If you are first-timer to Vang Vieng, beware that this is not a perfect place for non-adventurous type. I travelled with my wife and two small children during this New Year holidays. Booking staff suggested to book to book two rooms as the room would be too cramped for four. But I declined why I should spend another USD55 for two small kids who still need to be under parent’s observation. At least she was honest. Credit for that, I guess.
While Cocoon offers everything as great as previous reviews mention, it’s definitely overpriced. You will be greeted with friendly and attentive staff who will did their best to help you with luggage and walk you to your clean room. Otherwise, his new Swiss boss will yell at him right in front of you. I saw he yelled at one female staff right in front of me. That doesn’t sound convincing to be bad, isn’t it.
Once you are at the room, the room is very small. We had a chance to check out three rooms in different types before checking in. The room we stayed, Maingkabula in which we booked in advanced but the reception gave us the other type whist checked in, was clean inside out but bathroom floor and wall were old and tainted with boiler that could not produce warm water. We asked to change to another room next door. We got it after the reception spend good 5-minute lecture of all the good reasons to stay in this wall-tainted room. In my mind, god! can't you see the wall is tainted and more importantly the boiler that is not working!
The quality of the room materials were poor compared to the rate. If no comparison, the qualities are just met other Vang Vieng bungalows’ standards i.e. wooden floor and ceiling, A/C, warm water, one 5-foot bed or two twin beds per room, a minibar-type refrigerator where the hotelier will charge you around USD15 – 25. The surroundings from the website look great and surely reflect the real things. However there’s no beach bench provided by the river for guest to chill out. The hotel doesn’t try to take its advantage by having its property by the river. The closet thing by the river is the Restaurant’s terrace which is used for serving breakfast. Staff told me I am welcome to chill here but on the dining tables?!
In sum, however, if you are with family especially like me with small children and want to visit the town, the Cocoon is probably the safest place if you wouldn’t mind spending that much. But if you just need a place to stop by along Vientiane and Luang Prabang without trying out Vang Viang’s nature trills, you’re better off skipping the town and move ahead to your final destination. Keep your $$$ in the pocket and wait for Chiang Mai where USD55 will get you a much nicer, bigger, and money well spent.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to the Cocoon! The Cocoon is a sanctuary, hidden amongst the trees of Vang Vieng, away from the noisy crowds. Set along the peaceful side of the Nam Song River, it is surrounded by incredible rock formations and forests, one of the most beautiful sights imaginable. ... more less