Modern hotel, unique location
Chantong Guesthouse literally stands out from the crowd with its location in a central but more local part of Sam Neua. Unlike the majority of budget accommodation options, which are found in a neighbourhood around the roundabout, Chantong is across from the stadium and sprawling concrete park, the area the town has tried to make into Sam Neua’s heart.
Staying at Lao-owned Chantong adds an extra 800 metre walk from the roundabout and this will be worth it to the traveller looking for the most comfort in Sam Neua. As of 2018, this is the town’s newest, most modern and flashiest budget accommodation. When we inspected, everything shone, from the glossy tile to the metal handrails to the lift. Obviously this may not be the case in a few years but what can be relied upon is that the four-storey building has spacious rooms with a few hotel stylings like tall ceilings, big windows, flat screen TV and sturdy, solid wood furnishings. Guests can also opt for a room with air-con, a feature not found in other places.
Other than that, it shares similarities with budget accommodation like Phasouk Guesthouse. There’s WiFi, free coffee/tea, a firm bed, bedside plugs and wetroom style bathroom with a robust hot water heater. Because of its newness, it is definitely better value as same-priced Chittavanah or Phonchalern.
Rooms on the ground floor don’t receive much natural light as the windows are partially blocked by a wall so try to get one on the upper floors. There’s oodles of natural light and a view to the stadium and park where every evening locals stroll the concrete paths or browse the very small night market that pops up. It’s certainly not a guesthouse feel and the extra distance from the bus station won’t make sense for those only staying in Sam Neua for a night. This is all about getting a bit of modern comfort if Sam Neua’s predominantly basic cheapies are too rough.
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Dbl fan private bathroom|
120,000 kip for a deluxe
|100,000 kip||100,000 kip|
|Dbl air-con private bathroom||140,000 kip||140,000 kip|
Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you’ll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.
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