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“Comfortable room, lovely staff and exceptional location” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Phounsab Guesthouse

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Phounsab Guesthouse
Ban Choumkhong, Sakkarine Road,, Luang Prabang, Laos   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #47 of 226 Luang Prabang B&B and Inns
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Comfortable room, lovely staff and exceptional location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2012

If you are looking for an excellent place to stay without the normal associated costs, then Phounsab is the place for you!
The staff are simply wonderful and really go the extra mile to make your stay memorable. Friendly and approachable, the family and their employees can assist you with ideas for delectable meals, interesting activities and any other services you may desire.
We stayed in a room on the ground floor with an entrance through a delightfully sun-filled courtyard where you can enjoy your included breakfast. Extremely clean and comfortable, the room had two beds, air conditioner, ensuite and TV for US$40 p/night.
Located central to everything, the guesthouse is perfect for Luang Prabang - a city that sleeps early and where you require a room comfortable enough to spend time in before sleeping at night.
Our stay at Phounsab was truly delightful and no doubt I will return upon my next arrival in LP.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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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34 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Korean first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Wellington, New Zealand
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2012

The guesthouse is located right beside the evening markets, next to the museum, and is surrounded by cafes, restaurants, tour shops, and small stalls selling to the tourist market. The room was simple and small, but perfectly functional. The bathroom appeared to have been recently renovated and was of a good size. From the street front you walk to the rear of a building, into a lovely courtyard, and most rooms are located in the rear building. Some rooms are located at the back of the main building, facing into the courtyard. Wifi was patchy, but strong if you sat near the lobby. Don't expect too much in the way of support or advice from the staff, but they are friendly and polite.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2012

I was very pleased with my stay at the Phounsab Guesthouse during a recent visit to Luang Prabang.

From the street, the entrance to the Guesthouse is one of those "blink and you miss it" places. It really doesn't look like much. You check-in and enter the PG through the dark reception area, and come out into an open-air courtyard, with umbrella-covered tables and a fountain (that
was not filled with water at the time). The Guesthouse is comprised of two houses, and my room was located in the back section. The rooms in the house facing the street higher up and looked very nice and airy (per Lonely Planet's description). All of the rooms face the courtyard.

Located along the main drag of LP, the Phounsab Guesthouse is smack in the middle of the action (given that it's sleepy LP, I use the term "action" loosely), a mere stone's throw from a dozen restaurants, cafes, temples, tour operators, and a short walk to the very cool Night Market.
One can walk to either river, the Mekong or the Nam Khan, within five minutes.

The rooms themselves were on the small side, but were quite nice, with dark hardwood floors, A/C, incredibly comfortable beds, a mini-fridge, tv, wardrobe, etc. I was particularly happy with the shower, which had really nice water pressure.

Note that there is no kitchen, so no included breakfast, but they do offer free coffee, tea, hot water, and complimentary bananas. There is also no pool, but I went during low season, so the weather was not yet sweltering. There is wireless Internet, although the signal is spotty on
occasions, but not too bad.

The staff members were very accommodating, especially Mr. Le, who was very friendly and let me check out an hour late on my departure date.

Luang Prabang as a town closes very early, so the staff will shut the front doors around 10:30-11pm. If you plan on going out past this time, let them know!

If you want to stay in town, the Phounsab Guesthouse is a fantastic value for the price!

  • Stayed April 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Montreal, Canada
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2012

After the initial shock of the entrance, we find our self in a small courtyard that is simply wonderful. The room is quiet nice and comfortable, there are bigger rooms for those ho wish. Free cafe/the and fruits in the morning. The staff was most agreeable. But the best feature is the fact that the hotel is in the centre of the city at 1 minute walk to the night market. Close to everything.

  • Stayed February 2012, 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.
korea
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2012

My room was nice and the hotel itself is beautiful and centrally located. It's quiet so you don't get woken up by chickens or monks like I've heard might happen at other hotels. The staff (including the owner) were not very friendly or helpful. Many things in my bathroom (shower head, drain, toilet, hot/cold water) were broken. I found it hard to believe that no one had mentioned these things before. The toilet and drain were fixed after 3 days, but the other things were not. I think there are better hotels, but these things aside I was satisfied with the over-all stay.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Gdansk
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2012

Located on the main street, just 20m from the Night Market. Very helpful and nice staff, clean rooms, very nice bathroom. Laundry available in the hotel (10.000 Kip) - price same same as everywhere else on this street.
There was a problem with internet connection (very often the connection was lost). Two days in a raw there was a blackout (from 9:00 a.m. - 03:00 p.m.), however it was a bigger issue, because there was no power on the whole street.
Free coffee, water and some fruits.
Little bit overpriced (however it is a general problem of Luang Prabang).

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Northern Virginia
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2012

I stayed here for four nights in mid-January. The Phounsab has an excellent location on the main street that runs through Luang Prabang, less than a half block from the start of the night market. There are travel/tourism agencies, restaurants, cafes, money exchanges, shops, and internet cafes surrounding the Phounsab. The National Palace Museum is one block to the west and Wat Mai another block further west. From the Phounsab, virtually all of old Luang Prabang is walkable, although tuk tuks are readily available outside on the street.

The Phounsab itself is accessible directly from the street. You enter through the front, past the reception desk, through a passage to an inner courtyard. There are two buildings, the front one seems to have three rooms with private balconies that look down into the courtyard. I didn't stay in this building, so all I could see was that the balconies seemed very nice with two chairs and a table and that the entire wall leading out to the balcony was glass with glass door. Floor to ceiling draperies could be drawn closed to block out the sun. Through the glass, I could see a large bed, probably queen size.

I stayed in the building further back from the street, which had eight (or maybe ten, it was hard to tell) rooms, half on the ground floor and the other half on the second floor. Running along the entire length of both floors were verandas set with two chairs and a table spaced at intervals for each room. Although these seating areas were not private (separated) for each room, they were still quite pleasant and I saw many other guests relaxing in their set of chairs, working on the laptops or reading.

I stayed in a room on the second floor. The room contains a queen-sized bed dressed in very good quality cotton bed linens, a wooden writing desk with chair, armoire with TV and mini-fridge, two drinking glasses, and two bottles of water replenished daily. There is another open armoire to hang clothes (with a half dozen hangers). There is a wooden stand to place your suitcase and small bedside tables on either side of the bed, both with small (dim) bedside lamps. Lighting in the room was adequate except for reading in bed at night (I had to keep all the lights on in the room, but I also like lots of bright light when reading). I never turned on the TV so I don't know what channels it had, but there was a TV remote.

The bathroom was a fairly decent size with sink, toilet, and a large shower that had both a hand-held head and another one of those waterfall shower heads. There was hot water in both the shower and the sink. Water pressure could have been a little better, but it was certainly adequate. Bathroom amenities included two little packets of soap (replaced daily), and two little packets of liquid (one was shampoo, I don't know what the other was for - all the writing was in Laotian). There was also a plastic box with some cotton buds (Q-tips) in them, two coffee mugs to serve as bathroom glasses, and a toothbrush holder. The towels (two bath and two hand) were serviceable.

The room has two windows on the back wall that could be opened with the inner mosquito screens closed to provide light and fresh air but keep out larger insects. (They weren't much help in keeping out the gazillion of smaller insects that managed to find their way into the room and onto the bed. I eventually resorted to going to the pharmacy across the street to buy a bottle of insect repellent and spraying it all over the windows and screens every morning - with a spritz over the duvet - to try to keep the bugs out, for which I was moderately successful.) These windows look down into an alleyway, which separate the back wall of the guesthouse from what appear to be local residences. I could see a cage with a monkey in it (which was made annoying little cries throughout the night). Since the Laotians still cook using the traditional charcoal clay cooking stove, once dusk falls, the smell of the burning charcoal is prevalent and you have to close the windows to filter it out. From this back building, I didn't get much street noise, but I did get the noise from the local residences, especially early in the morning, which might be bothersome for a light sleeper.

Overall, I found the Phounsab to be a nice, no-frills, and very functional guesthouse. The room was clean, the dark wooden floors gleam, the bed linens were really very nice. I tried to book through their website, but the link directed me to Agoda. Oddly, when I made the reservation through the Agoda website, I got a message saying that I would pay once I got to the guesthouse, but when I arrived to check in, I was told that my payment had already been made through Agoda. The rate came out to $40/night. Breakfast is not included, but that is definitely not a problem with the cafes, bakeries, and restaurants that open up early to serve breakfast. On my last morning, I noticed that that they have hot water for tea and coffee in the courtyard, but that wasn't explained when I got there (nice enough staff but very short on explanations).

You can also request airport transfer through the hotel e-mail address. The cost is $10 for the airport taxi (a large air conditioned van) to pick you up at the airport and take you to the guesthouse. Pay the taxi driver directly. Upon departure, I asked the front desk how much a tuk tuk to the airport would cost it I was given a cost of 50,000 kip (about $6.25), which I arranged for, but I think you are better off doing this independently. The tuk tuk driver was the friend of the person who happened to be at the front desk at the time I inquired and I found it rather irregular that another couple was going to share the tuk tuk with me but that they were also charged 50,000 kip together (not individually). It didn't make much sense because the tuk tuk should have been 50,000 kip total whether one person or six.

If you are going to observe the alms procession, position yourself in front of Villa Santi, which is maybe a seven to ten minute walk east of the guesthouse. I tried three different locations and this one is by far the best. (And if you are going to participate in the alms procession, find a reputable guesthouse or restaurant to prepare the sticky rice for you. The street vendors who try to sell you a large basket of sticky rice for a dollar use very poor quality rice that is notorious for making the monks sick.)

Room Tip: The guests with private balconies really seemed to enjoy sitting outside, but the rooms in the other...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Phounsab Guesthouse

Address: Ban Choumkhong, Sakkarine Road,, Luang Prabang, Laos
Location: Laos > Luang Prabang Province > Luang Prabang
Hotel Style:
Ranked #47 of 226 B&Bs / Inns in Luang Prabang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
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