Sunday, January 19, 2014

SWEET DREAMS IN VIENTIANE LAOS

Nightly turn-down service!
Indeed, those were sweet dreams at the SALANA BOUTIQUE HOTEL in Vientiane, Laos. It was a perfect stay all in all, with only minor items that did not work perfectly. 

I had looked up the down the maps and booking sites before I decided that I will stay at the Salana. I had several other hotels booked first, which were half the price, but in the end, the location of the Salana is awesome, close to the river, nestled between two temples and next to restaurants. And the reviews were awesome, however accurate they are, but in comparison to comments on other hotels, this one seemed the best choice. 



As always, my personal ranking and rating system needs to be applied here, and I think I will use this for my future hotels as well:

Location 5 of 5 
Room Size 5 of 5
WiFi free and working 4 of 5
Breakfast included and yummy 4 of 5
Staff competency and friendliness 4 of 5
Safety box in the room and adequate size 5 of 5
Bathroom functionality 5 of 5
Room design and functionality 5 of 5
Sounds 4 of 5 



Location rocked! Right next to Wat Ong Tue and behind Wat In Peng. Just what I wanted. Walkable distance to the Mekong River, restaurants and night market. 

The room was large and I had plenty of space to open my large suitcase. No drawers really, but enough hanging space. Free WiFi is a must for me and it worked mostly, but slow.


Breakfast was included with plenty of choices from the buffet, plus a selection of freshly cooked items. My vegetarian omelet came with ham though :-(  so I returned it. I opted for a saver choice the next morning with two fried eggs and those were completely forgotten while my toast, beans and the tea were cold by the time they came after I complained. Staff was friendly and nice but seemed to lack a good manager who keeps an eye on things.


Staff overall was very attentive, friendly and competent. One thing did not work and it pissed me off but the hotel apologized and in the end did not charge me for it, so I will only mention here that the hotel learns from mistakes and tries to correct them. 

Laptop, camera and all my valuables fit into the safety box, which was securely mounted at an acceptable height inside the closet. 



The bathroom was great, with a nice gallery-style window to the garden from the shower, plenty of light for shaving or putting contact lenses in and the amenities were plenty. Nice large fluffy towels which were exchanged daily!



Awesome large bed (I like it hard) with a thick blanket (it was only 10 degrees at night). Hundreds of TV channels, fully equipped bar!!! and a nice desk and chair for working on the laptop. Plenty of electric sockets, so batteries, phones, laptop and anti-mosquito plug-in worked (though I probably would not have needed it, there were no mosquitoes in the room. 


hallway to the lobby

The doors of the rooms are equipped with an electronic alarm which sounds when the door is not fully shut, which resulted in the guests slamming the doors into the lock. That was a bit disturbing and it was so noisy that I actually had to sleep with ear plugs, which I never really do anywhere. 


View onto the temples
There is a lounge with a balcony on the 4th floor with a good view onto the neighborhood. Limited drinks are available though and WiFi did not work for me up there, despite having the right password. 

All in all a great stay and I will surely book this place again for a future trip!

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