“The superior man is satisfied with what he has.”
Cheap Hotels in Asia
Fortunately, there are a lot of cheap hotels in Asia.
So let’s dive in and see how you can secure one of a world class deal!
Besides Egypt, Turkey and Poland, some of the best hotel deals can be found in Asia merging high quality and cheap prices. If you like it very cozy and very cheap, check out how Kungfucius stays in a capsule hotel.
Find Hotel Deals
First of all, let’s check several options.
One is obviously booking.com often there are fantastic deals there, but it is a little less oriented towards Asia.
Bookings subsidiary Agoda has some of the same deals, but sometimes additional points for Asia.
The third widely used option is to contact a hotel directly. Larger hotels often have booking at the lowest price – due to price guarantee and policies, but smaller hotels and family bed and breakfasts often can give great deals once you get to know them.
Some of the cheapest cities globally for quality hotels are Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur due to their many options and cheap labor. Taipei, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore are on the more expensive spectrum. Shanghai inbetween.
Fourth option: use one of the reward programs. You are often better off booking non-affiliated hotels, but brands at least have some incentive to provide consistent quality – which is sometimes not met though.
Use IHG Rewards Programme
IHG has improved its loyalty program and has often special promotions like 2000 extra points for 2 nights at a property in early 2023. Cheaper Holiday Inn Express stays in Asia start at 8000 points for one night.
In other words, 8 nights and you get one night for free. Since you also get normal points from booking, you can roughly say that 6-7 nights paid stay will get you a free night at one of the cheapest options. The more valuable options make sense especially if you have a status and receive more points, then you can achieve 1 free night roughly every 6 paid nights also at Interconti or Indigo or other mid to high quality hotels of IHG.
Check prices on booking, agoda and other aggregators as well. If these are cheaper, you can still book via IHG app but ask them to reimburse the difference in points. This can potentially boost your ratio to 3-4 paid stays per free stay.
Watch out: Greater China is excluded on this guarantee. There are often much cheaper options on the aggregators than on IHG in these countries.
Use Hilton Rewards Programme
Hilton is especially rewarding if you are a high tier member of their loyalty program. Especially in South East Asia, Hilton has many properties and you can get good deals there. One way to a top tier is just having an Amex Platinum card that gives you access to the high Hilton tier directly.
App opening hack
A lot of apps track your usage of the app and on other apps. If that is the case, how should booking, agoda or other apps work if you compare prices? They should offer a better price to not lose you as a customer. Hence, sometimes when you check on different apps you will see a few hours later even better prices appear as they don’t want to lose you as a customer.
App location and currency hack
Another hack is to use certain locations and currencies. Often Japan and Japanese Yen make a lot of places very affordable. But make sure you check this first as currencies and apps change. A VPN might also be helpful sometimes.
Love hotel hack
Sometimes, love hotels offer very cheap long term stays. So if you don’t mind a revolving bed, mirrors and extravagant paintings, then a love hotel might offer a cheap alternative to a normal hotel. Just make sure it is overall clean.
Let’s check by city:
Many cheap hotels in the city. Special mention: Dream Hotel. Very central location, not too loud, great breakfast buffet.
There are also cheap hotels around 30 USD in the ThongLor area.
Often the Holiday Inn Express hotels in Shanghai offer good value at around 40 USD per night. In Shanghai, it is often 10% cheaper to book those hotels via booking compared to via the IHG app. Still, it could make sense to book via the app if you have a good tier status and get extra points.
Ok, maybe a little special hack. Why not stay in a massage overnight. At a lower price than a hotel.
Breakfast Hack: Intermittent fasting
Save on more than just the overnight rate. If you have a hotel with a great breakfast buffet, you can save tremendously if you chose a one or twice meal per day. So if you cut out lunch, you likely save 5-30 USD. That can be quite a substantial saving if you have a well prepared, healthy breakfast buffet.
Dream Hotel in Bangkok has one of the best breakfast buffets out there – especially for that price range. Holiday Inn Express hotels often do not have the same high quality, but overall offer a good breakfast. Usually better in mainland China than elsewhere.
Hotel brunch can be a great strategy for healthy and budget-conscious travelers. Many hotels offer brunch options on the weekends, which can be a convenient and cost-effective way to enjoy a variety of healthy foods while on the road. Hotel brunch options often include a wide selection of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, as well as a variety of vegetarian and vegan options.
One of the benefits of hotel brunch is that it allows you to save money on meals. Rather than eating out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you can enjoy a single, all-inclusive meal that covers all of your meals for the day. This can be especially helpful for travelers on a budget, as eating out can be expensive, especially in tourist areas.
In addition to being cost-effective, hotel brunch can also be a healthy option for travelers. Many hotels take pride in offering a wide selection of healthy foods and may even have a nutritionist on staff to help plan their menus. This can be especially helpful for travelers who are trying to stick to a specific diet or who have food allergies or sensitivities.
Another benefit of hotel brunch is that it allows you to try a variety of foods without committing to a full meal. Many hotel brunch options offer a buffet or self-serve style, which allows you to sample a variety of dishes and find what works best for you. This can be especially helpful for travelers who are unfamiliar with local cuisines and want to try a variety of different foods.
Overall, hotel brunch can be a great strategy for healthy and budget-conscious travelers. It allows you to save money, try a variety of healthy foods, and enjoy a convenient and all-inclusive meal. So the next time you are planning a trip, consider looking for hotels that offer brunch options to help you stay healthy and within budget.
Kungfucius knows so many other hacks. Just relax and follow along, because if you want even better deal than these cheap hotels, stay tuned and we will get into it.
Warm Showers is an app that let’s you find warm showers and free accommodations on the basis of reciprocity. Basically, warm showers is for cyclists, so you should be in that community and don’t arrive in your Lambo to an accommodation. Plus: it often helps the community and your chances if you offer a free room as well.
Airbnb is another very common option and preferable for longer stays.
Besides the above mentioned capsule hotels, hostels are the cheapest alternative. Especially if you are willing to share a room with others.
Many universities in Asia have cheap rooms for their students and exchange students. Make sure to know the rules. Usually guests and alcohol are not allowed and sometimes you have to be back before 11 pm. So, while it is cheap, it is not suitable for party animals.
Similar to Warm Showers, Couchsurfing is another app that offers rooms for free around a closely knit community of travelers.