Thailand & Cambodia accommodation reviews, 2016
Although we did not want to spend a fortune on the accommodation part of our travel expenses while backpacking Thailand & and Cambodia, we did want a bit of comfort & convenience that we deserve as middle aged, new, and inexperienced backpackers and were most certainly not going to settle into cheap backpacker hostels. The typical budget luxury accommodation we were to settle for, needed to meet our standards of comfort, convenience & hygiene.
When we left for our Thailand & Cambodia trip, there were some basic guidelines that we decided on regarding accommodation we would stay in over the 6 weeks we traveled.
Our requirements for budget luxury accommodation were:
-Our budget luxury accommodation needed to be a maximum cost ZAR 450, USD 31, Baht 1083 for us both per day.
-We wanted a pool to cool off in after arrival, hard traveling and the heat & humidity of South East Asia.
-Room needed to be air conditioned.
-A private bathroom (not shared) was a prerequisite.
-Location needed to be accessible & near to transport.
-Bathroom, bedding and generally unit needed to have a high standard of cleanliness.
-We only wanted to book for one night with initial booking, so that we could easily move on if the hotel was not suitable.
-We did not want to prepay on bookings in case of any unpleasant surprises.
These were our main criteria & also the filters used when searching for suitable budget luxury accommodation on Booking.com
The convenience of making bookings online:
-Last minute decision can be made depending on where a traveler has arrived.
-Live availability can be seen there & then, online.
-Accommodation can be searched for by plotting current location and seeing what options are available in one’s immediate surrounds.
-This can all be done easily from a cellular phone, tablet or laptop, as long as you have an internet connection.
The average standard of our budget luxury accommodation over the 6 weeks:
Generally our stays at all of the accommodation met the standards we had set in advance. Bear in mind that we had a close look at the ratings that previous guests gave to hotels. When initially choosing a number of possibilities, it is wise to list then in a list under the name of the place you intend to visit. For example, Bangkok. Create a “Bangkok list” within the consol of the website or app you use& then shortlist a few properties there. Then go and look at their locations, photos, reviews & read between the lines of the comments made. Disregard the obvious comments that really have no basis. Like people moaning about the lack of a life in a 2 level building. Or the traffic noise when a hotel is situated on a main road in a city. These things are obvious and come with the territory. We also need to bear in mind that this is budget luxury accommodation, not top of the line luxury accommodation, so there are certain realities that one must accept.
Hotel we stayed in:
Below are basic details of the hotels we found to stay in over the 6 weeks travel through Thailand & Cambodia. Although none of these were really super, grand and varied from basic to resort like hotels, they were all run by friendly staff and more than we needed to make our stays comfortable. We regarded them all as budget luxury accommodation as they did meet our standards that we had set.
The one exception was the Annanas Beach Bungalows, Otres Beach in Cambodia. Although the setting and beach access was great, the accommodation was substandard with window shutters not working, fan not working properly, insects and mosquito’s throughout & a partial separation between neighbor’s bathroom & ours which allowed for shared smells & sounds. The bed with it’s sagging mattress made it even more difficult to get any sleep. Generally a very neglected beach shack probably only suited to potheads & layabouts, but not suited to our needs. I must add that we generally have no problem roughing it as we do by sleeping in a 2 man dome tent with only the baggage we can carry on our motorbike, as well as 4×4 camping etc. All we cannot however accept if filth & neglect. (This resort was not found on Bookings.com, so was also not reviewed as can be seen below.)
All of these hotels were generally booked a day in advance & in some cases on the day we arrived in a place. In July & August, we did not find a shortage of suitable hotels.
The average price for 37 nights was around ZAR 381, USD 26.43 & Baht 917. We also spent a few nights on planes & sleeper buses which accounts for the “missing days”.
Hotels we stayed in with reviews & prices:
Thailand, Bangkok-RetroAsis Hotel
Price we paid for 2 per evening: ZAR 448, USD 30.94 , Baht 1074
Thailand, Bangkok-Astera Sathorn Hotel
Price we paid for 2 per evening: ZAR 457, USD 31.71 , Baht 1100
Thailand, Pattaya-The Golden Villa Boutique Hotel & Spa
Price we paid for 2 per evening: ZAR 377, USD 26.16 , Baht 908
Thailand, Koh Chang-Bailin Beach Resort
Price we paid for 2 per evening: ZAR 448, USD 31.08 , Baht 1078
Cambodia, Koh Kong-Apex Hotel
Price we paid for 2 per evening: ZAR 217, USD 15.06 , Baht 522
Cambodia, Sihanoukville-Coolabah Hotel
Price we paid for 2 per evening: ZAR 326, USD 22.62 , Baht 785
Cambodia, Otres Beach-Ananas Beach Bungalows
Price we paid for 2 per evening: ZAR 145, USD 10 , Baht 349
Read: “Hotels we stayed in” higher up on this page
Cambodia, Sinahoukville-Reef Resort
Price we paid for 2 per evening: ZAR 260, USD 18.04 , Baht 626
Cambodia, Siem Reap-Tan Kang Angkor Hotel
Price we paid for 2 per evening: ZAR 322, USD 22.34 , Baht 775
Thailand, Rawai-Cascades Resort
Price we paid for 2 per evening: ZAR 289, USD 20.05 , Baht 696
Thailand, Koh Yao Noi-Seaview Bungalow
Price we paid for 2 per evening: ZAR 376, USD 26.09 , Baht 905
Thailand, Phang Nga-The Sleep
Price we paid for 2 per evening: ZAR 238, USD 16.51 , Baht 573
Thailand, Hua Hin-Hua Hin Star Hotel
Price we paid for 2 per evening: ZAR 332, USD 23.05 , Baht 800
Price we paid for 2 per evening: ZAR 414, USD 28.72 , Baht 996
We could sacrifice some conveniences like a swimming pool, for example and find many cheaper, budget accommodations on offer. Off course if we really wanted to, we could consider shared bathrooms or staying in hostels. But, to be honest, we are no longer youngsters, and backpacking as a middle aged couple is already out of our comfort zone, so best we stick with a few luxuries to enjoy at the end of a long, hot day in South East Asia.
What we can truthfully say, is that having a cellular phone with a booking.com on it, really made things way easier for us. We cannot imagine arriving in a city exhausted & hot and then needing to walk around looking for accommodation on maps or trying to find a place to sleep with all the information at hand.
We trust that the meticulous records we have kept on actual spending, are of use to other midlifebackpackers & anyone else wanting to have a good idea of the cost of average, 2, 3 & 4 star hotels and accommodation while traveling through Thailand & Cambodia. These are real figures, by real people who had a real good time in Thailand and Cambodia & will be back for sure.