Hotel insider - few words of explanation and introduction to a new blog category
My friends and close to me often ask me for recommendation on hotels and advice on where to stay - I travel a lot but I also work in hotel industry so when I stay in hotels I do look at them from a different perspective - it's not only nice bed and good breakfast for me. After chatting to friends, and after few requests from IG friends I decided to create new blog category - Hotel Inspector which will focus on great stays I had! I hope you will enjoy it!
In this article I will share my opinion on the three hotels I stayed at while in Thailand and how I sourced such great stays. I stayed in Bangkok city hotel, then a spa hotel in Chiang Mai Siripanna, and a laid back hotel in Krabi called Beyond Krabi. Find out what I thought, what was useful and to which hotel I would definitely go back.
Let's say it out loud - I think all of us would like to feel a bit of luxury, even if this is not your prefered style of travel. I was very lucky to stay in quite upmarket hotels while I travelled around Thailand. Yes I know you can stay in super cheap Airbnbs, or find cheap accommodation and that is great too, but a little luxury did not harm anyone, right? It is even better when you can stay in lux accommodation and it does not break the bank! For me hotels are experiences, they are not just rooms with beds, and a shower. What I look for in hotels is their uniqueness, friendliness, the welcome, design and history of the place as well as the cuisine it offers.
Usually you won't see me writing about hotels a lot, because if I like a hotel I will let you know via stories on IG and for opinions I think you can always look up travel sites like Trip Advisor. Each of us have different preferences, budgets and we all look for different things in our accommodation. However, before I went to Thailand I booked these 3 hotels together with flights, and I relied mostly on photos and opinions on the travel booking website. The discounted price and deal package gave me great airline flight plus luxury accommodation at a competitive price. But they turned out to be so good that I thought maybe someone would choose them from my recommendation, or would not be scared to buy packages via Secret Escapes or Voyage Prive which give you great luxury accommodation in a very discounted price.
Without further ado, let's look at the hotels I stayed at:
Bangkok - LiT Bangkok
Conveniently located, city hotel in BKK (they also have residences if you prefer this type of accommodation) with great connection to the other parts of the city via Sky Train or river boats.
The outside of the hotel looks very modern, and the location as you arrive through narrow street keeps you wondering where are you ending up as you drive through neighbourhood streets and it looks very residential ..... BUT I'm giving this hotel a very good rating as it is truly a great hotel hidden on a side street.
There were no issues with the room, and the hotel in general. The rooms are clean, fairly spacious, bathroom size is great and what I found interesting is that you can walk into the bathroom via wardrobe (or it was at least in the room I stayed in)! I have never seen that in a hotel before, so that was a novelty. I stayed there for 3 nights and enjoyed breakfast at the hotel each day. The choice is not huge, lets say not as you would get at All Inclusive (AI) hotels, but it has everything you need including fresh juices :-)
In terms of the location, the hotel is 5 minute walk from Sky train station and close to shopping centre (where night street food market takes place and the food is delicious & cheap). Another attraction in a walking distance is Jim Thompson house, again few minutes walk from the hotel so it saves on travel time, and you can do it on the way to somewhere, or the way back from somewhere in the city.
Although hotel has a Spa, I enjoyed massage in the parlour opposite the hotel. The prices seem to be crazy in comparison, massage at the hotel cost 2500BHT and the parlour opposite the hotel was 300BHT (and yes, I understand the difference between simple parlour and a luxury spa facilities but I don't like to over pay if the service is the same - plus this is an experience in itself to have a massage in the parlour like that).
The pool was divine and relaxing after all day trips around BKK, however the temperature was a bit too warm for me (again I visited in one of the hottest months of the year so that comes with the heat). Overall, the staff were very friendly and efficient, especially door staff who always had a warm welcome, good advice and a smile!
Chiang Mai - Siripanna Villa Resort
The second hotel I staed at in Thailand was 5* Siripanna Villa Resort & Spa in Chiang Mai. It was a huge and spread out complex, with its own rice field, great grounds and lots of space to relax and chill. Cold jasmine tea was just a great welcome touch on our arrival and made us feel so at home. There was a cafe and restaurants available in the hotel; however we did not use any of them apart from breakfast. There was also a gallery which we did not manage to visit. There's a small gym but enough to do your cardio and weights. Apart from great facilities, the hotel grounds were kept in an immaculate manicured state. There was no chaos there!
The room was huge, with super size bed, balcony with its own sofa and coffee table where you can only relax and forget about sightseeing. Additionally, hotel amenities were organic products custom made for their spa and you could feel quality with divine smell of jasmine. I absolutely adored that! One of the unusual features of the hotel was it's own rice field - I am not sure if the crop was used at all or was it just to show guests how the rice field looks like but I really like that feature!
The hotel was located slightly out of the city centre, but given the fact it is spa complex where you are meant to relax - it was totally understandable. Again a short ride in taxi took you to the Night Market and town centre.
Hotel also had a pool which was set in a U shape around coffee shop and was surrounded by trees and it gave intimate feeling of calm, relaxation and serenity.
This hotel stole my heart, and I would love to be back for some relaxation time!
Third and final hotel was Beyond Krabi Resort in Krabi, located by the beach which was allowing guests access to the sea, although there was no lounge chairs available on the beach. The hotel consists of main building & smaller villas scattered around hotel grounds. I stayed in Garden Villa. At first, it looks great and the fact that you have little Villa to yourself seems very appealing. However, the rooms in villas were a bit dated and look like they need some housekeeping attention and Engineering TLC. The size overall was good, but this hotel was the least luxurious out of the three we stayed. I believe the main building has newer rooms and more modern facilities.
The hotel had great pool and really good choice breakfast restaurant. The access to the sea and a strip of the beach made a difference for me as I love the sea! The hotel is situated a bit off the beaten track and further away from centre of Krabi, however you can get a tuk tuk or bicy taxi to get there within 15 mins. There were plenty of beach bars for great Thai food where we mostly had our lunches and dinners.
Taking all three hotels into consideration, I must say that my favourite and the one I would recommend straight away is Siripanna in Chiang Mai. This hotel was true 5* experience with service, facilities, rooms and overall it was a fantastic experience to stay there.
Wishing you Luxurious Travels