The delightful chalet-style Fern Resort is set in sprawling gardens in a rather out of the way location, but it is worth the effort of getting to as this is one of our favourite spots to stay in and around Mae Hong Son.
It has great rooms, a pleasant restaurant and bar, campfire area and swimming pool as well as lots of local hiking opportunities, so once there you won’t really need to move for a few days. The address is Pha Bong district which encompasses a fair sized area to the south of Mae Hong Son but it’s quite a way from Pha Bong village itself.
If you’re travelling under your own steam you’ll need to head out of Mae Hong Son on the main Mae Sariang highway and then look out for the turn-off to the east towards Nam Tok Mae Surin National Park. It is signposted but if you have no transport they’ll pick up guests for free in town if you ask, and they offer a free shuttle service to and from town at regular intervals throughout the day. (If you are travelling by bus, ask to be dropped off at the National Park turn off and call them from there.)
The side road will take you a few kilometres up a scenic valley through wooded hills to the large and well organised resort. It’s all very tastefully laid out with chalets widely scattered around a well-tended tropical park which includes mature trees dripping with orchids and ferns plus their own vegetable and fruit plots and even an in-house paddy-field. The centrepiece is a good-sized swimming pool while plenty of seating areas and salas are positioned at key points throughout the grounds. Reception and cafe areas are equally well-laid out and comfortable while remaining small with a cosy feel.
Communal buildings and individual chalets are chic-rustic with traditional teak leaf roofs and wood-clad walls. The latter are well-designed with plenty of space between bungalows and all come with tempting deck terraces. Sumptuous interiors are more boutique than rustic with subtle paint schemes, varnished parquet and plenty of solid varnished furniture. Decor is what we’d call understated Lanna. Rooms are well appointed as befits the price tag with air-con, WiFi, minibars and tiled hot water bathrooms but a deliberate no TV policy. Deluxe versions are somewhat larger and better situated in terms of views.
Eco-tourism figures prominently in their blurb, so there’s plenty of information on the surrounding area, flora and fauna and local Karen hill-tribe people. Indeed most of their staff members are Karen people from local villages. Options on offer at the resort include trekking, nature trails, birdwatching, mountain biking and visits to the nearby National Park itself.
Low season prices are very reasonable for what you get and though high season supplements are substantial they did point out you may well find cheaper deals on hotel booking sites. This is a wonderful spot to while away a few days.
Address: 64 Moo 10, Pha Bong District, Nam Tok Mae Surin National Park Rd, off Highway 108
T: (053) 686 110-1; (093) 314 8222;
Coordinates (for GPS): 97º59'23.66" E, 19º15'20.39" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 1,500B to 4,000B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Extra Bed||650 baht||650 baht|
|Superior double room||1,400 baht||2,500 baht|
|Deluxe double room||1,700 baht||3,500 baht|
Based in Chiang Mai, Mark Ord has been travelling Southeast Asia for over two decades and first crossed paths with Travelfish on Ko Lipe in the early 1990s.
Provided by Travelfish partner Agoda.
Our top 10 places to stay in and around Mae Hong Son