Let me preface my review with two things you should keep in mind:
1. I was traveling with a not-close friend (big mistake) and there were major problems between us from even before we arrived in lovely Luang Prabang.
2. I got a terrible food poisoning bug (from food in Thailand the night before my trip, not from the food in Laos) that struck full-force less than 24 hours after arriving.
Therefore please take any of comments of mine with a grain of salt due to the less-than-ideal conditions of my visit to Mekong Riverview Hotel. Also, every reviewer has raved and raved about the general manager, Daniel. During my four-night stay, Daniel was overseas so I did not get the opportunity to meet him.
Several weeks before my trip to Luang Prabang, I decided to really splurge and stay here based solely on the glowing TripAdvisor reviews. If you do the same, you will not be disappointed.
We were met at the airport by Otith’s smiling face. My first interaction with a Lao person made me feel welcomed already. Short trip to the hotel and check-in was easy and efficient.
For the first two nights of the four-night stay, we were in a smaller room on the ground level. Nice private entrance and, ironically, the separate “water closet” mentioned by other reviewers was actually quite large. Although our particular patio did not have a river view (or any view, actually), that was not a problem for me because I was happy to hang out at the indoor and outdoor lobby area with the wonderful staff and use my computer there. And the view from the lobby is spectacular.
The final two nights I (no longer a “we” by this time) was moved to a beautiful, larger room upstairs with a perfect balcony overlooking the Mekong River. What a delight! Peaceful and serene … just what I needed. I was surprised that this particular room had a much smaller “water closet” where the closed door is against your knees. Normally you don’t spend hours on the toilet but with my stomach issues I was in there more than I want to discuss. Otherwise the room and balcony were exceptional.
I truly feel that Mekong Riverview Hotel is a five-star establishment not only for all the reasons mentioned by every other TripAdvisor reviewer, but also because the staff could not have been more friendly, helpful, understanding, compassionate and professional, particularly Noy (Buonvone) and Otith. I wish I could award ten stars for “Service”, not merely five. I became personal friends with two of the staff members and one of them even helped arrange for me a visit to a local college so I could teach an English lesson one evening. It was the highlight of my trip!
All other reviewers raved about the free transportation, the bicycles, the design, the location, the superb breakfast; I can support their comments fully.
So why did I give an overall rating of three stars? Basically it’s because of the price. While in Luang Prabang I passed numerous, lovely guesthouses and hotels that were all priced significantly lower than Mekong Riverview. The charming and personable owner, Mr. Urban Paulsson, certainly spared no expense when designing and building this beautiful property. And I’m not saying that it’s overpriced at $190/night during the high season. All I’m saying is that it’s double or triple or quadruple the price of many other charming guesthouses and small hotels in LP.
Also, I lugged my computer to Luang Prabang because I knew the Mekong Riverview has free wi-fi throughout. What I didn't know was that their Internet connection was almost unusable. It would be up for a minute or so, then down for a long time, etc. I thought it was a problem in all of Luang Prabang until I went to some cafes and other locations and realized that the Internet was fine elsewhere.
So if price is no issue, definitely stay at Mekong Riverview Hotel, if you’re lucky enough to pick dates with some availability. But if you are trying to limit your expenses, this is not your best choice.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank You for in all a positive review and the nice letter You mailed to the hotel after Your departure. As You mention in the review we didn’t meet in person and I’m sorry that we couldn’t have a chat. I agree with many things in Your review but not all…
Report response as inappropriate
I don’t agree about getting a similar location, comfort and quality to a much lower price. We have guests moving to us on a frequent basis reporting noise, bad service and “concrete” beds in these lower priced places. In Your letter to us You said that You are coming back to us. It could be very interesting to hear Your comments if You try one of alternatives that You are mentioning in Your review for Your next visit.
Our internet is far from perfect but we have now installed two transmitters (WIFI) in our small hotel. We used Lao Telecom as supplier before but now we have ETL which is ranked as the best provider in town. We are going to continue to improve this service. This is not only important to our guests. This is also important to our daily work at the hotel office.
Thank You for stay with us and the reception staff sends their greetings!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.