Surat Thani|3.94km from downtownAs in my past visits to Surat Thani from Bangkok, I had to considerably tone down my expectations of my one night stay in this 3-star Surat Thani hotel. I previously stayed in two other hotels in Surat Thani, but my smoker friend recommended this hotel because there are rooms on certain floors which allows smoking inside the room. Hotel staff: The receptionist checked me in pretty efficiently. Because I had my Thai friend with me, I could not ascertain whether the receptionists speak basic English. Nevertheless, all the hotel staff were polite and always greet me. Hotel room: The room is truly basic – queen sized bed, wooden dressing table, mirror, wall-mounted tissue box (first time for me), coffee table, three chairs, small refrigerator, small LCD TV, a luggage storage platform, a wooden wardrobe cabinet, a functional bedside console with a 1970s design of knobs and switches, a kettle and a couple of cups and teaspoons. Interestingly, the bathroom has a bathtub and a shower area, both are drawn by curtains. It has tiles from the entrance to the edge of the bedroom after which the parquet flooring takes over. As there is no carpet, it makes maintenance a lot more easier. I liked the hugeness (and it’s not because the walls are painted in white) and cleanliness of the bedroom and the comfortable bed which enabled me to have a good night’s sleep. I disliked the following: (1) My room on the seventh floor faced the road, so it was very noisy, especially those motorcycles with poorly maintained or modified engines. Nevertheless, it was good that I was very tired and fell asleep. There are rooms (that ends with even numbers) that don’t face the noisy road. (2) While the hair dryer is found in the bathroom, it only blows hot air (3) The air-con duct was rattling away when the air-con was switched on. Anyway, I didn’t need the air-con so it was okay. Hotel restaurant – I ate buffet breakfast at the restaurant, which was huge. You have to present the breakfast coupons that the receptionist gave you upon check-in. Buffet items comprised cut fruits, porridge with mash pork, rice, Thai rice salad, northern Thai salad, local vermicelli-like noodles, southern Thai curry, fried egg (sunny side up), sausage, fried Thai rice noddle with ingredients, coffee, tea, sautéed vegetables and mushrooms. I did not eat at the hotel restaurant for dinner but when I came back to the hotel at around 11pm, I saw a lady singing on the stage in the restaurant. Overall, Diamond Plaza is good for a one night stay. But I really hope the hotel management could better refurbish the hotel rooms, otherwise guests would choose other newer hotels, like the Marlin Hotel just across the road.