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!
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.
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.
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 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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.