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Going to Koh Lanta? Don't go to the Mango Guesthouse which is featured on Travelfish

Posted by LilianKok on 3/5/2017 at 05:28

We have had a horrible experience at the Mango Guesthouse + Villas on Koh Lanta. This place is featured on Travelfish, but I would strongly recommend everyone traveling here to find accommodation elsewhere. Below is the full story as a review I wrote on several channels:

Me, my husband and mother (from Holland) booked one week at the Mango Guesthouse suite two+three. This accomodation was supposed to be the 'luxury' ending to a 3 week trip with mom and husband. Me and my husband had been travelling through Asia for 7 months and we were very excited to have my mother come over to visit us (this was her first time out of Europe).

We booked the Mango House directly through the website and paid through Paypal. We chose this place mainly because of the beautiful photo's online - it sounded and looked like an amazing place.

Unfortunately we can say very little positive about the Mango Guesthouse.
Please know we have been travelling for years, all over the world. We very rarely write a negative review, even if an accomodation is not as good or nice as expected. Because we usually see a silver lining in the way the owners are doing their best in making a place work, sometimes with very little tools/money. In other words; as long as a place is run with a bit of love, we would never complain about anything.

Many things went wrong here since the beginning. When we arrived we were greeted not by the owner (a Canadian man called Duane) but by one of his local employees. Immediately we noticed the Mango House was in the middle of a construction site. Basically a whole building is being constructed litererally next door. A lot of hammering and loud drilling was going on. We were shown around the house; our first impression wasn't very good either. It is very dark - one of the bedrooms does not have windows-, ill maintained and just not clean. By this I mean there were stains on the bedsheets and the living room couch, the bathrooms were smelly and not clean.
The online photo's are hugely misleading, truly. This goes for the outside space as well; the huge deck is in fact seperated in two halves by a solid fence and is therefore half as big as it seems on the photo's.

Before leaving, the employer quickly mentioned that the construction next door would start every morning at 7 and finish at 22 at night. He then left us, a bit baffled by all this.

We unpacked our stuff and had a cup of tea on the deck. The construction almost continually went on, so loud we couldn't have a proper conversation- let alone the relaxed time we were expecting to have on that 'beautiful' deck.
Within an hour all three of us felt so miserable about the situation that we decided we would rather leave, find a different accomodation and ask the owner for a refund based on him not mentioning anything beforehand about the construction that was going on.
Please know again, we never left earlier and asked for a refund ever before in our travels.

We went over next door to the Mango cafe and politely asked for Duane. Long story short; it was difficult to get a hold of him. He was apparently upstairs (so an employee told us), but didn't want to come down and talk to us. We were told to call him over the phone instead.
So we did. I very politely explained the situation, and told him we wanted to leave early because of the construction site, and asked if getting a refund was possible. He barely reacted, only saying ' oh okay, I'll refund your money back through paypal if you send me an email', then he hung up the phone.

Again a bit baffled by his indifferent reaction, but 'glad' that Duane agreed to refund our money, we decided to return to our previous accomodation on Koh Jum and spend the last week there. Since Mango Guesthouse is quite expensive, certainly for Thai standards (we paid 700 euro's for a week), getting the refund was essential to us being able to spend the week elsewhere.

If this would have been the end of it, we wouldn't even have written this review. Unfortunately this was only the beginning.
As discussed I sent Duane an email with also a link to my Paypal account, so he could transfer the refund.

This whole ordeal let to a conversation of 23 emails send between february and may. Duane's part of the conversation was always full of new excuses why he didn't refund our money yet.. ' my Paypal doesnt work' ' your bank declined the payment', ' I'll send it to you next week' .. etcetera.
One month ago we finally received 200 euro's, which was not even half of the money we are inclined to. We send him several emails again, but never received any answer up until now.

Travelling through developing countries you are always warned about local scammers and crooks. So far we had never experienced such a thing- the only true scammer we ever met is the Canadian owner Duane of the Mango Guesthouse in Koh Lanta. We would strongly advise anyone to NOT book accomodation at the Mango Guesthouse. It is definitely not worth the money, but way worse than that; you shouldn't get involved in any business with this crook.
Very disappointed and a bit sad to end the trip with my mom to Thailand on such a bitter note.

#1 LilianKok has been a member since 3/5/2017. Posts: 1

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