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Budget holidays: The best inexpensive stays in Asia

Hoping to skip off for a marvellous short break during one of our *many* remaining public holidays left in 2015, but not keen on forking out loads for a luxury stay? Worry not – with a little help from our readers on Facebook, we’ve found some nice and inviting hotels and villas around Asia that won’t break the bank. Read on for 10 of our favourite budget-friendly stays….


Budget travel and cheap holidays in Asia
Funky retro-inspired finishes at Muntri Mews

Muntri Mews, Penang (Recommended by Priyanka Chand Agarwal)
In the heart of ever-charming Georgetown, this shophouse hotel is full of retro flair, such as Peranakan-style lattice screens and sketches of the surrounding streets by a local artist. Despite the old school influence, its rooms have modern touches like LCD televisions and sleek Grohe fittings in the bathroom. The quaint garden terrace on the ground floor is a nice place to retreat with a cup of tea. If you’re after a quick bite before wandering out, the café whips up decent Asian and Western grub, too.
The Cube Hotel, Kuala Lumpur (Recommended by EL designer Beatrice Ng)
Right in the middle of Bukit Bintang, KL’s sprawling shopping and leisure district, this casual boutique hotel is the best for shopaholics who plan to spend their trip snagging trendy togs for low prices. It’s near famous malls like Berjaya Times Square and Lot 10, as well as snap-worthy landmarks like the Petronas Twin Towers. Each cosy room has sleek, minimal décor, and comes with a small work desk and free wi-fi.

Some of Manta Dive's stylish bungalows
Some of Manta Dive’s stylish bungalows

Manta Dive, Gili Air, Lombok (Recommended by Rachael Wheeler)
If you’re looking for a unique place to stay for an amazing price, Manta Dive on Gili Air is an incredible choice. Their Sesak Bungalows (traditional Indonesian-style beach huts with a huge beds, lovely verandas and stylish outdoor bathrooms) offer everything you could need. Most of your time here will be spent outside, however, as Gili Air is all about hanging out with a coffee, chilling out on the beach and getting to know the turtles in the transparent sea. If you scuba (you can test it out at Manta if you don’t!), the Gilis offer some of the most interesting, affordable diving opportunities in Asia. Along with the fact that beers are two bucks, a cheap stay on Gili Air is a winner in our books.

Kuta Royal Villa, Bali (Recommended by Allison Audrey)
These elegant, roomy villas are near Bali’s noisy shopping and nightlife ‘hood, so you can enjoy rowdy nights out while still having some much-needed peace and quiet away from the action. Each four-bedroom villa has modern, locally made furnishings and a plunge pool that’s perfect for an afternoon splash-about. Aside from cleaning the room daily, the friendly staff are also willing to help with most requests, including delivering local beer to your doorstep and cooking an inexpensive breakfast feast.


Asian touches galore in Betel Garden Homestay
Asian touches galore in Betel Garden Homestay

Betel Garden Homestay, Hoi An (Recommended by EL editor Katie Roberts)
Nestled in a lush, leafy compound, this family-owned homestay is a short 10-minute walk from the town centre and all its charming sights. With rooms and villas that can fit between two to four people, it’s suitable for couples on a romantic retreat or families looking for a slow-paced getaway. Whichever type of room you choose, you can expect beautiful colonial-style furnishings and a quiet balcony where you can unwind with a cold drink. The warm and helpful staff will do everything they can to make you feel at home, and even host a sumptuous dinner for guests staying more than three nights.


Take a dip in the pool, or wander right down to the beach
Take a dip in the pool, or wander right down to the beach

Railay Bay Resort & Spa, Krabi (Recommended by EL editor Amy Greenburg)
To enjoy Railay Beach’s stunning scenery in style, head to this gem of a resort. It has spacious rooms with pretty garden views and lovely tropical touches – the fancier cottages even come with a private jacuzzi. The curvy swimming pool overlooks Railay Beach’s picturesque coastline, with sunbeds facing its green cliffs and calm blue waters. To feel utterly pampered, stroll down to the in-house spa for reasonably priced yet ultra relaxing treatments.

Fun, feminine decor in Hua Chang Heritage Hotel
Fun, feminine decor in Hua Chang Heritage Hotel


Hua Chang Heritage Hotel, Bangkok (Recommended by EL editor Susannah Jaffer)
This pretty boutique hotel in Pathum Wan (one of Bangkok’s most popular shopping areas) has bright rooms with swathes of colour on the walls and quirky white furniture. The hotel is also home to two beautifully decorated restaurants: Miss Siam for continental cuisine and Ivory Lounge for Thai classics. Plus, you’ll be a short walk away from some of the best shopping centres, tourist attractions and Siam BTS station.

A plush Standard room at Fusion Suites
A plush Standard room at Fusion Suites


Fusion Suites, Bangkok (Recommended by EL junior editor Cherylene Chan)
In the centre of Bangkok’s CBD, this boutique hotel marries classic style with bolder contemporary touches. The cheapest rooms are comfy and chic, and even coming with a luxurious rain shower. There’s plenty of shopping options near by, as well as bars and clubs for restless night owls. Asoke BTS station is a short walk away too, so you can easily venture out for cultural sights.


The Philippines

A yummy dinner by the beach? Bring it on
A yummy dinner by the beach? Bring it on

Surfside Boracay Resort & Spa (Recommended by EL staffer Natalie Whittell)
Near the quiet, pristine Angol Point beach, this laidback resort has plenty of fun island-inspired elements throughout the grounds. The rooms here are fairly rustic and no-frills, but if it’s amazing sunset views you’re after, its location is near unbeatable. Its beachside restaurant is known for delicious, freshly cooked Asian fare, and we hear that the massages are heavenly stuff.


The stunning surrounds of The Plantation
The stunning surrounds of The Plantation

The Plantation, Phnom Penh (Recommended by Rohan Bilimoria)
Right across the road from the Royal Palace, this lavish resort has cheerful rooms with pops of tropical hues. Guests also get the luxury of two swimming pools, a tranquil spa, a gym, a classy restaurant, two snazzy poolside bars and even a meeting room for folks on business trips. There are plenty of amazing restaurants and boutiques nearby, as well as cultural sights.