The convenience of the Thong Ta Resort cannot be underestimated. Being literally a stone throw away from the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, it makes the perfect transit resort to spend a night or two in the fine confines of a neat and tidy accommodation at a budget price.
Thong Ta Resort, Bangkok, Thailand
The Shuttle Bus
Getting to the resort from the Suvarnabhumi Airport is as simple as riding a bike. Once you make your way out of customs, make your way to gate 3 to 4, and in-between you will see bunch of guys carrying signs to certain hotels. Find the sign that says Thong Ta Resort and in a moment, you are in a shuttle bus and five-minutes later you are at the resort.
Even better, upon your return to the airport, the same shuttle bus will return you to the airport free of charge, it is as simple as that. The buses leave the resort every half hour throughout the day or night.
Take a convenient shuttle bus to Thong Ta Resort.
The Thong Ta Resort has the basic facilities but at the price you could let it pass for luxury. It is surrounded with lovely gardens, decorated artwork throughout the grounds of the resort, a neat restaurant which serves daily breakfast, a spa centre and a souvenir store to buy that little piece of Thailand.
Great artwork at the resort.
Thong Ta Restaurant.
Thee rooms are spacious; the beds are comfortable and each room comes with a balcony to peek at what’s around you (sorry no big city views). Whether you are after a single, double or triple room, you will find whatever you are after for any number of travellers. If you do need an extra room, at least it won’t break the bank.
Inside the room, is tea and coffee amenities, air conditioner, television with about a hundred cable channels, a private bathroom, slippers and dressing gown to rug up in the evening and even a quick and easy room service, with a decent menu. It is hard to believe these rooms are only around thirty bucks a night.
The spacious rooms
Around the Resort
Even though the resort is still a little way from the action of the city, there is still plenty of life going on around the resort. There is an abundance of food stalls, drinking bars and restaurants in the area, as well as massage parlours and market stalls in the area, so you can still rush around and grab your souvenir of Thailand.
Even if you do want to make it to the heart ofBangkok, and time allows it, grab a city tour through the resort and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the big city lights.
Hairdresser’s in the markets, close to the resort.
More great street artwork in the Suvarnabhumi of Bangkok.
It is the perfect transit resort, simple as that, and even if you are seeking a few nights stay in Bangkok, you won’t go wrong at the Thong Ta Resort. It is clean, convenient and most of all, a very affordable resort.
Bali – a holiday destination so unbelievable that choosing an ideal location, while fun can also be a little stressful. Questions fly through your head, is that resort right for me? Is the dining ideal? What is the customer service like? Or is the resort in an ideal location?
So many questions and so many reviews to look at. Some people give rave reviews, others such negative reviews and on the very same resort. That wonderful app of TripAdvisor where everyone’s point of view is different. There is no right and wrong answer, it is just the way people think. Opinions differentiate.
Talking about point of views, how about I throw in my two cents. I have been fortunate enough to stay in some magnificent resorts/villas throughout various countries, including Bali. And whether it is on the beach or in the beautiful rice fields, these four resorts or villas will make your Bali stay that much more enjoyable.
The Sakala Resort’s large swimming area.
The Sakala Resort
Where is it: In the Tanjung Benoa area of Bali and on the doorstep of Nusa Dua. The Sakala Resort is in a quieter part of Bali, that is famous for its adventure on Beach. The resort is only about twenty minutes from the Airport.
The features: The stunning Sakala Resort contains large rooms, fabulous dinning and swimming pools that are surrounded in tropical gardens with great pool bars to sip down a few cocktails in the Bali sun. The Wellness Spa is also incredible experience that needs your time. Relax, be pampered, and enjoy an incredible massage in gorgeous rooms. The Sakala is your 5-star resort and is worth the dollars you will spend during your stay.
Dining Experience: Two amazing restaurants that will have you licking your plate clean. One on the resort side where breakfast, lunch and dinner is served, with delicious local and International cuisines.
Then cross the road for a different dining experience altogether. The Sakala Restaurant not only has a fine-dining area, but a sparkling swimming pool, with deck chairs to enjoy the views of the nearby beach.
Fun in the sun at the Sakala Restaurant.
Alaya Resort Ubud
Where is it: Alaya Resort is smack bag in the middle of Ubud with plenty of action all around you ad only 200 metres from the Sacred Monkey Forest. The Alaya Resort is a good hour from the airport.
The features: Great dining, spacious rooms and the Dala Spas are the main treats at the breathtaking Alaya Resort. Not to forget the boutique swimming pools that is surrounded by gorgeous landscaped gardens and rice fields. It makes it easy to unwind and take in the nature that you are surrounded in.
Dining Experience: You will love the Alaya Resort dining experience with their pick of two tantalising restaurants. The Petani and Manisan. The Petani, is situated at the front of the resort and off the streets of Ubud, near the lobby. It has a lively vibe about it with some live entertainment during the evening and a menu that will have you spoilt for choices.
Then there is the Manisan. Tucked away in the middle of the lush rice fields, with the fabulous resort in full view. Serving divine Indonesian food, it is a great dining experience and even better with your loved one opposite to you.
Take the path to the Manisan Restaurant.
Where is it: Ellora Villas is situated in Sanur and close by to beautiful beaches. There is shopping, restaurants, and massage parlours all nearby. It is about 20 minutes from the airport or the popular Kuta area.
The features: The feature is own your very own villa with a private pool. Great for families, with the two bedroom villas and even single room villas for those who require a little less space. You will have a perfect time at Ellora Villas with its large rooms, bathrooms and even a private kitchen area by the pool.
Dining Experience: The Beach Café and Club is a small walk from the Villas and serves fine meals. The treat though is at breakfast time when you get your own personal chef to cook you up some excellent foods, such as waffles, eggs of your choice and pancakes to name a few. It is a five-star experience each and every day at Ellora.
Ellora Villas, Sanur.
Fun in the pool
Where is it: Alaya Jembawan is tucked away in Ubud. A short drive from its sister resort, Alaya. While hidden away from the busy Ubud streets, you will still find many activities and boutique market stalls to find on the streets nearby.
The features: It is a Wellness retreat for those looking for ultimate hideaway With only 38-rooms, you won’t get the large crowds that you get with some resorts. But you will get some rejuvenation for your body with the Dala Spa and daily yoga classes. Of course, there is the blissful swimming pools to occupy your time, be it in the water or sunbaking on the deck chairs.
Dining Experience: Healthy eating only at Alaya Jembawan, in the laid-back Herb Library Restaurant. Mainly a vegan menu but it does have its selected choices of white meat. At the end of the day, the food is all good for and their juices, incredible.
Welcome to the Sakala Resort, where every day is a luxury in the Tanjung Benoa area of Bali. The Sakala has you covered for an ideal resort stay, with spacious deluxe rooms, glamorous swimming pools and a dining experience that you will never forget. It’ll have you coming back for more.
It all takes place in Tanjung Benoa
Tanjung Benoa is a quieter part of Bali, but a haven for water sports lovers with a heap of activities happening on the nearby beach. During the day or evening, you can wander the streets and do a little shopping in the boutique market stalls and greet the cheerful locals, who are always keen for a chat.
The busy beach of Tanjung Benoa.
The streets of Tanjung Benoa.
A Perfect family getaway
At the Sakala Resort, there is a strong emphasis on families and it’s a message the resort are keen to get out there for anyone wishing a luxury experience in Bali. Activities aren’t short lived at the resort, and with the large swimming pools and an amazing all-day kids club, the little ones are bound to have a ball.
Fun, sun, pools and relaxation. It’s perfect for families.
It all starts in the lobby
With any hotel in the world, the lobby is the first place you see. At the Sakala you are swept away at first sight. The large lobby area comes with the usual check in services, a boutique bar, lounge and stunning water features. Immediately you know you have arrived in paradise.
Don’t forget to pause for a moment to take in the view of the Sakala Restaurant and gorgeous Tanjung Benoa beach. You won’t miss it.
The view from the Lobby.
Enjoy the space in the Luxury Rooms with Pool views
If you seek freedom, space, privacy and breathtaking views, then the Sakala Resort has you covered. It has all the amenities you need in the Deluxe Rooms and Suites. Kitchenette, wine coolers, cable television, real coffee maker (none of that instant stuff) and a balcony to admire the views of swimming pools and the lush green tropical bushlands.
The all-important question is, will you get a good night sleep? Absolutely, in the comfort of a soft king size bed. It makes for a great night sleep with your significant other, especially with a large bathtub in the next room.
Check out the Private Villas if you seek the more personal touch.
The spacious Deluxe Rooms.
View from the rooms.
Relax, swim and cocktails in the large open swimming pools
You are spoilt at the Sakala with amazing swimming pools. Take a pick of one of the two pools, either on the resort side and another across the street at the Sakala Restaurant. Take advantage of the multiple swim-up pool bars available and order a drink of choice from the friendly bartenders. If sunbaking is your ideal choice, then relax on the deckchairs with the beautiful tropical bush in the background.
The Sakala swimming pool.
The Resort’s large swimming area.
Pamper yourself at The Wellness Spa
Enter the Wellness Spa, down the flight of stairs and into pure bliss. The reception staff will give a cheerful welcome and a relaxing pre-massage drink.
Soon after, you wander into the amazing and boutique treatments suites. The interior design is nothing short of mesmerising. What follows is a pampering of highest standard by the professional masseuse. Chill, relax and listen to the quiet music, while taking in the healing massage of your choice.
– The Restaurant – Situated at the main resort area of level three, The Restaurant (and that’s its name) is a laid-back dining experience, with a choice of Indonesian or Western Cuisine. It opens early for a magnificent buffet breakfast, then be wowed for lunch or dinner with a great selection on the A-La-Carte menu.
Breakfast time at the Restaurant.
– The Sakala Restaurant – Across the street from the main resort area, close to the lobby, get ready to dine with beach views. In fact, at the Sakala, you could spend the whole day at the Sakala restaurant and it wouldn’t be wasted, with a swimming pool, pool bar and deck chairs to relax in the sun. All the while the Tanjung Benoa beach is nearby for a stroll on sands.
Also, keep an eye out for any cooking class activities available at the resort and say hi to head chef Nyoman (AKA superman), great guy and even better chef.
Inside the Sakala Restaurant.
Outside the Sakala Restaurant.
Fair Dinkum Traveller Review
It’s a five-star resort, with 5 star services and wonderful staff. I cherished my time at Sakala, with everything I experienced, from the dining, to a relaxing Balinese Massage and a comfortable king-size bed. Did I mention the swimming pool? It’s a great resort that ticks all the boxes necessary for a luxury vacation.
Boutique, refreshing and beautiful. They are the three words that best describe Alaya Jembawan. It’s not a big resort by any stretch, but it has much heart and what it lacks in size it makes for any many other ways.
It offers comfort and peace, that only a tranquil resort like Alaya Jembawan can offer. It offers relaxation by the calm flowing swimming pool and healthy only eating at the Herb Library Restaurant.
Built only in 2016 in Ubud, Bali. The resort has all the modern features you wish for and it will deliver a holiday full of promise, and that is to heal the mind and body. You’ll go back into the real world, all energised and ready to go.
The Wellness Retreat
It has been manufactured to be a wellness retreat. Relaxation, meditation and yoga. Go at your pace, is encouraged Alaya Jembawan and its easy to do in this laidback stylish resort. Sit back on the deck chairs by the pool, or sit in your balcony and take in the surrounds of Ubud.
The Dala Spa also offers peace and mind with a great selection of massages to choose from that will further rejuvenate the body. Then situated amongst the delicate tropical garden is the Yoga Pavilion, where you can participate in daily yoga classes or mediate amongst nature at your own pleasure.
37 rooms are what make up Alaya Jembawan. The perfect amount when you wish to escape the hustle and bustle of the real world and need a little quiet time in life. There are three different types of room to choose from, the Alaya Suite Rooms, Alaya Rooms and Deluxe Rooms.
The rooms come with the stunning Indonesian interior, same as the Alaya Resort (a bigger resort), that is situated nearby. Along with the modern features of King Size bed, cable television, mini bar, tea and coffee facilities and breathtaking views from the balcony or Terrace.
The Luxury rooms at Alaya.
The Duluxe Rooms.
A terrace of loking beautiful tropical gardens.
Swimming pool amongst the backdrop of tropical gardens
Amongst the stunning landscaped tropical garden of Alaya Jembawan, there are two fabulous swimming pools. Specifically designed for early morning exercise. Keeping with the resort’s wellness theme.
Don’t let guilt stop you from relaxing however, by chilling under the Bali sun in the deckchairs, under the shady umbrellas, located by the pool. A great excuse to get a little shut eye, or read a book amongst the backdrop of the well landscaped gardens.
Alaya Jembawan swimming pools.
Resting by the pool.
Dine a little differently at The Herb Library
Healthy choices, means healthy lifestyle. In the Herb Library restaurant, where the staff are decked out in green, eating healthy is your only option. The menu offers mainly vegan selected meals, with a few white meat choices to choose from. Please do yourself a favour and try some of their fresh juices, they are simply unbelievable.
Herb Library Restaurant.
These fresh juices are amazing.
Delicious healthy meals at the Herb Library.
Fair Dinkum Traveller’s Verdict
A wellness resort may not be everyone’s cup of tea and I get that. But if a little mediation, relaxation and healthy eating is what you seek in Bali, then look no further than Alaya Jembawan in Ubud. 8/10
Set amongst the serene tranquillity of the rice fields and on the doorstep to the Ubud town centre. Alaya Resort truly impresses in its pursuit to create a pleasant and cultural experience for the guest in this fine Balinese resort.
Great for families, perfect for lovers. Alaya Resort offers everything and much more for any holiday goer seeking that affordable luxury experience. Go on, take a read and see for yourself, why Alaya needs to be on the list whenever in Bali.
Welcome to Alaya Resort
Indonesian Culture is the theme
At Alaya Resort they are proud of their Indonesian/Balinese heritage and it shows throughout the design of the resort. Everywhere you look you’ll notice a strong Indonesian flavour to it.
Whether it is your own hotel room with a stunning interior touch, the staff in their thoughtfully designed outfits, or the restaurants by the lush green rice fields. You’ll be surrounded by a rich piece of Indonesian culture.
It may seem a little odd to talk of a resort’s proud Indonesian heritage within its own country, as it’s not always the case in a typical Balinese resort that goes the Western way. That was the point of difference the owners wanted to make when designing the Alaya resort, completed in the year 2013. If you are in Indonesia, then you should feel like you are in Indonesia.
Rice fields and the Joglo Pavilion. Popular spot for weddings.
The Bamboo Bar keeps to the Indonesian theme.
The staff rise to another level
The staff of Alaya take their customer service to a whole new level. The exceptional service provided at the resort will make your holiday that even more enjoyable, as the staff will do everything possible to make your stay comfortable.
Every request that you make is greeted with a friendly smile. And don’t think for one minute, that you will be able to walk by a staff member without them giving you a cheerful greeting in Indonesian or English.
The staff and their attitude is what I always look for when visiting any resort, and at Alaya Resort, I was not disappointed and neither will you.
Customer service is sublime at Alaya.
Relax by the boutique swimming pools
Take in the natural surrounds of the Alaya Swimming pools by sunbaking under the palm trees with the rice fields in foreground. Relax, swim and let nature take you the rest of the way as you unwind in comfort.
Read a book on the deckchairs, or order a cocktail from the Bamboo Bar nearby and relax in the sun. When the hot Bali humidity takes its toll on you, cool down with a refreshing swim in either of the resort’s two swimming pools.
The stunning swimming pools of Alaya Resort.
Relax or swim. The choice is yours.
Fine dine in Style
Pride and passion continues to the dining area at Alaya with two exceptional restaurants to get your taste buds chomping at the bit. The Petani and Manisan Restaurants couldn’t be more different than one another but they do share one common theme – The food is delicious.
Great food of Alaya.
– Petani –The Petani restaurant is situated by the lobby and it comes with a lively atmosphere. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served at Petani, with a mixture of International and Indonesian cuisine. At dinner time, sit back, drink some wine and enjoy some live Balinese music.
The view from Petani Restaurant.
– Manisan – Take in a stroll through the rice fields from the lobby to the restaurant itself, it is a walk to cherish. The Manisan is a relaxed environment that serves Indonesian cuisine. A perfect place to dine when seeking that top quality local food. It is also open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Take the path to the Manisan Restaurant.
Breakfast at Alaya is done a little differently than other resorts, as it offers A-La-Carte only. No buffet. I loved the concept. Everything comes to your table fresh, from the fruit, to your western or Indonesian breakfast of choice. It’s a great way to start your day.
Curry prawn crepes, not your typical breakfast, but it’ll do me fine.
Luxury Rooms with gorgeous views
105 rooms make up the Alaya Resort and majority of the time the Resort is at a 100% occupancy. Alaya just have that good of a reputation in Ubud and bookings in advance are recommended.
Perhaps the Resort’s strong reputation comes from the cheerful staff, the lush scenery, or the two delicious restaurants that await you at the Resort. However, to me, another part of that equation is due to their stylish rooms, that comes with that natural hint of Indonesian.
Rooms with a view.
– Deluxe Rooms – Stylish, elegant and all the comfort levels you would expect from any top-class Resort. The spacious Deluxe room comes with a modern bathroom design with a quality interior design, comfortable Kings size bed and a magnificent balcony views.
All ready for bed in the Deluxe Rooms.
– The Suite – Go to a completely new level with a two- room suite. It has all that the deluxe and Alaya rooms offers and much more. Including a large bath tub that will get those romantic vibes flowing. Honeymoon alert for all you newlyweds out there.
The comforts of the Suite.
A Spa to remember
You will feel at home, you will feel relaxed and you will feel refreshed at the Dala Spa. Be prepared to be pampered and given a Balinese blessing before the treatment of your choice begins. Close your eyes, breathe and let the professional masseuse take care of you for the duration of your massage.
The Dala Spa offer a range of treatments with plenty of great packages available to suit your personal needs. I need to strongly recommend the Sandalwood Healing Massage, it’s all in the name as the Sandalwood is rolled all over the body releasing any aches and Pains. Perfect if you prefer a massage on the strong side.
The entrance to the Dala Spa.
Relax in comfort of Dala Spa.
Enjoy Ubud while Staying at Alaya
The town of Ubud is a hit with tourist from all over the world and it is easy to see why. A bubbly township with many traditional boutique stalls, restaurants, markets and attractions nearby to take in the culture of Ubud.
Alaya Resort is central to all the excitement and is only a stone throw the popular Monkey Forest, which I can tell you is a lot of fun. If you are venturing to Bali and the town of Ubud, make sure you give Alaya Resort every consideration. I can assure that you will fall in love with the resort as much as I did.
Take a stroll through the Ubud Markets
Fair Dinkum Traveller’s Verdict
I don’t think you need to read the review to know what I thought of Alaya Resort. In life, it is hard to perfect, but at Alaya, they do everything in their powers to make it a perfect stay for the guest. From the staff, to the landscapes, the rooms and the dining area, Alaya ticks all the boxes. Therefore, it deserves a perfect rating. 10/10
When you pay twenty bucks a night to accommodate a family 4, It is normal to expect a less than perfect stay. Naturally, that is the case at the Nguyen Minh Hostel. The beds are hard, the walls are thin and you’ll hear the traffic from the streets.
Then you remind yourself that you are paying twenty bucks a night to room a family of four. In the end, you will still get your night’s sleep, a complete breakfast, a warm shower (weather is cooler in Dalat) and an enjoyable stay a brilliant city.
Nguyen Minh Hostel, just look for the brown coloured building.
Dalat is a beautiful city in the mountainous area of Central Vietnam. Known for its stunning gardens, night markets, food stalls, fabulous waterfalls and epic scenic landscapes, there is a reason that Dalat is called the honeymoon capital of Vietnam and you too will fall in love with this special town.
Dalat is known for its gardens and Lakes.
The staff try their best and always work hard to fix any little problems that may arise. They always have a smile on their face even if frustrations can mount up. Their English is average but they do try hard. So always remind yourself when travelling, that you are the guest in their country.
You can book a variety of day tours from the friendly staff at the reception desk. You can either go on a group tour or organise a private tour and select your own destinations. These tours are great way to get out and about see this magnificent region and some amazing waterfalls.
At the Nguyen Minh Hostel’s low nightly charge, you could be forgiven that breakfast is not an option. Think again. Not only do they give you breakfast, they will serve you enough to get by till lunch.
Your choices are obviously limited. You can either choose a large bread roll served with eggs or a Vietnamese regular, Pho (Soup).
A fulfilling breakfast.
The rooms are cosy and the walls paper thin. The beds are quite hard too and outside noise will at times disturb you, but, you will get a decent night sleep. Even the showers are adequate and refreshing. If you are traveller on a budget, there will be no complaints.
Their rooms size varies from one queen size bed rooms or rooms two queen sized beds. So, a family of four is easily covered even if privacy is lacking and a little crowded.
Not bad for twenty bucks a night.
View from the balcony.
Fair Dinkum Traveller Rating:
If you want to compare it to every hotel on the planet, the Hostel will obviously be on the lower end of the scale. I look at the value at spending twenty bucks a night. At Nguyen Minh’s Hostel, you get great value for your dollar spent. 7/10
To book with Nguyen Minh Hostel click on the link to Bookings.com.