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“High potential, but poor service”

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Vansana Plain Of Jars Hotel
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Phonsavan
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
29 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“High potential, but poor service”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2013

Me and my wife stayed for two nights here on our last trip (to Northern Laos) in September. And this hotel really has the potential to provide a very pleasant stay in Phonsavan: it has a good location over the city (although the road, on its last 500m, is terrible), nice and spacious bungalows and the hotel itself has nice gardens and common spaces. But, probably due to the lack of clients, the service is poor and the rooms are not particularly well maintained... Nevertheless, it is probably one of the best choices in Phonsavan!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank pmlousa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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259 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    41
    14
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24
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29
5
Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
Date | Rating
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English first
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 8, 2013

We had read the reviews and luckily were not expecting too much. We stayed in one of the 'VIP' rooms which had a little lounge, the room was clean and well presented and we had a nice view overlooking the surrounding country side. We stayed for two nights to do the plain of jars however my advice would be to do it in one. Unfortunately our stay was mar'd by a couple of events which included our next door neighbour later on in the first evening deciding to start a fire in his fireplace (the lounge in 'VIP' room has a fireplace) with the smoke also filling our room, followed by no water the next morning and a significant hassle with checking out. We had prepaid using a Teamworkz voucher which we presented on arrival however they had lost it and wanted to bill us for the full rack rate again on checkout. This took half an hour to sort out so if you use this method I would suggest you take two copies. Food was very average although the spring rolls came through. Reading back over this it looks like a big whinge, however it is the way it was. As others have said - it could be much more.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sijaamma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Phonsavan hotels

Edinburgh, Scotland
Level Contributor
415 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 151 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 7, 2013

There are not a lot of hotels to choose from in this area but this is one of the better ones.
Reflecting back on some of the reviews we read before we went makes it very clear to us that you must not compare a 4 star in Phonosavan with a 4 star in Dubai.
You have to take into consideration that this is one of the poorest countries. Yes they don't speak good English, hello, why should they. Do you speak Lao ? So that aside the rooms are very large, clean floors, western wc (very important), with AC. Location is lovely right on top of a small hill with fine views. If you do wish to eat in town just bear in mind that it is a few hundred yards down an unpaved, uneven road. We ate in the hotel, there was only one other family staying and the hotel couldn't do enough for us but everyone in Laos is super friendly. Why only average for value ? We felt they have set themselves up at the top end of the price range.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ali921
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 20, 2013

Only spent one night here after exploring the plain of jars. Well appointed hotel sitting on the edge of town. Had dinner and breakfast here and both were very nice. Nice outlook .Good place to relax. Walking distance into town.

Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Travelling_Spuddies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
159 reviews
87 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 18, 2013 via mobile

As I prepared to submit this review I saw that the reviewer below me had already said everything I wanted to say. What is missing from the other reviews is that the rooms are very spacious. If they were better appointed and the hotel had better amenities the rooms would be suites. We had a fully furnished lounge room, a very large bedroom and a large bathroom. There is also an excellent private balcony with sensational views.

The downsides are many:
The beds are in the running for the hardest in Laos;
The food is dreadful;
The water barely runs out of the taps;
The breakfast runs from 7:00 to 9:00(allegedly) but they start packing it up at 8:30. It's rubbish anyway but the whole thing needs to be overhauled;
It is a fair distance from town. I was told there was a shuttle but I didn't see one.

It's not expensive so I would rate it good value and would give it a higher rating than my predecessor but generally his comments are right on the money. A missed opportunity indeed.

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank RomaPHILE33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 10, 2013

First, this has a wonderful hill top setting with comfortable motel style rooms with possibly the hardest mattresses in Laos. The bathroom was modern and clean, if a little gaudy. There is an efficient laundry service.

However, the haphazard service is possibly down to language differences, think Fawlty Towers. Avoid the restaurant or at least stick to the Asian choices, the interpretation of simple western grills was beyond words. If you have time, or indeed the inclination after a hard day's walking around the Plain of Jars, a walk down the hill to find something more palatable is recommended. The breakfast was appalling. There is a bar but it was not manned. We also had the most under stocked mini bar we have ever seen.

Due to its location and the fact that there aren't that many hotels in this region, this hotel could, and should, be a fabulous place to stay. For example, it could offer spa/massage facilities; after walking around the jars all day what could be better than a nice massage, especially a foot massage - which are so spectacular in Laos. They could, with clever planning, install a swimming pool which would be a welcome experience for many guests.

All in all, this hotel has a lot going for it, it simply needs an injection of ideas to make the place more of a magical experience.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MrHooFangDung
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
83 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 28, 2013

We stayed at this hotel for 2 nights while on Laos Travel trip around Laos ( Laos Travel is outstanding - best company I've dealt with!). Hotel was clean, professionally run, rooms were large, with great views. We were only 2 staying at hotel at this time. Grounds were well kept and delightful. There was no air con but not needed as it was a little chilly. The fan was adequate. Water pressure could have been stronger but did the job. Great to see a hair dryer. Initially I thought the bed was hard but didn't have any trouble sleeping. Breakfast was included and, although not a buffet was adequate - delicious fruit, toast, coffee/tea omelette and ham/ sausage. Delightful view. We had dinner in restaurant one night - expensive and average fare. Suggest eat out. Disadvantage is hotel is away from main centre (what there is of it!) so need to get tuk tuk. Hotel will drop you in town. Staff very friendly and lots of them.

Room Tip: Ask staff to drop u in town for dinner rather than staying at hotel and get tuk tuk back. Also visit...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bea D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vansana Plain Of Jars Hotel

Property: Vansana Plain Of Jars Hotel
Address: Ban Phonesavanh, Phonsavan, Laos
Location: Laos > Xiangkhouang Province > Phonsavan
Amenities:
Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Phonsavan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Vansana Plain Of Jars Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 38
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