Sorry! No room at the Inn


Baby elephant attempts to check-in at a local hotel – much to the distress of guests and employees

October 2003 – It seems nowadays everyone wants to holiday in Pattaya. Most guests are warmly welcomed but sometimes innkeepers must draw the line.

A one-year-old elephant that had broken out of the control of its careless mahout, attempted to check in to the Lek Hotel on Pattaya Second Road late last Wednesday evening. The young elephant rushed through the front door, breaking the glass and sustaining minor cuts in the process, causing guests and staff to scatter. The 1-year-old proceeded to perform a righteous temper tantrum inside the lobby after being refused a room.

The hotel manager called in the police to put a stop to the ruckus and detained the mahout for causing extensive damage to hotel property. The rambunctious jumbo was eventually calmed down after thirty nerve-wracking minutes inside the hotel.

When police questioned the elephant’s mahout, 27-year-old Somchai Saenglar, he told officers that he and his charge had arrived from Surin 15 days ago and were currently staying at the Pattaya Elephant Village. Somchai said he brought the elephant into the city to look for some extra income by selling fruit to tourists to help pay for his daily expenses. He added that his baby elephant was cranky and hungry and as a result he could not control the animal when it charged into the hotel.

Somchai apologized profusely and agreed to pay for any damages incurred. The damage bill was estimated at around 10,000 baht.