Thursday, February 27, 2014

Lao Haven

Lao Haven
Located less than a 5-10 minute walk south of where most restaurants/party places are, Lao Haven Hotel & Spa is fairly quiet for the most part. Even though you can find accommodation in Vang Vieng for just 40,000-90,000 kip, Singaporean-run Lao Haven is extremely clean, spacious, with a stunning view of shadowy karsts from the 3rd floor outdoor seating area. It doesn't have an elevator though. It can be booked online via agoda or
The bright air conditioned room has simple furniture plus a big TV, a fridge, and a safe. The bed is a bit on the hard side but comfortable. We paid a little extra ($23 USD a night) for a bigger room that includes daily breakfast of rice porridge with Chinese donuts or 2 fried/scrambled eggs, 2 sausages, fruit, juice, tea/coffee, and baguette with butter/jam. Our shower head doesn't stay in its holder sometimes, but other than that, it's been a very pleasant stay despite the fact that there are many house rules. The house next door sometimes likes to play loud music - you probably can't hear it in the room, but it's a bit annoying if you want to sit outside.
Lao Haven room Lao Haven
We read on Tripadvisor that the owners are really friendly but when we first checked in, the lady at the front desk seemed slightly annoyed; however, when we asked her to fix our bathroom fan, she dealt with the problem promptly. The male owner is Singaporean so he can speak English and Chinese.

There's a restaurant downstairs with reasonable prices in case you're too lazy to walk a few minutes down the road for dinner. There are also shops selling snacks just across the street.
Lao Haven map
Herbal Spa & Massage

They also have some massage and body treatment services available from 60,000-150,000 kip for a 60-120-minute session. I opted for a 30-minute Hom Ya (30,000 kip), a traditional herbal sauna, followed by an hour-long deep tissue massage (80,000 kip).

The herbal sauna was in a small tiled room with narrow wooden benches along the walls. Although not the most comfortable, the menthol-smelling herbal mist wasn't too hot and cleared my sinuses.

A older middle-aged lady did the deep tissue massage, which turned out to be surprisingly good - I wished I had gotten a longer session! She got on the table and used her elbows and fingers to really massage every muscle with essential oil. It wasn't the most luxurious experience as it was done in a simple room, but the massage was great!