- Keane on Travel
Where to stay in Asia, our favourite finds
The last few weeks I have been talking all things budget travel on my blog. A reoccurring question I am getting asked is “How much did the hotels you stayed in cost you while travelling around?”. This is such a relevant question as accommodation is going to take a big chunk of your budget and can be detrimental to your overall spend if not correctly monitored.
Before flying home, I did a blog about our lodgings in South America, outlining each of our favourite places we stayed in and linking them to Booking.com so you could check the places for yourself and compare the costs of each for around the time you are planning your trip. You can find the link here for that particular blog if Asia doesn't tickle your fancy
I decided to do a similar blog for the hotels we stayed in during our time in Asia, linking them all to Booking.com. As stated in the South American accommodation blog, I always use Booking.com when doing price comparisons and choosing a place to stay. It is secure and reliable, with easy to use filtering options, ensuring you get your ideal accommodation each time you travel.
Bear in mind however, there are several other reliable search engines like Hostelworld.com. If you opt to use one of these, I would highly recommend that you check out their loyalty reward scheme first. We saved a fortune by only using Booking.com and eventually becoming a Genius member. This meant we were able to avail of special discounts and secret deals.
So lets get stuck in. Here are our top 12 favourite places we stayed while touring around Asia. You can find a link to each by clicking on the name of the accommodations which has been highlighted below:
12: Namkhong Guesthouse and resort – Chiang Khong, Thailand
This was the cheapest place we booked while travelling, costing us a remarkable €5 for the night. We stayed in a super cosy, private, wood log cabin that overlooked the pool. We set ourselves up in this small town just before we crossed into Laos and it was simply perfect. The staff were more than helpful in assisting us on our journey, offering us bus transport and visa advice.
11: Rika Inn – Bangkok, Thailand
This hotel has a roof top pool and is situated on the infamous Khao San Road. If you are looking for a good night’s sleep, then this hotel may not be for you but if you want to experience the true party vibes of the city then it comes highly recommended. It was clean, contemporary, spacious and secure. When I thought Khao San road, I envisioned dirty, drink and drug infested accommodation, but this hotel was a far cry from that. We were able to enjoy the craziness that surrounded us but, in a manor, we were comfortable with.
10: Merry Riverside Hotel – Luang Prabang, Laos
This hotel was by far the nicest we stayed in during our time in Laos. It is in the centre of Luang Prabang but is nestled away next to the Mekong River, giving it a secluded feel with amazing sunrise and sunset views. The staff were extremely helpful, the food was tasty, and it was clean…. The perfect combination.
9: Hung Anh Hotel – Da Nang, Vietnam
Da Nang is a fabulous stop over between Hanoi and Hoi An. This hotel was a stone throw from the beach and is surrounded by some amazing sea food restaurants. The staff at the hotel sourced us a tour for Bana Hills and also assisted us with the transport to Hoi An for a really reasonable price.
8: Hanoi Chic Hotel – Hanoi, Vietnam
We loved this hotel so much we booked back into it and stayed there three times during our time in Northern Vietnam. The hotel was super clean and had an amazing breakfast but the staff at this hotel is what really made it stand out. They honestly couldn’t do enough for us. Every morning a member of staff would go around to each table at breakfast and ask if you needed any assistance for the day. They helped with booking trips to Halong Bay and Sapa Valley if you required it, and ensured that they had a map ready for you if you were adventuring around the city. The hotel was also located on Hang Hom street which was conveniently located near some amazing bargain boutiques.
7: Hoi An Ivy hotel – Hoi An, Vietnam
This hotel is modern, clean and very comfortable but the winning feature with this hotel is that the entrance to Hoi An old town is directly across the road. We saw several tour buses pull up each night and numerous people descend upon Old Town. There was a great buzz around the place but having Old Town so close to us enabled us to explore during quieter hours and discover cafes and restaurants without having to queue to get in.
6: Smile Bungalow – Bottle beach, Ko Phangan, Thailand
This resort offered a mixture of luxury and home comfort. Located on a beautiful private beach, each ‘room’ was made up of two-storey treehouses with hammocks on their balconies, allowing you to completely unwind. Ko Phangan is known as a party island, but this resort was a far cry from the Full moon party vibes we experienced in the southern part of the island. The journey to the resort was long and not the most comfortable but after spending two nights here, we left completely relaxed, recharged and ready for our next adventure.
5: Microtel - Puerto Princesa, Palawan, The Philippines
Microtel is situated in a private corner of Puerto Princesa. This hotel had a beautiful pool, overlooking its private beach. It is the perfect destination for a family, with plenty to do to keep the kids occupied but enabling the adults to let their hair down and relax. The hotel offered regular buses to the local shopping mall located in the centre of the Puerto Princesa and staff assisted with booking tours to famous attractions like the Underground River. This ensured you never felt cooked up or too isolated while staying at the resort. Also worth noting is because of its location and private beach, when the tide goes out you’re given an extra few sandy kilometres to stroll along.
4: Deva beach resort and Spa – Cheong Mon beach, Koh Samui, Thailand
This hotel is one of the few that I would recommend to people for a honeymoon. It was everything I imagined a secluded luxury resort would be. A private beach, a beautiful spa and number of pools to choose from, depending on your mood. It was absolute heaven. This hotel was more expensive than others we had stayed in during our time in Thailand, however, it was worth every penny and was still a bargain for the extravagant experience we got.
3: Onederz Hostel, Siem Reap, Cambodia
We had been recommended Onederz Hostel by a friend and it certainly did not disappoint. Onederz sets the bar high for all other hostels. What set Onederz apart from all others was that it was spilt into two buildings, offering everything from meeting, greeting and partying with your new-found friends to quiet, peaceful, serenity by yourself. Building One was where reception was located. It also contained all the dorm rooms, the restaurant and a roof top pool and common areas where you would often find other backpackers to share stories with, and pop music playing in the background. Building Two was the building we stayed in, located directly across the road from Building One. It contained all private rooms and a separate pool area where you could relax in your tranquil surroundings. We got the best of both worlds, we chilled out during the day but when we wanted a bit of atmosphere we simply strolled across the road. Out of all the resorts, guesthouses, hotels and hostels I have every stayed in over the years, this hostel ranks high on my list, it was nothing short of perfection.
2: Hof Gorei Beach resort, Davao, The Philippines
Hof Gorei Beach resort tops my list for Honeymoon recommendations. Since coming home, all I have been able to talk about is the Philippines. I fell completely in love with the country. I had often seen pictures of the Philippines and thought they were highly edited but SPOILER ALERT, they aren’t. It really is that beautiful. I loved everything about the country, but Hof Gorei beach resort was by far the best memory we took away with us from this magical country. Located on Samal Island off the coast of Davao, this exclusive resort was everything dreams were made of. Surrounded by glittering turquoise water and luscious green coconut trees, it was the perfect escape for a romantic getaway. We were greeted with a drink on arrival by our personal assistant who accompanied us for the duration of our stay. We were made feel like a King and Queen for the two days at the resort, it was such a treat. Surprisingly however, there was no designer price associated with our stay. It was absolute extravagance, but on a backpacker’s budget.
1: Flamingo Luxury cruises, Halong Bay, Vietnam
This cruise around Halong Bay will forever remain one of my travel highlights. I recorded a vlog during our time on this boat to show you exactly how spectacular it really was. You can find it in my IGTV channel. We were fortunate enough to get a room with a balcony which enabled us to sit back and take in our surroundings. However, be warned, cruises around Halong Bay can be expensive. I shopped around and found Flamingo cruises to be the most reasonably priced trip at the time of purchase. I booked in months in advance as I had been informed that prices increase due to demand. Don’t be put off by the cost however, as it is a once in a life time experience that is worth every penny due to the exquisite food and amazing activities you get to experience while exploring Halong Bay, all of which is included in your package