Read about the hotels I have stayed at, and liked enough, to recommend to my readers.
About Our Hotel Reviews
Our policy is simple: if we do not like a hotel, then we do not write about it. Our focus is on the needs of the budget conscious traveller and not many of the hotels we review at are in the luxury end of market, but they are all superb value for money. We judge hotels in relation to what they cost, and whether they meet some basic requirements, rather than the colour of the wallpaper or which hotel chain they belong to. In particular we look for 6 things from a hotel:
English language channels on the TV.
Close to transport links.
An acceptable level of cleanliness.
The hotels I normally stay at in Ayutthaya are near to the train station, or alternatively on Ayutthaya ‘Island’ if I am visiting theHistorical Parkor theBan Lang Road Night Market. Thetrain stationand the historical park are 3.6 km apart. If you are travelling by train you need to make a decision about whether it is better to stay near the historical park and travel by tuk tuk or taxi to the train station or vice versa.
Krungsri River Hotel
Location: near Ayutthaya Train Station
Star Rating: 5 Star
Number of Rooms: 204
Number of Restaurants: 4
The Krungsri River Hotel is a large modern hotel.
From 2,380 THB
One of the best hotels in Ayutthaya city. Lots of facilities and a pleasant riverside restaurant. The rooms are large and well equipped. I rate this as a 4 star hotel. The train station is 200 metres walk away, but to get to the Historical Park you need to take a tuk-tuk (around 100 THB) as the main temples are 2 km away.
Baan Baimai Boutique Room
Unusual but comfortable rooms at the Baan Baimai Boutique Room.
Lovely small family run hotel about 1 km from the Historical Park. The rooms are ‘quirky’ but very comfortable. Rooms have their own entrance onto a small garden. A continental breakfast is served on a tray the night before and free tea and coffee is always available at the reception.
Baan Are Gong Riverside Homestay
Unique accommodation at the Baan Are Goong Homestay.
Small guest house in a renovated wooden house by the river and across the road from the train station. The rooms upstairs are very traditional style. Downstairs they have built a modern concrete extension with some very cheap air-conditioned rooms where I stayed. The hotel has a very cheap restaurant over hanging the river on a wooden platform. The owner and her family were very nice to me when I stayed.
When I travel to Bangkok I tend to stay in one of four different areas, depending on my reason for being there:
Sukhumvit Road: If I am in Bangkok to visit an Embassy or to go out to good restaurants then I stay near the Sukhumvit Road.
Siam Square: If I am in Bangkok to do shopping then I stay at a hotel near Siam Square. Most of Bangkok’s major shopping malls are clustered around Siam Square as well as smaller independent retailers offering bargain prices.
Khao San Road: If I am in Bangkok for travel connections by bus to the South, or via Thonburi Train Station, then I stay in the Khao San Road area.
China Town: If need to be near Bangkok train station or to visit the major attractions such as Wat Pho then I stay in China Town.
Located walking distance from the shopping centres of Siam Square this hotel is great choice if you are in Bangkok to do some shopping. The roads around Siam Square get very busy so save yourself the stress of spending time in stationary taxis and walk from your hotel to the shops. The Hotel ibis Bangkok Siam is one of the cheapest decent hotels in the Siam Square area and represents good value for money. It will cost you a lot more to stay at one of the other branded hotels near Siam Square.
Standard room at the Manhattan Hotel.
Location: Soi 15, Sukhumvit Road
Star Rating: 3.5 Star
Number of Rooms: 200
Number of Restaurants: 1
From 1,637 THB
Located on the lively Sukhumvit Road this hotel has a been long time favourite with regular visitors to Thailand. Good service and decent rooms at an affordable price. Both BTS (Skytrain) and MRT (Metro) stations are within easy walking distance, as the notorious entertainment zones of the Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy, and the more family friendly bars and restaurants of Soi 5 and Soi 11.
This hotel is excellent base from which to explore the temples and markets in Bangkok’s China Town district. This hotel is also near Bangkok’s main train station and an MRT (Metro) station as well as the river and the Chao Phraya Express Boat. It is a short walk walk from the Check Inn China Town to T&K Seafood, one of our recommended Bangkok restaurants
One of the nicest budget hotels in the Khao San Road area. Better than others nearby for a similar price. The room has air-conditioning, free WiFi, satellite TV and a small balcony. Downstairs there is a small restaurant and bar. I like this place better than the other nearby hotels in the same price range.
Krungkasem Srikrung Hotel
View from Krungkasem Srikrung Hotel.
Location: China Town near Bangkok Hua Lamphong Train Station
One of the best budget hotels in China Town, and only 350 metres from Bangkok’s main train station. This hotel has been in operation for over 50 years and the service is very good. The rooms are basic but clean and comfortable. The room price includes a pleasant buffet breakfast featuring tea, coffee, juice and toasts, and plates of ham and egg made to order. The views over the city and the train station are excellent.
Four Sons Place
The rooms at the Four Sons Place are good value for money.
Cheap rooms with free WiFi, satellite TV, air-conditioning, private bathroom and view of the Grand Palace in the distance. This hotel is 3 minutes walk from the lively Khao San Road, but far enough away for a peaceful night’s sleep. The rooms are small but so is price.
CHIANG MAI HOTELS
When I stay in Chiang Mai I choose to stay near the Ping River close to the Night Bazaar. I prefer this area because the hotels and restaurants are better than those in the Old Town and the transport links are better.
Porn Ping Tower
Standard room at the Porn Ping Tower.
Location: Night Bazaar Area
Star Rating: 2 Star
Number of Rooms: 325
Number of Restaurants: 4
From 858 THB
The Porn Ping Tower is the oldest luxury hotel in Chiang Mai and one of the cheapest. As well as being a successful hotel the Porn Ping Tower is also popular with non-guests for its roof top bar, nightclub, nightly cabaret shows and catering. The rooms are large and well appointed and the buffet breakfast is very popular.
The big selling point of this 3 star hotel is its location within walking distance of both the popular night bazaar area near the river and Chiang Mai’s old town. The hotel itself is quite good and it has a very nice swimming pool and sauna room. The rooms have a slightly unusual layout with an area behind a screen which has no purpose.
Small friendly hotel on the riverfront near to the Night Bazaar. This popular hotel is best described as ‘quirky’ with rooms set within a renovated old wooden house. The rooms are comfortable and the hotel’s restaurant is cheap with a pleasant garden overlooking the Ping River.
There is small range of hotels in the town centre within a 1 km radius of the train station. Chumphon remains largely undeveloped as a tourist centre and the majority of the foreign hotel guests who stay in Chumphon are either going to, or leaving, Koh Tao. Chumphon is the closest large town and train station to the ferry pier to Koh Tao.
This is a very cheap hotel with pretty good rooms and a convenient location. The hotel is located on the road leading to the train station and is nearby the food stalls on the Krumluang Chumphon Road. The room has a balcony and satellite TV. No complaints at all. The buffet breakfast served in the restaurant on the top floor is excellent value for money.
HAT YAI HOTELS
There are two main areas in Hat Yai where most visitors to the city stay. The most popular area, with the best hotels, is in the centre of Hat Yai City near to the train station. The other area where visitors often stay is near to the bus station. Hat Yai Bus Station is a major transport connection hub for bus travel from Malaysia and the Southern Provinces of Thailand to the resort towns on the Andaman and Gulf of Thailand coasts, and on to Bangkok.
Located less than 100 metres from the nearest entrance to Hat Yai Bus Station the CK Residence is is a great place to stay and very good value for money. It is cleaner and has better facilities than the other budget hotels clustered around the same area. The outside of the hotel looks unappealing and the service is a bit unfriendly but the rooms are great and there plenty of place to eat and drink on the street outside.
HUA HIN HOTELS
Many of the hotels in Hua Hin are some distance from the town centre. I prefer to stay at ones which are better closer as it makes it easier to reach the seafront fish restaurants, and reach the train station and Lomprayah bus stop for onward travel from Hua Hin.
New hotel in a modern style. The central pool area is great and the rooms are large and comfortable. They offer a lot of special offers at this hotel because it is too far to walk to the popular restaurants in the Town Centre. However, the taxi or tuk-tuk fare should only be around 100 THB each way and the hotel is on the main road going into the Hua Hin Town Centre.
The Sukkasem Guesthouse is a wooden building over the sea.
Unique hotel built on an old wooden fishing boat pier over the sea. The rooms are small like cabins on a boat with small windows. The location is very central and on the same street as Hua Hin’s famous seafront fish restaurants and near to the excellentBuffalo Bill’s Tavern.
Very nice small hotel near to the train station and Hua Hin night market. There is restaurant area downside and three floors of rooms upstairs. Rooms come with fridges, free WiFi, air-conditioning and satellite TV with English language TV channels. The rooms also have balconies.
The best places to stay are on the riverside off the Mae Nam Kwai Road. This road leads to the famous Bridge over the River Kwai and has many restaurants and bars. A stay on the peaceful and scenic river is one of the best things about a trip to Kanachanaburi.
Good Times Resort
There is a large clean pool at the Good Times Resort
I really liked this resort: very relaxed, lovely rooms, nice pool area, a riverside restaurant all at a cheap price. What more could I have asked for? From the hotel it is a 1 km walk to both the famous ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’ and the train station. From the hotel, walking in the opposite direction to the bridge, you are close to a lively area with many bars and restaurants frequented by tourists and Kanchanaburi’s large French and Australian ex-pat communities.
KOH SAMUI HOTELS
The three areas of Koh Samui where I normally stay are Nathon, because it is close to the ferry piers, Chaweng, because of the shopping options, and Bophut because this is where many of the best restaurants are located, although Nathon also has a great and largely underrated Thai restaurant scene.
Mantra Resort Samui
Ocean view from the pool at the Mantra Samui Resort
Hill top resort near Fisherman’s village with great sea views. Attractively priced 5 Star resort with good facilities and very large rooms. We stayed in a ‘Love Suite’ which had a private Jacuzzi on the balcony. In the rooms they have provided excellent multi-media facilities.
Well priced beach front resort in Chaweng slightly away from the centre of the town. The resort has a laid back and informal feel to it and guest can opt to have breakfast on the private terrace in front of their room overlooking the beach.
Iyara Beach Hotel & Plaza
The Iyara Beach Hotel has a pool on the beachfront.
Modern beach hotel with great service. There is a large pool and restaurant area right on the beachfront, where most guests opt to spend their daylight hours. Reserve your sun lounger early. The buffet breakfast is particularly good here and the hotel is very popular with families on short vacations in Koh Samui.
Boonjumnong Modern Apartments
Standard bedroom at the Boonjumong Modern Apartments.
Located away from Chaweng Beach, near Tesco Lotus and the cinema, this accommodation will appeal to people coming to Koh Samui to do shopping and watch a film rather tourists visiting the beach. These apartments are the best amongst the various accommodation options located on the main ring road in the same area.
Located just off Koh Samui’s main road, near Tesco Lotus Chaweng, this is a motel set within a peaceful area. There is an onsite Muay Thai Gym and a restaurant. It is about 1 km to the centre of Chaweng town and the beach. I found the beds a bit hard here but everything else was great.
Small hotel set around an outdoor pool on the sea front in Nathon. From here it is only 5 minutes to walk to the Seatran and Lomprayah ferry piers. There are two room types. I opted for the cheaper one which was basic but good enough for a night. There are someexcellent restaurantswithin a 5 minute walk.
NAKHON RATCHASIMA HOTELS
Romyen Garden Place
Standard rooms at the Romyen Garden Place are large and modern.
Very new and very modern hotel located on the road from the train station to the city centre. Everything in the room functioned well including the free WiFi and satellite TV. The rooms are all no-smoking but each has a small balcony for that purpose. From the hotel it is a 650 metre walk to Suan Rak Park which is at the edge of the old city of Nakhon Ratchasima. I did not eat here because they are better restaurants a short walk away on the main road going into the centre of Nakhon Ratchasima.
If you spend a lot of time in Thailand chances are at some point you may need to go to Malaysia for the purposes of applying for a visa for Thailand. The two closest Thai Consulates in Malaysia are in Khota Bharu and Penang. If you apply for a visa in Malaysia you will need to stay near the Thai Consulate overnight as visas are normally issued the next working day after you make your application.
The Suria Hotel is on the main street in Kota Bharu.
Small hotel conveniently located on the the Jalan Pengkalan Chepa Road near to the town centre bus station (Jalan Pendek bus station) and near to the only bar selling alcohol in Kota Bharu town centre: the Golden City Restaurant. This is a value for money hotel. It is not luxurious but it will do for a one night stopover. It is a 1.4 km walk along a straight road from the Suria Hotel to the Royal Thai Consulate.
There is one street in Nongkhai where there are ‘farang’ bars and this is the one the White Inn is located on. The people who run this hotel are very friendly and I was pleased with the very large room I stayed in. There were English language channels on the TV. From the hotel it is a 5 minute walk to the Chinese Market and the section of river front where they hold Nongkhai’s famous Saturday Night Market.
Pai Village Boutique Resort & Farm
Accommodation at the Pai Village Resort is in bungalows.
In many ways the best hotel in Pai town centre, and also one of the most expensive. I really enjoyed staying here. My bungalow overlooked a meadow with a stream and healthy looking cows. The ‘Country and Western’ themed steak house restaurant in the hotel grounds served great food at low prices and was a lot of fun. They have live Country and Western music and the staff line dance at the end of a busy night. Breakfast here is good as well. They serve a lot of organic food and freshly cooked bed, as well as the standard fried and grilled breakfast item. I liked the farm as well.
In Town Holiday Hotel
Standard bedroom at the Town in Town Holiday Hotel.
One of the better budget hotels on offer in centre of Pattaya. The rooms are large, clean and have satellite TV and small balconies primarily for smokers. The hotel is just off the Central Pattaya Road and a short walk from Central Festival Pattaya Beach shopping mall and the nightlife of the famous ‘Walking Street’.
Fantastic hotel near the sea front in Prachuap Khiri Khan. There are sea views from most rooms. The rooms are large and well furnished. The buffet breakfast is good, as is the swimming pool. The hotel is a 500 metre walk away from Prachuap Khiri Khan Train Station.
SURAT THANI HOTELS
Surat Thani is not a popular tourist destinations, but it is somewhere people often stay before taking onward travel connections to Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. There are a range of hotels, all at value for money prices, in or near the centre of Surat Thani city, which is some distance from Surat Thani Airport and Surat Thani Train Station.
Located on the main road from Surat Thani city to highway and both the train station and the airport this hotel is on the major bus and minivan routes. The Diamond Plaza is also the best hotel in Surat Thani with large well furnished rooms, swimming pool, fitness room and good restaurant. For overnight stop before travelling onto the islands this is a great place to book, particularly if you have no interest into going into Surat Thani city itself.
Wang Tai Hotel
The Wang Tai is one of the biggest hotels in Surat Thani city.
Located in the centre of Surat Thani city near the Tapee River, the Wang Tai is one of the better hotels in the area. The rooms are large, have river views, and come with satellite TV and free Wi-Fi. This hotel also a gym, swimming pool and a good restaurant serving a range of distinctive Southern Thai style dishes. This hotel often caters for large functions such as wedding receptions and business conferences.
The Charoen Hotel is my ‘Go To’ hotel in Udon Thani. They have been in the business of providing hotel services to foreigners ever since the American Air Force operated out of Udon Thani during the Vietnam War. Cheap. Reliable. Good service. Great food. The rooms are large with fast free WiFi and English language news and film channels on the television. The Charoen Hotel is also very near the bus station and the train station.