The Kingdom of Thailand is again welcoming tourists, but requires incoming international travelers to quarantine for two weeks even with a negative COVID-19 test. The quality of quarantine hotels can vary greatly. One man returning from the United States was less than delighted about his quarantine accommodations, but is now facing a defamation lawsuit by the hotel after he took to social media to complain about cockroaches, a stained mattress, and other defects of his stay.
Thailand Quarantine Hotel Sues Traveler For Nasty Social Media “Cockroach” Review
Thailand has a special program for its own citizens that offers free quarantine accommodations at more budget-friendly hotels. Wanting to save money, Topp Dunyawit Phadungsaeng spent his quarantine at the Ambassador City Jomtien Hotel in Thailand’s Chonburi province. He had traveled to California for business and like all returning passengers, was forced to choose an approved hotel to spend his quarantine upon his return.
Writing on Facebook, Phadungsaeng stated:
“It was probably the most terrible 14 days of my life…don’t call it quarantine as it’s better called imprisonment. People said that [quarantine] is okay and habitable. I didn’t expect it to be a fancy five-star hotel, but have you ever been disappointed even when you had no expectations?”
His complaints included:
- Poor wi-fi
- Fungus on the mattress
- A putrid smell in the room
- Water leaking from the ceiling
- Worn-out door
- Unhygienic meals, one of which included a cockroach leg
However, the hotel issued a statement warning of impending legal action:
“Ambassador City Jomtien Hotel wants to notify any related agencies to stop any kind of actions that will defame [the hotel] and violate the law. Or else, we will have to take maximum legal action.”
Truth is not necessarily a defamation defense in Thailand.
After multiple complaints, it appears the hotel has suspended operations (link in Thai). Yet the lawsuit continues.
“You get what you pay for” comes to mind, but no one should have to endure accommodations and food like this. What a horrific story made even worse by the fact that Phadungsaeng may end up having to apologize publicly due to Thailand’s ridiculous defamation laws.
(H/T: Paolo // Images: Topp Dunyawit Phadungsaeng/Facebook)
This is horrible. For government-provided quarantine hotel, you don’t even get to choose, or even know in advance where you’d end up. They decided where you go after you landed in Thailand. According to a few of my friends who did this, the hotels are not that bad. This one is absolutely awful and hopefully the government will stop using them (unlikely). And for sure after covid ends, nobody would ever want to book with them again.
And yes, anti-defamation laws in Thailand are ridiculous.
Chances are good this gentleman was a sexpat or tourist, headed to Pattaya, the armpit of Thailand, because of the sex trade there. He may get far more than a cockroach leg.
He is a Thai national living in San Francisco but returning home.
Idiot didn’t bother to read the whole story.
I just don’t understand why hotels in Thailand think this will end well for them. I understand that Thai laws are different than those of many other countries, but for the most part the internet is global, and it’s also the source of most of this hotel’s bookings.
You can choose the Hotel you want to stay in,depending on your budget
I suspect Thailand will go for the immunity/vaccination passport idea being contemplated by Denmark and a few others. The hospitality industry will not survive another year like 2020. Plus the encouraging indications that the Pfizer ( and possibly others) dramatically reduces transmissibility.
I feel sorry for them, particularly the staff: many of the hotels have put together very thoughtful and attractive quarantine packages…but no one is buying because the govt-imposed restrictions are quite onerous.