We travelled a lot. A lot, a lot in 3 weeks. But it was totally worth it. You’re in Thailand, so the accommodation shouldn’t matter much. But to me, it did slightly. I went with my boyfriend… and his 3 best friends. Strange, you may think. And true, you may be. But it’s still some of the most amazing weeks of my short life. I don’t think the experience would be the same without the highs and very few lows that we had on our travels.
Our plan was around 3 weeks, and in this time we were hitting a few places. Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Tao, Koh Samui and back to Bangkok for the flight home. This sounds easy in pushing 21 days, but when you factor in all your travelling from place to place – it’s a lot. We aren’t really the ‘backpacker’ type of gang. We wanted cheap, but not unliveable. So I went on a hunt for the best value hotels and hostels, mixing it up a little each time we moved.
The accommodation in Thailand is dirt cheap, and some places are absolutely beautiful for the price. If you splashed out a little, then you would literally be in heaven. It’s only because we were on a budget, that we didn’t! And it would of been a bit weird getting a couple suite with the other three lads…
Anyway, I took the plunge into sorting out the hotels. Scouring Booking.com and Hostelbookers, we found a healthy balance of hostel and hotel. I thought I’d share the good, the bad and the dirty here – it’s the run down of where we stayed and my thoughts on each of these places. BE PREPARED!
Bangkok – Waterford Resort @ Sukhumvit 50
We stayed here for 4 nights, and the pictures are better than what you’re provided with – however, it was still an okay hotel! The overall look of the hotel when pulling up isn’t too inviting, and the walk to the main road was actually quite scary. The hotel is set back a little, and when it rained the whole road flooded. To get through the main road, you’re looking at a 2 minute walk – which was fine. But walking past a pack of dogs that only seemed to listen to their owners was petrifying to me! It’s a good job I was with a gang of lads, (who were just as scared) that could at least growl a little and get them to back off… So actually thinking back, the location wasn’t great. There was a shopping mall down the road; maybe a 10 minute walk with a McDonalds, other fast food places and shops. Walk just past that, and you’ll find a train station that takes you all around Bangkok.
Walking through the hotel was average, some parts much nicer than others. The pool area was nice, and if it was a sunny day – sitting there would have been heaven. It’s quite built up though, so I wouldn’t plan on sunbathing too long. There was a little bar to the side that had the simple beers and drinks that kept us going for the night.
The rooms were simplistic, but inviting. Ours was a little double room with a fridge, TV and bathroom – just the basics. The lads room was much better. They had a large open area with dining table, sofa and TV – plus a balcony. Then two rooms, so they obviously had a scrap over who got their own room. A much bigger bathroom too. This was a great place that we could all get together in, and plan our Bangkok adventure.
What I like to base a hot holiday on is the Air Con. If that’s shoddy, then the whole hotel is ruined and it’s a thumbs down for me. I’ll give this hotel an ‘A’ for Air Con – nice and cool, clean and comfy. It was a good stay for the price we paid. For the 5 of us, it worked out at around £30 per person for 4 nights. Told you it was cheap…
Chiang Mai – Hug Hostel
Our first hostel – oooooo! We stayed here for 4 nights and i’d give the air con a whopping ‘A***’ here. Rocking up to the hostel, it looked inviting and had that edgy look that I liked. The “I’m a backpacker.. Grrr” look. We were welcomed with a selection of tours and experiences to get involved in, nights out with the hostel, a bar and cafe at the back and the best part – a pool table. The lads literally lived on this, night after night.
The staff here were super friendly, and understood their target audience and catered to the traveller ideals. With a little bar, kitchen with quite nice food, and a pool table – every traveller was in their element.
We met a lot of people, one of my favourite being a cool American guy who was just a ‘traveller’ to the end. Staying in a hostel opened these lines to meeting people. That’s what made this place so special, and made me so happy that we actually decided to choose hostels. It’s part of the experience in Thailand; meeting like minded people and finding out their stories. And have a drink, or more and playing pool!
As for the rooms, we stayed in a 6 bed dorm. With there only being 5 of us, we shared with another person. One was nice, one was a t*t. Sorry, but he was obviously one of them “I’m not assed” people and he robbed one of our towels – a USED towel. But that didn’t hinder the experience, just lock EVERYTHING in the locker provided and you’re not asking for it then. Some people on their own have nothing to loose.
The rooms were simple with bunk beds, air con, locker and plug, plus a personal light near your own bed. The wifi was great, so keeping in touch with people was fine. The bed wasn’t the comfiest, and they give you a towel thing as a sheet… This sounds AWFUL! But it honestly wasn’t. It’s too hot for a proper sheet anyway, and it’s a hostel after all. It was a great, clean, happy hostel and we have fond memories. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a hostel in this area.
Krabi – Diamond Home Resort
We only stayed here a night as stopover when travelling and NEVER again. The photos are literally PhotoShop’s best work. It’s shady; down a dodgy ally. Air con rating = ‘F’ as all we had is an awful fan that just circulated the heat, bouncing from one awl to the other. One of the lady’s at the front was lovely, and ordered us a taxi – but that’s not enough. Don’t go this place. Please! I have no more words… so lets move on.
Koh Phi Phi – Ibiza House
Ibiza house was great, from the staff to the rooms.
This was a great place to stay, and probably all our favourite island as a whole. Getting off the boat, we walked to our hotel because it was all so close together. With the streets not having Tuk Tuk’s, bikes or cars – just big enough for a group to walk down, it was humble and welcoming.
Once we reached the hotel, check in was great with the lady being only too helpful. We were upgraded for 2 nights because a normal room wasn’t available, so we could either pay to upgrade the other 2 nights, or move half way through. They were apologetic, and the upgrade was cheap – so we went with it. Our room was beautiful, with a little patio outside with seats and a table. Inside was a huge double bed, minibar (+£’s), bathroom, TV and access to wifi. It was decorated lovely, and the air con was a favourite! The lads room wasn’t as nice as ours, but it was still perfect for them. 3 beds, a big bathroom and 2 air cons – they were happy.
The pool and the beach were the two highlights. With comfy beds and a swim up bar in the pool area, and a huge selection of drinks and food on offer, you could happily spend your days chilling. There was a pool party when we went, which was good if you’re up for drinks, dancing and loud people. We were a bit over it, but I think that was more because of the type of people it attracted. It was fun though, don’t get me wrong. As well as the pool, a 30 second walk in the other direction would lead you to the beach. With one of the most breath taking views I’ve ever seen, it was a haven. I’ll never forget sitting with a drink in hand watching the world go by.
Beach, pool, bar, food, comfy rooms – definitely recommend!
Koh Phangan – Suksabai Resort
Not overly impressed by these ones; there weren’t the cleanest. I’d give the Air Con a ‘C-‘ for effort, accompanied with a fan. They were bungalows, and they weren’t very welcoming. We were forced here really as another hotel cancelled on us as we had not booked the minimum 4 nights over the full moon party. !!! – PLEASE check this if you’re going – !!! Some have this as a policy, and you don’t want to arrive and fork out more money than expected. I’d say look somewhere else on this island than this resort.
We had a bungalow each, with a hammock outside – but usually there was cat chilling on that. Inside was just a bed, TV, air con and bathroom. And not very nice. You know when you don’t really want to touch anything… yeah. But the Full Moon Party was worth it!
Koh Tao – Royal Resort
STAY HERE! Love, love, love.
What amazing staff. They were so polite and helpful – a real family place but on a big scale. One of the lady’s sat us down on arrival and gave us a map of the island, describing it all as we went along. She grabbed us chairs, and a glass of water. After a long travel, this was so appreciated.
We stayed in a tree house style bungalow which were just beautiful. We all stayed in one, and it was amazing. Air con = ‘B’ as ours kept switching on and off, but i believe this because of the setting and the remote had run out of battery, so I’ll let them off. I’m sure this would have been fixed if we cared that much. In the lads room of the bungalow – they had it perfect.
It was a bungalow style, with a ladder that took you up to your rooms. A hammock outside allowed us to sway the worries away, which i did quite often. A large bathroom with a waterfall shower was a great luxury, plus two big sinks and huge mirror. Downstairs was the double bed that we had, covered by a large canopy to keep away any bugs. Upstairs were 3 or 4 mattresses leading on to an upstairs balcony that looked out over the island. It was a place to unwind with a drink in hand. It was amazing, and we all felt like we were 5 years old again.
The view, oh the view! You could sit for hours – and we did – watching the sun and the waves with a beer or two. Peaceful is the best word to describe it here. I would of stayed here a lot longer if i had the choice. If you can see below, the little cushions were the perfect spot to watch the waves. They swing set was my favourite place. I watched the sunset here, and it is honestly my favourite memory of the whole trip. The lads played footy on the beach, while I photographed everything as a real blogger does.
Food here too should be spoken about. Fresh, tasty and some of the best food we had came from this home run kitchen. The scenery, accommodation, staff, food and drink – definitely recommend.
Koh Samui – Chill Inn Beach and Cafe
Shane owns the place, an irish fella and he was great. He organised a hostel night out to the Thai boxing that he does every week. It was a fabulous way to meet people, and one of the best nights we had!
The hostel itself was amazing really, it’s a new build. Sitting on top of the beach, the views are ace. With beds and a bar all out in the open, it’s another one to waste away the time. Food here was top notch, as they get everything from the place next door to cook fresh in front of you. For a hostel, this is an amazing place.
We had a bit of a mess up with the rooms; we had booked a 6 bed dorm and expected to be together. It worked out as 3 in one room and 2 in a 6 bed dorm. It didn’t bother us much, as the place was so great but maybe check this before you go if you’re that bothered. The beds and rooms are all clean, and looked to be cleaned regularly. Air con = ‘A’ and made me very happy!
This would be my perfect location if we’d had all been together, but to be fair – it was still amazing anyway. Sharing your space with people didn’t bother me too much, but only because it wasn’t for long. This hostel though, comes highly recommended!
As well, there is a bar down the road – over a sandy and rocky walk. I think it might be called the Rock Bar… ask Shane. It’s a great place to chill….
Bangkok – Floral Shire Suvarnabhumi Airport
We only stayed here a night, and it looked shifty coming up to the hotel. Going inside, the reception and food area aren’t impressive – but the rooms made for a comfy and cosy night. Air con = ‘A’ and a bed that was the comfiest i’d say, it was the nicest room after Ibiza House. The staff here were so helpful, and the free airport shuttle saved us a few baht. I would recommend this for a short stay – but just to doss about in the room really!