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“Not Up To a Luxury Standard” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Villa Maly

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Villa Maly
4.0 of 5 Boutique Hotel   |   75, Oupalath Khamboua Road | Ban That Luang, Luang Prabang, Laos   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #19 of 67 Hotels in Luang Prabang
Seattle, WA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Not Up To a Luxury Standard”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

Overall, the hotel has a nice design and layout, and has good potential. But numerous aspects were poorly managed, leading me to say that I wouldn't recommend this hotel.

Firstly, the wood floors in our room were dirty and sticky when we checked in for a three night stay. The floors were never mopped during our stay and remained sticky. The rooms are rather ill lit; perhaps this is on purpose to conceal the halfhearted cleaning?

Second, hotel staff did not respect the "do not disturb" sign on our room. With the sign on the door, we heard a knock and then keys going into the doorknob before having to shout at the staff to stay out of the room.

Third, Laos is a malarial area, and there are mosquitos. Obviously this is not the fault of the hotel, but there was a mosquito net in our bedroom. Inexplicably, this net was full of holes. I can't understand why a mosquito net would be in the room if it is worthlessly ridden with holes.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VillaMaly, General Manager at Villa Maly, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
Dear flyby123,
Sunny greetings from Luang Prabang...
I would like to apologize for our shortcomings during your stay at Villa Maly.

Rest assured that I personally talked to the concerned Heads of Department in order to ensure that when our guests leave a "Do not Disturb" sign, our employees do not attempt to enter the room. I proceeded already to an inventory of our mosquito nets and this problem has been solved.

Thanking you for sharing your experience with us, I hope that you will not be deterred from re-selecting Villa Maly for your next stay in Luang Prabang and that you will grant us the opportunity to demonstrate a higher quality of Service.

Warm regards.

A. de Boynes
Operations Manager - Laos
Apple Tree Hospitality Group: Villa Maly, Nava Mekong, Kamu Lodge.
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363 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (53)
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English first
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

This is a pretentious place. Its prices are that of a four-star hotel but its delivery is uneven to be kind. On a 3 week trip to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, it was our most expensive stay at $277 per room and the least pleasant in terms of service, ambiance and graciousness. It was Christmas. We fortunately passed up the high pressure sales pitch for their planned special holiday events detailed sadly elsewhere in these reviews.

The hotel boasted a nice looking one room small spa and bar but each of these was flanked by the pool area on one side and open to the lobby on another. The bar was literally a thoroughfare for all foot traffic and luggage heading from the lobby to the pool and all the rooms beyond. It verges on the idiotic. Who would ever want to enjoy a quiet drink with people traipsing back and forth? It was this kind of logic that informed every design decision. It was as if the owners actually believed the guest comes last and selling come first. The wifi password was dontforgetthespa. The wifi only worked at the pool.

The Villa Maly is a cheaply constructed stage set, all show and no thought to use. Most emblematic of the problem was the ludicrous, totally dysfunctional, highly styled bathroom. The bathroom had a gold basin atop a large ceramic vessel which stood in front of a fancy back lit mirror. No counter to set anything on. Just a 2 inch (5 cm.) little shelf at the base of the mirror with peeling paint. And a little 10 inch by 8 inch cart over in the corner. That's it. The walls and floor were beautiful charcoal colored stone with purple detailing. But it was dark. Very dark. The light came from the glow around the sides of the back lit mirror and a few low power lights set into the high ceiling. The lighting was designed to make the room look pretty, not to assist guests using it. The staff couldn't possibly see to clean the bathroom let alone a guest hoping to shave or put on make-up. I couldn't shave anyway, no electrical outlet in the bathroom. (4 stars? Really?) Behind the mirror on one side was a narrow toilet space and on the other side a shower room with a generous big shower head. It was a pompous bathroom geared for outward show with no respect for a guest's comfort.

Facing the entry door to the room there was a nice big wardrobe. Again, with no thought to actual hospitality, it was devoid of light. So one could not see into the closet and literally had to find one's clothes by feel In addition, the door to the room was warped. There was a warped board in the floor right in front of the door that stood up 1/4".

The several big identical table lamps in the room didn't stand up straight. An outlet convenient for charging devices turned off when the overhead lights were turned off (which we belatedly discovered to our chagrin). The finish was off the floor in places both in the room and the lobby.The wifi worked at the pool but not in the room. The area rug off the bed hadn't been vacuumed in who knows how long and was too unappetizing to walk on barefoot. And the pool lounge cushions were dirty and the pillow which was supposed to attach to the flat cushion by velco didn't stick and so one couldn't lounge anything but flatly.

What was good? They responded promptly to a problem with the safe. After 4 people were called to try, they fixed it, all within 30 minutes. They also promptly fixed our shower that didn't drain. The bed was very comfortable. The breakfast was all stream table and mediocre with the exception of the croissants which were excellent.

This fish, I suspect, stinks from the head down.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VillaMaly, General Manager at Villa Maly, responded to this review, February 4, 2013
Dear Sir tastebuds_John,

We first would like to thank you for having taken the time to share your impressions about Villa Maly.

We are very sorry that the experience you received was not conform at all to your expectations, and we really would like to apologize for that.

We took well note on your comments and have already improve some of the point you mentionned.

The bathroom will be redesigned and the lighting will be definitively fixed during the current year, as some renovation are already planned.

Our Spa is indeed a massage room with two table, and not a wellness center, and the bar is a passage to reach the rooms and swimming pool area, as morst of the costumers prefer to have their drink around the pool and the lobby.

We have also started a complete check on the quality on the product, and we sincerely hope that your comments will play a part in raising the quality of the stay on our guests.

Warm Regards

Fabrice Lehmann - Assistant Operations Manager- Laos
Apple Tree Hospitality : Villa Maly, Kamu Lodge, Nava Mekong
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puerto aventuras
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

I was blown away by this beautiful and charming villa. From the minute you drive up your breath is taken away. The owner is on hand at check in for any additional questons although the reception staff speaks more than sufficient english. My room was number four on the second floor in the main building overlooking the swimming pool and was lovely.

The spa was tiny but the massages offered were top drawer.

The barman needs to learn you don´t put ice in the martinis :-)

The only downtick was the food. It didn´t match the lodgings in quality. It was fine but a bit boring.

I would definately return.

Room Tip: Room Number 4 is wonderful
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VillaMaly, General Manager at Villa Maly, responded to this review, January 21, 2013
Dear teall,
Sunny greetings from Luang Prabang...
A warm thank you for your kind message about your stay at Villa Maly. We are all delighted that you liked staying with us and rest assured that on a daily basis, we work hard to improve our quality of Service constantly.
Looking forward to welcoming you again in the future, I wish you a great year 2013.
Best regards,
A. de Boynes
Operaitons Manager - Laos
Apple Tree properties: Villa Maly, Kamu Lodge, Nava Mekong
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

We stayed here over Christmas in the middle of a cycling tour of Laos. This was probably the best standard of accomodation during our whole stay, but ironically, is the one we felt least inclined to return to.

From the moment we arrived (still in cycling gear at the end of a long day on the bikes and all keen for showers and relaxation) we were greeted by a full on marketing "hard sell" by three members of management of what turned out to be overpriced, and poorly executed hotel "special events" for Xmas. Once we had signed up the attention moved away from us and on to the next arrivals. We never heard from the management again all stay. I see from earlier comments, that we were not the first to succumb to this heavy approach, and no doubt we won't be the last.

Anyway, it was Christmas so we were ok with paying for something special - and we thought we would splash out and give the children (six of them in our group of 12) a memorable night as they had done really well on the bike tour thus far. But the boat trip ("2 hours, open bar, places limited, USD25 per head" - which was also charged to 4 of the 6 children, even though none of them were old enough to drink!), was a joke. There only would have been about 40 people on the boat, and only basic drinks (wine and beer principally) on offer, and it took half an hour (remember it was a 2 hour event in total) to take our order and serve us (surely you can open bottles and have poured glasses of bubbly or wine ready to hand out?). A cynic might surmise this helped the profit margin! The dinner itself back at the hotel we discovered did not include drinks (so at USD39 per head was a rip off, particularly when the food arrived very late (after 10pm), was cold and very disappointing).

A show was put on, which resulted in the pool being closed for an afternoon and morning - and the children brought in from the village to contribute a couple of dance numbers looked uncomfortable and had to stand around for much of the evening.

The management staff were very tense and carried clipboards all evening, to add to the all-round non-festive feeling. Little things count, and as one of our party mentioned, it is all very well to hand out santa hats, but when you only give ten out to a table of twelve, two people will inevitably feel left out! Kind of summed up the feeling about the evening.

It was a pity, as the property was quite stylish. Beds were comfortable, although the bathrooms were a bit badly designed and dark. Outside areas were nice enough and the restaurant served a good breakfast. It is a little out of the main town, which is fantastic and relaxed with great food and ambience, particularly along the river. It is possibly because we had such a lovely meal out the following night, which was great value with fine service and cordial hosts, that the contrast to our experience at the Villa Maly "event" became even more sharply focussed.

My suggestion to management is to relax a little bit, back off on the hard sell, and if you are going to do a special event, make it special, execute it professionally and try and make it live up to the costs you charge. It's actually not the price charged that is the issue (we've stayed at more expensive places and paid much more for things over the years around various countries) - it's just that people don't like to feel like they've been sold a dud, and that they've been bullied into it!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VillaMaly, General Manager at Villa Maly, responded to this review, January 24, 2013
Dear NZFam_5,
Sunny greetings from Luang Prabang...
I would like to thank you for sharing your feedback with us about your stay at Villa Maly.
You are right about Christmas Party, not all went as well as I had expected. This is the first time that Villa Maly organized such an event for our guests and since all of us wanted it to be perfect, we probably did not realize that we could be pushy. At no time this was our aim, we only needed to know how many people would come so we could organize ourselves.
We have met all our guests upon check out, most of them thanked us for all the effort put into this evening.
Again I agree with you and know that it was far from perfect, and would like to apologize if you did not appreciate evening.
Thanking you again, I wish you a greta year 2013.
Warm regards,

A. de Boynes
Operaitons Manager - Laos
Apple Tree Hospitality : Villa Maly, Kamu Lodge, Nava Mekong
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Duluth, Minnesota
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

The reviews looked good overall, and when I arrived they had a large signboard on the front desk boasting of their 4.5 star Trip Advisor rating. So they are obviously doing a good job at getting a high rating. But I'm not sure it's deserved.

I paid extra for a deluxe room on the second floor, and it was pretty small, had hard pillows and the bathroom was somewhat dysfunctional. I wonder what the standard room is like. If it's not any smaller I'd say save your money and spend it on a nice dinner or souvenir. In my room toilet area was walled off in a way that if you are very tall or heavyset, you will press your right knee against the wall when you sit. In the dark you have to do gymnastics to reach the toilet.

Outside the room things get better. The location is away from noisy traffic but close enough to walk to the sites. The grounds are pretty and the pool was very popular although I didn't see it up close. The included breakfast was nothing special.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VillaMaly, General Manager at Villa Maly, responded to this review, January 22, 2013
Dear CJ MinneMan,
Sunny greetings from Luang Prabang...
I am sorry to read that we did not meet your expectations during your stay with us. With regards to our rooms, we have 4 different buildings with different lay outs in our rooms. Probably, we could have found a more suitable room for you.
I hope that you will not be deterred from re-selecting Villa Maly for your next stay in Luang Prabang and that you will grant us the opportunity to demonstrate a higher quality of Service.
In the meantime, I wish you a great new year 2013.
Warm regards,
A. de Boynes
Operations Manager - Laos
Apple Tree properties: Villa Maly, Nava Mekong, Kamu Lodge.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013 via mobile


This hotel has a great location. It is very close to town yet is quiet. We had a room overlooking the pool which I really enjoyed. It was especially nice to look down onto the pool and the main villa at night or in the early morning. The rooms were very comfortable and attractive.
The breakfast buffet had a nice selection of items to please many palates and we felt the other meals we had there were very good (we only had asian dishes).
We loved the staff. Everyone was always cheerful and helpful.
My greatest complaint is the bathrooms. They are incredibly dark. The only mirror was in the bathroom and the light was so low that it was impossible to either shave or put on make-up. I would suggest better lighting in the bathroom and an additional mirror in the room itself.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VillaMaly, General Manager at Villa Maly, responded to this review, January 21, 2013
Dear Chercut,
First and foremost, I would like to wish you a great new year 2013.
Many thanks for taking some of your time to write about your experience at Villa Maly. It is always a pleasure to read that our guests enjoyed their stay with us.
I look forward to welcoming you again in the future.
Warm regards,
A. de Boynes
Operations Manager
Apple Tree properties: Villa Maly, Kamu Lodge, Villa Maly
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Bangkok
Top Contributor
265 reviews 265 reviews
61 hotel reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

We stayed in Villa Maly for 2 night with the family. On arrival on the airport the pickup service was not there. Our name sign was there but no driver, we called the hotel and we had to wait an other 20 minutes. The lay out and decoration of the hotel is really gorgeous. Though reading the reviews after we have been there for two nights, the service is rather 'Laotian'. The number of beds around the pool is too few, the breakfast buffet is rather poor, the room are not small but too full of gorgeous furniture. The bathrooms are again very nicely designed though far from practical. Adding this all up, I think the hotel is over priced, though given the fact that no back packers will stay here, the hotel will be given the benefit of the doubt.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VillaMaly, General Manager at Villa Maly, responded to this review, January 21, 2013
Dear Ch B,
I would like to wish you a great year 2013 and thank you for sharing your experience at Villa Maly.
It is always important to us to receive feedback that keep us thinking and working on how to improve our guests' experience.
I hope that you will not be deterred from re-selecting Villa Maly for your next trip to Luang Prabang and that you will grant us the opportunity to demonstrate a higher quality of service.
Warm regards,
A. de Boynes
Operations Manager
Apple Tree properties: Villa Maly, Kamu Lodge, Nava Mekong.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa Maly

Address: 75, Oupalath Khamboua Road | Ban That Luang, Luang Prabang, Laos
Location: Laos > Luang Prabang Province > Luang Prabang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#9 Family Hotel in Luang Prabang
#13 Luxury Hotel in Luang Prabang
#16 Romantic Hotel in Luang Prabang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Villa Maly 4*
Number of rooms: 33
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Once the home of Lao royalty, today Villa Maly is an exquisite boutique hotel, ensconced by a profusion of tropical flora. Its rooms evoke the subdued elegance and creative flourishes of yesterday's aristocrats. The hotel's 33 guest rooms are each subtly created to incorporate the time-honored Laotian architecture with an essence of the Colonial past. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villa Maly Hotel Luang Prabang
Maly Hotel Luang Prabang

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