We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Charming but with faults”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Ban Sabai Riverside Bungalow
Ranked #9 of 23 Hotels in Vang Vieng
Babson Park, FL
Level 6 Contributor
163 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“Charming but with faults”
Reviewed July 28, 2009

We stayed at Ban Sabai for 2 nights during low season. We wanted a superior room but they were all booked and took the deluxe rooms. Upon entering there was no power which was due to a total shut-down for the day for both Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang so I cannot fault the hotel for that. Once the power came on, however, our a/c unit did not have a control with it and we were not able to cool it off suitably for at least 6 hours. The bungalow was on stilts and overlooked the river. It had a beautiful balcony with windowed doors that open. The doors were warped from moisture and opening and closing was difficult--probably not so much of a problem in the dry season. Our bathroom was large enough and clean. There was an armoire, but no TV or fridge which we enjoyed at all of our other hotels during our month long trip. There were gaping holes in the sides of the walls with the floor allowing mosquitoes and ants to easily get into the room. The mosquito netting helped if you could keep it around the bed. We heard one "thing" scratching on the outer wall and with a smack on the wall we did not hear it again (maybe a rat?) The ants were ridiculous and actually ate a hole in my pants! The restaurant was beautiful and overlooked the river. The food was adequate and service was the same. Overall, I believe it was a bit pricey for what we got and I surely did not enjoy the problem with the ants and the a/c but we survived. The town is definitely made for 20-somethings looking to party but it is picturesque and there is a beautiful village across the river you should visit.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rplove5662
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

292 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    76
    131
    51
    18
    16
See reviews for
33
150
26
3
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (51)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Somerset, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed May 1, 2009

My husband, our 3 month old daughter and I stayed at ban sabai for 3 nights. The first night we stayed in a delux (ie standard) bungalow and it really wasn't great. The smallest bathroom I have ever seen! The room itself was ok, but not great as we could even hear the next door room snoring. The bungalows are made with bamboo matting, so mosquitos have no trouble at all getting in. The net over the bed was not big enough to go around the bed and would only work if we tucked it underneath us!

The nest 2 nights we stayed in a superior. There is NO contest!! For an extra 5USD you cannot go wrong, the bathroom is about 5 times the size, the space in the room is much better and the balcony is lovely over the grass!

We found the restaurant food really good, although it is entirely devoid of atmosphere! But for the convenience of having good food on your doorstep, it was worth it! The breakfast which is included was average, but the rest of the menu (we had BBQ, spaghetti carbonara, chicken & cashew nut, and other thai dishes and enjoyed them all!)

To be honest I think Vang Vieng is not really suited to our style, it is much more "back packer friendly" but we stayed at the hotel most of the time and we enjoyed it! Be sure to buy mosquito repellant when you get there and wear it 24/7!!! You can swim in the nearby Vansana hotel for a mere 20,000 kip (less than 3USD) per person!! We never did it, but the pool is fab, we did have a look at it.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SomersetKE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2009

We stayed here for two nights before we were thrown out, which turned out to be a blessing. We made an advance reservation here through the Green Discovery office in Luang Prabang because we were wary of arriving in high season without a reso (which turned out to be a reasonable concern). However, we were charged a steep fee per day to make an advance booking so just booked for two nights. We made it clear that if the bungalows were nice, we would stay as long as a week. When we arrived, they didn't say anything about having to leave in 2 days. But after the first night when we spoke to reception to confirm our ongoing stay, they told us we would have to leave as they were fully booked. They didn't seem very concerned that we wanted to stay longer and we felt like we were being tossed out in favour of a large tour group (which was exactly what happened).
We did find a beautiful new guesthouse (above a store) just a short distance away which was much cheaper, cleaner and more amenities. The rooms at Ban Sabai were charming, but there was no tv and no fridge, things that were standard at other hotels/guesthouses in this price range. Our bathroom also leaked horribly when it rained. There were literally rivulets of water coming in through the roof and puddles of water on the floor.
The location right on the water is very scenic, but I think this bungalow operation is overpriced for what you get.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank amazon_blonde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed March 31, 2009

Stay here if you like uncomfortable, run down, small, rat infested rooms. The only thing good to say about this place is that the staff didn't argue when I showed them the rat droppings. Over priced and clearly over rated. Plenty of other places to stay.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HepKitten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
85 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2009

We stayed here for 4 hours...
One of the reasons I picked this was because Green Discovery tours recommended them. It needs a bit of work done. The rooms are ok but our air con was leaking and when we came back from dinner, we discovered our crackers had been attacked by rats! We checked out immedietely and got a full refund. As for Vang Vieng, we didn't like it at all. It is a typical example of commercial tourism gone horribly wrong!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank noxioust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
Reviewed February 22, 2009

Booked on the web via vang vieng-hotels.com. Their Superior rooms are described as, amongst other things, "Bathtub, living area". We checked in and the small room had neither. This for $40 USD. I then tried to have a shower but it was cold - a member of staff messed with it for 5 mins and then said "hot now". It was not at all. We got a refund and checked out immediately and paid $10 more to stay next door in the Vansana in an executive suite, with pool, gym, and a great terrace. Easy choice.

When probed I found that only one of the superior rooms has a bathtub and living area.

May seem trivial, but when you pay $40 US for a room in Vang Vieng you expect to get what you paid for. The Vansana was excellent.

p.s. A high rise is being built next door so expect to be woken by men at work at 8am.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank OntheSpectrum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level 5 Contributor
41 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
Reviewed February 2, 2009

We had a nice three-night stay at Ban Sabai which is in Vang Vieng, not Vientiane as the listing states. In any case, our bungalow was basic but very clean and the bed was very comfortable. We had a cute little deck where we sat outside and relaxed. As someone else said, hotels in this part of the world are not always perfect. Indeed, the water pressure could have been better and the water hotter. But those small details aside, the property was lovely, the view from the restaurant is nothing less than jaw-dropping. The coffee could be better, but I could say that for nearly every place I stayed in SE Asia.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kittypatrol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Vang Vieng hotels
0.1 mi away
Vieng Tara Villa
Vieng Tara Villa
#3 of 23 in Vang Vieng
192 reviews
0.5 mi away
Mountain View Riverside Boutique Hotel
0.2 mi away
The Elephant Crossing Hotel
The Elephant Crossing Hotel
#7 of 23 in Vang Vieng
449 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.0 mi away
Villa Nam Song Vang Vieng
Villa Nam Song Vang Vieng
#4 of 23 in Vang Vieng
169 reviews
0.3 mi away
Vang Vieng Boutique Hotel
Vang Vieng Boutique Hotel
#2 of 23 in Vang Vieng
201 reviews
0.0 mi away
Riverside Boutique Resort
Riverside Boutique Resort
#1 of 23 in Vang Vieng
665 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Ban Sabai Riverside Bungalow? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Ban Sabai Riverside Bungalow

Property: Ban Sabai Riverside Bungalow
Address: Ban Savang, Vang Vieng 1003, Laos
Location: Laos > Vientiane Province > Vang Vieng
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 23 Hotels in Vang Vieng
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Ban Sabai Riverside Bungalow 3*
Number of rooms: 11
Also Known As:
Ban Sabai Riverside Bungalow Hotel Vang Vieng

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing