The most visited parts of the country (meaning Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, and Ko Samui) offer the widest choice of accommodation. These include rental apartments and villast through such multinational organizations as HomeAway.com, AirBnb.com, and FlipKey.com. As in other parts of the world, these offerings can be real money savers, especially for groups. But do check for fees (including cleaning fees) before booking, as those extras can add up.
Five-star hotels and resorts spare no detail for the business or leisure traveler, providing designer toiletries, plush robes, in-room DVD or CD players, Jacuzzis, and Wi-Fi, plus many other creature comforts. At the other end of the scale, Thailand is famous for its good-value guesthouses; while they may lack fancy facilities, they do offer a friendly welcome and a comfy bed at rock-bottom prices. All expensive and some moderately priced hotels add a 10% service charge, plus 7% value-added tax (VAT), which can obviously make quite a difference, so check whether your chosen hotel adds them on. Air-conditioning is standard in most top-end and midrange hotels, while fans are the norm in most guesthouses. In some cases, such as in the north from November to February, A/C is not a necessity.
Accommodation categories in this guide are calculated according to rack rates in high season, though keep in mind that prices may fall as much as 50% between March and October, especially on the beach. Categories also refer to the majority of rooms, so if a hotel has a few rooms for 5,000B but most are over 10,000B, it will fall into the "expensive" category.