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“Not a bad choice for Vientiane.”
Review of Benacam Boutique

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Benacam Boutique
Ranked #104 of 197 Vientiane B&B and Inns
New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Not a bad choice for Vientiane.”
Reviewed February 4, 2013

Vientiane is notorious for bad hotels, but this is a reasonably good choice in a good location just half a block from the river.
The rooms are clean, with nice wood floors (shoes off downstairs). Clean bathrooms have an actual shower head and good hot water, both rare for mid-range places in Laos.
However, not all rooms have a window. I paid $16 US a night for one of the windowless rooms. Wifi worked in the room at times, but was not the most reliable - this is not at all unusual in Laos, even in the better hotels, and there's several cafes just around the corner with wifi.
No breakfast or restaurant here, but there are dozens of places in the surrounding area to get food, coffee etc.
Overall I had no problems here, and considering the low quality hotels nearby, in the same price range, this should be considered a good choice.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ga8888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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64 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Any
English first
Bangkok, Thailand
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2013

I stayed at the Benacom Guesthouse in Vientiane for 6 nights in December 2012. I should start by saying the guesthouse is in a great location - only a 5-minute walk to the riverfront, and only a few minutes walk to places like the Vientiane fountain, the Presidential Palace, or Wat Sisaket. There are countless little restaurants, cafes, bars, and other guesthouses surrounding Bencam. It's also worth noting that Vientiane is a very small city, so practically anywhere you stay won't be far away from the city center or the riverfront.

I was staying in one of the smaller rooms with a double bed and no window. I payed 140,000 kip (about $18 USD) per night upon arrival (I didn't book in advance). The advertised price is 150,000 kip per night, so it's worth haggling like I did to get the price a little lower. My room was on the 4th floor, which is the top floor, and the guesthouse doesn't have an elevator. Not a big deal to me, but if you have heavy luggage, I imagine it would be somewhat of a nuisance.

The room was quite small, but it felt very cozy and clean. The bed was not too hard or overly soft, and the covers and sheets were solid white. There was a small LCD TV mounted on the wall right in front of the bed, and there was a nice modern air conditioner just above the bed's headrest. My favorite part of the room was the wooden floor. It's a really nice touch that gave the room a really clean appearance. There was also a medium-sized fridge and a small kitchen with a sink. Yes, even though the room was rather small, it had a kitchen. Another nice feature of the room were the dim-able lights. You can adjust the brightness of the lights to a level you feel comfortable with.

The bathroom was somewhat small, but it had a really nice shower head with good water pressure. Unfortunately, there was no shower curtain, so the whole bathroom was soaked after I took a shower - this a very common trend in Asia. Also, the hot water was spotty. About half the mornings I got up to take a shower, there was no hot water, so I had no choice but to take an ice cold shower.

As for the cable TV, I would guess there were around 75 channels or so, the majority of which are in Thai. There were also quite a few Chinese channels, and only a handful of English and Lao channels (Laos doesn't seem to have many of its own TV stations). There were many Western TV stations, such as Cartoon Network and the Discovery Channel, but most of them were dubbed over in Thai. From memory, I believe HBO, the Australian Network, BBC News, and CNN were in English.

The wi-fi at Benacam was acceptable - it's wan't fast nor too slow. Sometimes I had trouble connecting to the wi-fi using my phone, but I imagine that was mostly my phone's fault.

Service from the guesthouse employees was kinda spotty. Some of them were very pleasant and always had a smile on their face, while some of the others seemed somewhat annoyed whenever you requested something. I'm also not sure why Benacam is considered a guesthouse. It feels very much like a hotel, but I suppose maybe it's a family-run business. I should also note that Benacam doesn't provide breakfast, but there are so many places within a minute or two walk that serve a cheap breakfast.

Finally, I should explain what the title of my review means. Well, for starters, there is almost no noise protection between each of the guesthouse's rooms (at least on the 4th floor). I could almost perfectly hear everything my neighbors were doing. Walking around the room, open/closing their door, talking, blow drying their hair, taking a shower - I could hear it all. And as for the sounds in the night, let me explain. Whenever you use the water from the kitchen sink, you have to turn the faucet knob just right to make the water stop flowing completely. But apparently, sometimes I didn't do it correctly. Suddenly, throughout the day and night, I heard a sound that almost sounds like a jackhammer. It was loud! There's almost no way anyone could have sleep through it. Why did I hear this sound? Because I didn't turn off the kitchen sink's water correctly. The only way I could make the sound stop was by completely cutting off the water to the kitchen sink by closing the knob under the sink.

Unfortunately, many times my neighbors didn't turn off their kitchen sink's water correctly either, and while they were out at night, that horrendous sound would come from their room, lasting for minutes or sometimes hours! Whenever my neighbors finally returned to their room, they would shut the water off correctly, hence killing the sound, but sometimes they would be out of their room for a long time. If it weren't for all the external noises, my stay at the guesthouse would have been significantly more pleasant.

All in all, Benacam is a great and comfortable place to stay. It's close to all the action of Vientiane, and the customer service is acceptable. It's cheap, clean, and comfortable, but the noise was a little out of hand, and the sometimes lack of hot water was irritating. Regardless, I'd be happy to stay at Benacam again if I were to ever return to Vietniane. I imagine the noise might not be so much of an issue if you stay in a different room than I was staying in (I was in room 405).

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jds1986
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed December 16, 2012

Considering that this guesthouse is in the capital it was pretty good value for money. The rooms were clean although the air a little damp and are equipped with a full size fridge/freezer and a small kitchenette with a kettel as well as a tv and large wardrobe. Nice touches after backpacking for several months. However, the windows didn't lock which concerned us slightly and we were told that it would be repaired the next day. It wasn't. The bathroom could probably do with a spruce up but again this wasn't a big deal. Also, some of the reception staff aren't the friendliest but courteous nonetheless. We were only there for two nights so the pros outweighed the cons for us.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Whitekite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kathmandu, Nepal
Level 6 Contributor
131 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
Reviewed November 10, 2012

This guest house is a real find...cosy rooms with ice cold air-con and a big old wooden bed with fresh white linen and duvet... large wardrobe and desk and chair for your laptop--wi-fi is good in the room...a luggage table as well as a stool...a fan and fridge as well as a small kitchenette to whip up something yum...rain shower head in the bathroom with tons of warm water and fresh white towels...wonderful daily room service lady who tops up your bottled water, soap, toilet paper and coffee-milk-sugar and cleans up the space of course...the management are friendly and helpful in every aspect...If you stay a few days you should get the room for Kip 140,000 US$17.50 a night!!! Wonderful stay and cannot fault this place...

Room Tip: We did #208 with no window but found it super quiet and perfectly fine
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Wardysworld2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Massapequa, New York
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed September 24, 2012

I found this place a few years ago on my first trip to Vientiane and stayed on my 2 subsequent trips. I chose it compared to the 2 other places I'd looked at in the same general vicinity. It was cleaner, the rooms (especially bathrooms) were nicer and it had free wi-fi. Not much has changed in the last few years. It's a tiny bit more "used" but it was actually cheaper this time around! I'm not sure how much I understood the guy at the front desk but it's either under new ownership and/or he's the new guy... Either way, Benacam is good all over! PS I never had trouble with the wi-fi.

Room Tip: The cheapest rooms have no windows. Not a critique, I used it to help me sleep in!
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank nicsim1012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vientiane, Laos
Level 5 Contributor
88 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed June 27, 2012

I was recently in Vientiane for a little over 2 weeks and my associate arranged for me to stay at Benacam Guesthouse because of its location. All I can say is don't let the rustic, slightly run-down exterior fool you, the rooms are comfortable and quite nice for the price that you pay and the staff are much better than those I've experienced in other hotels in Vientiane on previous trips. Location is amazing, you're hardly a hop skip away from just about anything you need and the amenities are way above average...especially for the price of about US$25 a day (long term rates are available too, just ask). Will consider staying here again in the future...most gladly.

Room Tip: Great Location, Great Price, Great Value. Can't be beat in this price range!
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Chunkysaurous
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
95 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed June 21, 2012

It's probably not going to win any awards for charm or character, but it was very clean and comfortable and the location was great. Our room was spotless, with a modern, clean bathroom. After staying at quite a few low-priced places all around northern Laos, generally in smaller towns, it was very refreshing to have a clean, fully-functional bathroom. I think we may have even taken a picture of the shower, just because we were so delighted to once again enjoy a real shower ( a real shower head, in a semi-dedicated shower space, with usable water pressure). Ahh, the simple pleasures...
The room was in fact quite small, and we didn't have a window, but the price was good. The bed was comfortable, the linens were clean, it even had a fridge and cable TV. None of these are things we had really been looking for (other than clean linens), so it was nice to find them in this price range. The wifi signal wasn't very strong, but was usable from our room.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SoreA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Benacam Boutique

Property: Benacam Boutique
Address: 145 Vatongteu Road | Behind Wat Ongtue Rd, Vientiane 0100, Laos
Location: Laos > Vientiane Province > Vientiane
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #104 of 197 B&Bs / Inns in Vientiane
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Benacam Our Hotel serves free breakfast to guests booking. Convenient travel 3 km Wattay airport, The night market from 300. We have services that sever food restaurants make room,bar, massage bicycle, laundry...Enthusiastic staff friendly you fell comfortable sharing to stay in Benacam. ... more   less 
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