Vacation Rentals versus Hotels in Thailand – Which is Better ?
So you plan to visit exotic Thailand on your next vacation and can’t decide whether to stay in a Thai villa or a Thai hotel? Tourists play a vital role in the Thai economy and because of this have become spoilt for choice with a huge range of holiday accommodation, from budget hotels to luxury resorts and villas. If you are confused about which is best for your vacation, our guide to the pros and cons of Thailand’s holiday accommodation may just help you decide !
Thai Package Holidays, Hotels and Luxury Resorts
Many tourists choose to book a Thai package holiday which generally include flights, airport transfers, hotel accommodation and can include meals. Thai holiday packages are extremely convenient if you don’t have time to make your own arrangements or if you decide to book last minute. Everything is arranged so that you only need to show up at the airport. If you have a fixed budget these are a good option as you will know the entire cost of your holiday in advance. If you opt for an ‘all-inclusive’ package that extends to all food, drink and entertainment you can effectively leave your credit card at home !
Of course you can also book your Thai hotel independently, which gives you the freedom to explore more than one destination. You could stay in a hotel in Chiang Mai to discover the jungles of northern Thailand for example and move to the southern resorts of Phuket or Krabi to enjoy the beaches and Thai islands.
Hotels in Thailand tend to be of a high standard and there is a huge selection from budget hostels to mid-range and top-end luxury hotels. The advantage of a hotel is that it offers more than just a roof over your head. Hotels provide a range of services including regular room cleaning, restaurants, bars, swimming pools, sports facilities and some even have a private beach. Hotels often provide on-site entertainment and child care facilities so that the kids can have fun while you relax with total peace of mind.
If you want to be pampered you can stay at one of the fabulous resorts that dot the Thai tourists areas. Thai resort hotels offer the ultimate in luxury accommodation with their own private beaches, spa facilities, golf courses, tennis courts, indoor and outdoor pools and beautiful private grounds. If you want complete relaxation a resort in Phuket, Krabi or Koh Samui could be perfect choice as you need never leave the complex during the entire length of your stay !
Many Thai hotels and resorts provide free airport transfers and it is common in some of the more up market hotels to benefit from free shuttles to many of the main tourist centres. A hotel will also offer local trips so that you can take advantage of an excursion without making any of the arrangements.
On the downside a resort or hotel can be an expensive choice and drinks and meals that are not included often cost more than in a local bar or restaurant. Another disadvantage is that it is tempting to remain in your hotel or resort so you miss out on some of the local tourist attractions. Staying in a resort or hotel with other tourists can mean that you never mingle with the friendly Thai locals nor experience genuine Thai life. The hotel food may not be a true reflection of the deliciously fragrant and spicy food that Thailand is so famous for and you could leave Thailand without actually getting to know the country at all !
Thai Vacation Villas
Renting a traditional Thai holiday Villa is an alternative and unique way to make your Thai vacation particularly memorable. More and more people are leaving the tried and tested formula of the package holiday behind in search of a more authentic adventure. We recommend that you rent a villa of typical Thai architecture as they are designed specifically with tropical weather in mind.
Renting a Thai villa can be significantly more economical, particularly if you are in a large group. You get a lot more space for your money too and private facilities such as your own garden and pool, provide seclusion and privacy.
Use of a kitchen allows you to cook your own meals which in addition to saving money, can also be fun. It gives you the opportunity to shop in local supermarkets and experiment with new and unusual ingredients. You will become familiar with your local neighbourhood, get to meet the locals and embrace real life in Thailand.
Thai holiday villas usually come equipped with modern conveniences such as air conditioning, satellite TV and wifi and they often include personal facilities such as sports and beach equipment, games, DVDS and books that are left by the owners for your convenience.
If you want a luxury Thai villa you should consider renting a ‘Serviced Villa’. These vacation villas provide all the services of a hotel without sacrificing your privacy, including daily cleaning, massage and beauty treatments, catering and excursion booking.
There are some drawbacks to renting a vacation villa – some people feel uncomfortable without having on site staff to solve problems and look after security, however, in a serviced villa there are always staff at hand and security is usually well taken care of. You can be unlucky enough to experience bad state of repair or cleanliness although, if you book with a reputable local company there will always be someone available to resolve such issues. Villas may not be located as close to the beach as some of the hotels and resorts and you can pay a premium for Thai villas with a sea view or beachfront.
Ultimately it comes down to personal preference but if you are looking for a real taste of Thai life with your own private retreat, a vacation villa is the perfect choice !