Started our weekend away by being picked up by a hungover staff member and things went progressively downhill from there. Greeted by Barnaby the 'resort' manager and had to reel back from the excessive alcohol fumes coming off him. Couldn't see the room as electricity out for servicing and wish we had...further explanation later...
Overall the resort has a terribly neglected and pitiful look. Everything overgrown and unloved. There is no excuse to leave tropical jungle to rot with pathways overgrown, unswept and out of control. That's not being eco, it's just lazy!
The Floating Restaurant is also looking tired and neglected and uncared for. Repairs are desperately needed and there is no legitimate reason for things to be left shabby. The staff in the restaurant were listless and bored. The food was average - most seemed frozen or fried, no fresh vegetables. It took ages for food and dirty plates etc to be cleared away and flies gathered. The place could look good if anyone cared - a few paper lanterns, some fresh, bright tablecloths and pretty scatter cushions, but it became evident throughout the rest of the day that there is no motivation from the manager other than to drink. He ended up so sloshed that he lost his balance and nearly fell, hurting his arm. He left soon after and wasn't seen again to the next morning at check out. It was a sad sight and embarrassing for one who could be setting a good example to staff and locals alike. Beware - There are nails sticking out everywhere and these are dangerous.
We went for a river cruise with some local lads who were the best staff they had. Unfortunately we did not feel like swimming in the river downstream with all the dead fish and rubbish floating down as well. This is not the fault of the resort but the manager could be putting more eco friendly measures in place by setting up daily 'clean the river' working bees together or education re clean waterways and waste management.
The room was the absolute pits. Dirty, in fact, filthy. If it was not so late the day we would have left, but I doubt there was anyone capable of driving us back after all the drink consumed! There was mould and stains on the pillows, there were holes in the walls, no cover on the manhole, cupboard falling apart, everything smelt and felt damp and just YUK!
Eco is NOT an excuse for bad health and hygiene management and to be unclean - there are plenty of eco resorts that use environmentally friendly, alternative cleaning products.
Overall a big shame! It is clear that with some love, care and attention, this place has potential, but in current hands, I fear it will continue to be allowed to deteriorate and rot.
There are far better places to stay in Laos at a cheaper price. Will not go back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We are a riverside ecolodge resort only 30 km outside of Vientiane which offers a true taste of rural Lao life but with most of the comforts of home. We have a floating restaurant on the river and offer a range of activities such as local village tours, tubing, cooking classes, massage, a sauna nearby, boat trips, fishing, free bicycles etc. We do our best to live in harmony with both the local people and the surrounding forest. We also donate $2 per guest night to local education and community projects. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Rivertime Resort And Ecolodge Hotel Vientiane
- Rivertime Hotel And Ecolodge
- Rivertime Hotel Vientiane