by Harriet Bond
(San Francisco, CA, USA)
HAT YAI Louise Guesthouse
21–23 Thamnoonvitti Rd 90110 Tel 0-7422-0966 Rooms 22
Backpackers love this simple guesthouse, definitely the best deal in town. Staff is warm and friendly and can give reliable travel advice that is essential in this region. The hotel is close to transport connections and the bustling eating and shopping scene. While rooms may be spartan, they are well maintained and clean.
HAT YAI Regency Hotel
23 Prachatipat Rd 90220 Tel 0-7435-3333–47 Fax 0-7423-4102 Rooms 436
A decent mid-range choice in downtown Hat Yai. There are two wings – the Regent and the fancier Royal with 28 floors and over 400 rooms. The great location and right pricing make up for the slightly laid-back attitude of the staff. Skip the over-priced restaurants. www.theregencyhatyai.com
HAT YAI Novotel Centara
3 Sanehanusorn Rd 90110 Tel 0-7435-2222 Fax 0-7435-2223 Rooms 245
Aimed at business travelers, Novotel Centara in the center of Hat Yai is very comfortable, with well-appointed rooms with Internet. Guests can also rent DVDs from the hotel’s collection. It is a rather stylish establishment with good restaurants, bars, and a fantastic rooftop swimming pool. www.centralhotelsresorts.com
NARATHIWAT Ao Manao Resort
171/2 Tambon Kalong Nuea, Ao Manao 96000 Tel 0 7351 3640 Rooms 28
Ao Manao or Lime Bay has a nice beach a few miles outside of Narathiwat. Earlier, this collection of decent bungalows within a walled compound used to be lively, but today there are few visitors. Still, it is fun to wander around the largely deserted beach and mix with the fisherfolk.
NARATHIWAT Imperial Narathiwat
228 Pichitbumrung Rd 96000 Tel 0-7351 5041–50 Fax 0-7351 5040 Rooms 117
Part of the upscale Thai Imperial Hotels group, this property caters mainly to visiting businessmen and politicians. It is located in the city center and although, it is quite cheap, because of strained political conditions in the area which have reduced tourist footfall, the facilities are as per international standards. www.imperialhotels.com
PATTANI My Gardens Hotel
8/28 Charoenpradit Rd 94000 Tel 0-7333-1055–8 Rooms 135
Located near the clock tower with several good restaurants in the vicinity and close to the long-distance bus station, this hotel has clean rooms, safe premises, and is quite reasonably priced. The restaurant serves quality food. However, this establishment lacks the gardens after which it is named.
PATTANI CS Pattani
299 Moo 4, Nong Jik Rd 94000 Tel 0-7333-5093 Fax 0-7333-1620 Rooms 125
Pattani’s prestigious address for visiting dignitaries is located a little outside of town. There are eight floors of modern convenience and comfort along with two pools, good restaurants, and friendly, well-trained staff who love to practice their English. The culinary specialty is birds’ nest soup.
SONGKHLA Rajamangala Pavilion Beach Resort
1 Ratchadamnoen Nok Rd 90000 Tel 0-7448-7222 Fax 0-7448-7353 Rooms 34
Located on Ao Samila, a short drive outside downtown Songkhla, this tastefully appointed two-story resort hotel is not to be confused with the Pavilion Hotel which is not as nice. All the rooms have views of the Gulf of Thailand from their private balconies. www.pavilionhotels.com/rajaman