A Room For A Night
A Room For The Night
I was swapping emails with a friend recently and he sent me a copy he has written for Stick’s site advising new visitors to LOS about girl-friendly hotels. This has reminded me of several incidents I have had before coming up with, what seems to be, a way of avoiding extra hotel expenses. It is not for first timers as you need to have Thai ladies already lined up, but does work. Anyway, the point of this piece is to recall some of the earlier times when I was still trying to know the place.
Like all first timers I did not know about the Thai policy of getting as much baht as possible from tourists, and found this to be especially in the hotel industry. The first hotel I ever stayed in was Jade Pavilion just off Sukhumvit. (O.K. I am sure regular visitors had a good laugh at that, but you have to start somewhere!) Naturally I took in parts of the naughty nightlife scene and eventually took a lady back to the hotel. As soon as we entered the lobby the receptionist’s eyes lit up. The receipt book was produced as if by magic and I was told “400 baht for lady sir.” I looked at the lady and she did not bat an eyelid so I presumed (rightly) this was the way things were done in BKK. Round 1 to them, but a good lesson learnt.
From BKK I went down to Pattaya, as one does, and booked in to a hotel on Beach Road. Not wanting to get caught unexpectedly again, and watching the budget as I had to in those days, I asked how much to bring a lady back. “No charge for lady” I was told so, when I went looking that night, I was looking for long time sure-sure!! I figured this to be a draw as both the hotel and I were happy.
The next time I went to LOS as a tourist was about 2 years later. I had visited in between but stayed with a family up north! In BKK I had 2 ladies visit me, by appointment from and escort agency number I found in the Post. They both looked the part and just came up to my room without being challenged by security. Another win for me. In Samui and Phuket, however, they were having none of it. Even when I pointed out I had already paid a single supplement, effectively paying for 2 people to use the room, they just smiled and said that was for the tour company and did not go to the hotel. So any lady I took back to either hotel cost me 800 baht a night. Definitely 2 – 0 to Thai hotels! I should point out the hotels I stayed at were booked in England as part of a package in order for me to take advantage of a special offer allowing me to get an open return Business Class flight to BKK for only ฃ750 (about half price at the time) if I booked hotel accommodation for 3 weeks.
So now I could choose my own hotels and booked a room for 2 at the A-One hotel in Pattaya. On arrival the receptionist told me the 2 people should book in together. I said my ‘wife’ was visiting her family and would join me later. He asked for her name ‘for the register’ so I told him ‘Noi’. I said I could not pronounce her family name, and as chance would have it I did have a piece of paper in my pocket, from a lady I had met in Phuket, with her name and phone number. The family name was 18 letters long, I remember counting them once, and the reception guy just took one look and shrugged. I was, though, booked in as 2 people. When I eventually returned with a lady about 2am the security guard by the lift directed me to the front desk. I had already told the lady to say her name was Noi if asked, but nobody did. I was, rather reluctantly on their part, allowed to go up to our room. Next morning a different lady on the front desk immediately grabbed up the receipt book when she saw us enter the lobby. I did not say anything and made various ‘touristy’ enquiries from another member of staff. I could see the receptionist was itching to get some money from me, but without saying a word to me and scowling after looking at the computer screen, she did not pursue the matter. Next night same thing happened with the guard and again we were waved through by the front desk. On the third night the guard did not say anything, just nodded in recognition, and from then on we were not challenged at all. A definite big win for me saving me around 6000 baht over the length of our stay.
I then stayed in LOS for a year and found that, in most cases, when my then girlfriend and I turned up at a hotel together there was never any question of having to pay extra. The only problem we had was at the Asia hotel in BKK when one of the security people, a lady trainee, challenged my girlfriend’s right to go upstairs with me. The lady tried to insist we went to the reception desk, but I was having none of it and more or less closed the lift doors on her. This was about 2:30 in the afternoon and we had only returned to the hotel to drop some things off. Not normally a bonking hour I would have thought!! Luckily I had my girlfriend sign the registration card as well so there was evidence we had arrived together as a couple. When we went back downstairs again the lady guard walked with us speaking in Thai to my girlfriend. I was prepared to get angry, but nothing was said to me. I asked my girlfriend what all that was about and apparently the guard was apologising. As a trainee she had been told to watch out for farangs trying to sneak ladies into the hotel without paying. As she had the grace to apologise I felt this was an honourable draw.
I had to go back to the U.K. and did not return to LOS for nearly 2 years. By now I had become used to the ways of Thai hoteliers and did not encounter any problems at all. The next series of adventures of getting a lady into the room for the night occurred on a later visit.
As part of another deal in U.K. I spent 5 nights in BKK at the Asia hotel again. I knew if I took a lady back it would cost me 500 baht but was quite happy to do so as I had saved quite a bit of money booking my air ticket and hotel combined. I could also stay up to 3 months in LOS on the same ticket.
I met a lady in Thermae who is part Japanese part Thai. She has just enough of a Japanese look about her for her to stand out from the usual Thai ladies. When we arrived at the Asia there was a young guy just in front of us taking a lady in and he was a little confused about having to pay for her. While we were waiting my friend struck up a conversation in Thai with the duty manager and after a couple of minutes waiting for the guy in front to sort himself out the manager waved my friend and me through. He must have signalled to the lift guards as they did not challenge us in any way. In the room Nip, not her real name, said she had been talking about the Japanese restaurant they have at the Asia and how she and her father had enjoyed various meals there. She had obviously sewn just enough doubt in the guy’s mind to think she may have been a tourist herself which is why he had let us through without paying the ‘fine’.
Next morning, Nip wanted to go back to her room to take care of her mother and we agreed she would return to the hotel at 7pm when we would go out for the evening. I spent the day doing touristy things and when I returned to the hotel fell asleep. I was woken by the phone ringing and was horrified to see it was 7 o’clock already. Nip was on the line sounding quite angry and saying I had to go downstairs as the guard would not let her in the lift. She had told them she did not speak English. Having just woken up I must have looked somewhat scruffy and obviously was in need of a shower and shave. On going downstairs I had Nip ranting on in angry Japanese and a Thai security lady trying to explain Nip was not allowed upstairs because she was not a guest. I made soothing noises to Nip, in what I hoped sounded pigeon Japanese, and told the guard I would go to the front desk. The duty manage, not the same as the night before, trotted out the party line about having to pay 500 baht for unregistered guests. I looked suitably sorry and harassed, not difficult with Nip still doing her thing in the background, and apologised saying it was my fault for falling asleep and not being ready. I did say I thought it a bit steep they were asking me to pay 500 baht just for Nip to come to the room while I showered. I also pointed out the reason Nip was angry was because she did not want to wait alone in the lobby in case some of the male guest thought she was a hooker and tried to pick her up. (Not bad for spur of the moment thinking!) The manager then changed his attitude, people were beginning to look as Nip continued her tirade, and it was now he who was doing the apologising. The outcome of the whole episode was I did not have to pay the 500 baht, Nip was put on the register as a guest so we would not be challenged by any more security staff and we were given a voucher for a free meal for 2 including drinks. Definitely a win for me!!
All of my experiences with hotels since then, when I have returned to LOS, have been positive. I have a regular Thai lady, we have been together for over 3 years now, and of course we never have any trouble because we not only arrive together but we also look a couple with our body language. I am allowed dalliances in BKK as there are certain things she will not do. As long as I am discrete and keep it away from the family village and nearby towns she is o.k.
The first time I stayed in BKK during our relationship I had booked an air/hotel combination to take advantage of an offer at the Landmark hotel in BKK. If I stayed for 7 days I would get an automatic upgrade to a Junior Suite. When I arrived I was told all the junior suites were full or being redecorated and I had been given a further upgrade to a full suite. Believe me, the suites at the Landmark are really nice. I enquired at the front desk if there was a ‘fine’ for bringing ladies back and was told 500 baht a night. Not bad for the class of hotel. It just so happened I bumped into Nip again the first night and we teamed upstraight away. When we arrived at the hotel the night manager asked for my room number, glanced at his computer and wished us a good evening. This continued throughout my stay no matter who I took back. I did ask Nip to make a quiet enquiry as to why and, apparently, if you have a suite at the Landmark you don’t pay for having guests. As the rack rate is around 12000 baht a night I am not surprised. I did very quickly point out to all the ladies I took back, about 4 in total, I was not paying rack rate and how I came to be in a suite. All were suitably impressed, especially with having 2 televisions!
The next time I was in BKK alone I stayed at the Bel Aire Princess. I had again booked the hotel as part of a package deal and had included my girlfriend in the booking as we planned to visit BKK during my stay. Unfortunately we had a massive argument, since resolved, and she was not with me. As I had paid for 2 people, as against paying the same price to include a single supplement, the management were quite happy for me to take a lady back at no extra cost. They even let me take 2 back one night, I think because I had asked first if I could and not just turned up. They did say, however, if I wanted 2 ladies again there would be a charge, which I thought was fair enough.
The last time I stayed in BKK, on an overnight stop on my way back to U.K., I arranged to meet 2 ladies I have now known for 6 months and the 3 of us get on very well together. I booked a suite at the Zenith, and made it clear in my booking there would be 3 of us. Again a question was asked when I arrived alone, but I explained we were all meeting up later. As long as everybody made themselves known to the front desk I was assured there would be no problem. So when I met lady A we went to the hotel for a couple of hours and she checked in. Then we went out and met up with lady B and we checked her in as well. Throughout our stay we were always greeted with smiles and courtesy, not to mention a few knowing nods and winks to me!! The icing on the cake for me was when we went down to breakfast there was a party of about 12 German couples on their equivalent of a Saga holiday. (For non Brits that is a holiday company that specialise in holidays for the over 50s, but not the type of holiday independent readers of Stick go on!!) The looks of envy from the men, sitting next to their blue rinse wives, alone made the cost of the room worthwhile. (The girls had already done that more than once!!) There I was being waited on hand and foot by 2 beautiful Thai ladies. They would not let me get anything. Orange Juice, coffee, toast. My desire was there wish to make me a very happy man.
So newcomers to the Kingdom, if you book through a local (to you) travel agent check out the hotel online and see if they are girl-friendly. The general rule of thumb is most BKK hotels will charge you if you do not book for a double room before you arrive, and some will even charge you then if you and the lady do not arrive together, unless you have a reasonable cover story. She is visiting family up north is probably as good as any. If you are upfront with the hotel at the time of booking then you should be o.k. Hotels around Nana and Cowboy are more likely to be girl-friendly than the more upmarket ones. In Pattaya the general rule of thumb is the more you pay for the room the more chance there is of the hotel not wanting you to take a lady back. There are so many reasonably priced and clean hotels in Pattaya you should have no problems at all. If you book a package to Pattaya from your home town then the hotels the tour companies use will almost certainly want you to pay for a ‘guest’, even is you have already paid a single supplement.
The majority of people in Thailand are only too pleased you are there on holiday and parting with your cash to them. Naturally they want to make money, but equally they know you are there to enjoy yourself whether as a family or a single traveller. Be straight with them and most, though of course not all, Thais will help to make sure you have a good and memorable holiday.
Thoughts to follow.