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“Overrated”

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Ban Sabai Riverside Bungalow
Ranked #10 of 24 Hotels in Vang Vieng
Reviewed October 10, 2012

We stayed two nights and were really disappointed. The room was tiny and it was a struggle for the 2 of use to move about the room. Mosquitoes were a major problem as there were holes and gaps in the walls everywhere, the only relief was to get under the mosquito net. There is a sign on the wall advising not to have food in the room as it will attract animals! We did have visitors in the night and they made a meal of my leather Birrinstock sandals. I mentioned this to the management and was offered a $4.00 discount which I refused. The breakfast was basic but okay. One thing that really shocked was seeing a staff member kicking a plastic bottle into the river rather than picking it up. I know I am going against most of the reviews here but this was our feeling and experience of this hotel.

Room Tip: Our room was number 1 Others might be better.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank MissyLorna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMINTHIRA, General Manager at Ban Sabai Riverside Bungalow, responded to this reviewResponded November 22, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your experience with other travelers. Of course, i am always unhappy when i read that we could not satisfy our guests.
Regarding the staff kicking a plastic bottle in the River, it is very unlike them and i was very angry to read that. I met with all of them and stressed how important nature is to all of us. We always try to do our share and i will personally make sure it does not happen again. If anyone sees anything like this happening at our hotel, please report to me immediately.
I am sorry you did not enjoy our bungalows and we are doing all we can to make sure bugs and unwanted visitors stay away from the bungalows. Incidents happen unfortunately and i am sorry you had to experience that.

In case you wish to visit Vang Vieng again, please contact me personally and i will take care of your reservation.

Best regards,

Taiy,
General Manager
Ban Sabai

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112 - 118 of 292 reviews

Reviewed October 4, 2012

For many years, although living in Laos, i avoided visiting Vang Vieng because of its seedy reputation for excessive drinking, drug taking and general unpleasant behaviour. But if you avoid the centre of own late at night you do not have to experience that. V V is really a stunningly beautiful place and if you stay at Ban Sabai you can enjoy the beauty in quiet elegant surroundings for a very modest cost. I cannot think that you will find anywhere nicer. Rooms are spacious and clean, Reception is welcoming and efficient, food is good, staff are friendly and the views are beautiful. What more could one want?

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank afsl0nd0n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2012

We stayed in Ban Sabai recently. We only booked for one night but wished we could stay longer but couldn't as we had onward bookings and they were full anyway. We walked in and didn't leave at all until the next morning. Set right on the river, we had plenty to enjoy - the local kids swimming, going to school, bringing in the cows. The dragon boat teams practicing on the river and sunset over the karst hills over the river. Idyllic. The pool is small, but we enjoyed cooling off and chatting with other guests and the food was good. The rooms were fine, particularly No 12 where one of our party stayed, which overlooks the pool. I must make a special mention of the staff. All are friendly and helpful, but Mr Tai went out of his way to help us when I left my documents in the room and he arranged for them to be sent back to Vientiane for us. They were waiting at the reception when we arrived.
We would definitely recommend Ban Sabai to travellers, especially if you want to relax, rather than party.

Room Tip: The rooms round the pool are probably the best, though all have a view of the river.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank LesleyKlang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2012

We went to Vang Vieng for the weekend and stayed at Ban Sabai, after recommendations from friends. Our bungalow was right beside the pool, with a view of the river.

Staff at the hotel were friendly and helpful ... a free cocktail on arrival is always appreciated! Breakfast was included in the room rate.

We used the reception's link to local tourist operators to book our half-day kayaking trip.

The pool is tiny but very clean.

Room Tip: The more expensive rooms seem to be closer to the river, but it's no big deal. Even the cheapes...
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank JeanneX23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2012

Ban Sabai is a small but quaint bungalow operation located right by the river which is owned by the Inthara hotel group. The principle benefit of staying here is the beautiful view you get of the river front and the karst mountain range. It's also conveniently located by several tour shops, mini marts, restaurants, as well as the river bridge which allows you to cross to the other side. The hotel is also a good (walking) distance away from the main hostel/guesthouses strip so that you won't get annoyed by noise from drunken backpackers during the evening.

During our stay we booked two different bungalows and both were clean, comfortable, and decently maintained. They were no frills bungalows but also all had air con, electric mosquito repellant devices, and netting. The rooms were a pretty good value at around $30-40 during low season.

There's a small swimming pool on the grounds but it's more of a kiddie pool or wading pool than an adult one.

Morning breakfast was included and was a simple set menu with options you could choose from. Coffee, juice, tea, and fruit was laid out on a standard spread for you to help yourself with. The staff were reasonably pleasant to deal with but some of the services offered by the hotel seemed lacking. I usually rent motorbikes from the place i'm staying at and was very surprised to find out that the hotel doesn't have their own rentals. Instead the reception staff filled out a form for us and pointed us down the street to a motorbike rental shop which then tried to charge much higher prices than the 50,000 kip a day that was stated on the brochure at the hotel. Of course, we decided to go to a different motorbike rental shop instead. Not offering in house rentals seems like a remarkably big oversight for such a large chain. Other than this everything else went smoothly from check in to check out.

It seems like the managing staff has been listening to past complaints and are working to rectify some other previous issues this place has had. You can see staff scrubbing the place down and maintaining the hotel grounds fairly often. If this hotel doesn't try to creep up market price wise and maintains its current standard it's still one of the best values in Vang Vieng to stay at.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Bolognapony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2012

Stayed here in August with 2 couples.
You fall in love with this place as soon as you walk past reception and see the rooms.
We were located in one of the higher bungalows with great veiws of the river.
The breakfast here was the best breakfast I have had in any hotel / resort I have been. I don't know if they freshly bake the bread or just heat it up but the bagette you get with your bacon and eggs kicks off your day a brilliant way.
Staff here are very helpful and I highly recommend a 3-4 night stay here. Do the tubing twice if you're game.
Just be careful if you are travelling from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang by private van. If you go with the wrong tour company you get pulled over and your driver gets arrested. We arranged our tour through a tour company just down the road to the left from this hotel. Can't recall their name but it turns out they were not the right company. Only 1 company is allowed to take tourists from VV to LP and the result was that our driver got locked up and they arranged for the correct company to come and get us. Just be careful.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ross W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2012

The hotel is by the river. The view from the restaurant is stunning. Nice hotel. The view from the river view rooms is fantastic. We along with 10 of our friends stayed there in July of this year. However, the hotel is in pretty bad shape. The roof leaks. Molds around the bath tub due to poor drainage. Ants are everywhere. Termites are eating away at the structures. You can see the destruction looking at the wooden foundation. Very little privacy. You can hear people talking next door and outside your room. You can see people talking shower from the pool because the curtains are almost see-through. The mosquito netting has a strong stench odor. The pillow also has a stench odor. It is a nice hotel that needs lots of TLC. If nothing is done soon, I am afraid the hotel will be beyond repair. We love the location and the layout of the hotel …. but it needs lots of works and upgrade.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank FD C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
InthiraMD, General Manager at Ban Sabai Riverside Bungalow, responded to this reviewResponded August 21, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your constructive feedback. I am glad that you and your friends enjoyed your stay.
I will share your comments with the owner and we will look into what can be done in terms of renovation.
Our concept is cozy bungalows, using local material for their construction as much as possible and trying to fit into the nature.

I hope you will come back and see by yourself the improvements.

We wish you safe journeys,

Tai,
General Manager
Ban Sabai

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ban Sabai Riverside Bungalow

Address: Ban Savang, Vang Vieng 1003, Laos
Location: Laos > Vientiane Province > Vang Vieng
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 24 Hotels in Vang Vieng
Price Range: $25 - $49 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Ban Sabai Riverside Bungalow 3*
Number of rooms: 11
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Also Known As:
Ban Sabai Riverside Bungalow Hotel Vang Vieng

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