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Green Park Boutique Hotel (Vientiane, Laos)

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Highly-rated boutique hotel in Vientane, Laos.

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      01.04.2012 14:39
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      A lovely boutique hotel with beautiful gardens and delightful staff

      Green Park Boutique Hotel, Vientiane This hotel was a little way out of the city and would have been a pretty good walk but the hotel did offer a shuttle service. Once again this was an older style hotel and only two storeys high. All the rooms appeared to have a pool view as there were built around the pool and pond. Each room had a small balcony or patio with a couple of chairs looking out over this central area. FIRST IMPRESSIONS As you turn off the road into the hotel grounds the car park and area look okay but nothing special. There is a sliding gate with a security guard there day and night. When we left at 4am he did look half asleep as he slid the gate open for us. RECEPTION A large airy glass walled area with two sets of sofas and low tables. The tables were beautiful with glass tops and small silver jewellery boxes under the glass display top. We were very quickly given our room keys and then escorted to our room by the receptionist and two porters. We were given a bit of a guided tour of the hotel and shown the bar, pool and restaurant on the way to the room. The reception building is separate from the rest of the hotel rather Japanese style with a wooden bridge over the pools surrounding it. The paths around the hotel with a bit like quarry tiles and when wet could be pretty slippery. Indeed when we got Monsoon type rain the next day we discovered that indeed it5 was pretty lethal and walked with extreme care. I found it better to take my shoes off. THE ROOM We had a large room with polished wooden floors and no rugs at all. The bed was a very large king sized affair with a simple mosquito net above. It was made with lovely quality cotton sheets and had four huge pillows as well as three decorated silk covered cushions and a runner for decoration. Once again we had a huge wardrobe with hanging space only and one shelf for the safe and the two white cotton robes. Two pairs of flip flops were also provided with two umbrellas and a pair of slippers. Sadly this didn't leave much room for us to store our clothes which was oaky as we only had a couple of nights here but if you were staying a week it could be annoying having to use you case or bag to keep your clothes in. Another huge dark polished wooden unit held the fridge and mini bar and this also had a big flat screened TV on the top. Again not very useful for storing any clothes and taking up a lot of room space just housing tea/coffee making stuff and a minibar. A desk/table with a socket underneath had a nice table lamp and the hotel booklet, menus and other bits of information. Once again there was free wifi but this time the code was the more normal numbers and letters combination. On the other side of the room was a sort of two chaired sofa and a low coffee table. Most of this was covered in clothes while we were there. We had a small patio/balcony with two low wooden arm chairs with cushions and a coffee table. In front of this were so many trees that we had total privacy in the room and could just about make out the pool below us if we looked carefully between the trees. BATHROOM This was the best we had in Laos as it had a lovely big bath with a shower nozzle over in. On the outside wall there was a huge glass window and behind this a small garden with pots and statues all carefully made private by a wooden enclosure which presumably was accessible to deal with the garden if needed. Apart from the bath and the wooden step with hand rail for getting out of the bath, there was a toilet and a sink unit with a socket to one side. A large well lit mirror was behind the sink unit and there was also a shaving mirror on the wall for makeup and the like. Toiletries included a lovely rosemary scented shampoo and conditioner, an aromatherapy body lotion and bath gel as well as soap, cotton buds and two toothbrushes with mini toothpaste which I packed as they are great for weekends away! SWIMMING POOL This looked very nice and we get ourselves all ready to go and spend an hour reading then a swim before going out but sadly when we went down the half dozen sunbeds all had people or possessions on them so we decided to go and sit in the chairs in front of the bar and enjoy an iced tea and the gardens while we read instead. I do think that the hotel needs to think of getting a few more sun beds as six is not really sufficient for the size of hotel. It has such a beautiful garden and pool that it would have been nice to lie and enjoy it rather than sitting. DOK DALAR - LOUNGE AND COFFEE This is also the bar and it is open from 6am until 10pm daily. A lovely glass walled area with comfortable seats and low tables and local paintings on the back solid wall. Once again the floors were polished wood and there were no rugs on the floor. We enjoyed a drink in here but didn't sample the food, drink service was excellent and we even had a complimentary bowl of peanuts brought with our iced tea we was a nice touch. SALA NONG CHANH- RESTAURANT Once again this was very tastefully decorated with large picture windows looking down across the pond and pool. The other side had a patio where you could eat outside with a view of Vientiane in the distance but sadly the closer view when we stayed was of an open area ready for a new build shopping centre which may not add to the outlook for some months once it gets underway. We ate in the restaurant on both nights. The first because we were tired after our travelling and the second night as it had rained all day and was still raining and we really couldn't see the point in the hassle of getting the hotel shuttle into town just to eat in a different restaurant as this one had excellent food and we discovered that the Laos food was pretty similar in most places we had eaten. Why make things hard? On each dining occasion we ate local dishes and both evenings the food was beautifully cooked and presented. When we said we were going to share the dishes the waiter rushed over to get us a pkate each. We were asked if we wanted the stir fried noodle dish spicy and my husband said 'yes' so enthusiastically that we do get it VERY spicy. I found if I picked out the huge slices of red chilli then I could cope but I wasn't challenging myself with the obvious slices on top. The fried Mekong fish we hadwas really tasty and not a bone in sight. On the second night we chose different dishes, stir fried vegetables and a chicken with mushrooms along with steamed rice and these were just as tasty but less spicy. The prices at this hotel were higher than others and each night with a couple of G&Ts for me and Laos beers for my husband the bill came to about £30 which was not bad by English standards but quite expensive for Laos. Breakfasts were a good buffet with a choice of tea or coffee, a few fruit juices, fruit, a variety of pastries, cheese and pickles and cold meat as well as hot eggs, bacon etc. They also had the lovely Asian offerings such as chicken porridge (don't ask!!) and miso soup as well as chilli, soya sauce and other extras for those inclined to these choices. I have never tried chicken porridge but my husband who tries everything sad it was pretty nasty, sort of as it sounds chicken favoured VERY thick soup. They had a egg cook for omelettes as well and usually they will also do pancakes but as I didn't really want one I didn't investigate that. I did find some yogurts so I was happy with the fruit and toast with the yogurt. On the morning we left we had to be gone before official breakfast time so they packed us up and bag of breakfast. This had a bottle of water each, a box of orange juice, a banana, a yogurt and a cheese and ham sandwich. We thought we wouldn't be able to take the liquid through at the airport (you could we discovered!) so we gave one yogurt and the orange drinks to our guide and driver. I ate the one yogurt and my husband enjoyed the sandwiches and bananas and we shared one bottle of water, we took the other through as when we asked our guide he said it should be no problem and indeed he was right. I thought that it was nice of them to pack something for us as I can't imagine a UK hotel doing that! When we checked out we paid the bill by credit card and this cost us 3% extra but it did save converting more money and we get the bill when we get back home too. OTHER BITS There was a spa but we didn't get the chance to enjoy the services here. Each room had umbrellas with the room number on so if you left it somewhere they knew where it came from. We needed these the second day we were there as it rained constantly all day and the rain came down in buckets. The rivers filled, the roads were covered and some of the places we were meant to visit were closed. I would suggest that a visit to Laos during the rainy season should be avoided as it really was very difficult. The thunder was so loud it made me jump as though I had been shot as we sat enjoying our breakfast. RECOMMENDED? Yes this was a lovely hotel about a fifteen minute walk from the tourist part of the city. The staff were delightful and so helpful. The room was really big and quite luxurious; the wifi was free which is more than you get in most UK hotels . I thought it was a delightful oasis of calm and would certainly suggest this as a hotel to stay in while in Vientiane. Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name. ©Catsholiday

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