International TravelThings You Should Know


Park-Hyatt-Siem-Reap-P047-Swing-Tables.adapt.16x9.1280.720 (1)

In the course of mapping out our Spring 2019 trip to Southeast Asia, I have been shopping hotels.  I like to start at the top of the heap and see if I can make 5-star hotels work within our somewhat-set budget.  Rather, what can I get at these desirable venues and not have the hubby look at me like I’ve lost my mind.  We don’t skimp, mind you, but there are limits.  Hence, the advance shopping is endless and sometimes I change the bookings as the dates get closer.


Hong Kong/Taipai/Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City/Siem Reap/Phnom Penh/Singapore/Kuala Lumpur

What I’ve found so far is just astonishing.  With few exceptions (the Aman resorts are $$$$$ regardless of destination), every high-end hotel is a fraction of the cost in these locations that the same chains charge in other major cities.  That means Mandarin Oriental, Rosewood, Peninsula, Park Hyatt, St. Regis, Four Seasons — you name it — charge rates that are basically one-third the cost in many of their other destinations, with some exceptions.  Hong Kong is pricier, but certainly less than comparable accommodations in New York or Paris.

Park Hyatt, Siem Reap

You know why (in my humble opinion)?  It’s the only way they can get tourists to endure the weather!  Get it?  The oppressive heat and humidity almost year-round in these places is a deal-breaker for many. The promise of hotel nirvana is the best way to drive traffic to the area.  Could it be that labor costs are much less in these destinations, thus they can charge lower rates and still make a profit?  Not likely the reason since when are hotels in the “benevolence” business?  That’s a nice thought, but certainly a stretch.   In the scheme of things, this trip is looking downright “reasonable.”  If they could just do something about that humidity …


  • Hi Teri,
    Headed to Australia and New Zealand Jan/Feb. 2019. Cruising with Silversea – “the Muse” for 15 days. Have you traveled to New Zealand? We are starting with 4 nights in Adelaide to get our proper Australian wine orientation before departing on the cruise from Sydney.

    • Yes, but pre-blog (2010)! Both islands — Auckland, Taupo, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown. Extradordinary.

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