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Since I got 3 emails in the past month asking about reasonable (about 100USD/night) hotels in Hong Kong, I figured it warranted a post. Unless I’m staying with friends or there for work, I always stay at the Cosmo hotel (www.cosmohotel.com.hk) in Causeway Bay. It’s a 2 minute walk from Times Square, design-oriented, clean and nice and convenient. Rooms aren’t huge, but unless you decide to go 4-5* there’s really no point in spending more money. The Cosmopolitan Hotel is literally next door and I haven’t really worked out any real differences: same owners, same price range, same location and nearly the same name. I guess “Cosmo” is for the younger, hipper people? www.cosmopolitanhotel.com.hk When my friends splurge they usually stay at Upper House in Central: www.upperhouse.com

Another ultra successful holiday! Despite some tricky logisitics (coordinating people from Sydney, Chicago, Shanghai) we pulled it off. It was my first time in Phuket and it was nice, but I prefer less developed and a bit quieter.

HOWEVER, it can’t get much quieter than sailing around the Andaman for 4 days. We booked the Seraph through Latitude 8 Yachts for 3 nights/4 days  – we started in Chalon and went down to Racha Yai and Racha Noi, then headed up to Kai Nok and Rang Yai  and then back to Chalon. We decided to spring for the crew and a cook – Ooi did an PHENOMINAL job of catering for us – every meal was amazing: seafood, curries, veggies, papaya salad.. any dish that was put down disappeared pretty much immeadiately. It was a splurge, but well well worth it.

While in Phuket we stayed at a new Boutique Hotel that is still in soft opening, but clearly will be one of the most interesting places to stay in the near future: B-Laytong. It’s at the very end of Patong beach (well away from the heart of it) with a gorgeous pool and beautiful rooms. Geared more towards the party crowd (club to open downstairs), this is not really a hotel for families. All the rooms have double-glazed windows so despite being on a busy road, the rooms are very very quiet. And the hotel restaurant is also impressive – we had a fabulous last lunch there and one of the best hotel breakfasts on offer each morning.

On recommendation from our boat capitain some of us went up to Rang Yai for the last 2 nights – we stayed in clean but very basic bungalows that were more like camping than a hotel (which is what we wanted). We had some “visitors” (nothing poisonous, but big enough to unsettle more than 1 member of our entourage). Not for everyone, but we loved hearing the waves at night and the beaches were beautiful and empty. Cost of a bungalow (1000THB) includes free use of sea kayaks, snorkel gear and breakfast. The restaurant isn’t cheap (about 400THB/pp for dinner), but the food is decent enough.

Bund

Needless to say there are tons of hotels in Shanghai. Below are a few between ranging between 300 to 2000RMB/night that I can vouch for.

Old House  – A boutique hotel in a restored lane house in the French Concession area. Decked out with Chinese antiques, it might be a little on the romantic side for some but it’s very fair priced and a cool experience.

Lapis Casa – Another boutique hotel, minutes walk from Xin Tian Di. Less ‘couple-y’ than the above and around the same price.

Green Tree Inn – Cheap and clean. An early attempt at decent budget hotels in China. OK location and very fair for the price (about 300RMB).

JW Marriot – No one I know stayed at the JW and was displeased. It’s pricier, but you know exactly what to expect from a Marriot and some China first-timers like that.

Le Royal Méridien Shanghai – I stayed here during their soft launch early last fall. The rooms were great (including a DVD player) the hotel restaurants are good and it’s right on People’s Square. It’s pricey now, but a nice option.

We stayed at La Noria when Lisa, Sam and I visited Ankor Wat a little while back. It’s v reasonable (30USD/night), clean with a nice pool in a good location. Rooms are grouped into bungalows in the middle of a lush garden AND the majority of the staff is hired from local orphanages once they reach 18 and need to leave. Good hotel, good location, good cause. The hotel restaurant is a bit overpriced but directly next door is a “cheap as chips” great local place.

Flickr Photos