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This is a guest post from Michael at Darn Good Digs, where you can find amazing budget accommodation at equally amazing prices. Thank you Michael, for being a guest poster here at Budget Travelers Sandbox.
Sometimes the less you pay, the more you get when traveling. Places like Mayoka Village on Lake Malawi or Le Rendez-Vous in Southern Ecuador prove the point. These are the kinds of dirt cheap hotels where you might intend to spend a night, but end up changing your plans to stay for weeks – simply because the rooms are so inviting, the food so delicious, and the vibe just right. At Darn Good Digs, we are excited to share four of our favourite under $25 hotels from our extensive online guide to the world’s best independent hotels for budget-minded travelers:
Mustapha’s Place is a quirky and funky hotel set in leafy gardens, just two minutes away from a stunning tropical beach on Zanzibar island with powdery white sand and turquoise ocean. The nine guest cottages, with telling names like the Treetop Room and Swiss Banda, are made from local materials such as makuti thatch and coral rock and are decorated with African fabrics and murals by local artists. The chef specializes in Zanzibari dishes and Swahili seafood such as plantains in coconut milk and octopus stew, as well as vegetarian meals using fresh produce and island spices. The bar serves up local beers and cocktails, and a simple breakfast of fresh fruit, toast, and eggs, along with coffee or tea, is included.
Prices start at US$15.
Le Rendez-Vous, situated in a beautiful valley surrounded by the Andes Mountains, is a guest house on a quiet street just a few blocks from the main square of Vilcabamba, a small town in southern Ecuador. Several rooms surround a tropical garden with views of the red rocks and mountains in the distance, and all rooms have small patios with a table, chairs, and hammock, perfect for reading and writing. The fourteen rooms are simply designed, but well outfitted with new mattresses, European-style sheets, great showers with plenty of hot water, and thick towels. The hotel’s garden, planted with banana and avocado trees, sugarcane, ferns, and tropical flowers, is lovingly cared for by the owners. Breakfast includes freshly baked bread with homemade jams, eggs, fruit salad, and good, strong coffee.
Prices start at US$9.
Mayoka Village sits right on the shores of Lake Malawi and the views are amazing. Room options include traditional mud huts and the more newly built stone cottages with private bathrooms and stone bathtubs All accommodations at Mayoka Village are built using traditional Malawian materials, such as bamboo, stone, mud, and thatch, and are spread out on a rocky hillside by the lake. The outdoor bar and restaurant serve great food using fresh, local ingredients and offer plenty of choices for vegetarians. Gary and Katherine, Mayoka’s friendly owners, host huge weekly barbecues and Malawian buffets that often merge into all-out dance parties, with local musicians providing the entertainment.
Prices start at US$6.
The Soppong River Inn is located in Soppong, a small Thai village in the mountainous Mae Hong Son province near the Burmese border. The rooms and cottages are different styles, but all are made using traditional materials such as teak and bamboo, and all take their cues from traditional and modern Thai architecture. All rooms have cotton sheets and towels, en-suite bathrooms, and hot water. Some of the rooms have balconies overlooking the river, gardens, and rainforest. The Inn’s restaurant serves a choice of Thai or Western-style meals, and has both indoor seating and an outside deck perched above the river.
Prices start at US$23.
If you’re intrigued by these digs, then you’ll definitely want to check out Darn Good Digs to read about hundreds more extraordinary independent hotels for budget-minded travelers.