Chapter 7 contents
How much is a room?
Official resthouses
Cottages, villas and apartments
Homestays, riads and unusual overnights
Accommodation terms
Safari lodges and tented camps
Wild camping
Hosted camping
Staying with people and couchsurfing

A budget hotel checklist

Some tips for choosing a cheap hotel – and worth bearing in mind for more expensive places, too:

Think about noise If a hotel’s bar is noisy in the afternoon, it will be cacophonous at night, so ask for a room away from the source of the din.

Check the security Don’t be afraid to turn down a place if you don’t likethe feel of it. It’s generally not a good idea to leave your door key with the management (certainly not if you think the reception will ever be unstaffed). If your door locks by padlock, use your own padlock to double-lock it, and check the fixture on the door and door frame.

Inspect the plumbing If you don’t like the sight, or odour, of your bathroom, ask for another room (non-ensuite rooms are always cheaper and the shared bathrooms may be cleaner). Ensure you have either running water or a guaranteed supply delivered to your room whenever you want. If you’re in a highland region or it’s the cool season, a bucket of hot water is usually offered to supplement the cold water supply – but you may have to ask.

If there’s a fan or air conditioner, check it works. Don’t pay a supplement if there’s no electricity to justify it. If it’s only on for half your stay, you should claim a fifty percent discount on the supplement.

Check the electrics Cheap electric showers are often badly wired and can be very dangerous.

In malarial regions, ensure the mosquito nets are secure Avoid rooms with screened windows and no nets: you will be bitten.

This page last edited 9 June 2011 © Richard Trillo and Emma Gregg

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