I stayed at Nice Guest House Phonsavan in July 2012 for 4 nights. Everything was fine and I had no major complaints. Then it was time to check out when all the drama started:
The check out time on the 'rules and guidelines' of the guest house in my room was 12:30 in the afternoon. By the time I went down with my bags it was 1:15pm. I paid for the 4 nights stay and tried to leave. The guy at the desk (either a worker, or manager or the owner) demanded that I pay a whole nights stay for late check out. I have been traveling for nearly a year around South East Asia and no guest house has ever tried to charge for 45mins overstay. This was ridiculous.
Part of the problem was that at the desk the check out time was noted as 12:00 noon. This discrepancy was their fault. However, even considering this, it was low season, the place had plenty of rooms free if anyone did arrive and they couldn't get my room ready in time, there was going to be no loss for the business.
The guy kept demanding that I pay and I refused and he threatened to call the police. I told him he was welcome to. He then started saying/making threats that he wishes I have a crash or accident during the rest of my travels.
He and another friend of his then brought round a "police officer" along with an "interpreter". I told my story, then they told me to go to my room with them, these 4 guys.
I then got uncomfortable by this and demanded to see the identification of the "police officer" who was most likely just a security guard working around the area. He couldn't show any ID. Then the worker/manager/owner produced a sheet of paper showing that the check out time in my room was 12 noon - which he had just printed off - this wasn't the one that was in my room when I was there. Then I knew for sure there was foul play at hand.
So I said that if they can't produce evidence that the guy is a police officer then I will walk off and call the police myself. So I walked off.
I had a feeling that Nice Guesthouse would try to do something like this - I saw them try to sell a trip to the Plain of Jars to two girls for 600,000kip!
I took a tour with Kong Keo which included the bomb crater, the village, a trek to the waterfall including a picnic lunch and the plain of jars plus a tasty dinner in the evening all for just 130,000kip. Oh, and a sleeper bus back to Vientiane with Kong Keo was only 150,000kip while with Nice Guesthouse it was quoted as 200,000kip.
Now I haven't seen the rooms at Kong Keo but if you want a great atmosphere and the usual discretion with check out times and things like that then stay at Kong's and not Nice Guest House.
I hope this helps someone in the future.
#1 FireTiger has been a member since 14/8/2012. Posts: 2
Really? This sounds a bit fishy to me. I'm not sure why it is the guesthouse's fault that you didn't check out until after 1 pm. I'm afraid I've only heard your side of the story and I still can't agree with you. I'm also sorry to see that you've spent a year travelling southeast Asia and your one and only contribution to this site is an attempt to get even with a guesthouse where you had a dispute.
Charging for a full extra day for late check out always seemed extreme to me too, but I've stayed in lots of places throughout the world that do exactly that. A good way to avoid a problem is to make prior arrangements with the desk staff for a late check out and if that isn't possible - check out on time. Good luck in the future.
The reason why guesthouses can charge a full night’s stay for late checkout is because they can’t sell the room to arriving guests and so lose income. I totally understand this and I have no problem paying under such a scenario.
However, when it is low season and with plenty of rooms free for any arriving guests this reason no longer exists. The business doesn’t lose income so it is morally wrong to charge for overstay.
Furthermore, Nice Guesthouse was dishonest for several reasons:
- Trying to sell a trip to the plain of jars for 4 times the regular price
- Reprinting the ‘rules and guidelines’ notice in my room after I left claiming it was the one there all along
- Bringing round a security guard to pose as a police officer
Finally, most travelers don’t post on travel forums. However, people do speak out if they have had a bad experience and would like to warn others.
#4 FireTiger has been a member since 14/8/2012. Posts: 2
This is terrible, your sense of entitlement is outrageous.
I have one question: if you were in a city in a wealthy nation (London, Sydney etc) would you have demanded the police be called when you knowingly failed to comply with a simple check out instruction?
#5 enday has been a member since 12/9/2012. Posts: 30
"Trying to sell a trip to the plain of jars for 4 times the regular price "
Is that being dishonest? They have the right to charge what they want. Do you compare the content of the tours? If it's unreasonable, the won't anyone taking their tours. You have the right to go on one of their tours - or find another within your budget.
If I want a late checkout, I'll arrange it ahead of time. Sometimes, you are just running late, and the hotel perhaps could have been more reasonable. But if you start showing 'attitude', it's no wonder that they weren't.