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#1 fountainhall

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 10:41 AM

We’ve had a few threads about hotel rankings on various travel sites. When there are bad points, these can usually be grouped together into general issues like quality of room, quality of services, location etc. plus some more particular things like gripes about bathroom smells and traffic noise.

Two of my pet gripes are noise and uninvited guests. I know some people can fall asleep within minutes of their head hitting the pillow. Armageddon can then take place and they will blissfully remain in the land of nod! With me, the act of getting to sleep is never easy, and often the slightest unusual noise will see me awake. Continuous noise, like an air con unit or gentle breathing beside me, is fine. It’s the sudden and the unusual that wake me up.

Mosquitos are a problem. If I am close to asleep and then hear that high-pitched ‘zzzzzzt’ sound, I just have to get up and send it packing. Having become aware of it, I just know it’s going to come back again and again, and that's enough to keep me wide awake.

Geckos are another. I was in an excellent small guest house recently, again on the point of sleep, when I heard ‘chuk chuk chuk chuk’. It was obvious a smaller variety of gecko (which I call chuk-chuks but that does not seem to be universal) was in the room. So I put on the light – and there it was, frozen on the opposite wall. The moment I moved to see if I could shoo it out of the door, of course it vanished. Like a mosquito, if I know one is in the room, sleep is elusive. The next morning, the staff told me they’d find it and move it out. When I returned late, I gingerly looked around the room but could see nothing. Sleep was uninterrupted.

The following evening, though, again as I was about to fall asleep, there came a sound from outside my door as though a nuclear device had exploded. ‘Ge-cko, ge-cko, ge-cko’ it shrieked, the sound penetrating to the centre of my brain. Since I am a light sleeper, I travel with wax earplugs that mould themselves to the shape of your ears. So effective are these that I have twice slept through hotel fire alarms. In they went, but against that gecko’s high-pitched emanations, they were all but ineffective!

My other bugbear is spiders. The little ones I happily ignore. It’s the bigger slithery variety that give me the creeps. Once, staying at the old Yacht Club in Phuket, I went up to my room after a nice brisk pre-breakfast walk on the beach. As I opened the door, I felt something slither over my flip-flop bedecked foot. A cockroach, I assumed. Seeing it fast disappear into the bathroom, I asked reception to send someone to spray the room as I made my way to the pool for the morning.

On my return after lunch, I lay down to read for a while. Soon, I became aware of an 8-legged monster slowly making its way up from behind the TV. Ever so gingerly, I got on the phone and asked someone to come up fast either to catch and get it out or to zap it with bug spray. A bellboy arrived. I pointed out the black creature on the wall. “Oh, it’s a spider!” quoth he, stating the bloody obvious! Whereupon, he aimed the can and sprayed to his heart’s content. Immediately it disappeared and could not be found.

Half an hour later, there it was once again creeping up the wall. Knowing it would be only semi-conscious, I got a towel (no, I am not going to say I zapped it!), slowly approached it and managed to capture it. I then dropped in on to some greenery as far as I could stretch away from the balcony. Whew!

That night I had dinner at what was then called the Monkey Resort nearby, Returning in the pitch black, my mind started to wander and I imagined all manner of huge spiders ready to drop down on me! I entered my room carefully, making sure nothing else would see the open door as an invitation. Relieved, I quickly undressed, took a shower and then went to the wardrobe to get the bathrobe.

My shriek must have been heard all the way down the corridor. There sitting on the robe was that spider – either that or another from a cluster of the beasts. Of course it disappeared fast, and of course I could not find it. The thought that it might crawl over my face during the night was enough to keep me from sleep, even though I moved the bed into the middle of the room and made sure none of the bedding touched the floor. A ridiculous precaution, as I could do nothing about the legs. Suspension in mid-air is sadly not an art I learned at school.

Perhaps because of these and other experiences, I prefer to stay in rooms that are not too close to ground level. The higher one is, the less likelihood there is of intrusive uninvited guests and their noises. Now, if only hotels would build walls twice as thick so I don’t hear the thump thump thump of sex in the next room, I’d be a very happy guest!

#2 Rogie

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 03:19 PM

Perhaps because of these and other experiences, I prefer to stay in rooms that are not too close to ground level. The higher one is, the less likelihood there is of intrusive uninvited guests and their noises.


I did a search engine and found an interesting thread on Thai Visa: seems Thailand doesn't really have any 'deadly' poisonous spiders. There are tarantulas in Thailand of course, mainly in the south I think, but their bark seems worse than their bite so-to-speak, although I wouldn't want to be in earshot of khun FH should he spot one on his towel just as he emerges from the shower :o

Regarding hotels in general I prefer hotels with only a few floors, as I dislike being up in the clouds. My ideal place to stay would be a small guest house for that reason, although in Bkk the ratio of large hotels to small guest houses is obviously a lot higher than in places by the sea. If I am going to be staying in a seaside town I prefer to use a holiday rental, or failing that a 'resort' where the rooms are on ground level with easy access to the pool.

http://www.thaivisa....rs-in-thailand/

#3 snapshot

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 10:20 PM

I've been lucky never to have encountered cockroaches or spiders in any seriously disconcerting form at any of the hotels I've stayed... and I've done the full spectrum, from backpacker dumps to 5-stars. Enjoying more of the latter now.

In the last 12-18 months, the important thing for me has been to have a nice pool and poolside lounge. Because that's where I spend a lot my time lounging/working.

And not one of those dingy, stuck in a little courtyard or indoor pools either. It's got to have a nice view and preferably be elevated. Infinity edge is a bonus.

Enclosed cabana lounges are highly valued because they give me/us privacy and shield my device screens from the sun's brightness.

Australian hotels suck when it comes to this sort of thing. Most of the hotels here were built decades ago and can't cater to latest trends. Asia, on the other hand is awesome with hotel pools, especially the two countries I spend the most time - Singapore/Thailand. And Thailand's hotels are fantastic for the pools because they're always building brand new ones.

Bangkok's got a nice selection of rooftop pools but it'll be hard to beat the St Regis - positioned halfway up the side of the building, commanding a 180 degree view of the skyline, overlooking Royal Bangkok Sports Club and with nice loungers out the front and a nice sheltered couches towards the back. Having the entrance to the immaculately designed Elemis Day Spa just off to the right side of the pool is also mighty handy... Ahhhh. A few times, I've rolled out of the pool and into the day spa for a nice massage or other on whim. :)

Over in Pattaya, the Hilton actually ticks every box. Rooftop, infinity edge, stunning landscaping, nice food/drink menu, enclosed cabana lounges, great service, gorgeous view. The only downside is it can get a little chilly towards the evening, I suppose due to the elevation... That hotel and its pool is pretty much the only reason I've been back to Shitsville three times in the last year! I brought my last three boyfriends there when we were in Bangkok and wanted to get away for a night or two but didn't want to fly or go too far. The city itself is pretty disgusting and unappealing but this hotel's just a gorgeous place to lounge around for a couple of days.

#4 Rogie

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 11:39 PM

If you aren't that partial to Pattaya, why not go to this place in Hua Hin khun Snapshot? I know you've seen the thread because you contributed to it.

Here it is again anyway just in case anybody missed it:

http://www.gaythaila...012/#entry57321

#5 ceejay

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 04:56 AM

It's not a big issue for me, because I don't travel to stay in hotels. They are just places to sleep in for me. I prefer smaller places that are locally owned partly because they are usually better value for money, partly because I find the service friendlier, partly because when I travel in the Isaan that's all your going to get there. So long as it's clean and quiet that'll do me. Just about the only ones I try to avoid are the Isaan hotels that advertise they have a disco and/or live music (for which read MorLam) on the premises. I know that's a plus for some, but I like to get to sleep before 3 a.m.!
Given the choice, I'd like the place to be in a garden, even if I don't spend much time in there. There's just something pleasant about being in green surroundings. It's not a must though.
I've never seen cockroaches in enough numbers to be a problem. I stayed in a place in Dansai a couple of years back, a very pleasant resort with a teakwood main building. Even the bathroom was all wood - the shower floor being decking, a bit like a wooden cattle grid. Of course, being dark and damp, there were a few roaches under there. That problem was easily solved - I switched the bathroom light on and waited a minute or two before I went in. Never saw them again. Out of sight, out of mind.

#6 Michael

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 09:35 AM

FH, for noise, I use a White Noise app for my computer and IPad. I love it. I turn it up enough just to block all outside noise and I sleep like a baby.

For me, the Internet speed is of primary importance. I have checked out more for this than anything. I need a good speed and when I don't get a true high speed, I feel I am wasting my time.

I also like getting points for any hotel I stay at. I know this means I pay much more than normal hotels but in the end it is worth it for me. I have an upcoming trip to Brazil and the rates are over 600-800 USD for each night at the nice hotels but I get to use the points I have accumulated over the last year and stay for almost a month for totally free! I love it.

I really need a fridge in a room. I like to have gatorade or Powerade and I want it cold. Most hotels have a full mini bar and if it costs me money, I'll empty it out and fill in with my own stuff. :) Saves a ton of money.

I prefer a high floor. I like a room with a view even though I don't look at very much, I like to know it is there.

#7 fountainhall

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 10:29 AM

I really need a fridge in a room . . . I'll empty it out and fill in with my own stuff


Long time ago, I was in a hotel in Zurich and on a very tight budget. So I bought food and juices at the supermarket, put the contents of the minibar on top and my stuff inside. When I returned the next evening, I found all my stuff on the top and the original contents back inside!

Michael, you'd better not even think about staying at the Marina Bay Sands if you are in Singapore. They have a fridge common in some Japanese hotels - every bottle/can is in its own little hole. Move one even a fraction and consumption is automatically entered on your bill! And there's no space in there for anything else.

Re ceejay's point about cockroaches, they can sometimes - very rarely - be useful. Four years ago I was working at the desk in a good but older Beijing hotel when I turned around and saw a lagre cockroach sitting watching me on the bed! I tried to zap it with a rolled up newspaper, but of course it scuttled away. I called the front desk and asked them to send someone with bug spray. I also asked for the use of another room until the smell of the spray had disappeared. This was brought to the attention of the American manager who arrived along with the guy with the spray. I then got the usual spiel about how this had never happened before . . . blah blah. End result, they insisted they move me into a suite for my last 2 nights!

#8 Rogie

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 03:44 PM

I called the front desk and asked them to send someone with bug spray. I also asked for the use of another room until the smell of the spray had disappeared. This was brought to the attention of the American manager who arrived along with the guy with the spray.


On the subject of bug sprays, ok to go out and buy a can of spray and use it yourself or make sure you are in the room when the man from the hotel arrives to do the spraying. It's certainly also a good idea to leave the room until the 'smell' has gone, or even better do as FH did and get yourself another room.

The admittedly very remote possibility exists that you might become a victim:
I think most of us reading this remember those tragic deaths at the Downtown Inn in Chiang Mai.

. . . an investigative report by a New Zealand TV station reportedly found traces of a toxic insecticide - chlorpyrifos - used to kill bedbugs in the room where the New Zealand tourist had stayed.


Hopefully they will take this seriously:

The Department of Disease Control listed measures it said would be taken to prevent more illness, including monitoring pesticide and chemical use in hotels.


http://www.bbc.co.uk...acific-14543759

Here is a link to the thread on Baht-Stop from last year where chlorpyrifos was discussed:

http://www.baht-stop...indpost&p=45908

The hotel was recently demolished.

http://www.bangkokpo...f-a-death-hotel



#9 Michael

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 07:13 PM

Michael, you'd better not even think about staying at the Marina Bay Sands if you are in Singapore. They have a fridge common in some Japanese hotels - every bottle/can is in its own little hole. Move one even a fraction and consumption is automatically entered on your bill! And there's no space in there for anything else.


I have been in many of these hotels. I will tell them that I need all the stuff removed from the Fridge and they have always done that. I then put my stuff in it. I had one hotel who refused and I sent an email to the manager and got another fridge delivered the next day that was empty and not associated with their electronic system. There are always ways around these things. But, I would never do this for just one night. I am usually in hotels for a longer time and I refuse to pay the prices they charge.

One benefit of the Intercontinental for their top tier members is that they give you the minibar for free. Everything in it is complimentary. But, I only drink Diet Soda and Sprite so they don't have to give me a lot. When the BF is traveling with me, he will drink more.

#10 kokopelli

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 02:49 AM

Geckos are another. ..... .. ‘Ge-cko, ge-cko, ge-cko’..... but against that gecko’s high-pitched emanations, they were all but ineffective!


That sounds like that annoying Australian Gecko on American TV who pretends he is a real person hawking insurance and nonsense. Sometimes I feel like swatting it or stepping on him but then, he is not real.

#11 kokopelli

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 08:48 AM

Fountainhall; if ever vacationing in south of Thailand you may want to stay on the Malaysian island of Langkawi. There is a guest house just for you. Lots of air conditioning and mosquitoes.

http://backpackies.w...th-backpackies/

Attached File  Gecko Guest House.jpg   20.2KB   0 downloads

#12 fountainhall

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 11:01 AM

Great! I'll know to avoid it ;)

#13 Rogie

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 02:20 PM

Are you quite sure FH? For 15 ringgits which is only about 150 baht you can enjoy the comforts of the dorm room and the promise of sweaty feet (don't all young men wear those awful trainers which being made of synthetic material stink to high heaven), smells from the shared bathroom and copious snoring. :o

Surely enough to keep even the most pesky gecko away!

#14 kokopelli

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 10:13 PM

Great! I'll know to avoid it ;)


FH; I do think it is a good deal so maybe snap it up when you can and take a shot at it. Maybe Michael and Beachlover could join you in the dorm, it seems to have the type of accommodations they enjoy. And, for sport, gecko hunting at night.

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#15 fountainhall

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 10:39 PM

Oh dear, Khun Koko. You are full of the joys of Spring, today! Whilst I have stayed in dorms in my time (travels in my university days, that is, when getting up in the morning it was always interesting to see how many of the cute guys had bulges as they went to the showers :o ), I am older and more mature now, and very particular about the nocturnal company I keep.

As to Khun Rogie, I know those "awful" trainers only too well as I wear them most days! But I always sprinkle some Dr. Scholl's powder in to keep them smelling fresh and "spring-like" :)

But your comment reminds me of a young man I met in Beijing in January. We had chatted on-line and I was looking forward to the encounter. When he arrived at my hotel and took of his trainers, the smell was totally overpowering. It killed any desire. The smell even crept through the bedcover which I threw over them!

#16 snapshot

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 11:04 PM

One benefit of the Intercontinental for their top tier members is that they give you the minibar for free. Everything in it is complimentary. But, I only drink Diet Soda and Sprite so they don't have to give me a lot. When the BF is traveling with me, he will drink more.

 

Hmmm... One thing I'm finding more and more spending more time in the higher end 5-star hotels (as opposed to the lower end of the 5 star range) is they tend to give you the minibar for free, or at least soft drinks and beers. I think it's cool!

 

I don't get through much, but it's nice to know it's there. And cool to offer friends a drink when they visit.  

 

The other thing I'm liking more often is having a Nespresso machine in my room. I love that! The next best thing is having a butler service with free tea/coffee any time. 



#17 Rogie

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 07:20 AM

One thing I'm finding more and more spending more time in the higher end 5-star hotels (as opposed to the lower end of the 5 star range) . . .

You got me there. To the best of my knowledge there are 1,2,3,4,and 5 star hotels. Now it seems maybe 5 isn't enough. How about either instituting 6 stars (or even more!), or having *****- or *****+ to cover the top and bottom if the range.

As I never stay in 5* hotels I haven't the faintest idea how they acquire their 'stars'. Anyone care to acquaint me?

#18 ChristianPFC

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:45 PM

they tend to give you the minibar for free

having a butler service with free tea/coffee any time

 

It's not for free, it's priced in.



#19 Michael

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 03:26 AM

New Rules for Marriott:

 

Lifetime status will continue to be awarded on the basis of a combination of points and nights earned by travelers during their memberships.

What will not change is the number of points required to earn lifetime status. That remains as follows:

Silver Elite: 1.2 million points
Gold Elite: 1.6 million points
Platinum Elite: 2 million points
The new number-of-nights hurdles, however, will be considerably lowered, as follows:

Silver Elite: reduced from 600 to 250 nights
Gold Elite: reduced from 800 to 500 nights
Platinum Elite: reduced from 1,000 to 750 nights
Lastly, the current requirement that Rewards members participate in the program for at least 12 years before being eligible for lifetime status will be dropped altogether.

The new rules will take effect on January 1, 2013.

Full details, according to Marriott’s blogger, will be posted online at http://www.MarriottR...ds.com/Lifetime, but that page hasn’t yet been activated.

 

http://www.flyertalk...ite-status.html



#20 baobao

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 06:42 AM

I've posted a couple dozen accommodation reviews, but since these are more bullet items I'll take the risk of repeating myself...

 

LIKES

Free WiFi or good LAN speed

Reasonable attention to detail by housekeeping

Nice view of more than another building - and facing East is good for me

No problems when I ask for extra towels or pillows (tipping the bearer a bit, of course)

 

DISLIKES

Poor water pressure or hot/cold valve problems in the shower

Toiletries that give new meaning to the word "minimal"

Housekeeping cleaning the glasses and cups with a cloth rather than swapping them out with "clean" ones

Management allowing smoking in no smoking rooms or areas

Buffet lines with food not kept at a safe level (or just plain cold)

 

Since "this is Thailand" any of the above can happen in places with various "star" ratings. All part of the adventure, overall - but some of it I could do without.  






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