Monday, 25 January 2010

Trip Advisor 2010 Awards -- It's Thailand for Bargains, Families, Romance and Relaxation

Breaking news ...

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Lloyd, I hear you say: this is more stuff that is months and months old, tell us something new.

Well, I promise this is real news, hot off the wire this morning. It's the Trip Advisor 2010 Awards (hey, these guys are punctual, we're not even at the end of January yet; anything could happen in the next 11 months). Now I happen to put a lot of store in these things because it's voted by real travellers, ordinary folks who've spent time in a hotel or resort and loved it or loathed it enough to spend precious time recording their thoughts on the website to warn or welcome others. And when you accumulate their opinions, and measure them against everywhere else in that city, country or the world, you get a real idea of where a hotel -- or country in this case -- is batting.

So, without much further ado, it leaves me nothing more but to ask for the envelope and announce the Thai winners in this year's awards. And the winners are ... (cue dramatic drum roll)

Top 10 Bargain Hotels in the World:

5. Secret Garden, Chiang Mai. (A very well kept secret -- I live there and I've never heard of it!)

Top 10 Bargain Hotels in Asia:

1. Secret Garden, Chiang Mai. (Yaay, Chiang Mai, go home team -- woooooh!)
4. Oriental Kwai Resort, Kanchanaburi
8. Chatrium Suites, Bangkok
9. Fern Paradise, Chiang Mai. (Wooooh!)

Top 10 Family Hotels in Asia:

2. Oriental Kwai Resort, Kanchanaburi
3. Rimping Village, Chiang Mai. (Thunderous applause, woo-woo-woo-woooh!)
5. JW Marriott Phuket Resort and Spa, Mai Khao, Phuket
8. Holiday Inn Resort, Phuket
10. Yaang Come Village, Chiang Mai. (The applause nearly lifts the roof off the stadium.)

Top 10 Hotels for Service in Asia:

1. Rimping Village, Chiang Mai (The roof is now fully off the stadium and the applause can be heard as far away as Gdansk in Siberia, where the service is terrible ...)
2. Sandalwood Luxury Villas, Phuket
4. Secret Garden, Chiang Mai. (Cue the Mexican Wave ... )
6. Fern Paradise, Chiang Mai. (... and keep it going, round and round.)
8. Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai (The crowd is now on their feet, a standing ovation. I've never seen anything quite like it.)

Top 10 B&B Inns in Asia:

1. Pak Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai. (Woohoooo!!!)
2. Baan Orapin B&B, Chiang Mai. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, oh, don't stop, don't stop!)
6. Baan Sukhumvit Inn Soi 18, Bangkok
7. Luang Chumni Village, Ayutthaya
9. Baan Hanibah, Chiang Mai (Woo-hooo-hoooooooo!!!)

Top 10 Hotels for Romance in Asia:

1. Cape Sienna Hotel & Villas, Kamala, Phuket. (See photo, copyright of someone whose permission I never sought because, well, they're getting some free publicity here, so seems fair enough usage eh?)
7. Sandalwood Luxury Villas, Koh Samui
8. Ban Sabai Sunset Beach Resort & Spa, Koh Samui
9. Silawadee Pool Spa Resort, Lamai, Koh Samui

Top 10 Luxury Hotels in Asia:

1. Layana Resort & Spa, Koh Lanta
7. Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa, Koh Samui

Top 10 Relaxation/ Spa Hotels in the World:

1. Bandara Resort & Spa, Bo Phut, Koh Samui.

Top 10 Relaxation/ Spa Hotels in Asia:

1. Bandara Resort & Spa, Bo Phut, Koh Samui
3. Sandalwood Luxury Villas, Koh Samui
7. Santhiya Resort & Spa, Koh Phangan
8. Cape Sienna Hotel & Villas, Kamala, Phuket
9. Montra Hotel, Koh Samui

Top 10 Trendiest Hotels in Asia:

2. Sugar Palm Grand, Hillside, Kata, Phuket
3. Vie Hotel Bangkok, Bangkok

Damn, those places must be trendy. I'm writing this from the Tenface Hotel in Bangkok which is amazingly arty-farty and it doesn't even score a mention!

So there you have it. My completely impartial, unbiased guide to the best of the best in the world, Asia, and Thailand. Honours spread fairly evenly, although I do think that Chiang Mai has been harshly overlooked here. I mean only 12 mentions of Chiang Mai in this honour roll seems like some sort of conspiracy ...

Anyway, good to see Thailand scoring highlight in value, romance, family fun and overall relaxation categories. But then I'm probably not telling you anything new there.


  1. Hi Stu,

    Those places sound very trendy, call it a coinsidence if you wish but i'm heading over that way this year and really had no idea of where to stay.. Until now.. thanks for the detailed revews

  2. There are so many nice and beautiful hotels and resorts in Thailand. Depends on personal feeling. However, I believe that all you guy love Thailand, is that true?

  3. I think one should read this post before going to Thailand vacation. Thanks Stu Lloyd for the mentioning here nice and beautiful hotels and resorts in Thailand.


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