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Vientiane has a dilapidated elegance, what with its old French style mansions, wide streets and surprise temples. It’s also a colourful city, but a small one, with most of the main sights located around the Mekong’s banks and on Setthariat and Samsenthai streets. It makes sense that many of the best places to stay in Vientiane are located here too.
Accommodation in Vientiane comes in a range of shapes, sizes, styles and cost, from family guesthouses to five star hotels.
Vientiane isn’t a destination on everyone’s bucket list, but it certainly has a lot to offer and lots of surprises - one of the biggest of which might be the excellent cuisine! There are noodle stalls everywhere, but the markets and restaurants offer an amazing array of international eating options and plenty of great fusion innovations, so be prepared to feast!
Work off your feasting by strolling round town, round the many temples, the Patuxai - a doctored copy of the Arc de Triomphe, the golden wonder that is the Pha That Luang, the Lao National Museum and the Lao Textile Museum. Buddha Park is also worth a visit but you need to catch the bus or other transport, as it’s about 25km from the centre of town.
What not to miss:
- Sample the excellent local cuisine from street stalls found all over the city.
- Take a stroll through the scenic Buddha Park dotted with 40 statues.
- Visit That Luang, or The Great Stupa, the most sacred monument in all of Laos.
- Take a snap of the impressive Patuxai Victory Monument, Laos answer to the Arc de Triomphe.
- Search for a bargain at Vientiane Night Market.
At the moment Vientiane is still one of the less travelled South East Asian capitals, but this is definitely changing, with lots of infrastructure work and marketing going on, so visit now before the peaceful atmosphere is changed and the best places to stay in Vientiane become too difficult to book!
For great value
The Hotel Khamvongsa offers 26 rooms in a colonial style relaxed, family run guesthouse. You’re just a few minutes from downtown Vientiane and steps from the Mekong. A perfect place for families or groups as well as couples. It’s also probably one of the best places to stay in Vientiane if you’re looking for good value.
Beau Rivage Mekong boasts river views, comfortable accommodation, easy access to all the sights and all at a great price. Doubles start from just $52 per night !
For a chic stay
- Green Park Boutique Hotel might be traditional on the outside, but inside it's a smart oasis with a contemporary Laotian design feel. Plus all rooms have balconies overlooking lush gardens and a very inviting pool.
- Ansara is one of Vientiane's hidden gems. In a central location the style is colonial meets traditional Lao featuring dark woods, four poster beds and private balconies. Plus there's French cuisine and a pool for relaxing.
For a central location
- Salana Boutique Hotel provides a sleek and stylish stay right in the heart of the city. Rooms are spacious and there's an onsite spa.
- Dhavara provides a luxury stay right in the centre of town. You'll find wooden floors, marble bathrooms, ipod docks and many other spoiling treats. Plus there's an excellent restaurant serving modern Laotian cuisine.
- Finally how about the Settha Palace? It's a bit more expensive than our other picks, but well worth it for its sumptuous colonial style interiors and elegant furnishings. There's a couple of dining options (including French fine dining), and a lovely palm-fringed pool for chilling out.
For an apartment or villa
- If you've decided that a self catering property would be more suitable for your holiday, then we recommend you visit our online booking partner Booking.com where they have a wide selection for all tastes and budgets.
Fly to Vientiane's Wattay Airport located 4 km west of the city, mainly serviced by domestic flights but there are a few international connections.
By train, there are four shuttle services daily from Nong Khai to Tha Naleng, 13 km away from Vientiane, and reachable by shuttle bus from the Morning Market.
Best time to visit - Vientiane has a tropical climate. November - February is the best time to visit when days are sunny but not scorching, the temperatures rise in March - May. The rainy season runs from May - October.
If you plan to hire a car, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars for the best prices.
Still not sure?
Best Hotels in Vientiane
Green Park Boutique Hotel 34 rooms from $111Vientiane (Ban Nongchanh)
An urban oasis housed in a traditional looking, hung tiled building with modern delights within. All rooms feature private balconies with views of a luscious garden and inviting pool, plus a serious bathtub. Bikes are complimentary plus there is a spa, gym and popular restaurant. Explore in style.City Style - Stylish, modern meets traditional Lao design.Sailing - The hotel will be happy to help you arrange a river cruise down the Mekong River.Sights nearby - Sunset at the Phat That Luang stupa is a popular visit.Designer - Uniquely designed interiors.Recommended by - I Escape
Salana Boutique Hotel 42 rooms from $115Vientiane (112 Wat Chan Village Chanthabouly District)
If Salana were a wine it would be a full bodied Cabernet (plenty of dark, polished wood) and there is a great selection at Sky Bar. A sleek and stylish hotel boasting a central location guests are treated to jacuzzi baths and spacious rooms with classic interiors. There is a spa, gym but no pool.City Style - One of the most centrally located and stylish hotels in the city.Sailing - A sunset cruise down the Mekong is a romantic way to end the day.Sights nearby - Just a 500m stroll to the Laos National Museum.Views - Great views from hotel
Settha Palace Hotel 29 rooms from $242Vientiane
Stylish French interiors and fine dining. Rooms and bathrooms feature luxuries like Italian marble and crafted rosewood furnishings. Capacious four posters create an air of romance. La Belle Epoque serves French cuisine whilst Sidewalk Cafe is contemporary Asian. Head to Poolside Bar for apéritifs.Romantic Break - Four poster beds and rooms made for lingering, plus fine dining and spa treatments.City Style - Experience the city of Vientiane in colonial style.Sights nearby - Wat Si Muang is just a short drive away.Romantic - Good for couples.
Hotel Khamvongsa 26 rooms from $45Vientiane (Ban Vat Chan)
Relaxed, family run house minutes from downtown Vientiane. The twenty six rooms are French colonial chic meets Laos in style with dark wooden floors, high ceilings and large windows. Perfect for families, groups, couples or even those who want to stay for a while, with plenty of options for all.Local exploring - With its central location opposite the Inpeng Temple and just steps from the Mekong, it's perfect for sightseeing.Value chic - Double rooms start from just $45 per night including breakfast.Sights nearby - A short walk from Nam Phou fountain, opposite the Inpeng temple, and a stone's throw from the Mekong riverViews - All rooms have views either over the Inpeng Temple or the Mekong River
Hotel Beau Rivage Mekong 16 rooms from $52Vientiane
You can't miss this flamingo pink edifice located along a dusty downtown street. Its 16 individually decorated blue and pink rooms feature cosy waffle bedspreads, bamboo screens, and many, Mekong River views. Local cuisine is served at The Spirit House and there is a pleasant sun dappled garden.Local exploring - Within easy reach of Vientiane's markets and restaurants.
Ansara 22 rooms from $129Vientiane (Ban Vat Chan Tha)
Tucked away in downtown Vientiane, Ansara is a hidden gem. Blending colonial and Laotian styles with modern accents. Dark woods, shining silks, capacious four posters and private balconies. Dine at La Signature Restaurant, serving French cuisine or enjoy a tipple overlooking the outdoor pool.City Style - Classic, colonial style in the heart of Vientiane with traditional twists and an impressive price.Local exploring - Just a two minute walk from nearby bars and restaurants.Great walks - Take a turn around Nam Phou, Vientiane's old town filled with curio shops, tailors and street vendors.Local markets - Pick up some souvenires in the bustling Night Market.
Dhavara 26 rooms from $126Vientiane (Chanthabouly District)
Moments from the Kong River Dhavara provides centrally located accommodation with wooden floors, marble clad bathrooms, ipod docks and tea and coffee making facilities. The family suites small kitchenettes. Dhavara Restaurant serves modern Laotian cuisine. The hotel concierge are happy to help.Local exploring - In the heart of town, walking distance from its attractions.City Style - Swish suites and fine dining. Stay in Vientiane in style.Sailing - Take a boat ride along the famous Mekong.Local markets - The Night Market is a popular visit.