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“Absolute one of the musts of our holiday”

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Rivertime Resort and Ecolodge
Ranked #8 of 201 Vientiane B&B and Inns
Reviewed 2 February 2015 via mobile

We spent 2 lovely restfull days in our lodge and on the floating restaurant. We had the the feeling to be almost part of laotian life. The place does need some work done, true, but as Barnaby stated, this is Laos. The grilled fish with vegetables was absolute perfect said Margot.
Hope to visit again Marianne

Stayed: February 2015, travelled with friends
1  Thank Marianne D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 December 2014 via mobile

Our stay was enjoyable although there were a few disappointments. We were looking forward to kayaking (it had a hole and was unusable,) tubing (only one left,) taking the bikes to explore (flat tires and unusable.) But we were still able to swim in the swimming pool which was fun, but beware there is a strong current and if your not a strong swimmer it might take you pretty far. The rooms were ok, there was a giant termite nest in our bathroom and a huge open hole to the attic (with God knows what kinds of creatures.) The maintenance on the place obviously lacked for paying $38 a night. While trying to take a picture of the sunset I fell through the deck of the floating restaurant, luckily not completely, just one leg. But it left some pretty gnarly bruising the rest of my time in Laos. One of the staff came up and showed me a scar spanning her entire shin from when she fell through (I consider myself lucky.) After traveling throughout southeast Asia a little more We realized it is extremely over priced!
All that being said, Barnaby is very nice, welcomed us with a beer and a conversation. I enjoyed how all the guests sat at the same table to eat dinner and chat. And luckily we had some books to bide our time and relax from hectic traveling. He also has a book exchange there which is always a perk.

  • Stayed: November 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank snowmeiser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BarnsLaos, Manager at Rivertime Resort and Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded 8 December 2014

I agree and apologise for things not being up-to-scratch while you were here. I am having a lot of problems at the moment since my two English-speaking staff left a couple of months ago and I'm finding it hard to find anyone else so am having to do almost everything myself.

When running a resort, especially in rural Laos, off the tourist trail, it can be hard to keep everything perfect all the time.

The kayak has been fixed, we now have 5 tubes and the bikes are fine. I naively bought nice bikes in Vientiane not realising that their valves were not the same as the common ones used outside the city. As a result, I have to go to Vientiane to buy new inner tubes and the roads here are obviously not great so punctures happen quite often...

The tubes for river tubing that had been punctured were punctured by guests and my staff had not informed me that they were so. This is Laos...

The kayak had a hole in one end due to my staff dragging it around the restaurant rather than lifting it despite me having explained it several times. I cannot be everywhere at once unfortunately.

Since we are off the tourist trail, we are not packed every night and the floating restaurant is a highlight but is also very expensve to maintain. We make a loss almost every month and have invested heavily in repairing things and replacing things but materials and workmanship are terrible in Laos, especially in rural Laos. I also get ripped off by the locals for their work since I have a white face but I have no choice if I want things repaired. Such is life out here...

As a result, given that $10 of the $38 pays for your breakfast, $3.80 (10%) goes to the government and $2 goes to our community development fund, I have to disagree that it's expensive. I know how much Westerners earn and I know how much hotels etc cost in the West...it works out at 2-3 hours' wages for Westerners.

I find people want as much as they can get for as little as possible, which I understand, but if people want real "ecotourism" to succeed then they have to help fund the costs. We have donated books to three local schools, built a water system for one local school, helped fund sports programmes for local schools etc etc.

Anyway, I'm glad you think I'm nice. I really do try the best I can!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2014

Thank you so much to Barnaby who helped us have an amazing, though short, stay in Laos. The property is beautiful, right on the river. On the water is a large floating dock that houses the restaurant and swimming area. These wonderful women cook all of your meals and can pretty much make whatever you want (the menu is a novel), everything was delicious and we even had the chance to take a cooking class with them where they showed my friends and I how to make 6 different dishes that we proceeded to feast on. Barnaby made us feel very welcome and even took us into a nearby village with his truck to show us around and help us navigate the market. The cabins are rustic, but as long as you're not looking for white robes and fancy linens, you'll be fine. Also, wifi is only in the lodge office, but I was happy to disconnect for awhile. Can't wait to go back!

Room Tip: definitely opt for the private cabins rather than the shared room, it's worth a few extra dollar...
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  • Stayed: November 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Michelle D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 October 2014

Had a great time here, its about 45 mins drive from Vientiane so be prepared for some tuk tuk rides.
I stayed in lodge 1 which was very spacious with a nice bed and hot showers, also a very nice view of the river.
The food is amazing, try the local dishes, and of course the Beerlao!

Good value for what you get!

Thanks Barnaby(Owner) for a lovely 3 days

  • Stayed: October 2014, travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Martin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2014

My wife and I and another friend stayed here for just one night on October 5th-6th. We drove from Vientiane as our friend has a car (my wife and I will take the tuk-tuk next time from central Vientiane). The lodge is buried in trees and plants, right on the riverbank. The lodges cost $38 per night and can sleep two or more - extra beds can be provided. They offer a wide range of extra services - hire the boat for $8 an hour (up to eight people, though I'm not sure I would want to squeeze that many on), massage, organised trips, kayaking, bicycles etc. Some of the extras are free (bicycles), some extra but cheap (kayak is $2 per hour). Breakfast is included and was excellent. The restaurant is good and has a mind-bogglingly long menu (cut it back a bit, Barnaby, takes too long to read!!).

The boat will drop you across the river where there is a nice wat and village - we wandered through rice fields, watched a woman harvesting tamarind flowers, admired the extraordinary chickens they have there and enjoyed being in an ordinary Lao village where tourists were definitely not the norm!!

Criticisms? None, really. We are at the end of the wet season and there are a few repairs that will be needed - some light bulbs/lamps not working, etc. Showers were at best lukewarm but that was pretty much what you wanted in the heat anyway. But it was perfect for what we wanted - peaceful, family-run (little smiling kids running everywhere!), relaxed ("Checking-out time? We don't do that. You leave when you want to") and with a wonderful profusion of trees, plants, flowers and so many butterflies!! The one thing I would say is that the accommodation is basic - if you are the kind of eco-tourist who expects a five-star hotel conveniently buried in tropical forest, look elsewhere.

  • Stayed: October 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
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Thank Ruairi1959
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rivertime Resort and Ecolodge

Address: Ban Thadokkam, Vientiane 0100, Laos (Formerly Rivertime Resort and Ecolodge)
Region: Laos > Vientiane Prefecture > Vientiane
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 201 B&Bs / Inns in Vientiane
Price Range: €11 - €16 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a riverside ecolodge resort only 30 km outside of Vientiane which offers a true taste of rural Lao life but with most of the comforts of home. We have a floating restaurant on the river and offer a range of activities such as local village tours, tubing, cooking classes, massage, a sauna nearby, boat trips, fishing, free bicycles etc. We do our best to live in harmony with both the local people and the surrounding forest. We also donate $2 per guest night to local education and community projects. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rivertime Resort And Ecolodge Hotel Vientiane
Rivertime Hotel And Ecolodge
Rivertime Hotel Vientiane

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