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The Basic Issues with Hotels in Asia

In Asia Travel, Travel Tips on November 14, 2008 at 8:15 am

Hotel rooms in Asia hotels

Hotel rooms in Asia hotels

The title might sound scary a bit, but of course, we aren’t going to discuss about any common or bad issues. Neither the “bare minimum” like a clean room, decent shower or comfortable bed because you could easily find these basic facilities in most of the hotels in Asia already, nor negative experiences from other travelers.

 

A lot of travel experiences can tell that no two hotels are alike. Even those two hotels came from the same worldwide luxury hotels chain. What may be regarded as a 5-star hotel in one country, may qualify as 3-star (or less) in another. Hotels, though catering to tourists, will likely adhere to local beliefs and customs. To avoid having the wrong expectations, here is some basic issues that travelers should expect from hotels of various countries in Asia.

Japan: The land of the Samurai has long been known for its costly real estate and limited land availability, so don’t expect hotel rooms to be generous in size. Head room will be tight, especially for Europeans and Americans. Be cautious of door ledges and protect your head as you enter and leave the room and/or bathroom. Showering in Tokyo may be a cramped experience since elbowing and banging into walls, shelf, shower head, etc. is a common occurrence. And watch out for the buttons on the toilet; bidets are used throughout Japan, and if you’re unfamiliar with them, you may be in for a surprise.

Beds are relatively hard and tend to be smaller than North American beds. And the pillows are sometimes filled with soba-seed, or buckwheat -both are supposedly good for your health and provide good support for your neck.

Other than those small differences, everything else is great. Japanese hotel staffs are exceedingly polite and very helpful.

India: Exotic, glamorous and elegant. These are some of the keywords fitted to describe hotel rooms in India. For the price of an average 3-star room in other countries, you can probably snatch a 4 or 5 star room in India. Rooms are often spacious and lavishly decorated to showcase local lifestyle and culture. You may also find many colonial-styled hotel rooms (especially in older hotels) due to the country’s long history under British rule. However, do not drink the tap water. Clean water supplies continue to be an issue in India.

Thailand: You’ll feel like you are getting the biggest bang for your buck staying at hotels in Thailand; famous for its vast choice of fantastic, relatively inexpensive luxury hotels, like Bangkok’s Mandarin Oriental or Peninsula hotels, Chiang Mai’s Shangri-La and Pattaya’s Sheraton Resort – just to name a fine few. Expect to be treated like royalty-usually with a glass of juice or tea at reception, flowers on the bed, a welcome fruit basket and top-rated amenities awaiting your arrival. Water coming out from the tap could be a little off-color (yellowish or brownish), especially when traveling further away from Bangkok (– but still perfectly safe to use). Another problem, in smaller hotels, is the lack of insulation material in the room construction resulting in noisy rooms. Unless staying really high up, there is a good chance of hearing the traffic and city noises, not to mention noises within the hotel itself. It’s a good idea to bring earplugs just in case. And we suggest you don’t dive into the bed. Thai beds tend to be firmer than those found in hotels elsewhere, and a swan dive onto the sheets could leave you breathless.

Australia: The land down under is not as wild and “outback” as you may think. Sure, the country is made up of deadly critters and strange looking animals, but hotel rooms here are as pleasant as any other country in the world. Rooms are similar to North American hotels and are generally comfortable and well-equipped with the necessary amenities. One slight problem you may encounter, however, is water shortage. In some parts of Australia (mostly in the south), water restrictions laws may be applied due to drought and extreme dry weather, thus restricting shower and bath usage. Otherwise, enjoy the unique geography and myriad of activities this country has to offer. Just try not to waste too much water while you’re there.

Please bear in mind that before travelling overseas, it’s better to prepare and welcome to accept different customs and points of etiquette. Either with local foods, cultures or even hotel facilities and services. Especially when you are travelling to Asia destinations where vast and variety of lifestyles are embedded in every segment of each local community.

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Give Yourself a Great Christmas Break with the Top 10 Beach Resorts in Southeast Asia: The Recommendations

In Asia Travel, Travel on October 20, 2008 at 2:56 am

Asia beaches is always the best tourist option

Asia beaches is always the best tourist option

Well, it’s now October already. There are two more months to go until a big break at the end of the year. The year which rocked the world with worldwide economic crisis, unexpected natural disasters and unfinished war. The year which makes lots of people felt powerless, uncontrollable and stressful. As Christmas is now approaching, it’s time to leave all problems behind your back and give yourself some relax and quiet vacation…at least just for a moment.

 

However, with all economic concerns pressing from every perspective, an inexpensive and safe plus enjoyable destination would be a perfect option for this difficult period. Well, Southeast Asia would certainly remain as the best answer in this case. Besides harboring some of the world’s purist shores, the Southeast Asian region has also become more accessible to travelers in recent years with the development of international airports, health and sporting facilities.

So, how about staying in the some of the top beach resorts in Southeast Asia region? Here’re the recommendations for you;

1. Centara Grand Beach Resort and Villas, Krabi, Thailand

Sitting majestically affront the private beach of Ao Nang in Pai Plong Bay against a backdrop of dramatic limestone cliffs, the Centara Grand Beach Resort offers luxury accommodation and a stunningly beautiful view. Guests can journey to the resort with relative ease now that the township of Krabi has a domestic airport, where they are picked up and whisked away by boat to the serene shores of Ao Nang. Drawing on contemporary tropical Thai architecture, the resort’s design complements the natural elements outside, bringing the spectacular vista inside. This is a heavenly combination of opulence and naturally striking surrounds.

2. Pandanus Hotel, Phan Thiet, Vietnam

Acknowledged as the most luxurious hotel in the Phan Thiet province, the Pandanus Hotel is also located on one of Vietnam’s most attractive coastal stretches. Built inside a 10 hectare tropical garden, with its own private beach, the resort is within close proximity to the area’s famed ‘red’ sand dunes and the canyon of Mui Ne. Friendly, service-oriented staffs ensure guests are in want for nothing – and with an oceanic view like this on offer, exotic cocktail in hand, what could be better?

3. Sokha Beach Hotel, Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Poised on a peninsula that extends into the Gulf of Thailand, the Sihanoukville shore is a largely unknown treasure of Robinson Crusoe proportion. And Sokha Beach is its highlight. With such magnificent surrounds, a hotel need not go to too much effort, and yet the Sokha Beach Hotel embodies the warm hospitality of the Cambodian people and their rich culture. Its Khmer-styled, hand-crafted architecture comprises of mostly natural materials such as wood and stone, adding to the wonderful ambiance of the location.

4. Le Meridien Khao Lak Beach Resort & Spa, Khao Lak, Thailand

Overshadowed by nearby island neighbor and tourist giant, Phuket, the Khao Lak stretch of Thailand’s Southwest mainland has managed to maintain a tranquil atmosphere and an unspoiled, awe-inspiring landscape. The Le Meridien Khao Lak Beach Resort&Spa doesn’t disappoint in terms of location and service. Within an oar’s reach of the stunningly famous Phang Nga bay and accessible by car from Phuket International Airport, Khao Lak is an excellent choice for a tropical beach sojourn.

5. Shangri-La Mactan Island Resort, Cebu, Philippines

Located within the province of Cebu on Mactan Island, this Shangri-La resort certainly lives up to its name. Guests will have panoramic views of the azure Visayan Sea and its cluster of remote islands. With state-of-the-art facilities and luxurious interiors, the high standards of service further enhance this beach resort in the Philippines. The island airport also allows for easy access from many international destinations.

6. Sanur Beach Hotel, Bali, Indonesia

Sanur beach is Bali’s best-kept beach jewel. Quieter than the popular surfing beach of Kuta and other favorites such as Nusa Dua and Seminyak, this stretch of sand offers a glimpse into the Balinese fisher village lifestyle, as well as providing visitors with pristine bathing waters teeming with colorful fish. The hotel’s staff will go to extraordinary lengths to meet guest wishes and the hotels’ plush interiors and exotic Balinese design will ensure pure comfort and luxury.

7. The Empire Hotel and Country Club, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam

Built on a colossal 162-hectare landscape of tropical garden, the Empire Hotel takes the concept of luxury accommodation to an entire new level. It is impressive in every detail when it comes to service and facilities, but more importantly (well, for the purposes of this article at least), is located on a magnificent stretch of coastline. Guests can fully escape into this private utopia which also boasts its own golf course.

8. Zeavola Hotel, Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

Phi Phi is a long island favorite among Thailand’s frequent beach travelers. Its beaches are simply idyllic with their powdery sand shores and clear waters. The boutique Zeavola hotel offers Phi Phi paradise with luxury amenities disguised by a rural feel and charm. A unique accommodation option positioned in front of a prime, serene stretch of beach, couples can relish in the resort’s privacy and lush natural environment.

9. Berjaya Redang Beach Resort, Terangganu, Malaysia

Malaysia is often surpassed by the highly publicized tourist destinations of Indonesia and Thailand for its natural offerings, despite it being rich in beauty. Redang Island is one such example and the Berjaya Redang Beach Resort offers guests private access to one of the country’s finest beaches – one accentuated by vibrant corals and tropical fish. The comfortable villas and rooms have a tropical beach feel that encourages relaxation, while friendly staff and excellent water sports facilities make it a good choice for families and couples alike.

10. Furama Resort, Danang, Vietnam

The largely undeveloped coastal stretch which stretches 25km from Hoi An to Danang on Vietnam’s Central Coast, is one of the countries most magnificent. Known in English as China Beach, the Furama Resort was the first luxury hotel to be built along this unspoiled coast. The design blends Vietnamese style with tropical architecture and the staffs are friendly and helpful. Only 10 minutes drive from Danang International Airport, this hotel has become a preferred choice among Southeast Asian beach seekers.