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vivid

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  1. In my experience most developers estimate the homeowners association dues very low on purpose, so as not to scare away potential buyers. Most buyers are hoping for low maintenance costs; high estimates cause them to seek buildings with low projected costs. So it becomes a liar's game among developers to see who will artificially predict the lowest cost. Once the units are sold the association is short of operating funds so the dues get raised dramatically. And the buyers have no recourse whatsoever. It's very important for buyers to realize that their costs are going to go up, and prepare for a sizable increase in order to maintain their investment in reasonable condition.
  2. The 3 hotel buildings were built at different times, and each building has it's own specially named rooms. Super Deluxe rooms are all in Evergreen. It's OK to smoke on the balcony. There are warning signs in the room not to smoke in the room but they have an ashtray outside on the balcony. And the Evergreen building is L shaped, so half of the rooms look directly at the pool, and the other half look out toward a low rise condominium that's the same height as the Evergreen and the back of the Avenue shopping center down the road, but it's really a nice view; the buildings aren't very close to each other, and there's lots of trees and foliage to see. And the rooms without the pool view get sun right on their balconies, and I see lots of folks lounging on their balconies and sun tanning. I've stayed in both many times, and IMO they're both fine. I spend so little time in the room that either one is fine.
  3. I'm just guessing here, but it looks to me like it's worth about 886 THB per night.
  4. Perhaps you were here in the cooler season or you can tolerate higher temperatures, because neither gym is air conditioned, and they won't be for the foreseeable future. I've had this discussion with each of the last 3 hotel managers, and they all told me the same thing...that the owner of the hotel will not spend the money to install and operate air conditioning in the gyms. I'm sure that you noticed that the adjacent lobbies and restaurant are also not air conditioned, so it would cost a fortune to air condition a gym that gets very little use. The owner prefers to keep his hotel rates affordable, and that is just one of the compromises that he's chosen. And the widows in the gym no longer open; thy screwed them shut. The only ventilation is from the previously mentioned hidden fan and the air that flows in through the large sliding doors. The reason that the gym in the Areca building is cooler is because it's on the ground floor of a 6 story hotel, so it is shaded by the structure above. The Sky Fitness gym is a stand alone building with a metal roof that intensifies the heat from the sun. And I'm here for my 10th stay of 29 nights each, so I'm pretty familiar with the ins and outs of this hotel. I wish it were as you say, but unfortunately it's not.
  5. I'm here at Areca now for my 10th stay. Neither of the gyms have AC. What you are mistaking for AC in the Areca building is just a big noisy fan that just swirls the hot air around. It's a tiny bit cooler than the Sky Fitness gym, but only because it has a bit more shade. All 3 lobbies and the restaurant in the Areca building are open air, and they're broiling hot this time of year. The gym that was in the Avenue shopping center next door (California Wow) has been closed for years, but they are working to reopen it. There's a big sign that says "Opeming Soon", whatever that means. The Marriott has the only air conditioned gym that I can find, but it's crazy expensive at almost 6,000 THB per month. There is a thread on here somewhere that addresses all of these issues.
  6. You're spot on about the Ace Club at Areca, but I'd like to mention that you can only use the discounts if you've booked directly with the hotel. It's their way of saving the 10 to 15 percent commission that hotels pay to the online booking agents if your booking is made through one of them. And the 890 THB fee is good for one year. It's one of the best deals ever, providing that you stay long enough to save the cost of the membership. That works out to about 6 nights per year.
  7. Areca Lodge has a great laundry service, and it's really cheap. Just put your dirty clothes in the bag provided in your room, and hand it to the maid before 10:00 AM. It will be back in your room that evening all clean and folded and smelling great for a few hundred baht. Not worth carrying your laundry for blocks in the hot sun.
  8. I use Booking.com frequently, and I've never paid on arrival. They do take my credit card info when I book so they can charge one night in case I don't show, but there is no charge to my account if I show up as arranged until I check out, whether it's for a one night stay or a month.
  9. I'm writing this report from a super deluxe Evergreen room, and the Wifi is now fantastic. This is my eighth stay here, and they recently upgraded their entire Wifi system. I agree that their Wifi was just fair to pathetic in the past, and on each of my previous stays when I complained, they put a router in my room that was connected to the LAN port by the desk. It did help a bit, but the real problem was that they had only one password for the entire hotel, and hundreds of devices connected to it. I myself bring an iPhone, an iPad, and a Kindle. When I logged on I could see at least 6 or 8 different Evergreen networks because each floor had several different ones, and the whole system was confusing and severely overloaded. And each time you tried to log on you had to enter your user ID and password again. So in preparation for this trip I bought a travel router to plug into the LAN port in hopes that it would somehow simplify the process and that I wouldn't have to keep entering my ID and password. But when I checked in Thursday morning they handed me two different passwords. I asked why, and they said that you now use a different one for each device. So when I got to my room I plugged in my router, and there was no signal at all. It was 4:00 AM, and I had just travelled for 32 hours from the USA, so I just went to sleep figuring that I would deal with it in the morning. Well, good news in the morning. There was still no signal from the LAN port, so I decided to try their Wifi before I called the front desk to send their IT guy to my room, and I got a very strong signal, and instead of seeing 10 different networks named Evergreen. There were just 3; Areca Wifi, Areca Outdoor Wifi, and Areca Wifi Test 2. 4. I noticed a bunch of new antennas mounted to the tops of the buildings and atop the April Restaurant, and I had a great, fast connection. Problem solved. I've been using the system for 9 days now, and it's been just seamless. All devices working as they should; speed is quite good; and not a single dropped signal yet. I do notice that the speed varies a bit depending on the weather and time of day, but I think that's the nature of the beast. I see the same variation wherever I travel. I think it has a lot to do with the amount of traffic on line and the ISP.
  10. The above is not quite right....you are now allowed more than 3-30 day visa exemptions, as long as you don't spend more than 90 days out of a 6 month period in the Kingdom. http://www.travelfish.org/visas/thailand
  11. Depends what country you're from. Visitors from the USA get a 30 day visa exemption on arrival, with a maximum of 3 visits per year. http://bangkok.usembassy.gov/mobile//service/thai-visas-for-americans.html
  12. Yes..........they offer both laundry and dry cleaning services. There is a plastic laundry bag along with a laundry list that you fill out. You can opt for laundry or dry cleaning when you fill out the form. Just give it to the maid before 10:00 AM and it will be delivered back to your room before 18:00 the same day. They do a very good job, and the prices are just amazingly cheap.
  13. Their website shows that their check-out time is 12:00 noon, and the room needs to be cleaned before a new guest can check in. They also show that check-in begins at 2:00 pm, so it's hardly the hotel's fault that the room wasn't ready 3 1/2 hours early. The only sure way to avoid this is to book the room for an extra day if having your room available in the morning is that important to you.
  14. The hotel that was under construction directly in front of the PBR is completed and open for business..it's OZO Pattaya hotel. I'm still amazed that they were allowed to build another building so close to the PBR. But there is still lots of construction going on behind the hotel where they are building a huge condo project. If it were me I'd look for a quieter place to stay.