Many visitors to south-east Asia, particularly Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, opt for the safety of a chain hotel when they travel.
This might mean splashing out $150 for a spic-and-span medium-brand option, or up to a couple of thousand a night for an absolute beachfront ultra-luxury property with hot and cold running butlers.
If, however, you are planning to spend most of your holiday on the beach or exploring islands and temples then you may be using your hotel room mainly for sleeping.
My recent stint in Thailand demonstrated how comfortable double rooms with air-conditioning can still be procured for 300 baht a night (around $12.50, but down a dingy alley) and seriously good western style hotels can cost as little as $25 per night.
In fact, I've been paying $25 a night for the past week and what is my discovery of the year so far: the Crystal Beach Hotel in Patong, Phuket.
Located on a laneway just 100 metres from the beach, the Crystal Beach met all my search conditions: air-con, double bed (not two singles pushed together), free wifi, swimming pool and central location. Even a balcony.
I paid $33 for two nights via an on line booking service then negotiated the hotel down to $25 a night so long as I paid cash.
The Crystal Beach might not be for everyone. It is on a busy soi with massage shops and restaurants, so can have some evening noise if you are on lower floors (I had no problem on the fourth).
It also does not have its own restaurant but with dozens on your doorstep that is not an issue.
Your a probably thinking what is the hitch? A shared bathroom perhaps? Nope. My room had its own shower, toilet and basin, hairdryer, soaps, shampoos and body washes.
The bedroom also boasted a small fridge, a phone, in-room safe and kettle, as well as several well-located power points and good lighting. There is a TV with several overseas channels (I watched the end of Richmond-Essendon last night).
And the room was serviced every day with fresh sheets and towels. The rooftop pool (free towels at reception) was a refreshing delight with excellent views. The hotel has 24-hour reception and security, a tour desk and laundry service. The elevator is modern and efficient.
Jungceylon shoppping centre is about an eight-minute walk away and the madness of the bars and discos of Bangla Road a similar distance.
All the photos used here are mine, taken this week.
What more could you ask for $25 a night?
The Crystal Beach, 212/4-7 Soi Keb Sub, Rat-U-Tid 200 Pee Rd, Patong, Phuket, 83150. +66 76 340 342. www.thecrystalbeachhotel.com.