My immediate impression of the Riverside Boutique Resort in Vang Vieng was a massive “WOW!” My friend and I traveled around South East Asia for 2 weeks and decided to visit Vang Vieng to check out the infamous tubing experience and the laissez-faire attitude of the town. Choosing to stay at the Riverside Boutique Resort made our experience significantly more memorable. We stayed at the resort for 3 nights and booked the corner suite on the second floor so we can get an unobstructed view of the mountains and the Nam Song River nearby (highly recommended – in fact don’t bother staying at the suite on the ground floor!). The suite was spacious, comfortable and had a large balcony with two different seating arrangements – one overlooking the pool and another overlooking the mountains and river.
The hotel is absolutely gorgeous, it fits naturally in the dramatic scenery of Vang Vieng and offers a peaceful haven from the chaotic (but very fun!) bar scene in town. The hotel is about an 8 minute walk to the center of town or a few minutes by Tok Tok/bicycle/motorbike (ask the helpful staff at the reception to rent a bicycle if needed as they have several parked at the hotel). Overall, its location is ideal as it conveniently close to town but offers peace and quiet.
The pool was fantastic and was a great way to cool down after a long day of walking, biking and tubing. The staff is friendly, speaks English well (compared to other establishments/hotels we visited in Vientiane) and the service was generally good albeit a bit slow (mind you living in NYC makes one naturally a bit demanding on the service front!).
Food at the hotel was delicious! Breakfast was served in a buffet on the second floor of the hotel overlooking the spectacular scenery. Be sure to try the fresh fruits and juices. For lunch, I recommend eating by the pool and ordering a seafood fried rice with an ice-cold Laos beer.
While staying the hotel, be sure to visit the blue lagoon close by as the ride across the jungle is gorgeous!
My only suggestion is for the hotel to have an in-house spa or at least offer in-room or on-site massages. Since most travelers are active during the day, an afternoon in the spa relax would be ideal.
Overall, I highly recommend staying at the hotel if you’re in Vang Vieng for a few nights. The suite is cheap compared to major cities in Asia but if you’re on a shoestring the hotel will feel more expensive than the rest of town in general – but rightfully so as it is only place worth staying at in the city!