Accommodation in Thailand is varied and generally inexpensive. Booking ahead of time will guarantee you a room at a set price, especially during the high season, but you should always check your room out beforehand. Expect to pay the most from November through February, with significant discounts during shoulder months. During the the hottest and wettest season, even normally very expensive resorts drop their prices considerably.
Following is a list of the main types of accommodation you can expect to find in Thailand.
Hotels range from dingy, two-star affairs to luxurious five-star digs. In smaller provincial towns, cheaper accommodation is usually in a Thai-Chinese hotel, which are typically run-down and shabby. In tourist-friendly places, you’re often able to find flashier hotels aimed at lower budgets, and these are good deals. Five-star hotels are as luxurious as you might wish, with some of the world’s best located in Bangkok.
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Because accommodation is so cheap throughout the country, hostels in Thailand aren’t as common as they are in other countries. Still, in bigger cities such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai, you’ll find a few to choose from. Often for as little as US$4/night, you can sleep in a dorm and swap stories with fellow travelers. Most, however, only market themselves as hostels and offer budget private rooms – these are generally a good deal and have a backpacker vibe with the bonus of your own room.
Thailand’s resorts tend to be called such no matter what the style – you’ll find “backpacker” resorts (complete with rickety beach shacks) all the way on up to luxury facilities perched next to a golf course. It pays to research ahead and make sure your resort offers everything you want: spa facilities, swimming pools, and/ or a private beach.
Guest houses in Thailand are your best bet for low-cost accommodation. In towns, they’re often family owned and with an Internet cafe or restaurant downstairs. On beaches, you’ll find backpacker huts clustered around restaurants and bars. Many offer on-site travel-agent services as well.
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