LUXURY Travel Hacks

Luxe for Less: 10 Cities where Luxury Hotels are WAY cheap!

Ho Chi Minh City
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On a recent stay in Asia I realised there’s one particular topic I haven’t yet covered on the blog: luxe for less. As a lover of luxury experiences and getaways, I’m often jet setting around the world to showcase these on my blog and share some of the world’s best experiences in some of the most popular destinations around the world. But the truth is that it doesn’t always cost a full pay check to stay in these places and you’d be shocked to learn just how affordable some of these hotels are! So I’ve teamed up with KAYAK.com.au (known for their travel hacking ways), who have used their internal research to find the cheapest cities in the world to experience luxe for less… roll out the red carpet!

Medellin City

Medellín

For a small city nestled in a valley, Medellín certainly knows how to pack a lot in. Located in an up and coming destination for travellers, Colombia, this is a great city to explore with a moderate temperature, fresh blooms year round, and a diverse city filled with cultural roots to experience and enjoy. Luxury hotels in Medellín are said to be the cheapest in the world, giving you no reason not to visit this unique Colombian city in 2016! Need more inspiration for your South America travels? Check out the 10 Most Popular Places to go in South America.

Majestic Hotel KL

Kuala Lumpur

When I visited Kuala Lumpur for the first time this year, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Already being in love with the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong and Bangkok, I didn’t think there would be room in my heart for another Asian capital. Wrong I was! Kuala Lumpur not only has some of the world’s cheapest luxury hotel rates (the above Colonial Suite was a few hundred dollars for the night – and that’s on the expensive side of the scale!) Room rates in luxury hotels start around the $100 AUD mark leaving no reason not to splurge in popular KL! The food, shopping and most of all the people also make this city a must visit on your Asian adventures.

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City

While it may not be the capital of Vietnam, it certainly is a buzzing metropolis that cannot go missed whilst travelling throughout Southeast Asia. Vietnam as a whole is incredibly budget-friendly, but if you do decide to splurge on a night of luxury the best place to do so will be away from the resort towns, instead in bust but beautiful Ho Chi Minh City. Room rates in luxury properties start around the $150 mark per room, per night.

New Delhi

New Delhi

New Delhi has been described by some as the Rome of the East, which is an accurate comparison when you consider all the history and culture here that is so deeply ingrained in the locals. This city is both magical and intriguing, whilst also being busy, chaotic and utter madness at times! However this is precisely what makes New Delhi so intriguing to visitors as there is always another crazy story unfolding around the corner that you can take back home and tell over the dinner table. India is still cheap for visitors from abroad and New Delhi is a great chance to experience a little luxe for less. The service at luxury hotels in New Delhi is second to none so don’t be afraid to tip a little extra on the side to show your appreciation and gratitude!

bangkok

Bangkok

As mentioned earlier, Bangkok is by far one of my favourite Asian capital cities to visit. Whilst busy and chaotic at the best of times, I still manage to find peace and solitude in this city of 6 million+. When I visited Bangkok for the first time with my mum, we booked a 5 star hotel for no more than $130 a night! The hotel was incredibly opulent and built adjoining to the Terminal 21 shopping centre, a shopping centre that resembles a different country or region on each floor! Read more: A Quick Guide to Bangkok.

A'jia Hotel Istanbul

Istanbul

Although I have only visited Istanbul once for five or six days a couple of years ago, I am absolutely in love with the city and dying to get back here. Istanbul is vibrant, chaotic in the best kind of way, and absolutely full of charm. Whilst in this city I stayed at a couple of different hotels on the Bosphorus (Asian side), giving me a fantastic view of the city proper (Europe side). If there’s one city in the world I want to race back to as soon as possible – this is it.

phuket

Phuket

For a few years Phuket, Thailand, was my vacation destination of choice. Since it has become so incredibly popular over the past 5 or 6 years I no longer revisit (in an effort to visit new places always!), but I do still have a special place in my heart for Phuket. With a huge influx of tourism comes an equally huge influx of development, meaning there are oodles of luxury hotels on offer and with so much competition you can always score a good room rate. Going back about 5 years ago I paid $120 per night in a 4-5 star hotel with pool lagoon access, though I’m sure rates have increased a little over that time. Regardless, it is still one of the cheapest locations in the world to score a luxury hotel for less!

Beijing | World of Wanderlust

Beijing

The capital of China often gets mixed reviews from travellers; some citing the smog as a hindrance on their experience and some just so chuffed to be able to see such sites as the Forbidden Square and Tiananmen Square. Whatever the case, Beijing is certainly a “must visit once in your lifetime” destination and it comes as great news that luxury hotels are still cheap in the city, based on relative terms.

Panama City

Panama City

If you find yourself in Central America, be sure to venture beyond popular Costa Rica and Nicaragua to discover gems like the thriving and uber cosmopolitan Panama City! As this is typically a common stop en route to more tropical escapes, why not make the most of a free stopover and discover this city for yourself. Luxury hotel rates are much cheaper here than you’ll find elsewhere in popular resort getaways along the coastline of Central America, so if you do stop by be sure to make a night or two out of it!

Athens Greece | World of Wanderlust

Athens

European luxury and cheap aren’t a combination of words you’d typically hear together – but what d’you know, the city of Athens is currently one of the cheapest cities to experience luxe for less. A great city to visit combined with island hopping in the Mediterranean, Athens offers a unique insight into history that most other cities cannot.

 

Data collected by KAYAK.com.au and kindly presented to you on WOW to help you hack the system! To search cheaper rates on luxury hotels with Kayak, select “Luxury” in the Ambience selections on the left hand side of your search.

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  • junkmail_fromyou@hotmail.com'
    Sara Campbell
    February 24, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    I was just in Phuket and Bangkok in November 2015 and agree they are very cheap. We stayed at 5 star hotels that had everything you could imagine for under $150/night. I think Phuket was only $115. My biggest advice is spend more than a few days in Phuket. There are so many jumping off place to go to and things to do. 2.5 days just wasn’t enough!

  • dominiquelkane@gmail.com'
    Dominique
    February 23, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Great post and good to know! Always good to have some budget options in mind.

  • andreaffinati@gmail.com'
    Andrea @ Green and Turquoise - Travel Blog
    February 21, 2016 at 2:59 am

    Great list! Enough to make me pack my bag and set off right now.
    I’m happy to see Bangkok and Beijing on this list as they are two cities I want to visit soon! I actually had no idea Beijing was so affordable.

  • jasiminne@gmail.com'
    Posh, Broke, & Bored
    February 21, 2016 at 2:19 am

    Kuala Lumpur is brilliant for ‘luxe for less’! I should know, I’m from Kuala Lumpur and here right now on one of my bi-annual trips. It’s amazing how far the £ goes in Asia, you really can live like a king on a prince’s budget. x

    Jasiminne:

  • autourdekenza@gmail.com'
    Kenza
    February 20, 2016 at 7:56 am

    Haha it comes as no surprise that there is no european cities !
    Nice top though it’s an interesting topic ! 🙂

    Thank you for sharing.

    Kenza from

  • georgiamcgrath@hotmail.com'
    Georgia
    February 20, 2016 at 12:32 am

    I’m going to Panama at the end of my central american trip, I might have to treat myself to a nice hotel there!

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  • theinspiratiomhighway.blogspot@gmail.com'
    The Inspiration Highway
    February 19, 2016 at 8:08 am

    Cool I shall hope to live like a princess in India when I go. Istanbul really intrigues me too. I loved Bangkok but I was doing it on a budget so didn’t get to luxe it up but I’ll go back. Great blog! 🙂

  • elise.b.o@hotmail.com'
    Elise
    February 19, 2016 at 5:25 am

    These places are looks so amazing, I want to travel all of them! xx

  • rc@therumjournal.com'
    RC
    February 18, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    Here now, writing this response. Phuket is great! This is my second time!

  • xo_shelbs_ox@Hotmail.com'
    Shelby
    February 18, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    Beautiful photo of you in Istanbul! And I agree, Beijing is a must do despite the smog! Cant wait to see it for myself one day.

  • David@travelinthemix.com'
    David
    February 18, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    I’ve just spent almost 5 months in India and have to agree about Delhi. You can get luxury hotels for far less then in Europen countries. We also found that Bangalore has some great and very budget friendly luxury hotels. We also experienced that luxury is very accessible to the budget traveller in India by going for dinner or drink in hotels. And many of the buildings that luxury hotels are in often beautiful colonial buildings.

  • jenalyenns@gmail.com'
    Jenaly
    February 18, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    Great post.

  • flashandfrugal@outlook.com'
    Ellie - Flash and Frugal
    February 18, 2016 at 3:03 am

    Amazing! This list should come in handy when I live in Singapore! I have also just booked two 5 star hotels in Cambodia (one in Siem Reap and one in Phnom Pehn) and both were under £80 a night and I’m suuper excited to stay in them and add them to my blog in April!

    • Brooke Saward
      February 18, 2016 at 7:42 am

      Its so crazy how much you can save in Asia – best time to splurge 🙂 I hope you enjoy Cambodia – such a beautiful country with the kindest people!

  • daniela@ideacuriosa.com'
    Daniela
    February 18, 2016 at 1:09 am

    Hi, It’s Colombia, not Columbia, even if it’s in english… And colombian, not columbian. Thank you for correcting.

    • Brooke Saward
      February 18, 2016 at 7:43 am

      Hi Daniela – I’m so sorry for the mistype! Corrected 🙂

  • shona.sutcliffe@hotmail.com'
    Shona
    February 17, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    I’ve wanted to visit Istanbul for such a long time! Living in London it’s not too far away, and you’re able to experience a totally different culture whilst still on budget. India and South America are definitely up there too!!

    Shona x

    • Brooke Saward
      February 18, 2016 at 7:46 am

      Ohhhh you will LOVE it! Hope you get there soon 🙂 x

  • lisa@lisaldn.com'
    LisaLDN
    February 17, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    So many great places, I’m also a lover of a little luxury! 🙂 When I stayed in Kuala Lumpur we had an amazing room at a 5 star hotel for 60 GBP per night, breakfast included! That would never have gone by in one of the more mainstream European cities 🙂

    • Brooke Saward
      February 18, 2016 at 7:44 am

      Its so crazy huh! And with the strong Pound you would have got even more bang for your buck! 😀 I LOVED KL so so much! Hope you enjoyed x

  • avantigarde1@gmail.com'
    Avanti
    February 17, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    Great post! Would absolutely love to go to Istanbul.

    Avanti
    xxx
    Avantigarde.wordpress.com

    • Brooke Saward
      February 18, 2016 at 7:47 am

      You will LOVE it! I hope you get there – one of my favs of all time! xx

  • gloriadjo@gmail.com'
    Gloria
    February 17, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    I really want to travel to Phuket, Thailand this summer. Seems like a fun place to explore.

    • Brooke Saward
      February 17, 2016 at 6:05 pm

      Phuket is so beautiful! I’ve been a couple of times but would love to go back any day! 🙂

  • hallsuzan12@gmail.com'
    Suzan Hall
    February 17, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    Thanks for this amazing article. I had a great help cause I am planning a trip to Phuket this summers and I was bit worried about the budget.

    • Brooke Saward
      February 17, 2016 at 6:06 pm

      Phuket is so amazing – enjoy your time there! Be sure to try the great local restaurants and street food – one of the best ways to save money 🙂

  • mrfredhernandez@gmail.com'
    Fred
    February 17, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    I want to go to Istanbul more than anything. Thanks for the tips! //

    • Brooke Saward
      February 18, 2016 at 7:47 am

      I hope you get there – such an amazing city with so much to offer!!

  • katiekaymoose23@gmail.com'
    kate
    February 17, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    I need to be better about thinking of Asian places to visit! I can’t help it my mind ALWAYS pulls towards Europe. Thanks for the awesome ideas.

    • Brooke Saward
      February 17, 2016 at 6:07 pm

      Awwwwh I totally know those feels! Once you’ve been bitten by the Europe bug it is hard to ever want to go anywhere else! I also love South America… but I don’t think there is a place I don’t love haha!

  • mintnotion@gmail.com'
    eden
    February 17, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Great list Brooke! I love visiting cities where your money can take you further for less. I would love to visit New Delhi and Phuket someday, great photos and tips!

    http://www.mintnotion.com

    • Brooke Saward
      February 17, 2016 at 6:08 pm

      Thanks Eden – dying to do a huge trip of India as well! 🙂