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“Nice place to stay” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Khamvongsa

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Hotel Khamvongsa
Ranked #4 of 196 Vientiane B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
USA
Level Contributor
79 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Nice place to stay”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 18, 2012

I selected the Hotel Khamvongsa for my one night stay in Vientiane based on Trip Advisor ratings and comments. I debated about whether to give it a 3 or a 4 for my personal rating, and ended up going with a 4.

Based on my experience, here are the Pros, Cons, and Neutrals:

Pros:
Clean! - The room, restaurant area, reception, and hallways all looked clean and well-maintained.

Bathroom – Not the best lighting, but the shower had plentiful hot water and great pressure.

Pre-arrival communication - I emailed back and forth with the hotel several times prior to my arrival. They were always very prompt and courteous in their response, and accommodated my request for a loft room on the top floor. I also emailed about arranging a local tour guide ahead of my visit, since I had a very short time in Vientiane and wanted to see as much as possible. They replied with three recommendations, and I ended up using one of them. Ironically, the actual tour guide and driver who picked me up at the airport had never heard of the hotel, but found it easily enough.

Breakfast – Get the Swedish pancakes, they are EXCELLENT!!

Wi-Fi – Worked fine for basic email/check the weather-type use (I did not try to use VPN).

Loft Rooms - both a Pro and Neutral for me. On the "Pro" side, my loft room (Room 501) was a very cool-looking room. It was nicely furnished, had big windows that let in a lot of natural light, and a view which includes the Inpeng temple across the street. I loved all the vertical space in the room.

Cons:
From my experience, there are no real cons to staying at this hotel. The reasons for my rating are based more on the balance between the "Pros" above and the "Neutrals" below, which may or may not be cons for someone else.

Neutrals:
The upstairs portion of the Loft-type rooms (Based on my experience with Room 501) - This is a small upstairs area where the bed - and only the bed - is located. Here’s what you should know in advance of booking a loft room to make sure it's the right choice for you:

1. The stairs are very steep. They could be difficult to manage if you have had a bit to drink, were not careful making a late-night descent to get to the toilet, or are otherwise unsteady on your feet for whatever reason. Also, in Room 501 the landing at the top of the stairs is pulling away from the floor just a little bit.

2. I could not get the loft area to cool down. The air conditioning did an excellent job cooling the downstairs, but I was hot all night upstairs. There is an additional aircon unit high on the wall upstairs, but I could not find a remote that worked for it (it was too high to reach without a ladder), or figure out how to turn it on from any switch. There is also a ceiling fan upstairs, but it's a bit noisy. I don't like sleeping under the direct draft from a ceiling fan, but if you can handle that then the upstairs aircon issue will not be as big a deal.

The bed - It really is hard, and would not be comfortable for more than just a couple of nights (unless you really prefer a hard bed).

The staff - Pre-arrival communication via email was excellent, but staff onsite were just “ok”. They absolutely did their job, and were not rude at all. They were just not particularly friendly, either. That said, they were good about schlepping my bags upstairs for me and explaining what I needed to know about the room. They also gave me a map and whatever advice I needed when I had specific questions, so no complaints.

The hotel’s interior stairs - If you stay on an upper floor (I requested the top floor), be aware that there is no lift. It didn’t bother me, but could be an issue for some.

Overall, I recommend this hotel. If I return to Vientiane and stay here again I would, however, request a single or double room instead of a loft room.

I definitely recommend a visit to Vientiane. I wish I had been able to stay at least one extra day with more time to just stroll around, try a couple of different restaurants and get to experience the city a bit more. I found Vientiane to be truly delightful, and in fact it exceeded my expectations. Laos is more about the ambiance in general than about specific sites, in my opinion, and Vientiane embodies this. Very glad I made time for at least a quick visit, and I hope to return.

Room Tip: Room 501 is a loft with large windows, a nice view, and great vertical space. There is a steep clim...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank UsaTravelinfool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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560 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (76)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Rockingham, Australia
Level Contributor
86 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 12, 2012

We stayed at the Hotel Khamvongsa on a friend's recommendation. We were not disappointed. The hotel is of colonial design with a large open eating area. The rooms are quite spacious and very clean. Bathroom is very good with plenty of hot water and a good shower. Breakfast was not buffet style and was of a fixed menu with about 5 different selections. Wi-fi was good throughout the hotel. Airconditioning worked extremely well, so much so that we actually turned it off during the night. Bed was a little hard, but still ok. Staff were friendly, but only one girl spoke conversational english, but she was on duty most of our stay. Location is pretty good with only a short walk to the riverfront and the associated bars and restaurants and quality Lao massage salons. Would we stay here again?...Yes we would, but we would make sure we were on first floor.

Room Tip: Get a room on the lower floors as there is no elevator
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Marty_Dibden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
47 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2012

The rooms are beautifully decorated, even with room to room telephone connections, which some hotels do not have. The rooms are also very clean. However, if you have large heavy luggage, this hotel is not for you. We were given a room on the 4th floor, as there are no lifts, we had to carry our luggage up.

Negatives: the room door opens outwards, breakfast portion a bit small.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank lsparrow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leipzig, Germany
Level Contributor
111 reviews
111 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2012

Having stayed in the Salana Hotel the last time, i felt i seriously paid too much for a room at my last stay in Vientiane and was looking for something cheaper. As the Khamvongsa was recommended to me on various occasions, i tried my luck with them. Reservation was done by e-mail in advance, the price was supposed to be 35 USD for a double room, which is still not cheap, but adequate for 3 star hotel. So how does it compare to the "almighty" Salana Hotel ? Well, not too bad, but now i get an idea why the Salana is so ridiculously expensive. It's on a whole other level.

Location:

The hotel is located a bit off, yet it is still central, compared to some other hotels. You can reach the riverfront and a lot of good restaurants and bars in less then 5 minutes.

Hotel:

The hotel has a bit of a feel of an old colonial mansion, that was converted into a hotel. This means on the one hand, that you will get an hotel with atmosphere or a soul, as i like to call it, but you shouldn't expect a stylish or even modern hotel. Don't expect a lift either, but expect to climb at least some stairs.

Room:

The room is as big as you would expect for the price, meaning it is big enough and it has plenty of flair. The fridge and the tv are located in a cabinet, you have small table in your room, some sort of unusual rattan sofa (which was surprisingly comfortable, but not for hours), a bed, a closet with a safe and some hangers, air con and of course a bathroom with a hot shower. Everything is remarkable clean and functional. Nothing to write home about, but quite comfortable. And again...i must stress the bathroom was very clean, something that i didn't know to honor enough at this time. If you stayed in rural Laos for some time, you will be grateful for this.

Sleeping quality:

I actually had a very bad sleep. This had nothing to do with the bed itself, which is quite hard, but very much to my liking. I had a much bigger problem with the air con, which was really cooling down the place and my very thin blanket, which was not enough to keep me warm and was very uncomfortable to sleep with. Looking at my own pictures, i can see a thicker blanket in the closet, but at that time (in the night, when the problem became apparent), i had not nerves to look for a such a thing.

Service:

I found the service to be a bit hit and miss, with miss being more often the case. When i came in, i was merely greeted, nor did anybody help me with getting my luggage to my room, though they were clearly seeing that i could need some help with it. When ranging the reception because i had a problem, nobody answered (though, the guy was very apologetic about this afterwards), so i had to go down myself. This kept going on, one guy was very nice and tried to make my stay a comfortable one, while other staff members made the impression to me, that they were only friends of this guy, visiting him at work, but never took any effort to make my stay enjoyable. The level of English spoken was also very variable (to put it nicely).

The thing that almost made me cut my rating down to three points was happening at the next morning on check out. The agreed price of 35 USD was not valid anymore and they now wanted 40 USD. If the 35 USD wouldn't have been communicated to me like one week before, i maybe wouldn't have minded, but this was really strange. It somehow seemed to me that they were trying to make some extra 5 bucks in the last minute. After some discussion they "lowered" the price back to 35 USD, but the bad taste persists in my mouth.

Breakfast: I don't recall much about the breakfast, only that it was "to order" and that the quality was good, but the quantity was not much.

Verdict:

Well, this is different than the Salana. Not as flashy and stylish, with a service that couldn't stand the Salana for one minute. But, on the other hand is has a lot of character, is way cheaper and not really far from the Salana, which means its equally central. The rooms are comfortable, but not overly luxurious and have all the amenities that you would need for a short stay. I cannot fault the hotel too much, only the thin linen which doubled as a blanket and the off-service are something that could be worked on. If you are looking for a middle prized hotel, you can probably do much worse. If you are looking for a real western quality hotel, i still recommend the Salana.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 3d-razor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Niteroi, RJ
Level Contributor
71 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2012

This is a ok hotel to spend a night in Vientiane.
It has a ok location, wireless internet.
Breakfast it was not for my taste but they have a good selection.
The bed was a bit hard.

It has a good value for the money and the front desk can arrange a taxi or van to the airport for USD 8.00.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank brazilsolotravler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
67 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2012

My first time in Vientiane, I had no idea where to stay, so I booked Hotel Khamvongsa purely based on Tripadvisor reviews. Thankfully, it turned out well. The hotel is positioned in a good location, although Vientiane is so small that you're unlikely to ever be "far" from anything.

The rooms were as expected; Laotian style, plenty use of timber, not ultra-modern, but spacious, clean and tidy. Loads of character.

The staff were excellent, and the food served in the restaurant area was nicely done.

Would I stay here again? Yes. The only negative I could identify was the fact that Vientiane is an early-to-bed, early-to-rise town, so by 7am there was fair bit of activity going on around the hotel. And the "open style" layout of the hotel's rooms meant that sounds tended to bounce around very easily.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank The_Made_Guy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malaysia
Level Contributor
160 reviews
147 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 218 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2012

We stayed at this hotel for 2 nights and our reviews as follows:

1) Location:
Not bad. Very central to everywhere and everything. The riverside is just 100 metres away. Plenty of eateries, shops, massage, drinking places, minimarkets, coffee places nearby. Very good location.

2) Hotel and Rooms:
The hotel look impressive from outside. The lobby and bar/breakfast area look very nice too. Very colonial style and classy. However, please take note that the hotel does not have elevator. So, if your rooms are situated on the 4th floor like ours, you will have to climb up the stairs to the 4th floor.

Our room is nice and clean and very spacious. The bathroom is also very spacious. However, the mattress and pillow provided - very cheap quality and not comfortable. Such a waste.

3) Breakfast
The breakfast provided is not buffet. It is a set (you get to choose from 5 sets available). It is ok, nothing fancy nor outstanding. it was just ok to fill up your stomach.

4) Wifi
Good connection throughout the hotel.

5) Staff and Services
Very good overall. No complains. Very friendly and helpful.

Overall, for the price we paid, seems to be a good choice but I was a little disappointed with the hotel's mattress and pillow. This hotel has the potential to be a very top 3 star hotel.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank FrenchRemix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Khamvongsa

Property: Hotel Khamvongsa
Address: Khun Bu Lum Road | Ban Vat Chan, Vientiane Box 2338, Laos
Location: Laos > Vientiane Province > Vientiane
Amenities:
Kitchenette Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 196 B&Bs / Inns in Vientiane
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Khamvongsa is a cozy and elegant family run hotel in the old part of central Vientiane, with bright, spacious rooms, decorated in French colonial and Lao style. Our team of friendly, dedicated, English speaking staff takes pride in providing top quality service, caring for the different needs of our guests. Khamvongsa offers all you need and more at good value: stylish rooms with comfortable beds, free internet access, and a delicious and generous breakfast. ... more   less 

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