La Folie Lodge • Champassak, Laos
Just getting to La Folie is an adventure, but an adventure of the best kind because there’s a prize at the end. You drive an hour from Pakse, take a very unique two-canoe boat for about 20 minutes and then arrive to the shores of Don Deang, an island located in the Mekong that has no cars or roads. The recommended superior rooms here are simple (no TV, minibar, etc.), but they are spacious, clean and have amazing views of the Mekong. They offer free bicycles to explore the islands which is a must, as long you can ride with one hand, because the other will be busy waving back to all the kids and villagers you peddle past. After the bike ride the gorgeous pool is a welcome relief – like everything else, it has an amazing view of the river.
In terms of service the western management, takes a hands-on approach to the hotel, which is needed because all the staff are hired locally from the island population. This is a very good thing for the island, but does mean sometimes there is lack of English, but having management around helps alieve that problem.
Amazing location. Extremely nice staff and manager. The hotel stays involved with the local community with projects supporting the island’s school, dispensary, recycling and compost initiatives.
There isn’t any other option for dining on the island so you must choose from the limited menu and pay the published price.
If there ever is a problem with translation then ask for Mr. Alom, the amazing assistant manager speaks flawless English and is just a gem!