress of the elephants. Kindest regards, Carmen Bright, Australia.

Room Tip: All the rooms are basic, clean with aircon. The best thing is from every room you can look out of y...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Carmen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 2, 2014 via mobile

My husband, 8 year old daughter and I stayed here for 6 nights and could not get enough. It was the most touching experience to create a bond between us and our elie, Rasamee and to know that you were assisting in their overall care. We got done and dirty and loved every minute. The management, staff, volunteers and mahouts are incredible. Accommodation comfortable and food amazing. We cannot wait to start planning our next trip.

Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Tanya M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aarhus, Denmark
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed November 21, 2013

Holidays, in my opinion, are an opportunity to do something different to the norm - Elephantstay definitely delivered this beyond all of my expectations!

We booked by e-mail, and had no problems with any part of the reservation process. (We were so excited about this part of our trip that we wrote reminders everywhere we could to make sure we confirmed and re-confirmed when necessary.)

We were met by Paul and Neil when we arrived, who were welcoming and friendly from the very outset. Our cabin was perfectly clean and comfortable for our stay, and was ideal for the 3 night/4 day package we booked - there is glorious AC for those who feel the heat! The bathroom facilities were spotlessly clean and fit for purpose, with both hot and cold water.

Once all guests arrived, we sat down for an introduction to our stay, which was to be expected! Essential ground rules and safety were explained clearly and in detail by Neil, where we had the opportunity to ask questions throughout. From this brief and exceptionally informative session, it was obvious that our stay was going to be an absolute adventure!

We had the pleasure of caring for Rosukon and Getin during our stay, where activities included, feeding, watering, bathing, scrubbing and, best of all, getting to know and learn about elephants and how they can be protected and nurtured. The infant elephants are adorable, too!

One of my favourite things about this experience was being able to see all aspects of the working elephant village, which created a great atmosphere where something was always going on with never a dull moment! Our free time in the evening was incredibly relaxing too, and meals of fresh, traditional Thai food were great.

The enthusiasm and passion of everyone we met during our stay at the elephant village was outstanding, both towards the care of the elephants and in ensuring guests were given an incredible and education experience.

I will never forget this trip, and I hope to go back to see Rosukon (and all her elephant friends!) in the very near future!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Hazel R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2013

Wow this was the adventure of a lifetime, it was on my bucket list and I am so thankful that I was able to experience such joy while at Elephantstay. Go, you will LOVE every moment. It truly is a life changing experience. Be sure to book the full week, 3 days will never be enough time. ... I just returned and am already planning my next trip. The food is excellent and the kitchen was able to accommodate food allergies, I was very appreciative of this. The staff is amazing and lots of fun to spend time with, they love what they do and it certainly shows in the day to day life at the Kraal. Spending time with the elephants, feeding, cleaning and daily walks was pure pleasure. It was a joy to interact with the babies and experience the thrill of swimming in the river.
I cant wait to go back, I left a piece of my heart at Elephantstay.

Room Tip: Only tip...you may find it helpful to bring gloves for work detail and you may want to pack some goo...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank kat073
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 23, 2013

If you want an experience you will never forget, do this. Stayed for 2 weeks with my girlfriend in May.

Take care of your own elephant, ride them twice a day, feed them, bath them, swim with them, play with baby elephants, bathe babies. Seriously, I don't know how I will be able to top this experience for the rest of my life.

The staff, Ewa, Michelle, Paul, Katie, and Neil were all amazing, and I now have 5 more great friends. The food was absolutely amazing - best food I had in Thailand (and that's saying something). Accomodation was air conditioned. Not fancy, but you're not doing this to be in the lap of luxury.

Elephants are extremely well cared for, medical care is outstanding. Safety is paramount and you are accompanied at all times when interacting with the wonderful elephants. They elephantstay elephants are all lovely creatures.

You're reading this because you're potentially interesting in doing this. Do it. If you don't want an amazing life-changing trip you shouldn't do this.

It was balls of fun. Wasn't it Katie?

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank M C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 5, 2013

Having had a love for these wonder animals for most of my life, l was delighted to receive for my 45th birthday a trip to Bangkok to spend a week with the elephants. What a fantatic experience it was. To be able to get so close to your assigned elephant is a feeling that simply cannot be described. The interaction with the eles and their daily schedule is great. I must say leaving after the 7 days was one of the hardest things l have ever done - of course to make leaving easier l knew l would be back and so l have been. We have just returned from our 4th visit. This time we took our 2 youngest children (aged 12 & 13). They also enjoyed themselves so much that when it came time to go they wanted to know when "we" were coming back.
This is by no means a holiday where you simply sit and watch the world go by, it is after all a "working elephant village" with over 100 elephants being cared for. There is plenty of work to be done but nothing is too difficult. There's also plenty of time to relax and get to know the staff. The food is great (Thai - but personal preferences taken into consideration - fussy 12 yr old never starved), accommodation comfortable, activities - ABSOLUTELY OUTSTANDING.
Will definately be going back again - be there tomorrow if it was possible. The staff Ewa, Michelle, Neil and Paul have a special place in my heart - they are fantastic people devoting their lives to these wonderful animals. Not only do l miss my "Ele" - Pisamy but also miss hubby's - Honey and all the other girls.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sharlene B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Elephantstay

Property: Elephantstay
Address: 74/1 M 3 Tumbol Suanpik | Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Ayutthaya Province > Ayutthaya
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 60 Specialty Lodging in Ayutthaya
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Elephantstay is a close up and personal hands on experience with elephants staying in a working elephant village. ... more   less 

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