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Reviewed 24 March 2008

After staying at the Villa Philaylack for three nights, we decided to find something a bit "closer to the action," and with a balcony view of the Mekong. Following a meal at one of our favorite river-view restaurants, we checked to see if one of the two balcony rooms at the Kongkham Guesthouse was available.

We were happy to get room number 7, just above the reception area, for only $20 a night (talked down to $18 if we didn't use the A/C). We looked at the room before taking it, and at first pass it looked quite comfortable, although it had two single beds rather than a double bed. The bathroom looked like it had been redone in the last year or two, although quite small (you stand less than a foot from the toilet to shower).

The floor and ceiling, as well as the window casings, were hardwood and very homey. The balcony view was quite nice, but the lock on the balcony door was broken, so when I closed it on the first night, I was not able to reopen the door for the rest of our stay. There were no screens on the four windows, so we slept with the panes closed at night (a little stuffy) to avoid mosquito attacks. And the first night we discovered that the sheets, although clean, were stained. Also, the light in the bathroom was a bare bulb plugged into a power strip, with the cord run across the top of the door, wrapped around nails that had been added for this purpose. No light switch; you plugged in the power strip when you wanted the light on.

There was a TV in the room, which we completely ignored, and there was a single bottle of (Red Cross) water, along with a wrapped bar of hotel soap and two clean towels. The blankets on the bed were surplus, and I don't think they'd been washed for a few months (they didn't smell very nice).

We did not get any kind of maid service on our second day there. I was expecting fresh towels (as they offer at the Philaylack), but was disappointed.

Although the location was great, the real turn-off for us was the "staff." In this case, one of two teenage boys was generally sitting around the reception area watching TV or using the computer (no Internet access for guests).

We had left some laundry at the Philaylack and forgotten to collect it before moving to the Kongkham. We called over and asked them to deliver it to our new guesthouse. We gave the teenage guy at the Kongkham 30,000kip to cover the laundry expenses, and an extra 10.000kip (about $1.10) for letting us use his cellphone to make the call and agreeing to recieve the laundry for us.

The next day, when we asked about the laundry, he said that the cost had been 42,000kip, and so he had given them our 30.000kip, but we still needed to pay 12,000kip. Unfortunately, he hadn't thought to actually get the laundry, or we might have fallen for it. In fact, the laundry service cost 12,000kip and he had paid them for it (the woman at Philaylack was honest and told me that it had been paid for when I went to pick it up). Our young host grudgingly admitted to trying to trick us, and with some coaxing, found the 18,000kip we demanded that he return.

I suppose this would be a good place for back-packers, but anyone looking for real comfort can certainly do better with the dozens of new guesthouses in the area.

(Note: I'm fairly sure there was another guesthouse with the same -- or similar -- name just a few dozen meters upriver on Khem Khong road...)

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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    • Check-in / front desk
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2018 via mobile
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Stayed: February 2018, travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2016
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Stayed: March 2016, travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2016
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Room Tip: La première chambre à droite au premier étage : vue sur les toits et extrêmement calme.
  • Stayed: March 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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