Opposite the Mekong River, I found this hotel so pleasant and relaxing that I extended my stay twice and was reluctant to leave. However, much of that feeling could be due to the laid-back atmosphere in this town. Combine a lovely laid-back town, with pleasant gentle people, and a large airy room with a great view, and you've got magic!
My room was upstairs (1 level) and had a large balcony overlooking the street and the river with chairs and table provided for the balcony. The room was large and clean, and the wifi worked well. There is very little provision for hanging clothes, but that didn't bother me.
I happened upon this guesthouse after staying one night on the other side of the old city, which I wasn't happy with due to no windows in my room and high price. I went walking the next morning to find an alternative. The manager at Sayo took me in his car to collect my heavy luggage once I'd seen the room and we'd agreed on price. I found the staff adequately friendly, other than one grumpy young man who had to get up from the floor upon which he was sleeping, to tend to my inquiries one morning.
I paid $30 AUD a night and was happy to do so (the other place wanted $45 for a balcony room!) The price was due to rise in November (high season), but the manager continued to charge me the $30 for as long as I stayed.
There are no tea or coffee facilities in the room, but free coffee and tea is available downstairs by reception at any time of the day or night as are the books and other reading material. (A help-yourself basis).
There's a lady in the next street (turn left when leaving guesthouse, then left at next street) who washes clothes very cheaply. I think it's equivalent to $1 per Kilo, which is better than paying per item. She does a great job.
I WAS told that cash payment was necessary, as is the case in many properties in LP. It's a nuisance I agree, but one we can happily accept if it means this town will remain less "commerialised" aka "spoiled" for a little while longer. Another inconvenience is the small amount one can withdraw from an ATM at any one time. I overcame this challenge by going into the bank and asking them to do a withdrawal of a larger amount for me, for which I wasn't charged. Our greedy banks in Australia charge each time a withdrawal is made, which makes withdrawing multiple times in order to get adequate money out of our own accounts, can be expensive.
The manager recommended the Riverside Travel Agent opposite the "Big Tree" in the same street, and I booked a "tour" to the caves with him. At the caves I had to pay an entrance fee! Also, the "tour" operator, or longboat driver, first stopped at a village, and we all went ashore to see streets of stalls selling the same made-in-china stuff that one sees at the markets (in the main). Then, after the caves, the longboat driver suggested we all pay him an extra bunch of money (can't remember how much) and he will take us up an adjoining river or contributory, which, due to two of us wanting it, we were all obligated to do, in a way. He claimed wonderful views etc etc. That took us about 15 minutes and it was nothing to write home about. I wasn't impressed with this "tour" due to non-disclosure of extras, (common, I know), and wouldn't recommend that travel agent.
I would recommend this guesthouse, and would stay here again in a heartbeat.
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- Also Known As:
- Sayo Guest House Hotel Luang Prabang