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“Quite Possibly Heaven on Earth...”

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Rivertime Resort and Ecolodge
Ranked #8 of 197 Vientiane B&B and Inns
Sasebo, Japan
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Quite Possibly Heaven on Earth...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2012

RIVERTIME was simply amazing! Shortly after arriving, we knew we did not want to leave so soon. The setting could not have been more ideal it was a well needed getaway after busy Hanoi. We spent hours down by the river and could not have been more content.The staff made our stay incredibly comfortable and assisted us with our every whim - a special thank you to everyone there! It was a short stay but we will never forget it. Thank you so much for this once in a lifetime opportunity! Continue to do the great work with the local community - it's inspiring to us all!!!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Misty R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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112 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    53
    36
    11
    3
    9
See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Plymouth, England
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 20, 2011

I spent a total of 3 weeks at Rivertime towards the end of my 10 month travelling trip - I stayed for a week, and love the place so much I came back for another two weeks. It's the perfect place to come if you want to get away from it all and experience Laos life. Barnaby and the staff are the loveliest people you could meet, and whether you're visiting for 2 days or 2 weeks you're treated like 'one of the family'. The nearby villages are great to visit, and you do feel like you're the only foreigner around for miles. The river is such a peaceful place to sit by and watch the world go by, read a book, chat with the staff and enjoy a beer or two. I had great fun learning Laos with the staff and teaching them a bit of English, and we spent hours and hours playing Uno - which was a great way of interacting with some of the staff whose English wasn't great. This is not the place to come if you want action action action...it's the place to come for complete and utter peace and quiet and fun and laughter. I miss Rivertime immensely and can't wait to go visit my new Laos family again some day.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Plymouth_Bird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2011

We stayed as a family with two kids (aged 7 and 9) for three days and loved it. It was a great place to relax after the mayhem of Bangkok. The staff were very friendly, playing with and minding the kids while still delivering a laid-back but decent service. There's a relaxed feeling to the place, with guests (if they wish) joining each other and the owner, Barnaby, for a communal dinner and a couple of beers in the evening . There's a few things to do when not relaxing or lazing in the pool - We all had a gentle (relative to the Thai version), relaxing massage, visited the nearby village, went tubing down the river a couple of times, and there's other activities that we didn't do. The cottages set back in the jungle are spacious, and everything worked (except for when there was a power cut that affected the whole area after a torrential downpour - It was the monsoon season!). While not pristine, the rooms, beds and bathrooms were clean enough. The place is rustic (and not for those expecting the Hilton), but that is past of it's charm. Just what we were looking for!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank MarkandStephA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
47 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2011

We booked four rooms for three nights but could not get out fast enough the next morning. The rooms were bug infested, a rat ran across one of our beds in the middle of the night. The fans didn't work, no wifi as advertized. No massage available. The floating pool was some wooden planks around the dirtiest river we had ever seen.The owner Barnaby was drinking night and day as we sat at one end of the floating restaurant waiting for service. The kicker was that one of the guests in our party had money stolen out of his room as we had dinner at the restaurant.I realize that it is a eco lodge but please there must be a little quality and cleanliness, even in the jungle.worst experience of my much travelled life. A huge thumbs down.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank kenluigi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BarnsLaos, Manager at Rivertime Resort and Ecolodge, responded to this review, July 17, 2011
Exactly, after originally booking ten rooms, then changing the booking to four rooms for three nights and the exchange of 15 different emails constantly changing the itinerary, all of which I happily and politely did, you arrived in the afternoon and left the next morning. Still, I was polite and nice and didn't charge you for the four rooms or the three nights, as the vast majority of guesthouses and hotels would have done, just the three rooms for the one night you stayed.

Yes, there are insects and other creatures in the SE Asian rainforest and I am unfortunately unable to control forest creatures just yet. How do you know it was a rat? Were you awake watching in the middle of the night? It was more likely a gecko...

All fans do work, they are free-standing floor fans and you just need to plug them in.

Yes, the WiFi was down due to a power surge blowing our wireless router a few days before you arrived and the local shops here do not sell wireless routers. The Internet was freely available in the office.

I don't recall you asking for a massage but, yes, the local woman who comes from the village next door to do the massage is sometimes unable to come at short notice since she needs a bit of warning. She is nearly always able to rearrange her daily duties to come the next day since it is a good source of income for her.

I have no idea what you expect me to do about the cleanliness of a 100-metre wide swollen river in the middle of the wet season, filter it? It is only mud anyway and we swim in it almost every day with no problems.

Considering you were here for a total of about 15 hours from the afternoon to the following morning, I have no idea how you can make such a judgement about me as "drinking night and day". Yes, I had a few beers in the evening, I do apologise.

Standard practice in Lao restaurants is that you call the waiter if you want something and the last thing I want is for guests to feel like they are being hassled into buying something, as they often are elsewhere in SE Asia, that's not the way we do things here. Whenever guests sit down, they get taken the menu and then left alone for 5-10 minutes to have a look through and then we come back and ask if they would like to order. I'm sorry I didn't come and serve you myself, I didn't think that was the manager's job.

As for the money you claim to have been stolen... A) If it definitely disappeared here, why did it take him three days to email me about it? I think it just as likely it was lost/stolen between here and Bangkok, in Bangkok itself or maybe before he even came here. B) Why was he carrying $1,000 in fresh dollar bills and C) why would anyone leave $1,000 in cash in their room anywhere in the world? Why not carry it on you, it's not exactly heavy. We also have a locked drawer where I can store valuables for guests as is explained in the Information Book in all the rooms.

We have NEVER had a problem with theft from inside people's rooms before and I have complete confidence in the honesty of my staff, it's one of the things I focus on most since I realise it is of utmost importance to guests as it is to myself when I go travelling. Yes, we have lost flip-flops from people's balconies before but I think that's a minor problem overall.

Overall, I just don't think this was the place for you. We are not an upmarket, 5-star gleaming-tap resort, we are an ecolodge in rural Laos which offers an insight into real rural Lao life and culture and that's exactly what most of our guests are looking for as you can see from the other reviews here. I'm sorry you did not like it, it's not for everyone.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
185 reviews
174 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 14, 2011

This resort is away from city centre and that is not easy to reach by public transport, however, this gives Rivertime a unique character. Dorm room is basic but comfortable for staying. Staff are EXTREAMLY friendly and they always carry a smile on their face! There is a village across the river which is very interesting to explore. The floating restaurant is absolutely a gem, the lime steam fish is the best in the world!
the only complaint is the share bathroom is very dirty, it seems that hasn't been cleaned for a month.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bari_ttc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northumberland
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2011

What a great place to totally chill out from the stresses and strains of normal day to day life. Accomodation is basic but totally acceptable. Barnaby the Manager makes you feel very welcome and is very knowledgable about the area. If you want to see the true Laos this is the place to come.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank christonbank
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Level Contributor
112 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 13, 2011

The Rivertime is a great place to chill out and enjoy the laid back rural lifestyle of Laos. The rooms and environment are lovely in a rustic kind of way. The Hotel organized some nice simple rural activities with visits to local villges. The highlight being the spirit healer; a remarkable and unique experience.
The staff are sweet and friendly and the owner such a nice guy to share a beer with on the floating restaurant.
It falls quality wise, somewhere between a backpackers lodge and a hotel. you wont find perfection or luxury, but you will find, if you are open minded, a delightful experinece with friendly staff and local villagers.
I just love this place and look forward to coming back again!

  • Stayed February 2011
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank peaceofangkor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rivertime Resort and Ecolodge

Property: Rivertime Resort and Ecolodge
Address: Ban Thadokkam, Vientiane 01000, Laos (Formerly Rivertime Resort and Ecolodge)
Location: Laos > Vientiane Province > Vientiane
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 197 B&Bs / Inns in Vientiane
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a riverside ecolodge resort only 30 km outside of Vientiane which offers a true taste of rural Lao life but with most of the comforts of home. We have a floating restaurant on the river and offer a range of activities such as local village tours, tubing, cooking classes, massage, a sauna nearby, boat trips, fishing, free bicycles etc. We do our best to live in harmony with both the local people and the surrounding forest. We also donate $2 per guest night to local education and community projects. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rivertime Resort And Ecolodge Hotel Vientiane
Rivertime Hotel And Ecolodge
Rivertime Hotel Vientiane

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