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First time in Thailand - thinking of booking IBH

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Manchester England
posts: 200
reviews: 4
First time in Thailand - thinking of booking IBH

Hi there,

We are looking to book the Imperial Boat House for 2 weeks around feb or beginning of March 2013. This will be our first visit to Thailand and for the past several years have always gone all inclusive when we go on holiday. Could anyone please advise how much we would need to bring for two of us for food and drink (I know this can only be a rough estimate but an indication of how much other people survive on would be really helpful) Also what would the average cost of an evening meal in the hotel be - just for comparison. I know we will probably eat out - but having stayed all inclusive for so many years I'm getting really nervous at the thought of not having paid for everything in advance - It's such a comfort blanket :0)

We will be travelling from Manchester - so it looks like a three plane journey. Has anyone any experience of travelling to Koh Samui this way - I think it will be via the middle east then Bankok if we book it. Any help in making our mind up would be much appreciated.

Many thanks

Destination Expert
for Livigno, Lombardy
posts: 39,242
reviews: 139
1. Re: First time in Thailand - thinking of booking IBH

The best prices are usually the Middle Eastern airlines like Emirates, Qatar and Etihad, which is actually not bad because you get to stretch your legs half way through the journey.

To give you an idea of prices a starter like spring rolls or satay cost between 60/120baht depending on the restaurant and Thai curry or Pad Thai is about 90/110 baht .The fresh seafish that's on display at the restaurant entrance depends on the weight of the fish but they will tell you the cost when you choose it and they usually have offers for the different fish so check out the blackboards as you can get some great deals.

Wine is expensive, the cheapest we found for house wine was 690 baht for the bottle but it's usually around 800/900 baht in most restaurants. A glass costs around 150/180baht but we did find places cheaper 100/120 baht. a large beer is around 90 baht. The best price

Don't eat in the hotel, it will cost a lot more than the restaurants outside. Because you are used to all inclusives I think you would be better to look at hotels in South Chaweng, this is the quietest part of Chaweng and is where the best beach is located and there's a great selection of restaurants within walking distance, have a look at the Centara if you prefer a larger resort and Poppies if you like a boutique style hotel they're practically next door to each other but 2 different options.

The IBH is a lovely hotel but extras will be very expensive and there's not a lot of options directly outside the hotel.

Destination Expert
for Livigno, Lombardy
posts: 39,242
reviews: 139
2. Re: First time in Thailand - thinking of booking IBH

Just to add that I expect you've already checked out the Thai baht exchange rate to the pound but if you haven't 100 baht is just a bit more than 2 pounds.

Plymouth, United...
posts: 447
reviews: 70
3. Re: First time in Thailand - thinking of booking IBH

We stayed at the Boathouse about 7 years ago - it was my first trip (and first plane journey!) outside of Europe. We liked it so much at this hotel that we returned the following year. For your meals it is better and cheaper to eat outside of the hotel. There are lots of restaurants to choose from along the beach. There is also a 7/11 within walking distance for snacks etc.

Everything was very cheap when we visited from clothes to food. Back then we were celebrating our late honeymoon and so we took £2000 spending money but spent about £800 in 2 weeks (3 days in Bangkok also)-we did not hold back mind you and went on all the tours and ate out all the time and bought loads of clothes-we lived like kings! The only thing that we found quite pricey were taxis and cocktails. In 7 years im sure alot has changed on Koh Samui and i see that the Thai Baht exchange rate has dropped significantly in the last few years so i wouldnt be able to say how much spending money you would need for your trip but im sure that the other TA's will be able to help?

posts: 423
reviews: 16
4. Re: First time in Thailand - thinking of booking IBH

Chrella is mostly correct but I do disagree that theres 'not a lot of options directly ouside the hotel'. If its noisy nightlife , yes Chaweng is the place, but for a laid back, quiet and relaxed time Choeng Mon is the place.

There are numerous restaurants a few minutes walking time from the IBH both beachside and roadside with a wide range of menu. Choeng Mon also offers a beautiful sandy beach, clear water for swimming and easy access (10/15 mins by taxi) to Chaweng and Fishermans/Bophut.

I've stayed at IBH, its a good hotel. Its a great location and an excellent base from which to explore KS

I'm doing the Emirates run from Manchester again next week. No one flight seems that long, the break in Dubai is just right. Try to extend your break to include a couple of days in BKK then, for 1 direction at least, its only 2 flights!

Moneywise, depends on your needs but unless you choose to eat 'up market' or in hotels, and allowing for shopping and trips I'd expect you to struggle to spend £100 per day.

Norfolk, England
Destination Expert
for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Batu Ferringhi, Chaweng, Ko Samui
posts: 28,775
reviews: 174
5. Re: First time in Thailand - thinking of booking IBH


You could also look into flying via Kuala Lumpur, and then Bangkok airways onto Samui.

We normally allow around £50 to 100 a day for everything excluding breakfast and accomodation, and perhaps car hire. We don't find things that cheap compared to home. Food is cheap, and if you go to the bars you can get some nice cheap cocktails. Wine is expensive.

We don't eat at the hotels, whilst you have less choice of bars and restaurants near the IBH if you want more choice you can always get a songthew to either Bophut or Chaweng.

Etihad are offering some cracking deals at the moment. . . check out netflights.com or skyscanner.net

have fun!

posts: 76
6. Re: First time in Thailand - thinking of booking IBH

Hi Travellingmit, We also are going from Manchester and yes 3 flights in Feb can't wait, it will be worth the long hours travelling when we get here, might see you there.

New Delhi, India
posts: 15
reviews: 17
7. Re: First time in Thailand - thinking of booking IBH

There are a number of acceptable restaurants within easy walking distance of the IBH, some of them on the beach. We like Krystal, on the beach one minute away (turn left from beachfront). It has fresh seafood, tables on the sand, as good as it gets at one third the price of the IBH restaurants.

I recommend the IBH , a really good hotel, beautifully located, well kept, good staff.

posts: 58
reviews: 11
8. Re: First time in Thailand - thinking of booking IBH

Hi , we recently returned from the IBH. It is a great hotel, I can recommend it. We had breakfast included then ate elsewhere for lunch and dinner. For my husband and I and our four kids we would spend roughly $30 AUD, I think thats around 20 pounds when we went out for a meal. All of us with just a main meal (Thai food) and drinks, hubby and I would have one or two beers each. Food is cheap and the local restaurants are an easy, short walk from the hotel. The IBH is in a really quiet area, nice beach, a couple of shops, and restaurants. We spent 5 nights in Chaweng then 5 nights here, I enjoyed it but do like the bustle and convenience of staying in Chaweng too so to split it up was ideal. We visitied Bohput (Fishermans Village) and really liked that area too, beach didn't look as good though. I wouldn't stress too much about not having all inclusive if I was you, you eat great food cheaply. We worked out we spent less money by being on holiday than we would have staying home and buying groceries at the supermarket (then cooking and cleaning myself!) Good luck with your planning, wish I was going back.

Manchester England
posts: 200
reviews: 4
9. Re: First time in Thailand - thinking of booking IBH

Thanks everyone for all you help - will deffo be goin to the IBH now

Tongson bay, koh...
Destination Expert
for Ko Samui
posts: 1,575
reviews: 50
10. Re: First time in Thailand - thinking of booking IBH

hi there

firstly boat house will be fine but there are many private villas/bed and breakfasts available

which may work out cheaper /and for sure more private with personal service and advise

ive found going inclusive to hotels isnt always the best especially if booked from overseas

personally i wouldn't bother with inclusive meals as food is very cheap compared to Uk if you ate at top restaurants on samui you would find the prices comparable to UK

if you want to try great thai food at thai restaurants then it will be much much cheaper

my wife and i eat at local thai restaurants and spend maximum 500 baht between us

some places we pay 100 baht for 2 main dishes[thats 2 pounds ]

there are many fantastic thai restaurants on samui which are cheap and great

if however you need english food then you will be paying a lot more

choeng mon is a great area [away from noisy chaweng ]

wine will kill your pocket but beer and cocktails wont

you could try going via singapore [miss out bangkok]

maybe there are flights diract to Singapore from UK,if not then probably going to be 3 flights

hope this helps

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