PATTAYA — The executive of a hotel that went viral last month over the alleged reports of terrible room conditions said Monday it will soon open as an Alternative State Quarantine, or ASQ.
Ambassador City Jomtien director Chawanet Tungsumpan said a stay at her hotel for an ASQ experience would cost travelers between 30,000 and 100,000 baht. She also defended the hotel’s service in the aftermath of the viral review, which purported to document an unhygienic environment, poor service, and even cockroaches in the food.
“Everyone has always complimented us for good service, especially our maids, reception, and handymen,” Chawanet told reporters during a press tour of the hotel.
The review was written by Facebook user Topp Dunyawit Phadungsaeng, who reportedly stayed at Ambassador City Jomtien in February when the hotel was enrolled in the state quarantine program for Thai nationals returning from overseas.
Top: Ambassador City Jomtien refutes some of allegations made by Dunyawit.
Dunyawit, who flew in from San Francisco, called the stay “the worst 14 days in my life” in his Facebook post, which has been shared more than 34,000 times. But Chawanet said the review was misleading, and she said the hotel actually lost money as a state quarantine facility.
“Please open your mind. Understand what it means to be a state quarantine,” she said. “So many people say we’ve made sacrifices, which is true.”
When asked about the mishap and poor conditions Dunyawit allegedly experienced, Chawanet said the hotel allowed state officials to take over operations in the area where travelers were quarantined, so the hotel management had no say in some of the services.
“We thought we were doing this for CSR. Of the 4,200 people who have stayed here, none got COVID,” Chawanet said. “We’ve heard for years that our employees are all polite and service-minded.”
She added that the hotel has since dropped out of the state quarantine list, and would reopen as an ASQ venue instead.
When Dunyawit’s review went viral in February, Ambassador City Jomtien responded by threatening unspecified legal actions, drawing even more ill gotten attention from social media users.
It is unclear what actions will be taken against Dunyawit; the hotel manager made no mention of it during the media tour, and an operator at Ambassador City Jomtien who picked up the phone was evasive.
“We’re in the legal process,” the operator said, adding that the hotel is currently closed for three months.
On Saturday, the Ambassador City Jomtien went on the offensive and refuted some of the allegations made by Dunyawit. For instance, in order to counter his claim that his bedding was moldy, the hotel said that the stain was found on the bottom mattress, which was covered with a mattress skirt.
“Why did you pull out the mattress skirt from the bottom mattress?” the hotel asked in the post.
The hotel did not directly address the complaints about bugs found in the food, but said many other guests who stayed at Ambassador City Jomtien the same time as Dunyawit were very positive about their experience.
Speaking to reporters today, hotel manager Chawanet said that Dunyawit changed his rooms three times, and that the hotel’s food was clean, and used vegetables from their own garden and fish from a natural pond.
“The Ambassador has been open for 50 years, the Jomtien branch for 30 years. We are confident in our standards of taking care of our customers,” she said.