|lots of signs inside the elevator|
If you're planning to visit Ventiane, Laos any time soon, here's sharing my experience of staying at Mixay Paradise when I taught a week-long academic writing course there early this month. It's a good place to go to for several reasons:
1. Mixay Paradise is located at the Centerpoint area which means a lot of nice places are very accessible by foot. From there, I could just walk to the end of the block and reach the Mekong River in a few minutes. It is surrounded by a lot of restaurants serving different cuisines so it is easy to grab a bite to eat. There are also nearby shops around the block where you can buy souvenirs to take home.
For snacks, the local 7-Eleven there, called M Point, is also walking distance to Mixay. If you are craving for pastries, there's the popular JoMa Bakery just beyond the next block. Whenever I needed to exchange money, I just walk to the bank around the corner, just a few steps away from the hotel entrance.
2. This hotel offers reasonable rates at various price points depending on guests' needs. Since I was sure I won't be able to watch TV (as what often happens when I'm traveling) I just opted to stay at an air conditioned room that includes breakfast. The room cost me 120,000 Laotian Kip a night, which is roughly around US$16-17.00 depending on the current exchange rate.
3. Mixay Paradise has comfortable and clean rooms. My room was not as big as the other hotel rooms I've occupied in the past, but it was alright with me. Since my room doesn't have a closet, I just made use of the coat rack to hang my clothes on and used the desk as a tiny dining table. Before I retire for the night, I'd turn on the bedside lamp and sleep with dimmed lighting. The electric sockets are within reach of the bed, which made it easy to charge all my gadgets at night.
I like the spacious bathroom that has a huge roll of tissue paper. There was no need during my whole stay to request for new ones. Oh, and the bathroom has a water heater, too! The door has a working chain lock which made me feel secure.
4. The staff are very friendly and always smiling even if we don't understand each other verbally most of the time. The ladies who clean my room everyday do a good job because I didn't feel that they are the types to go through guests' stuff (unlike in one hotel in another Asian country I stayed in before).
5. The public areas are okay to hang around in. Whenever I am waiting for my ride to take me to our training center, I would stay in the lobby or dining area and go people-watching. It's interesting to see a lot of foreigners with different nationalities passing by inside and outside.
At night, I see some of the guests hang out along the spacious balcony that overlooks the Mixay temple across the street. Since the temperature remains quite hot even at nighttime, I just prefer to stay in my room to work or catch up with news back home.
6. Free Wifi is available although there are moments when the speed becomes really slow. Still. I while I was there, I got to chat with my family back home using Skype or Viber and was able to update my social networking sites at least once or twice a day. Supposedly, WiFi is only available from 9AM to 11:30PM but my phone keeps on updating my emails even in the wee hours of the night so I am not complaining.
7. There's free coffee all day for registered guests that you can get from the lobby. Unfortunately, since I am often out during the daytime, I didn't get to avail of that except when I eat breakfast. Their Lao coffee is good! It reminded me of the delicious organic coffee that my friends and I had in Benguet and Sagada last July.
As to downsides, I just find the numerous warnings/reminders/signs posted all over the hotel (in the lobby, inside the elevator, inside the rooms, even on the room key!) too much. The breakfast choices were also limited to scrambled eggs, fried egg, or omelette. They serve at least one Lao dish on the buffet table but they are always too spicy for my taste. By the third morning, I was ready to go out and find breakfast elsewhere.
I discovered JoMa Bakery too late. I only got to taste their wonderful mulberry pie the last night I was in Laos thanks to my newfound friends Sodachanh and Phou. If I knew that I could buy pastries that good, I would have opted not to avail of the hotel's breakfast every day.
Anyhow, I'd still say I had a good overall experience staying in Mixay Paradise. If I do get to visit Vientiane again sometime in the future, there's a chance that I would book there again because of its location, price, cleanliness, and security.