Most upscale in town
Charming Lao Hotel has lost some of its lustre but in a town where tourism has stagnated, the hotel remains the best in town.
The hotel is located where the main road Route 13 intersects with 2E, the road to Phongsali. It is across from the gated Kaysone Phomvihane Monument park, a short walk up the hill from the market, Tourism Information Centre and the river. In a city lacking charms, the hotel manages to deliver some with friendly English speaking staff and carpeted rooms sporting frills like flatscreen TV, fridge, safety box, free in-room WiFi, air-con, white cotton linens and comfortable duvet.
The room is all bland white, beige or dark wood, with the sensible touches and layout expected of a business hotel like a bedside table, lamp and plug combo on both sides. It’s uncontroversial, a place you’ll forget as soon as you check-out—except perhaps you’ll remember the elaborate swan towel art. Bathrooms are modern affairs with glass shower stalls that actually have shelving inside for toiletries. In a town gone tacky, the rooms are surprisingly tasteful, though it comes at a price and it is now showing some wear and tear. For the room rate it is tempting to grumble about this or that.
In spite of the 17 km distance from town, Namkat Yorlapa Resort is the hotel’s new competition as Namkat Yorlapa’s Eco category room is on par with Charming Lao’s rate. Of course, it may not be practical for a traveller who is just rolling into Udomxai for a night to go to Namkat Yorlapa, though it is tempting as the resort does offer transfers from the city and a night in nature solidly beats Udomxai’s concrete jungle.
A simple breakfast is included, served in the attached Sinouk Cafe on the ground floor. Charming Lao Hotel won’t knock your socks off and it is by no means luxurious. However, look at what else is available in town and it is the best option for a traveller who seeks higher end comfort and can’t make the journey out of town.
Address: Road to Phongsali, Udomxai
T: (081) 212 8813;
Coordinates (for GPS): 101º58'57.12" E, 20º41'32.43" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: US$20 to 50
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Standard double room|
US$70 for a twin room
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.
Provided by Travelfish partner Agoda.
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