Midrange rooms are good
Eastern end of main road, Phongsali
The Phongsali Hotel is a big, white, square concrete building in the easternmost reach of town.
The lack of atmosphere starts from the outside but does improve slightly once you're in the door due to fresh paint and flatscreen TVs. Not only are stairways and corridors dirty, they are dotted with scary looking electrical circuit boards. Three standards of room are on offer: the cheapest are plain basic rooms with three beds and nothing else. Bed sheets are clean, and shared bathrooms with squat toilet and cold bucket wash are cleanish. More appealing are the midrange rooms with hot water bathrooms with Western toilets, great bedding atop what feel like slab sof concrete but are in fact spring mattresses and a desk and chair. These rooms really have been upgraded over the years and feel much more comfortable than ever before and up there with the best rooms in town. A restaurant downstairs serves good Chinese food and you'll occasionally find locals who aren't staying at the hotel eating here too.
By Adam Poskitt
Last updated on 14th November, 2012.