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“Hidden easy and yet...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Apsara Rive Droite

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The Apsara Rive Droite
4.0 of 5 Small Hotel   |   Ban Phan Louang, Luang Prabang, Laos   |  
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Ranked #8 of 230 Luang Prabang B&B and Inns
Paris, France
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Hidden easy and yet...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2014

The Apsara is perfect for those who want to be able to go back to a totally peaceful and quiet place after a day of wandering around Luang Prabang. The rooms are very large and comfortable and the breakfast quite pleasant. A little boat used to go back and forth between the peninsula and the hotel adds a special touch to the experience. Only caveat: it was very cold when we got there and the hotel did not buy any heater, not even for the small dining room. Given the price of the rooms, they need to reconsider this next year.

Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
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131 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    3
    1
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12
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cork, Ireland
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
57 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014

This place benefits from being across the Nam Khan river from Luang Prabang town itself, which not only means it can have a swimming pool but also maybe is a touch quieter than being in town. Although expect to be serenaded by music from across the river in the evenings.
Hats off to the lads who steer the boat back and forth - it works well, and they never keep you waiting. Just ask for the boat at either the Apsara in town or the Rive Droite and by the time you have got to the bottom of the steps down to the river the boat is on its way. And it only takes 30 seconds from one bank to the other.
The rooms are simply but comfortably furnished, and the balconies very relaxing. Although the balconies of the upper rooms look across to the town, you don't actually see that much as there is a lot obscured by greenery. But it is a relaxing place to lounge on the day bed with a drink in the evening. Beware, though, it can be very chilly in the evenings and mornings in January! The room itself - hugely comfortable bed and lovely plump feather pillows, and superb local coffee supplied with filter coffee maker. As someone who loves a cup of coffee before anything else in the morning, it was sheer pleasure to have this facility. Also nice to be in a place where they do not think a TV is essential! The shower could have been a bit better, but was ok, and plenty of drinking water is replenished daily.
My only real criticism is that the housekeeping is somewhat erratic. They seem to have a good system in the morning - when you go for breakfast I think they let the cleaners know so they can go in while you are at breakfast. But in the evening if they do not know if you have gone out they seem not to do anything. On a couple of days this meant that I had to ask for my coffee pot to be returned and for coffee for the next morning. Not a major issue, but perhaps one that needs addressing.
The pool is also very pleasant, and nice to be able to dive in after tramping the streets sightseeing.
Anita, the manager, is friendly and keeps things low key and informal.
I would be happy to stay here again, and would recommend it to others.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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UK
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2014

We stayed 6 nights recently. Starting the day with a good breakfast and returning to a big bed with soft pillows after a day sightseeing, perfect. There are only a few country sounds of chickens and dogs but otherwise very peaceful. Anita, the manager is ever helpful and knows the area well. Walk to a local Lao restaurant at night, near the bamboo bridge or cross over the river on the hotel boat to the town where everything is.
Pack flat shoes/ trainers for getting around. Loads of uneven pavements and steps. Jan is cold so you'll need warm clothes morning and evening.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Paris, France
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

This was a return visit to the Apsara Rive Droite. Loved my first visit, when I was on my own, and decided to return with friends following a trip down the Mekong in northern Laos. Hats off to Anita, the new manager, who adds kindness, efficiency and a good sense of humor, and who did everything to make our stay enjoyable. Lovely large rooms with comfortable terraces overlooking the Nam Khan and Luang Prabang on the other side of the river. A two minute boat ride, provided by the hotel, gets you to the other side. Delicious breakfast and coffee, and a swimming pool, which is lovely at the end of the afternoon after hours of sightseeing. While hotel choices abound in Luang Prabang, including ones by luxury groups like Orient Express and the Aman group, the Apsara Rive Droite is my first choice. Casual, relaxed and a low-key luxury which is rare these days, and at reasonable prices. Thanks to Anita, Ivan and all the staff for making our stay so comfortable.

Room Tip: I would go for an "upstairs" room with a terrace overlooking the gardens and the river.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014

We had a wonderful stay at this hotel. The breakfast was delicious with a selection of warm bread and excellent croissants, homemade jam, locally inspired spiced omelette, freshly squeezed mandarin served in beautiful glass amongst others. The service was very friendly and helpful. Room no. 1 where we stayed was spacious and clean and with open balcony overlooking the river. The cleaning service is done twice a day, just after breakfast and at night before we sleep, which was great. The bathroom is modern with a separate shower and bathtub and spacious. We loved the location too, which is only a 2min free boat ride across from the river where the center is. We loved that it is not on the other side of the river where most hotels are, which could be too crowded with many tourists and restaurants. Overall the hotel was an important part of our wonderful experience in Luang Prabang.

Room Tip: Room no. 1
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
New York City, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2014

I totally enjoyed my stay at this hotel. I was picked up promptly at the airport for the 10 minute ride to the hotel (during which I was greeted by 2 elephants along the way.)
The wonderful hearty, free breakfast, got me off to a great start each day. The stairs to the river will intimidate some, but from shore to shore, the total commute was 5 minutes. We rode the free bikes 15 minutes into the nearby paper village for a really magical morning. I can't wait to visit again!

Room Tip: Rooms on the top floor are best
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Singapore, Singapore
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
256 helpful votes 256 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2014 via mobile

ACCOMMODATION
We were given a very spacious room with a balcony over looking the swimming pool and river. The beds were quite firm and there were very comfortable chaise lounges on the balcony.
Note that the hotel is in a residential neighborhood and is not isolated. You will inevitably hear noises from the adjacent homes and from cars on the Main Street. The noise level usually settles by 10:30 pm.
Although there is wifi in the hotel, it is rather weak in most places. Also note that these rooms do not have televisions. Given all the activities we had planned, this was not an issue; however, it may not be for everyone.

LOCATION
Located on the other side of the river. Fortunately, if coming from the airport, the journey is quite short and the hotel provides a complimentary pick up from the airport. Going to the centre of town is slightly more complicated as the only bridge that can accommodate cars or tuk tuks is a little far. The hotel offers another option - a ferry which will take you across the river to the main town, which takes just 15 seconds. Although very fast and the ferry can be called for at any time, walking down the steep steps can be a little tiring, especially after a few evening drinks. The river itself had some putrid smells which made the journey unpleasant.
The hotel does offer free use of their bicycles which we used for a morning journey on the less busy side of the river. If you are looking for a quiet excursion, take the bikes and visit the nearby village (15mins by bicycle from the hotel) which has a small paper and textile factory. There are also a few interesting Wats on the way.

FOOD AND BEVERAGE
Breakfast at the hotel was simple, but of very good quality. Starting with fresh bakery basket and a generous amount of well presented fruit, the main course is a la carte and you are provided by copious amounts of coffee. We did not have dinner at the hotel, but rather at the restaurant of the older hotel across the river. The menu is a fusion of local dishes with western tastes. The cost was moderate for the food we ordered. The price for a meal for 2 with cocktails is about $35-$40 USD.

STAFF
Very accommodating and helpful. The hotel manager is a British woman who has settled is Laos and looks after all her guests. From the first day to the last day, she was there to provide for anything we required. She also shared some insight to the local culture.

TIPS
- Have dinner at the older Apsara. As of the writing of this review, they have just hired a wonderful new chef. It is important to make reservations as they are fully booked most days.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Apsara Rive Droite

Address: Ban Phan Louang, Luang Prabang, Laos
Phone Number:
Location: Laos > Luang Prabang Province > Luang Prabang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 230 B&Bs / Inns in Luang Prabang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Apsara Rive Droite 4*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Glamorous rooms, all with their own veranda or terrace. Connected to the town centre by our own boat, the Apsarian Queen, it’s easy to get right into the heart of town. You can spend the morning going to the temples, shopping or just exploring the side lanes and an afternoon in luxurious idleness by the pool. We also have bicycles and our own tuk-tuk available for guests' use. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Apsara Rive Droite Hotel Luang Prabang

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