Sunday, March 9, 2014

Best Value for Money Hotels: Five Star Quality Hotels, Three Star Price

Best Value for Money Hotels 
Five Star Quality Hotels, Three Star Price 

The best part of traveling is staying in a hotel, 
with guest services designed to utmost comfort, 
amenities that provides every guest's basic needs, 
facilities meant to make them feel at home.


There are no frills hotels that offer basic accommodation, 
of a room with a bed, a cupboard, maybe a small table 
and a washstand or a toilet, also for basic bargain price.


There are also hotels with modern facilities, including 
en- suite bathrooms, air conditioning or a heater, and 
additional features like telephone, internet, an alarm clock, 

...a television, a safe, a mini-bar with snack foods and drinks, 
and tea and coffee makers and breakfast buffet in room 
dining that are offered by some, if not most budget hotels. 


Some hotels may include luxury features like living room 
a fully equipped kitchen, bathrobes,  slippers, a pillow menu,


...twin-sink vanities, jacuzzi, bathtubs, shower areas, an exclusive 
executive lounge,  and they usually come with additional tariff. 

While larger hotels may provide additional guest facilities 
such as a swimming pool, fitness center, business center, 
childcare, conference facilities and social function services.

But what the guests would welcome, is a hotel that comes 
with all these luxurious five star features but with a lower 
tariff, comparable to a price of a three star budget hotel,

This list is based only on different hotels 
that we stayed in the past that gave us 
the best value for what we paid for.

I call these Top Ten Hotel with five star features, 
but available at unbelievably  three star rates. 

When I googled and read reviews about this hotel 
in and Agoda more than half of the
comments were about the hotel’s old and dilapidated state.

But I needed a hotel to stay in Ancol, close to its
numerous theme parks and attractions and Mercure 
was the only reputable hotel brand that I recognized 
to be operating in that area. I still booked it despite 
of the mostly negative reviews. I felt we hit a jackpot. 


For only a little over 9,000 pesos per day, we stayed in a 
two- bedroom suite, lavished with complete amenities.

It had a huge living room,three study/work areas,
…two mini bars, with a high end coffee and tea makers, 


…a walk- in closet,


…three large flat screen TV sets,


…three toilet and baths,

…and a spacious balcony 
facing the Java Sea.

It had a wonderful restaurants that
serves world class cuisine,

…and a superb in- room dining.

It also had its own water park,
a kiddie friendly playground
and recreation areas.

The hotel is old and needing renovation,
but who cares? The rooms are clean
the beds are comfortable and the service
was excellent for a real affordable price.

Read here for more:
Mercure Hotel Ancol: Complete Review  

9. Hilton Hotel Universal, Los Angeles 

A five star hotel in Los Angeles would cost
a tourist his arms and legs, but not so with
with Hilton Hotel Universal, located just few
blocks away from the Universal Studios, LA.


A Hilton facility for a little over 7,500 pesos, a cost 
of a  budget friendly three star hotel  located right 
in the heart of Hollywood is something unexpected.


We booked in a very spacious alcove room
during our stay and the room provided us
with a wrap around panoramic window that
offers a spectacular view of Hollywood Hills.

It had a huge king sized bed,


…a living room area with comfy sofa
that could double as an extra bed,

…well equipped working table,

…and a fabulous bathroom,

…a beautiful pool,

…and an amazing spread on their breakfast buffet
 set in an beautiful and breathtaking lobby restaurant.

The hotel actually had a lot of family friendly amenities  but 
because of it’s close proximity to Universal Studious Hollywood,
the kids never really had the time to enjoy them at all.

Read here for more:
Hilton Hotel Universal, Complete Review

8. Hotel Movenpick Saigon

Hotel Movenpick Saigon was another 5 star hotel
that we were able to get for a 3 star price.

They had a spacious and beautiful European
designed  family room, that had one of the
biggest king sized bed that we ever saw.


It had a comfy living room area,

…and a study and working table complete
with office supplies and amenities,

…and a fantastic bathroom.

It also a had a beautiful swimming pool,

…and an amazing spread on the breakfast buffet
and superb in room dining menu.

This wonderful hotel came for a
 bargain price of 6,500 pesos only.

Read here for more:
Hotel Movenpick Saigon Complete Review  

7. Hotel Intercontinental Manila

Hotel Intercontinental lives up to its status
as one of the Grand Dame Hotels in Manila,
but for a fraction of the price of its counterparts.

Their suite rooms, came with
a rather small queen sized bed,


…but with an impressively extensive pillow menu-
something one would never see in other hotels.


It also had a living room area with a comfy sofa
that could double as an extra bed,


….a walk- in closet,

…and a beautiful bathroom.

…this hotel also had an impressive spread
of local and international cuisine on their buffet
on their highly acclaimed Jeepney Cafe,


…but this room also has an access to the
more exclusive Club Intercontinental,


...and a superb in room dining menu.


The hotel gym was not just an
ordinary gym- it was Gold’s Gym.


…and came with an impressive
garden and swimming pool.

…and for a little over 6,500 pesos
it came with much, much more.

Read here for more: 
Hotel Intercontinental Manila Complete Review

6. Fiesta Resort Hotel, Guam

 Fiesta Resort Hotel in Tumon, Guam
is a budget replica of Shangri La Mactan
as the structure was very similar,

…the balconies are almost identical,
…the view is eerily similar,

^^^Fiesta Resort Guam

^^^Shangri- La Mactan, Cebu a fraction of price of a Shangri La Hotel
located .in a paradise island of Guam.

They have a beautiful room
with a  70’s type interiors,

...a wide spread of buffet international dishes
at the restaurant that includes Pinoy favorites
like halo- halo, lechon and yes, dried fish.

The hotel had several swimming pools
of various sizes and shapes,


...and a gorgeous beachfront


…that offers affordable
water sports activities.

It has the feel of an isolated beach
but one need not travel very far
as it is located within the city center
just few minutes away from the airport.

It had a long stretch of white sand beach
similar to Boracay, but not as chaotic
and miraculously crowd- free-

...and believe it or not, not as expensive

Read here for more: 
Fiesta Resort Hotel, Guam Complete Review

5. Avenue Plaza Hotel,Naga City

I am from Naga City, call me biased as I am
including Avenue Plaza Hotel as one
of the best value for your money hotels.

This is a mid- sized four star hotel
but definitely with a five star service.

It offers affordable one bedroom suites
as low as 7,500 pesos a day equipped
with comfy living  and dining areas,



…a kitchen,

...a fabulous bedroom,

...and a gorgeous bathroom.

It is the only hotel that I've seen
with a three level Gym and Spa,

…a beautiful infinity pool,

…a Café that offers decent spread
on breakfast buffet, and wide choice
of dishes on a’la carte dining,


…and an unlimited  dining options
at the nearby Avenue Square.


Read here for more: 
Avenue Plaza Hotel Complete Review

4. Seda Hotel Centrio, Cagayan de Oro City

The Seda Hotel Centrio was not 100% complete yet
when we stayed there after a soft opening, but
they delivered 100% satisfaction during our stay.

They have spacious rooms
with comfy beds,

…full kitchen,

…gorgeous bathroom,

…generous spread of breakfast buffet,
and a wide choice of in room dining menu.


…and five star amenities,

…at a three star price.

It is owned Ayala Land a company known
to target upscale market but later diversified
to developing budget hotels for the mass market.


It was a nice experience that they know to
to pamper tourists on a budget like us  as well. 

Read here for more:
Seda Hotel Centrio, Complete Review

3. Holiday Inn, Makati

Holiday Inn Makati is also owned by the upscale Ayala Land
and was meant  to cater the mass market as it opened with two
other hotels in the same vicinity, the Fairmont Makati, meant
for the middle class and the Raffles Makati for the upmarket.


Thankfully, the hotel did not scrimp and save on the hotel
amenities despite its mass market target, and still made us,
ordinary people feel special, very important and pampered.


Holiday Inn Makati’s suites are spacious and
equipped with a full dining and kitchen areas.



It had comfortable living area,

…a beautiful bedroom,


…and posh bathroom.

This budget hotel also had five star- like
amenities from a roof top pool and gym,


…and serves a generous spread of buffet
both on the main restaurant, Flavors,

… on the Executive Lounge,

...and on their in room dining.

Definitely five star service and amenities
- at a price of a three star hotel.

Read here for more:
Holiday Inn, Makati Complete Review 

2. Trader’s Hotel Manila 

There is not a single negative aspect that
I could think of  about Trader’s Hotel Manila.

It is Shangri- La in all aspects,


...from the service and amenities,

…to their fabulous rooms,

….and really huge suites,

…to the massive spread of international dishes
in their all day buffet at the Latitude Café,

... on their executive lounge.

...and even on their in room service, 

It is a Shangri La in disguise,
pretending to be a budget hotel,

…but it is reeking with the elegance
of it’s more sophisticated sister hotel,
but without the elitist flair and on a
more affordable  a three star tariff.

Read here for more:
Trader's Hotel Manila Complete Review

1. Hotel Golden Star,Prague

I've given this hotel three accolades in my previous 
blog posts like being the best little hotel in the world
 and the best family hotel abroad that we stayed in the past.
 This time I'm naming  Hotel Golden Star in Prague 
at the Czech Republic, as the best  value for money hotel. 

For those who have not seen  or never been to 
 the Hotel Golden Star, it isn’t easy to  quantitatively justify 
this choice as the hotel had literally nothing to boast as
would pale in comparison to other newer and modern  hotels
 that are sprouting everywhere all over the world.

Unlike other hotels that we stayed,   Hotel Golden Star
is not a five star hotel but  only a three to four star hotel.

It is not an ultra -modern skyscraper,
but a renovated manor house built in 1372.

It doesn’t have spacious lobby but rather
a small reception area which used to be
the old and historic living room.


The hotel’s elevator was so tiny that could
only accommodate four people at a time,

..and some had to walk upstairs on a creaky
more than 200 year old wooden stairway.


It didn’t have a spacious garden but it is located
at the center of the city’s old Royal Lane,


…where the former Bohemian Royalties used to pass
on their way to the Prague Castle located
just above the hill beside the hotel.


It didn’t have and spacious and flashy restaurant
but a  cozy buffet area located from the mansion’s
old cellar renovated to a homely restaurant,



...with a quaint and pleasant street side al fresco area.


It didn’t have one or two bedroom executive suites,
but spacious bed chambers with ante rooms
and high ceilings with beautiful crystal chandeliers.


The bed room didn’t have
the gaudy modern furnishings
but it had antique looking furniture
like a king sized sleigh bed…

…old fashioned working table,

…and an antique looking console
that could be converted to a writing desk.

The hotel didn’t have a swimming pool
(as no one needs it on a cold autumn weather)
but the room had a bathroom, fit for a king.


It didn't have an ocean side view on the window
but the view a well preserved  old medieval city. 

The hotel seem to be lacking a lot of things
in comparison with other standard hotels…

…but what it lacks, is what makes Hotel Golden Star
unique, exceptional and beyond compare,
making it the best little hotel in the world,
and the best family hotel abroad.

When we stayed on this hotel, we only paid
3,500 pesos a day, making it the best value for money
for all the hotels we stayed in the past here and abroad.


  1. Wow, so beautiful! And the prices are really cheap. Just compare those offers with what hotels in the USA have to offer (for example in New York City, shows that 120$ can get you just a room with bathroom and that's all. But it really depends on the standard of the country you are in.

    1. I agree with you. price of a hotel depends on the standard of the country you are visiting. that is what this post is all about. Imagine getting a fabulous hotel like the Hilton on Universal City for a real bargain?

      We were also able to get a Holiday in Express Hotel in New York near the JFK airport for a real bargain in the past. It was close the train station and had a free shuttle to the airport making the city center pretty accessible but away from the hustle and bustle of New York City CBD.

  2. The pictures are awesome! Hope you enjoyed the trip.

    Manhattan extended stay

    1. Staying in an excellent hotel is a big factor in enjoying our trip.

      We certainly enjoyed everything on our travel on the hotels included on this Best Value for Money list.

  3. That looks nice! A very nice and relaxing place. I love its ambiance and their interior design. There are lots of five star hotels in Philippines and each of them are really worth to visit. Anyway, thanks for sharing your stay. Really love them!