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 $25 more for the same exact accommodations that we could have booked directly with the hotel upon arrival, so be aware of the potential difference.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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We would like to thank you for having stayed with us during this Lao New Year, we hope that you had enjoyed the city and its celebration.
We thank you also for taking some time to write about your experience in our property. We are sorry to read that we weren't up to your requirements, your detailed constructive comments will help up a lot to raise our services quality.
We are of course looking into the issues you raised, improvements are underway.
Unfortunately, we can't have a swimming-pool as we are in the UNESCO Protected Zone of World Heritage City, no pool are allowed in the city center.
Only the Amantaka you mentioned has one, evidently allowed because of its high end market and priced their room above 800$ 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.
Sanctuary Hotel Team
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.