Anybody who's been to Thailand on a budget knows first hand that the difference between a $30 per night resort and $60-150 per night is not always a big one. And personally I've been to many Guesthouses that charge $12 per night that were on par with the run of the mill $30 (1000 baht) per night hotel.
If you are going to have a budget of $30 per night for your accommodation and you are looking for comfort without all the bells and whistles you might as well just find yourself a nice Guesthouse for $12 per night and save your extra dough for other activities and sightseeing tours. Now, if you're the type of person who wishes your $30 budget was double or triple that and envy those poche looking people walking into their fancy resorts at night while you walk back to your mediocre hotel, do not fret, you're salvation lies in the world of online hotel booking!
I know I just spat a lot of numbers out at you. But dont' worry, I'm not going to go into all the details about the different stars and prices of accommodation in Thailand, but what I will give you is a great example of how I got a lot of bang for my buck by using an online hotel booking system.
The name of the resort was Lawana Resort & Spa which is an affiliate of Anantara. Anyone who's heard of Anantara knows that they are the cream of the crop when it comes to living in luxury while you are on vacation. Just because of their affiliation it would not be a surprise to anyone that the prices at Lawana are in the $65-175 range. Of course that makes it out of the typical budget traveller's reach right? Not so. A simple trip over to Agoda.com and I got my $65 dollar bungalow room for an amazing $30!
The resort was absolutely amazing. My bungalow was one of 8 that boardered a beautiful garden and coutryard. The resort itself was beautiful with a big pool and great restaurant overlooking the ocean. When you get things at a discounted rate there's always a feeling that maybe the staff knows that you paid half price, and perhaps you shouldn't expect the service that the full paying customers are getting.
You can just forget about those crazy thoughts, the service was outstanding! The standards at Lawana Resort & Spa are kept very high, and the staff is so friendly and accommodation you won't want to leave.
Even the most basic of rooms comes with a king size bed, sattalite TV, safety box, wardrobe, desk, chair, gorgeous bathroom with hot water and a seperate shower from the toilet area, free wifi, fridge, kettle, and complimentary water, tea and coffee daily.
It is a resort that has all the comforts and luxuries as a 5 star without the pretentiousness. Perfect fot the budget traveller who wants to live the life of luxuary abroad.
Keep in mind, it's always good to learn a few phrases when you are travelling to a country like Thailand. The locals appreciate your efforts and a few words can go a long way. Before heading out to Thailand I tried learning Thai online a little bit, which turned out to be a great idea. Chatting with some of the staff at Lawana (in borken Thai) I ended up getting some great tips on where to find some well priced local food, and some off the beaten path destinations to check out.
If you're In Koh Samui on a budget, check your online hotel booking sites and keep an eye out for Lawana Resort & Spa, you'll be sure to get a few days in paradise for a really great price.