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“friendly staff and nice decorated room”

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Mandala Boutique Hotel
Ranked #26 of 97 Hotels in Vientiane
Reviewed 30 September 2013

I sleep in the suite room with my brother and sister. We feel very comfortable. My brother had to work on his computer at night but he didn't disturb me and my sister because there is a separated space. They can add extra bed in this room but not with the superior room. In the Superior room, my parents complained about the noise of the air condition but everything else is fine. Everything in this hotel is well-design. I also wish to have time to spend in the library area of this hotel. They say that we can exchange the book from the hotel's cabinet and return it at your next visit of this hotel. By the way, they don't have swimming pool.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Sammasan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 September 2013

This is an ideal place to stay in Vientiane and I will definitely be coming back. The hotel has bicycles to hire and I think this is the best way to see Vientiane: if you stay closer to the city it will be noisy. At Mandala, it is just a 5 minute ride into the town centre. Plus, it is closer to the Morning Market than the usual tourist strip is. You could walk there in 15-20 mintues or ride in 5. The hotel is located near the famous Wat Sii Muang - a real attraction. Make sure you check it out and try to get a local to explain the significance of the town pillar there, which people venerate. The story is that on founding Vientiane, a heartbroken pregnant woman threw herself under the pillar as it was being erected, and now she is a powerful local spirit. The hotel is also very close to the river - it is a pleasant ride along the river and then the river promenade into town.

The service was excellent: could not fault it. A beautifully renovated building, gorgeous rooms. The breakfast was generous and interesting enough for a few days stay. The internet worked well and was included in the price of the room. The surrounding gardens ensured the whole place was quiet and serene. I would definitely stay again.

Room Tip: You get what you pay for at this hotel - there are a wide variety of rooms. We got the most expensiv...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled on business
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2  Thank CambridgeTrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MandalaBoutiqueHotel, Manager at Mandala Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 25 September 2013

Sabaidee Cambridge Trip!

Thank you very much for your stay at our Mandala Boutique Hotel and your positive feedback.
I will forward your comment about the staff immediately.

When you return to Vientiane please pay us a visit.

Warm regards

Philipp Bode
Hotel Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2013

Nice small-scale hotel with personal attention in a quiet area. It used to be a school and has bee completely rebuilt to become a hotel. Is relatively new. Reception staff speaks English well enough, other staff is still learning. I chose the hotel because it is very close to the Ministry of Health, where I had to work. Hotel is managed well, is clean, rooms have good beds and showers, there is free wifi everywhere....in short: good value for money. One thing that needs to be improved is that the windows (ample daylight, which is nice) have only one set of (night) curtains, so in many rooms during the day one is always in full view of passers-by. I advised them to hang up lace curtains (double rideaux). The Mekong is close by, but one cannot get to the river at that point in the city. The city centre is about 15 minutes walking and the hotel offers free maps of the city. Hotel provides airport pick up for 12 USD.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled on business
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Thank MariaPaalman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MandalaBoutiqueHotel, Manager at Mandala Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 25 September 2013

Dear Maria Paalman,

thank you very much for your stay in our Mandala Boutique Hotel and your kind feedback.

We are aware about the issue with day curtains and will them have installed in the next two weeks.

Looking forward welcoming you again in Vientiane.

Best regards

Philipp Bode

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2013

Stayed at Mandala for four nights and were very disappointed – especially given the prices charged (even though we were upgraded, free of charge).
Location: outside the center, nothing close, about 15-20 minutes from the center on foot (you can walk the distance at night, the neighborhood seemed safe), a tuktuk asks for three dollars (and wouldn’t go down). No (free) shuttle-service provided. The first day, no information was given as to how to get to center (or offer to call a taxi). Only after we asked did they tell us we should not walk at night because it was dark.
Check-in: We arrived noon, took a taxi from the airport (8 dollars, fixed price) and arrived at the hotel, in front of the reception. No one came to greet us or help us. We entered the lobby, dragging our suitcases behind us and still the two people paid no attention. Once we stood in front of them and told them we had booked a room, they acknowledged our existence. They asked for the voucher and then informed us we needed to pay right then (we had booked through booking.com and at all other hotels, we always paid during check-out). Only after we had paid did they begin taking notice of us. That already was a huge disappointment … Then we were given the key (no keycards, only one key) to another room… not a very comforting idea, that the reception hands out room-keys so carelessly).
Check-out: We asked whether free airport transfer was provided. The answer was ‘no’. Then, the one receptionist said they could arrange a taxi. We asked for the price, she said 10 dollars. In the evening, when we went to book the taxi, the price had risen to 13 dollars. We didn’t book, and when we asked the next day, the price had gone down again (9 or 10 dollars, cannot remember). The employee the night before had told us we didn’t need to arrive prior to 30 minutes to departure – luckily we didn’t listen to him, since our plane departed 15 minutes before departure time. Overall, we were very disappointed with the assistance provided. No friendly escort by staff to taxi when we left. The only thing they cared about was whether we had used something from the mini-bar.
Room: The room was fine since we were upgraded to a suite. Two rooms (one bedroom, one TV-room). Sockets next to the bed. Bathroom large but seemed a bit dingy (free toiletries included shower gel and shampoo in a dispenser). One day when it rained hard, water came through the roof – luckily, we had no electronic items under the leak – but some receipts did get wet. No enquiries were made whether damage had been caused. The windows have nets in front, so insects don’t come in, but under the entrance door, there was a big hole … stuffed it with paper every night to prevent insects from crawling in.
The day of our arrival, there was no safe in the room and we were told that it would be brought. We had to call them, however, to remind them after an hour.
Complimentary water consists of a refillable glass water bottle.
Noise from outside since there was a construction site right behind the hotel
Water pressure and temperature in the bathroom fluctuate. Water itself came out brown- so we used the water provided to brush teeth.
Wi-fi: Wi-fi in our room was usually down (or only available in the bathroom). We informed the staff repeatedly, either by phone or in person, but nothing changed.
Hotel grounds: nothing to write home about. During our stay, they renovated some decorative water containers around the breakfast room as well as tore down a fountain in front of the reception – which meant a lot of hammering away during breakfast time. Cannot understand where other people saw an oasis.
Staff: Not impolite, but also not polite or attentive. Very basic English. All of them seem extremely bored to do anything - the one time when someone who appeared to be a (Caucasian) manager stepped into the breakfast they began rubbing faucets and washing glasses.
Breakfast: probably the biggest disappointment. What do you think of when you hear ‘buffet’? Well, not even close…. The buffet consists of some cornflakes and muesli, orange juice (not fresh), 2-3 sort of jams, some fresh fruit salad, packaged yoghurt, toast-slices and some (yes, only some) croissants (if you take out two croissants, the waiter replaces them with only one; if you ask for more, he will give you two); after some time, the croissants stop being replaced. Then you can also order eggs. And that’s it….. Not even the run-of-the-mill baked beans and fresh fruit. Given the very limited food choices and amounts, the hotel should seriously not be stingy on the croissants! For coffee, you need to ask for a refill – and since the staff wasn’t really paying attention, that meant getting up and going to the bar.
Oh, and something else: the hotel seems to possess only one set of salt&pepper containers - and the salt-container was an old marmalade jar …

Should I ever return to Vientiane, I would definitely look for another hotel, closer to center and promising better value for money.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Alex J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MandalaBoutiqueHotel, Manager at Mandala Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 26 September 2013

Dear Alex,

Thank you very much for your feedback.

Please let me correct some parts of it:

We are just outside the old part of Vientiane, but that gives us the advantage being in a very calm neighborhood without noisy bars and restaurants you would find in the old town. But going there is just a 15 minute walk. If interested we offer bikes to rent or call a taxi or tuk-tuk, but we cannot change rates of the Tuk-Tuk drivers.

In our direct neighborhood we indeed have couple points of interest: e.g. Wat Simuang which plays a very important role in Vientiane’s history and also other important temples are nearby, the COPE centre (national rehabilitation centre with workshop and visitor centre with its famous exhibition about the impact of unexploded mines during the Vietnam War on today’s society) and also the busy Morning Market with plenty old and new shops.

The greeting at your arrival seemed not to be the perfect start. But I am wondering when my staff acknowledged you: when you stood in front of them or after payment? But I admit that some staff members are still learning to be the ideal receptionist. It is our policy that all bookings are paid upon check in here. Our airport shuttle costs 12USD, except you want to go by tuk-tuk. Here the prices may vary depending on the driver.

If there is time for the receptionist, they try to accompany all guests to their taxis but it can be difficult for young people to recognize if that is wished by the guest. A friendly appearance definitely encourages young Lao people to put aside their shyness.

In our bathrooms we provide locally made organic shower gel and shampoo in dispensers to save the environment. By using dispensers we can save some hundred kilos of small plastic bottles per year. Same counts for the drinking water we provide in glass bottles.

This August we experienced extreme weathers in Vientiane with heavy storms and monsoon rains which caused some damages to our buildings. The rain came in such a huge amount that all tailrace channels in Vientiane were flooded and water was pushed back in the pipes. This happened one day though and all other damage was soon repaired. But it would be more than kind to let me know where you saw the whole under the front door of your room, so I can search for it again.

We work hard on service and hospitality attitude here. Please apologize your negative experience in the restaurant. This is not our standard and the specific person received further training.

Thank you very much for listing the food we offer for breakfast but please let me add that we not only offer à la carte egg dishes but also fried rice, noodle and rice soup. The baguette and croissants are from a local French bakery and the yoghurts, jams and honey are locally produced by a young start-up company.

It is a pity you could not experience the garden as a nice retreat. We are just about on further improvement which included the demolishing of the old fountain and driveway during two days of your stay, after 10am though.

Regards

Philipp
Hotel Manager

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Reviewed 22 August 2013

This hotel has the potential to be a preferred choice of accommodation if they work on the software and put an extra touch to the surrounding.

The rooms were spacious and comfortable and for the inexpensive rates we paid, it was well worth the amount. The rooms are clean and there is complimentary bottled waters provided. I make no issues with the physical infrastructure as it is quite conducive for helping you relax and feel at home. As this was the low season, there were not many occupants and that helped made the experience a positive. As with other Lao boutique hotels, the breakfast had extremely limited selection but you should zoom in for the crossiants- my friends love it so much they made extra orders.

The place is about 15-20mins walking distance from the night market and main eating area. The massage palour beside (left) offers rates and quality above its competitors in the central area. If you take a tuk tuk to the centre, pay nothing more than 20,000 kip. At the night market, the locals (unlike in Cambodia, thailand or vietnam) do not quote exorbitant rates. You should bargain but don't expect the cuts to be significantly reduced. In any case, the items are not expensive in the first place.

Areas for improvement: The service. The staff was satisfied to provide the basic. They were not rude or difficult but lacked initiative; e.g. to offer suggestions for food or transport. They will help if they are asked. For instance, there was a late evening where we wanted to get some wine. They staff was helpful to open the dining area to retrieve a bottle without hint of complain. They also unilaterally "downgrade" our rooms from a suite to a deluxe room without consulting us when we returned back from Luang Prabang despite our prior bookings. We made no bones about it since we were paying less and the difference between the suite and deluxe room were not significant. They also did not receive us at the airport as arranged, ostensibly because of a vehicle breakdown. But in the least they could have arranged for another driver to pick us up. Neverthless, it is pretty easy and cheap to book a cab from the airport so we let it pass.

In short, this place has the potential to do better and achieve more if they put more emphasis on raising their service standard.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank ecSoviet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2013

Such a positive experience here. The room was great! Actually the bed was amazing especially after a long day of walking! Restaurant food was also really good! The restaurant included Khmer and western dishes. I remember the mango salad being awesome! Breakfast was also good but alittle slow. GREAT DEAL!!!

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank jonhstefan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2013

When I arrived I was impressed. The room was lovely had a French decor and was spacious. I could not fault the room it was great. The location was fab away from busy town centre but enough to walk in. The two young guys on reception had excellent customer service and really helpful. They helped us book a taxi to take us to viang vieng. But everyone else customer service was poor. The room was very clean so too marks there. Breakfast was shocking no selection really and people serving looked sick as there life's as well as the other women on reception. We arrived at about 9pm so was hungry when we went to order food there was hardly anything on the menu as they did not have it in waiter said they only had a small selection of food to choose from so I wasn't impressed. We then asked for two glasses of wine and they didnt have what we wanted which was fine we choose a different kind of wine and they brought the bottle over and it must have been opened for weeks and looked dirty not good to show a customer so we just had a fanta instead and went to bed. It's ashame as I do feel the hotel is beautiful and I had a good night sleep and it has the ability to be a top hotel but unfortunately customer service lets it down. I probably won't be returning to the hotel. But I do give top marks to the cleaning, the two young boys on reception and the room. Everything else was unfortunately of a poor standard.

  • Stayed: August 2013
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Thank Lucy J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mandala Boutique Hotel

Address: Ban Phiawat, 33 Unit 10, Sisatanak District, Vientiane 0100, Laos
Region: Laos > Vientiane Prefecture > Vientiane
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 97 Hotels in Vientiane
Price Range: £46 - £69 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Mandala Boutique Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
As Vientiane changes, so does our villa. Originally built as a private residence for a French family in the 1960s, the site became a school with up to 500 children in 1992 before it was turned into a hotel at the beginning of this century. Despite the changes, our guests still can feel the privacy and comforts of home in each corner of the hotel. The four original buildings host 23 newly designed rooms and are surrounded by a green and cozy garden with seats under large shady trees. The Mandala Boutique Hotel is located in a small side road away from the busy streets of Vientiane, but within walking distance to the city center and just a 15-minute drive from the airport. ... more   less 
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