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Travel diaries: The cities where you can find luxury, for less

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Istanbul, Bangkok, and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam have been identified as some of the international destinations where travellers can sleep like a king, on a pauper’s budget.

After crunching the numbers from 2016, online booking site Hotels.com has come up with a list of the destinations where travelers can find luxury for less. That is, stay in five-star hotels for $150 (approx Rs 10,000) or less.

Charles Bridge (Karluv Most) and Old Town Tower, the most beautiful bridge in Prague, Czech Republic. (Shutterstock)

A scan of the top 10 cities shows that Asia, Latin America and Europe offer the most affordable luxury accommodations, with a five-star experience available in Istanbul for just $124 (Rs 8,000) a night.

By contrast, Reykjavik topped the list of most expensive five-star hotels, with nightly rates averaging $572 (Rs 37,000) a night. For that price, travellers can book four nights at a five-star hotel in Bangkok or Istanbul.

Travellers willing to lower their standard of luxury to the four-star level, meanwhile, open up their options to 30 cities, including Las Vegas, Beijing, Berlin, Madrid, Phuket, Prague, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Dubai and Melbourne.

Bangkok skyline at night.

It’s worth noting, however, that the star system can be a rather arbitrary one, as each country sets its own standard.

That means that travellers should be wary of holding all hotels to the standards they may be used to back home. To avoid disappointment and surprise, experts at Hotels.com recommend reading guest reviews to get a better idea of what you’ll be paying for. Likewise, if value is more important than location, consider looking for a five-star hotel further afield from major city centres.

Experts at Hotels.com also point out that hotels with guest ratings that are higher than their star ratings are likely to be trusted as a super value stay. Here are the cities where US travellers paid the lowest average room rate for a five-star hotel in 2016:

Istanbul, Turkey, $124 (Rs 8,000)

Bangkok, Thailand, $142 (Rs 9,000 approx)

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, $150 (Rs 10,000 approx)

Bogota, Colombia, $163 (Rs 10,000 approx)

Berlin, Germany, $169 (Rs 11,000 approx)

Panama City, Panama, $175 (Rs 11,000 approx)

Beijing, China, $180 (Rs 11,500 approx)

Prague, Czech Republic, $184 (Rs 12,000 approx)

Melbourne, Australia, $184 (Rs 12,000 approx)

Frankfurt, Germany, $191 (Rs 12,000 approx)


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