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“Only the ghost of what once maybe was once a luxurious place” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Don Chan Palace

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Don Chan Palace
Ranked #30 of 97 Hotels in Vientiane
Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Only the ghost of what once maybe was once a luxurious place”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 13, 2011

The Good:

I start with a few good things: First, the breakfast is decent. There's a wide choice of Asian and European food, and they even change some of the food offered on a daily basis. The huge breakfast room always seems a bit spooky, though, because no matter if you go there at 7 PM or 9 PM, it seems very empty. Unless you stumble over one of the big tourgroups, which seem the the only ones still using this hotel. Second nice point: Most of the hotel staff was actually very friendly and tried to be helpful. Some of them were excellent. I pitied them a bit for having to work in such a badly managed hotel.

Given the fact that most high class hotels in Southeas Asia use tons of insect repellent spray in their rooms, you can, if you want, also see the following as a positive point: Apparently, the Don Chan does not - there were mosquitoes and insects everywhere. At breakfast, in the rooms, in the elevater. Hoardes of them. If this is a "good" thing, depends on your taste, but it gets worse from here.

The Bad:

The rooms all look dated and faded. You can see that when it was built 6 years ago, it was meant to be "classy", but it is no longer. Carpets look worn and dusty, bathrooms are in bad shape, if you look at the details. The ceiling of the pool is a disgrace. Its rusty, lights are falling out of their holes, etc. I could go on, but the impression is the same on all levels.

One short comment on the pool: I hate it that most pools in sunny Southeast Asia are heated until you feel like swimming in a bathtub. Don Chan's pool is not. Which is, unfortunately, NOT a good thing. It's so freezing could that I could only swim a dozen rounds before my fingers went numb. The pool on the 3rd floor (semi-open) has the charme of a parking lot, and is constantly in the shadow. Maybe you get a glimpse of light at 7 PM, but I did not try a second time.

The "view on the Mekong" sounds nice, but in dry season is mainly a view on a huge sandbank. Worse: A sandbank where there's lots of construction going on. You basically have noise through the whole day, starting from 7 PM until late. Noise here means constantly beeping sounds and humming motors. If you stay at this hotel (for whatever reasons I cannot think of), take the (cheaper) rooms with city-view. Much more interesting and a bit quieter. At least during the day. (See below).

The Ugly:

All of the above are only minor flaws to the fact that you cannot even get decent sleep in this place. What I never, ever experienced in a hotel which calls itself "5 stars", is an adjacent night-club with loud music until 3.30 AM. The problem is not the music. The problem is the bass line, that shakes the whole, huge building. After complaining the first night, they moved us to the right wing, promising never to have heard any complains from there. This was wrong, and I am sure they knew it: It frankly does not matter at all where you are: ground floor, 13th floor, right, left... because the ear-wrecking, body-shaking, deep, bumping sound travels through the whole building. It only stops at 3:30 AM, and at 7 AM, the machines from the river take over with bump-bump and beep-beep (see above).

I live in a big city and I am used to street noise at night. I am also used to party music, when my neighbours decide to throw a party. But it's certainly not what you pay this kind of money in a so-called 5-star-hotel.

Don't go there. Unless you want to experience a nightmare about which you can talk to your grandchildren.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Louisd0r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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163 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    25
    59
    51
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    12
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
vientiane
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 3, 2010

A lot of noise all night long because of the night club in the hotel. You ear the basses of music till 3.30A.M. Bathroom not so clean. 2 single beds for a family room. Swimming pool so cold that you can not swim in it !!! Dirty Spa, cold hamam, jacuzzi not working and so on. Just a signle positive point : the breakfast is very good, except the dirty tables !

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank VientianeAlilea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Vientiane hotels

Bath
Level Contributor
35 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 1, 2010

Stayed here for two nights, read the other reviews on trip advisor and unless we were staying in a different hotel or we just had a bad experience - thought this hotel was not good. OK, the price was not too bad compared to other good hotels in Vientiane - but the cleanliness wasn't good - the lifts were filthy - and going down to breakfast there was someone painting the ceiling on our floor - when you looked up - looks like the hotel won't be standing in 5 years time, cracks everywhere! Considering it is only 6 years old, oh dear. Went to the Settha Palace for dinner and what a difference. One last thing - the WiFi was USD64 a day or USD8 an hour - couldn't believe it - everywhere else is free - one tip go to the Swedish Bakery (brilliant) - free WiFi too.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sl0w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kohima
Level Contributor
43 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 14, 2010

we stayed here on a business trip. For Lao standards, its perhaps the best hotel. Its spacious and the staff are friendly and helpful. the rooms are spacious and well kept. the hotel is overlooking the mekong river with thailand on the other side. there is a bit of development going on on this side of the river so there is a fair bit of noise. the business centre is good with all required facilities. there are absolutely no high rise buildings and constructions in Lao so the hotel does stand out like a sore thumb. dont even think of visiting the nightclub, its not too clean (especially the toilets) and not too decent either. Lao is a developing country, so one cannot complain much. I would say, full marks for effort.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank AbuMetha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bergen, Norway
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 9, 2010

We have been here for 5 days in Laos.We stayed this hotel only 2 nights,everything is very good.Staff is very frindly and helpful.Rooms were nice and clean.Good value to stay here.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled solo
    • 4 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?
Thank alizalisa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur
1 review
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2010

We stayed at Don Chan Palace for 4D3N over a weekend. The hotel is the tallest building in the city (14 stories w/ 3rd floor open-air design), by the Mekong river and you can clearly see Thailand on the other side of the river. The location is withing easy access to Fountain Square and the rest of the city attractions via tutuk or hotel shuttle service. In fact, you can walk if you don't mind the sweat. It's kinda slow-paced town.

Staff are very nice and attentive but with poor English. Sometimes they just don't understand what you are trying to tell them, so the service might be quite slow or none at all. It can be a bit frustrating. Best to double check with manager-on-duty as they tend to speak good English. The breakfast is below par, not much selection. No traditional grilled fish, sour fish soup or French...

We have two rooms right next to each other with an inner connecting door, this is very nice since we have children of various ages. The place is roomy and clean. However, we had no hot-water for shower the first night and had to wait a while after calling the reception (to engineering dept). During the second & third evenings, we had only warm waters for shower, it was never hot again to our standard.

Our biggest disappointment came when we heard disco music starting at 11:00pm, it went through the night 'til 3:00am and there were also car racing going on in the parking lot in front of the hotel at 1:00am, so you know we are awake! These people don't know they can talk/laugh very loud at mid-night. At first we thought this might be an once-off event from a nearby house/restraurant along the river bank; but this went on all three nights even after we made the complaints to the reception & the manager! We were told they cannot do anything about the people from the neighborhood to use the parking lot for car racing; and the disco is part of the hotel business at third floor. The manager ensured us these people are not gangsters and hotel guests are safe to go out at night. The reasons we didn't switch rooms, perhaps, to the other corner facing the river are that (1) there are no connecting rooms there and (2) you can still hear disco music from the third floor, loud and clear.

The hotel swimming pool is on the 3rd floor, open-air around, next to a small gym, pool tables and the disco. The pool water is very cold!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Yang2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bangkok
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 22, 2010

The hotel locate in the city of vientien and on the Maekong river side. Can view the river from some room and from restaurant.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jingrace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Don Chan Palace

Property: Don Chan Palace
Address: Unit 6 Piawat Village, Sisattanak District, Vientiane, Laos
Location: Laos > Vientiane Province > Vientiane
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#10 Spa Hotel in Vientiane
#13 Luxury Hotel in Vientiane
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Don Chan Palace 4*
Number of rooms: 240
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Don Chan Palace Hotel Vientiane
Don Chan Palace Vientiane

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