International Standard Hotels

Pallazo Hotel in Bangkok

Standard & Hotel are the key words in this topic.

In Thailand, expect pretty much what you will find in an international standard hotel in any country, but Thailand often provides a better product for your money. Well decorated and furnished rooms will generally be 30 sq m (about 300 sq ft) and up.

Floor covering will usually be carpeting, polished wood, tile or marble. Bathrooms with tile, a tub and shower and small electric water heaters of the demand type. Western sanitary fixtures are standard.

Beds in cheaper hotels may not have "box springs" and pillows may be a bit firm, but expect clean linens every day or several times each week.

In most of the country for most of the year almost any bedding is sufficient. But if you are cold natured and visiting the North in December, you may need to ask for an extra blanket.

"Mini bars" are common in Thai hotels. Check the prices before consuming anything. Prices can be quite dear. But at least two free bottles of drinking water is standard, and the small fridge keeps it cool.

Laundry service in international hotels is generally good and the turnaround fast. But again, check prices on the laundry slip. If you have lots of laundry, an outside service can be a good savings.

Dining rooms in international standard hotels will often serve a mix of cuisines. Large hotels may have a number of restaurants with dedicated cuisines.

Expect Thai food to be toned down for western tastes and western food to be mediocre. Be pleasantly surprised if the food is regionally excellent.

Buffets for breakfast and lunch have become very popular and they present an excellent opportunity to sample different dishes. Khaotom makes an excellent breakfast and is sometimes a welcome change from, or addition to, the common "American breakfast".

Thais often call the primary dining room of a hotel a "coffee shop", since the room will often feature entertainment each evening. Thai singers tend to be quite talented and perform a variety of Thai and western music. The experience can range from pleasant to addictive.

Taxis waiting outside hotels should normally be avoided. They are often touts who will attempt to shepherd you to a shopping venue. And too often, they will refuse to start the meter.

Opt for taxis that are cruising the street and who will start the meter. Refuse any suggestions of tours or special deals.