"What’s a nice resort like you doing in a place like this?" This thought occurs to me quite often in my travels, especially around Thailand. I arrive in some out-of-the-way, middle-of-nowhere small town, and there it is: a completely out of place resort that’s very nice if not downright luxe. Such was the feeling I had when arriving at Phunacome Resort just outside of Dan Sai in Loei province.
Dan Sai really is a small town; not much more than a wide spot in the road, high up in the mountains near the Lao border. The only reason it’s on the tourist map at all is due to a singular annual festival called Phi Ta Khon, or the "Ghost Mask Festival". If you’re taking in the event, the resort is the best place to stay. For the rest of the year, the only reason you would come here would be to use the resort as a base for exploring the rather spectacular natural scenery of the province.
The resort is laid out in a small valley just about 10 minutes from town. The floor of the valley has been formed into a series of ponds. On one side are the standard guest rooms, lobby building, and the meeting rooms. The other side of the valley is devoted to what the resort calls its "Isaan Village", a group of medium to large traditional style wooden houses which form the resort’s suites.
I had one of the standard rooms. It was very large, with wood floors, a king-size bed, balcony and large bathroom. Wireless Internet access was freely available throughout the hotel. Breakfast was served in the small dining area off the hotel lobby. There wasn’t a lot of choice, but most everything was well done. Guests could also enjoy complimentary coffee or tea at any time of day in the dining room.
The resort also had a few mountain bikes for free use by the guests. I used one on one of the days during my stay. It was easy enough to get around to the other sights of Dan Sai, although the ride back uphill to the resort is going to leave you huffing and puffing a little. During the festival, the resort offered a free shuttle serve to take guests into town and bring them back.
You can find more information and links to booking sites at the Phu Na Come Resort details page.