I had just arrived on Koh Phi Phi island, and I was exhausted. The very thought of trudging around the island with my oversized backpack in search of a hostel made me grouchy. As I tried to figure out which direction to start walking in, my oversized backpack and I stood in the middle of the walkway inconsiderately forcing the pedestrian traffic to maneuver around me. And then I looked up, and problem solved! I found myself at the foot of the steps of the most glorious accommodation I had seen in months, Phi Phi Hotel.
To me, Phi Phi Hotel was the 5-star resort of the island. From the moment I walked up the marble steps and into the open-aired reception area, I knew I was breaking my commitment to find cheap accommodation. I hesitantly handed my VISA over to the friendly lady behind the desk while signing off on my $60 room for the night. This rate was about ten times over my budget and I headed to my room with an overwhelming feeling of guilt. The bellhop (that’s right, they had a bellhop) swung the door of my room open, and it was like the heavenly clouds had parted and the harp was playing. The sleeping area alone was bigger than the twelve-bed dorm room that I had just come from. Equipped with a fluffy king-sized bed, a TV, bedside tables, a closet, and a vanity, it was seemingly too good to be true, so I looked to the bellhop for confirmation that we had the right room. I smiled and nodded as I quickly ushered him out of the room. Just before slipping out, he pointed out a nice little shoe cupboard upon which were a couple of pool towels. I couldn’t believe it – this hotel really had it all! Still in disbelief, I exchanged another smile and nod as I shut the door.
I slid my backpack across the marble floor, and walked over to the window to open the drapes and let in some sunlight. Behind the drapes were two sliding doors, which opened onto my private balcony. As with everything else in the room, the bathroom did not disappoint – it was a deluxe bathroom with all the bells and whistles, and enough space to fit my entire living quarters from previous dorm accommodations.
After a hectic day of lying on the beach, then lounging by the pool, followed by dinner and cocktails at a beachside hut, I was ready to get some rest. I had nine hours of solid, uninterrupted sleep – no roommates coming in and out, no pumping base outside, and no voices echoing through paper thin walls. The next morning, I picked up my complimentary breakfast coupon and headed to the dining room. I was expecting a small continental buffet, but once again was blown away. The tables were lined with traditional hot breakfast items, fresh fruits and pastries, and an extravagant omelette station.
Koh Phi Phi Hotel was fantastic, and I left wishing I could afford to stay longer. Don’t get me wrong, $60/night paled in comparison to the $200/night that I would have paid back in Canada, but nevertheless, I was a backpacker and it was time to get back to reality…
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