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“Not yet excellent” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sanctuary Hotel

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Sanctuary Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Kitsalat Road | Ban Aham, Luang Prabang 06000, Laos   |  
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Ranked #15 of 67 Hotels in Luang Prabang
San Francisco
Top Contributor
159 reviews 159 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
“Not yet excellent”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013 via mobile

This could be a 5 star place but it isn't there yet. It is a beautiful place. The grounds are lovely and the rooms, although a bit minimalist, are quite nice. They have nice tile, a good bathroom with both a shower and a separate bathtub, and we had a nice small balcony. The staff attempt to be very helpful and are gracious. And the breakfast is nice with an excellent baguette, eggs, and fruit. Not a large selection but what they have is good. And the location is excellent. But...I think they need stronger management and more training for the staff and more consistent service. Examples: the air conditioning wasn't on when we arrived and, given that it was nearly 100 degree F, it was uncomfortable. And in the bathroom were two large spiders. And the lock box was closed and no one had the key to open it and reset it. And we were promised that the manager would come at an agreed upon time but he didn't arrive even after that time. And one morning they seemed not to have either juice nor fruit. All relatively minor but over 4 days they added up to an irritant that easily could be fixed. And should be and when it is fixed it will be a great place.

Stayed April 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.
Sanctuary Hotel L, General Manager at Sanctuary Hotel, responded to this review, April 27, 2013
Dear Sir,

the whole team of the Sanctuary Hotel is joining me in thanking you for your comments.

we are indeed very new, less than 6 month and we are working hard to improve our services and products to our customers.

much progress has been done and more are underway, we do of course try to satisfy all of our customers.

would you have the opportunity to return to our beautiful city, please do contact us, we would be honored to serve you again.

kind regards,

Sanctuary Hotel Team
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173 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
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English first
Houston, TX
Top Contributor
233 reviews 233 reviews
222 hotel reviews
Reviews in 169 cities Reviews in 169 cities
440 helpful votes 440 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

I am simply not as impressed by this property as other reviewers, so I acknowledge & respect the difference of opinion. This hotel so wants to be a boutique property, but it is far more style than factual substance, & it begs for better professional management overall. Nice staff, like most hotels in SE Asian, who are willing & pleasant, but simply need better training & oversight overall. As some examples: when a hotel has the factual information on a guest arrival, & has, in fact, booked the airport transfers, they should turn on the A/C before arrival so the room is pleasant & welcoming; this is especially important in an area with the tremendous heat of SE Asia; we arrived to a hot room, with an AC we quickly realized was not functioning properly, so we asked for a staff member to come & confirm our assessment; however, it was immediately clear that the young man had absolutely zero clue about the functioning of the AC unit, since he turned the thermostat from 16 to 29 & announced that would work -- not realizing he had actually increased the temperature, not lowered it; we asked to be moved to another room, & the front desk clerk was most pleasant about doing so & we thank them for that courtesy; never could use the safe in the room because neither us, nor any of the staff members who came to the room, could figure out how to operate it, so we carried our passports/money with us -- not a big problem; then there are the room issues --- while others are impressed by the rooms, we found them to be very minimalistic -- a bed with no headboard; 2 small 18" wooden bedside tables; a far-too-heavy wooden desk chair; a wall unit across 1 wall, that has room for your computer; contains a small refrigerator; 2 shelves that are 12"x10"; & a closet that measures 12" wide & contains 5 hangers; there are 2 shelves at the bottom of the wall unit where you can slide your suitcases with the lids closed, but if you want to access your luggage you have to move it out & set it in the floor, since there are no luggage racks; the bathroom has a small pedestal sink & glass shelf; stool & walk-in shower with a partial wall; a hand shower that does not adjust, which means you must be careful to not wet the entire bathroom floor while showering. It is not a horrible room, & is quite serviceable in a very minimalist fashion, but if you are expecting something along the lines of a boutique hotel setup you won't find it here.The rooms are small, but have 2 very nice windows & double doors opening out to a small cement balcony on the 1st floor, or wooden balcony on the 2nd floor, with each room having 2 chairs & a small table. However, it is too bad that the design totally ignored any hint of privacy. If you are sitting in front of your room on the patio/balcony, only 3-4 feet to your right or left, are your neighbors chairs & table. There is no separation of any type, so any hope of privacy is lost. Would some plants not help. Perhaps a small wooden divider? Anything? We left our double doors open 1 morning, only to look up a find someone standing right at our door looking into the room & us in our bathrobes. Zero privacy. Even on the 2nd floor. And who would design a hotel for SE Asia & fail to install ceiling fans on the outside patio or balcony? Tremendous heat that calls for circulation. However, there are also no ceiling fans in the dining room. Lovely space with high ceilings, yet no fans. And during our 3 day stay we never saw 1, single, solitary person, sitting at the outdoor dining &/or bar area, since they are both totally uncovered. These areas need covers, even if they are open air. The place seems to have enough staff on hand to run a place twice this size, with most seeming to have little to do on a regular basis, except for room housekeeping. If a pool is important to you, this hotel does not have one, despite having more than enough physical space for installation of one. Breakfast is the same identical routine each morning: upon arrival you are served a small glass of room temperature watermelon juice --- if you ask if they have orange, apple, pineapple, grapefruit, mango or papaya, you are told no, only this; you then receive a small baguette split in 1/2 with butter & pineapple jam; you are then served luke-warm coffee ---- not 1 morning during our stay was the coffee anywhere near hot; you then ask for sugar & milk or cream, since none of it is on the tables; sugar is brought; then you ask for milk or cream again & it is brought; every single morning the same routine --- ask for sugar, ask for milk/cream; you then are asked what type of eggs you want & they are served fairly quickly with ice-cold potatoes, right from the refrigerator; each morning we had them taken to the kitchen & heated in the microwave, & the routine never changed --- cold potatoes, back to the kitchen, to be returned warm later in the meal; arrived 1 evening about 8:30 & asked the front desk if the bar was still open so we could have a drink, & was told "no, it closed at 8:00"; yet while walking to the room we saw employees inside the bar area with the lights still on & the doors wide open, so we entered & asked if they were still open, & was told yes, of course; however, we quickly realized they did not know what spirits they had &/or how to mix a drink, so we left --- another example of this facility not having a clue about management; a security guard at the main gate (though we never felt any need for security), totally asleep on 2 nights --- could have walked an elephant through the front gate & the guy would have never known; left 1 morning at 10A & returned at 7P & found our room door open since the maids had forgotten to close & lock it. There are so many VERY NICE hotels in Luang Prabang that The Sanctuary definitely needs to up its quality standards if they are going to compete successfully. The facility is new & I know the staff definitely wants to help & is capable of doing the job, but management seems to be non-existent. As of our visit, the hotel lacks the established ambience of the best competitors, & is lacking the overall attention to detail of a true boutique hotel. It has much going for it, & hopefully time will help it professionalize its operations. In addition, you should realize that this hotel "is not" in the area where most of the better restaurants, shopping & nightlife are located. It is about 3-4 blocks outside that area --- not a bad walk & we did not mind, but it is not located in the high-desired area near the National Museum, etc. However, it is directly across the street from what is probably the most expensive hotel in all of Laos -- the Amantaka where room rates start at $800 US nightly -- part of the the well respected AMAN Hotel Group, so it's certainly not a bad neighborhood. We also noted that our booking on Agoda.com was $25 more for the same exact accommodations that we could have booked directly with the hotel upon arrival, so be aware of the potential difference.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sanctuary Hotel L, General Manager at Sanctuary Hotel, responded to this review, April 27, 2013
Dear Mme,

We would like to thank you for having stayed with us during this Lao New Year, we hope that you had enjoyed the city and its celebration.

We thank you also for taking some time to write about your experience in our property. We are sorry to read that we weren't up to your requirements, your detailed constructive comments will help up a lot to raise our services quality.

We are of course looking into the issues you raised, improvements are underway.

Unfortunately, we can't have a swimming-pool as we are in the UNESCO Protected Zone of World Heritage City, no pool are allowed in the city center.
Only the Amantaka you mentioned has one, evidently allowed because of its high end market and priced their room above 800$ a night, we do sell our room below 100$.
We are the closest hotel in town to the Dala Market, to the Wisoun Temple and only 5 minutes away from the main street, close enough to walk and far enough to be a quiet hotel.

we do work on continue to improve our services and products, we surely have already made some more progress, thanks to your comments.

We hope to have you again in our beautiful city, would you have the opportunity of returning, please contact us and we will ensure your total satisfaction.

Kind regards,


Sanctuary Hotel Team
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Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Top Contributor
172 reviews 172 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

The location is perfect, the hotel is lovely and the service excellent. I just loved the lake and the peace in this place. Right beside the hotel there is an excellent spa for relaxing and an amazing restaurant with excellent food and live music and dancers. What else can I say? I would definitely stay there if going back to Luang Prabang.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sanctuary Hotel L, General Manager at Sanctuary Hotel, responded to this review, March 20, 2013
Dear SIr,

All the team of Sanctuary joins me to thank you for your comments. We are very pleased that you enjoy your stay with us and would you have the chance to return to Luang Prabang, do not hesitate to contact us.

Again, thank you very much for your time and kind comments,

wishing you all the best,

kind regards,

Sanctuary Hotel team
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Columbus, Georgia
Top Contributor
257 reviews 257 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 64 cities Reviews in 64 cities
111 helpful votes 111 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013 via mobile

Fairly new hotel, think French colonialism. Pleasant rooms, friendly staff. Good location, only minutes away from the famous Night Market for tourists. Across the street from a $850/night resort, so good company in the neighborhood. If I ever return, this is where I'd stay. I thought it was a good value. Check Agoda.com.

Stayed February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sanctuary Hotel L, General Manager at Sanctuary Hotel, responded to this review, March 5, 2013
Dear Rbstclair,

I would like with my team to thank you for taking the time to post your comments after staying with us in Luang Prabang.

We appreciate your post and hope to have you with us again in the future; do not hesitate to recall us and remind us of your first visit, returning patrons are very much welcome.

wishing you a good continuation of holidays,

Sanctuary Management Team
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Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

Stayed while still a fairly new location. Front desk friendly, mgr/owner distant. WiFi there and free, but not strong signal in room.

Clean, basic room. Safe was small, iPad or computer would not fit. Key comes with big, chunky fob but it seems to be the way its done in Laos. I think te key is supposed to be left at the front desk, but i never did that.

AC controlled in room. Need to request a hair dryer. There is desk space and some low shelves for luggage.

Receipt I was given was for a different room (my bad, I didn't look at it, just took the page). Booked through agoda so it was all prepaid, but I did want the paper to confirm paid in full. Oh, well.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Sanctuary Hotel L, General Manager at Sanctuary Hotel, responded to this review, February 10, 2013
Dear Sir,

My team and I would like to thank you for your kind comments, we are all trying our best to ensure the satisfaction of our patrons.

We are indeed newly open and there still so much to be done in order to achieve our objectives of service quality, sorry if my concerns reflected distance, I hope this didn't spoil in any way your stay with us.

We all look forward to welcome you again in our property and we thank you again for your kind comments.

Yours sincerely,

The Sanctuary Hotel Management and team
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Paris, France
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

The Sanctuary hotel has a well chosen name. Located in the centre of Luang Prabang, it is an oasis of quietness, a peaceful place to relax, in a very beautiful and elegant setting. All of this, within walking distance of all the major sigthseeing places in the city (near the historic distric, best restaurants, etc.)
We found that the hotel opened recently and therefore everything is very clean and new, which is a plus. Rooms are very spacious and decorated with taste.
The garden is truly very nice and walking around clearly offsets the fact that there is no swimming pool.
Last but not least, you will find that the service is very thoughtful and the owner is attentive to your needs.
It is also good value for money, so you should consider staying here if you are to visit Luang Prabang.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sanctuary Hotel L, General Manager at Sanctuary Hotel, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
Sabaidee,

All the team of Sanctuary joins me in thanking you for your comments and good review; we are very happy and proud that our property was up to your expectation.
We wish you all the best,

Sinceres regards,

Denis S.
General Manager
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Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

Little charming hotel. Within à short stroll to the main interesting places.
Good food, and very nice outdoor restaurant. Very quiet, althought in the center of the old city.
For a family, ask for the connecting Deluxe Rooms, located in the traditional building.

Room Tip: Ask for the connecting Deluxe Rooms, in the traditional building
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sanctuary Hotel L, General Manager at Sanctuary Hotel, responded to this review, January 14, 2013
Dear Sir, Madame,

The team of Sanctuary Hotel joins me in thanking you for your comments, we appreciate very much.

In continue, we strive to improve our services to our clients, we are very pleased to have you comments, it helps us to measure our progress.

Wishing you the best,

Kind regards,

Denis Simonnet
General Manager
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 Sanctuary Hotel

Address: Kitsalat Road | Ban Aham, Luang Prabang 06000, Laos
Phone Number:
Location: Laos > Luang Prabang Province > Luang Prabang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 67 Hotels in Luang Prabang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Sanctuary Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the historic heart of the city of Luang Prabang, halfway between the Mekong and Nam Khan River, the Sanctuary Hotel is a haven of peace on the edge of the peninsula, close to the night market with its typical streets, temples and restaurants.The Sanctuary Hotel is built around listed buildings. Its charm, its traditional architecture, exotic garden make it a privileged holiday resort, calm and serene, yet close to everything. You can easily explore on foot most of the architectural treasures of Luang Prabang, the historic capital of Laos, the Mecca of Buddhism, inscribed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO.Sanctuary Hotel, Luang Prabang, a garden in the heart of the city. ... more   less 
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