Fleewinter

Sala Done Khone Si Phan Don - YLS007

This sweet collection of rooms perched on the river banks of Don Khon, boasts some of the most charming accommodation on offer in the sleepy 4,000 islands of South Laos.

As you approach Sala Done Khone by boat the first thing you notice is its gorgeous terrace restaurant with little white tables and chairs that spreads across the river bank (this is one of the best sunset spots in the 4,000 islands). The hotel, which has its own private dock, is one of the smartest options available in this southern tip of Loas - but it is definitely more ‘quaint and charming’ than luxury.

There are five room types which are scattered further behind the restaurant in different blocks. The hotel’s entry-level rooms - the Bao Lao Bungalows and Sala Ban Din Green Rooms are spacious and comfortable with basic wet-room en-suites, but these are more aimed at people travelling on small budgets.

The only river view rooms are the Floating Studio Rooms, which are spacious with fabulous riverside balconies with tables and chairs on them. They even have stairs leading up to the flat roof, which doubles up as a sun terrace (be warned it is often far too hot to sit up here!). However, our favourite rooms are in the French Residence and French Studio buildings, which are set further back from the river.

The French Residence offers the most luxury and charming rooms of the hotel; this 1921 French colonial building, which was used as a timber trade headquarters, has been delightfully restored to offer luxury suites. Expect high ceilings and spacious suite rooms with arched walls and columns to divide the main bedroom and living space. We loved the traditional tiled floors and bright-yellow walls in these rooms, with classy four-poster beds and smarty appointed bathrooms (with showers).

In the building behind the French Residence you will find the French Studio building which once formed part of an old hospital building in French Colonial times. The rooms here are smart, spacious and attractive with brightly coloured turquoise walls and distressed, white-washed beams, wooden floors and nice little balconies with jungle garden views.

The resort is the proud owner of a rescued gibbon, Hoa, who was saved from being sold into the black market when he was tiny. Unable to live in the wild, he lives in a large cage in the garden in front of the French Residence. Hoa does have an impressive set of vocal chords and likes to greet people who pass him in the early morning, so just a word of warning for light sleepers - you may prefer to take a room in the French Studio, which is set further back.

The hotel does have a swimming pool but the site resembles something of a building site and is not particularly clean or well-maintained. In saying that, it is the only hotel on the 4,000 islands with a pool so some may feel it is better than nothing.

The delightful terrace restaurant sells a nice variety of traditional food as well as snacks, and the hotel is well placed on the island so you can walk to other restaurants and cafes that are nearby. There are also places to hire bikes (about £1 per day, perfect for exploring this lovely island!)

30 Bedrooms, Sleeps 60
£40 - £60 per room per night

Swimming Pool
Riverside location
Restaurant
Fans and air-con
Wi-fi
En-suite bathrooms