The Best of NileGuide
Vientiane is one of the smallest capital cities in the world, so location is less important here than in most places. Nevertheless, the central city is considered the place to be. There is a cluster of hotels along Pang Kham Street, with the Settha Palace Hotel being a favorite. The building is a French colonial structure from 1932, and the luxurious hotel has been restored to its former charm. Lao Plaza is another good up-market choice here. There are also mid-market properties; three of the best are the three-star City Inn, the two-and-a-half-star Family Hotel and the Lani Guest House, a French colonial-style house in a small garden. Budget hotels in this area tend to be fairly basic.
There are several excellent accommodations on the periphery of the central area. Some of these have a very pleasant ambiance and are still within walking distance of central attractions. One of the best is the Green Park Boutique Hotel and Resort on Thanon Ku Vieng, about one kilometer east from the Morning Market. This is a boutique hotel built in Lao style in a garden setting. Down near the river, the Lao Orchid is a good mid-market choice. It has some suites that can be rented by the month for long-term stayers. Also on the river but farther out, the Beau Rivage Mekong Hotel is quite nice.
Two recently opened mid-budget properties receiving good reviews are the Mixay Paradise, a clean, new guesthouse with friendly staff and a free breakfast, and the Youth Inn 2, which opened in late 2009 and is very clean, with en-suite rooms with air-conditioning and fans. Lastly there is the old Lane Xang Hotel, built in 1960, which imparts the charm of former glory.
Vientiane is a fairly safe city in terms of crime. However, bag snatching from guests sitting in front of cafes is becoming more common. Visitors should note that in an attempt to prevent the development of the sex trade industry that is so prevalent in neighbouring Thailand, Lao law states that foreigners cannot have sexual relations with Lao nationals other than their spouses.