The Fern Resort in Mae Hong Son was a new experience for me. Even though I have been travelling the province since 1999 and had many delicious meals at the restaurant they own in Mae Hong Son(Bai Fern) I had never up until now stayed at the resort.
The resort has been around for a long time. And you can feel that sense of a distinct hotel routine, a hotel culture in the walls. There is no confusion, everyone knows their work. The routines run like a Swiss watch. Just the fact that they had only guests in seven rooms but still offered a buffet with options of omelette, fried eggs and so on in their classic, retro restaurant. (Many places try to create a retro feel now. With The Fern there is no such need since it already has a history of 20+ years)
The Fern is built as a Tai Yai /Shan village with the concrete bungalows covered by natural materials such as bamboo and teak? leaves. Walking through the nature trail within the resort you are surrounded by rice and gorgeous hill views.
There is a sense of Eco-awareness with the soaps and shampoo used. Furthermore, the staff wear traditional shan clothing. Both the coffee shop and the new swimming pool has a harmonising effect on the soul. With all lush nature, you do have to live with the fact that there will be mosquitoes. The huts/bungalows are spacious but a bit worn. As with many hotels in Thailand, there is a bit of sweet moisture odour. Not much to say about it though. Times have been tough for 1,5 years now. And the weather is not forgiving to empty rooms in the tropics for such a long time.
You are also presumably dependent on their wifi. At least DTAC had no connection out there.
The Fern is a 15-minute drive from downtown Mae Hong Son. So it was easy to get to Wat Phrathat Doi Kung Muu for instance. We all loved it here and the kids requested to stay longer.
With my groups, we used to stay at The Imperial. That is a natural group or conference hotel in town. It did look like glory days was over when we passed it through. The most modern and smashing contribution to the hotel scene in Mae Hong Son now would be the B2 Premier hotel. Long pool and contemporary style. Splashing new!
For atmosphere and nature, I still hold The Fern as the number one place to stay in Mae Hong Son!