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Great Cities, Affordable Hotels

BANGKOK
$102 The new French-owned Sofitel Silom (188 Silom Rd.; 66-2/238-1991; www.sofitel.com; breakfast included) brings a whiff of contemporary European style to Bangkok's affordable hotel scene. Rooms are small, with polished wooden floors, Thai silk and mahogany accents, and spotlighting. A super-efficient business center, sleek restaurants, and a 37th-floor wine bar (killer views, atrocious lounge singer) make this place as good for business as it is for play.

$35 Khao San Road, the ur-backpacking mecca, is undergoing an urban renewal of sorts, with celebrity-owned restaurants, funky shops, and the Buddy Lodge Hotel (265 Khao San Rd.; 66-2/629-4477; www.buddylodge.com; breakfast included). This guesthouse-cum-boutique hotel has Thai artisanal touches normally associated with a hefty price tag: rattan chairs, teak beds, terra-cotta tiling. The simplicity of the rooms recalls the old colonial homes of Bangkok. Best of all is the location: a 10-minute walk from the Chao Phraya river and the Grand Palace.

SINGAPORE
$95 At the M Hotel Singapore (81 Anson Rd.; 866/866-8086 or 65/6224-1133; www.m-hotel.com; breakfast included), the M could stand for makeover. The former Harbour View Dai Ichi Hotel received a $30 million face-lift last year, reopening as a stylish four-star with 416 rooms. All sport big desks and high-speed Internet; upgrade to a club floor for sweeping views. The Tea Bar, with nearly three dozen varieties on offer, is a good place to retreat from the business district's hubbub.

$60 For historical charm, you can't beat the Royal Peacock Hotel (55 Keong Saik Rd.; 65/6223-3522; www.royalpeacockhotel.com; breakfast included), a boutique property set in a series of distinctive old shophouses in the former red-light district near Chinatown. The 79 rooms are brightly furnished—sleigh beds, red tasseled curtains, gilt-framed mirrors—but have few frills; avoid those in the attic, which lack windows. The neighborhood, lined with canals and restored wooden buildings, is one of the last remaining corners of authentic old Singapore.

HONG KONG
$192 These days, affordable hotels are harder to find in Hong Kong than dissidents. One exception is the 266-room Metropark Hotel (148 Tung Lo Wan Rd.; 852/2600-1000; www.metroparkhotel.com.hk; breakfast included), overlooking Victoria Park in Causeway Bay, where locals still start their day with tai chi. Some of Hong Kong's best shopping is nearby, as are the Wanchai clubs and the central business district. Rooms are spacious and contemporary, and a rooftop pool and fitness room grant views that are five-star, even if the room rates aren't.

$140 After a $35 million redo, the Great Eagle Hotel (8 Peking Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui; 800/448-8355 or 852/2375-1133; www.gehotel.com) still offers luxury and location —three minutes from the Star Ferry—for less. The marble-and-onyx lobby glitters with elaborate frescoes and Chihuly glass, and the 487 masculine rooms were built for business (high-speed Internet, three phones, big desks). The hotel's T'ang Court restaurant serves Cantonese; other options include a New York-style deli, where expats tuck into Buddha-sized sandwiches.

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