Outside of the major centres of Vientiane, Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang, accommodation in Laos is both cheap and of a reasonable quality. Most smaller towns will only have budget places — there is very little in the way of luxurious digs outside the previously mentioned spots. In Vientiane, Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang there are a wealth of options in both the mid-range and upper class hotels, along with a healthy supply of budget guesthouses.
What should you expect for your money in Laos?If you’re on a tight budget, you’ll do well in Laos — particularly if you’re not spending too long in Luang Prabang (where even budget accommodation costs more).
As a general rule, using Vientiane as an example, this is what budget travellers should expect for their money:
$2-$5: The higher end of this range may include a pokey little bathroom. The room will be big enough for a clean bed with sheets and a couple of bags. The sheets will only be washed when you leave. It may have either a large ceiling fan or a small standing one.
$5-$10: Gets you a reasonable fan or if you are lucky, a very basic air-con room. Your bed will have a clean mattress and sheets. Generally larger than the lower price range, these rooms often have a desk and chair. You might even get something tasteful. Your own bathroom will probably have hot water.
$10-$20: More comfortable, sometimes with air-con, a comfortable bed (often still quite hard) and a clean, well-equipped bathroom. The room should be spacious and may have a few extras such as a bar fridge and cable TV. May be cleaned daily.
$20+: The beginning of mid-range small hotels and guesthouses. As the price rises from here, expect more extras, such as imported mattresses, TV with full cable, a mini-bar, balcony, breakfast and so on.
Do I need to make a reservation in advance?
It depends on when and where you are going. Destinations like Luang Prabang are packed in high season and if you arrive without a reservation, it could take you quite a while to find a room. If you’re planning on being in Luang Prabang during Pimai Lao (Lao new year) a reservation is close to essential. Outside of that, the vast majority of places don’t even take reservations, working on a walk-in basis instead, so as long as you arrive at a reasonable time of day, you should be fine.
Active Travel Magazine reviews
Guesthouse and hotel reviews on Active Travel Magazine are independent and are written by our researchers who have visited, in person, every property we list. Unlike many travel websites, we do not allow the hotel or guesthouse to write the review and unlike some travel guide publishers, we do not accept any kind of discount, payment or other freebie in return for coverage — positive or negative. The links below lead directly to the accommodation section for some of the more popular destinations in Laos