Thailand has some pretty wild defamation laws. Last September, an American living in Thailand was arrested and charged with defamation after posting a negative review of a hotel online. Well, something similar is happening again, except that it’s a quarantine hotel.
Man quarantine in Thailand not happy with accommodation
Thailand requires a 14-day quarantine for those arriving from outside the country. Dunyawit Phadungsaeng landed from San Francisco, Thailand on January 28, 2021, describing his quarantine as the worst 14 days of his life.
The man stayed at the Ambassador City Jomtien Hotel, southeast of the capital in Chonburi Province. It’s worth noting that he opted for Thailand’s free quarantine accommodation rather than paying to stay in a nicer hotel. So before we get into his complaints (which sound legitimate), there is an element of “you get what you pay for” here.
As the man wrote:
“It’s been probably the most terrible 14 days of my life … don’t call it quarantine as it is better known as incarceration. People said that [state quarantine] is okay and habitable. I didn’t expect it to be a fancy five star hotel but have you ever been disappointed even if you had no expectations? “
He had some minor complaints, like poor WiFi and an outdated TV, and some more legitimate complaints like:
- Mushroom in his bed
- Water leaks from the ceiling
- A worn door
- A terrible smell that he could not escape despite three dressing rooms
- Mosquitoes and cockroaches; He even had to pay for bug spray to kill them
- His breaking point was poorly prepared and unsanitary meals, and he even found a cockroach in his meal
He meticulously documented the hotel’s shortcomings on Facebook and posted dozens of pictures.
Hotel now accuses man of defamation
The Ambassador City Jomtien Hotel has stated that it has filed defamation suits against anyone who has tried to discredit it by spreading lies about shabby and unsanitary rooms. The hotel did not specifically name the traveler above, but it seems the timing is no coincidence as the announcement came the day after the man revealed the hotel.
The explanation of the hotel is partly as follows:
“The Ambassador City Jomtien Hotel would like to notify all affiliated agencies to stop any kind of defamatory actions [the hotel] and break the law. Otherwise we will have to take maximum legal action. “
Thailand has some of the strictest defamation laws in the world and this is often taken to extremes. For something to be defamed, it must not only be unfavorable, but also untrue. It doesn’t seem like anything is wrong here, it just revealed the reality of the accommodations.
A man returning to Thailand was quarantined for 14 days and was not happy with the accommodation. In fairness, he went for the free accommodation when you can pay for a better experience. Perhaps he should have entered with more modest expectations.
That being said, this seems like a terrible experience between the insects, the smell and the quality of the food. Now the hotel is suing him for defamation, which, given the precedent, seems completely unreasonable, but not surprising either. It still puzzles me that hotels think this will end well for them …