As a longtime travel writer with a focus on luxury hotels, Insider’s Alesandra Dubin had the opportunity to stay in some of the world’s most lavish five-star properties.
[The author at a luxury hotel. Alesandra Dubin]
Naturally, these places are very expensive, with entry-level price points beginning well above $1,000 per night.
But when I’m not traveling for work, I do try to stick to a budget. It can be hard to do that and maintain a high sense of luxury. But it’s not impossible.
Fortunately, I’ve learned that spending major cash isn’t always necessary to experience the world’s most gracious hotels. I rounded up these properties, which all have attractive guest accommodations, amenities, and grounds that rival the more expensive places I’ve visited.
Editor’s note: Any costs referenced in this article are accurate as of April 12, 2023. Readers are encouraged to check these prices as they may have changed since.
SYNA Heritage Hotel in Khajuraho, India, starts at a mere $35 a night, and has lush grounds and a large swimming pool.
[The hotel has 28 rooms and suites. SYNA Heritage Hotel, Khajuraho]
This luxurious hotel in Khajuraho, India, has 28 intimate rooms and suites that overlook manicured gardens. Heritage architecture lends a charming, historic vibe made grander alongside a large swimming pool and an on-site restaurant for all-day dining.
Even the cheapest, most basic rooms here come with views of the expansive gardens, while more deluxe rooms and suites include thick-pile carpets and carved furnishings, according to the hotel’s website.
From just $56 per night, check into a Mansion at Bali in Ubud, Bali, set on a lush jungle estate with five pools.
[The property has five pools. The Mansion Bali]
Ubud is the heart of Bali’s artist region and one of my favorite destinations I’ve been to thanks to the stunning jungle landscapes, a laid-back vibe, and great vegetarian food.
The property has 155 accommodations, according to its website, from deluxe rooms to penthouse suites. Even the cheapest rooms are set within peaceful courtyards dotted throughout the property’s gardens.
Plan an island escape at Sandalwood Luxury Villas on Koh Samui in Thailand, from $64. The 14 villas come with balconies positioned around nine private infinity pools.
[A view of Chaweng Beach. Shutterstock/ Alex KV]
Savor panoramic views of the Gulf of Siam from this luxurious yet budget-friendly boutique hotel on the island of Koh Samui in Thailand.
Located between the popular Chaweng Beach and Lamai Beach, the hotel has 14 spacious villas with balconies that are positioned around nine private infinity pools.
According to the hotel, each villa has Thai design details like intricate carved wood, panoramic ocean views, and ranges in size up to three bedrooms. Some come with amenities like outdoor soaking tubs in addition to pools, and all are linked by landscaped gardens and stone pathways.
Located on the scenic Philippine shores of north Bohol, The Bellevue Resort is a sustainable beachfront hotel that includes luxury starting at $86.
[The resort has a spa, fitness center, and kids’ play area. Shutterstock/MDV Edwards]
Located on the tranquil Philippine shores of north Bohol, this Panglao Island resort is affordable, and also sustainable.
The hotel is a two-time ASEAN Green Hotel awardee, meaning it adheres to minimum standards for a wide range of environmental criteria including water and waste management, collaboration with the community, human resource development, and more.
Additionally, guest rooms and suites have a sleek, architectural look with enormous windows and dark woods in clean lines, as seen on the website.