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“Greatly disappointed” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Muang Luang Hotel

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Muang Luang Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Bounkhong Road, Luang Prabang, Laos   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #51 of 66 Hotels in Luang Prabang
Christmas Island
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Greatly disappointed”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2007

We arrived with delight to see the face of the hotel. It seemed picture perfect. It was 5-10 minutes from the heart of the town but had some restaurants and shops on the southern side of the hotel. Our room at face value was nice - closer inspection revealed that there was mildew and mould throughout the room. It just hadn't been properly cleaned. It was almost impossible to sleep because of the noise from the airconditioners in the hotel. There were only four rooms occupied in our stay, one was ours, and the din of the three aircons made it impossible to sleep. We asked to be moved to another area but that was all too hard.
The first night we were there we shared a bottle of beer on our verandah. The empty bottle was still on the table the morning we left.
Breakfasts were fair, but beware of the semi-hot food. One matter that we didn't like was that we sat at the same table for four breakfasts and it wasn't swept or cleaned at all - there were still crumbs and soup stains on the table from our first morning.
An interesting facet of hotel life seemed to be as one table left after their breakfast the waiters took the leftovers to other staff sitting near the dining area and they finished off the food. It didn't give a professional feel to the hotel.
One really disconcerting thing happenned in our stay. After leaving the hotel on the second morning and remembering soon after we had left a map behind, we returned to the hotel. My wife went to out room while I stayed in the lobby. My wife found a staff person in our room when she went in - he came from between the bed and the wardrobe. He left the room hurriedly without explanation. My wife came downstairs a little shaken and we asked the duty manager to explain the situation. He, eventually, found the man in our room. He said he was in the room looking at the plumbing. We had not asked anyone to check the plumbing and there was no plumbing where he was in the room. We asked for a report to be made to the hotel manager but that was all too hard as well. It left a very bad taste in our mouth and we consider ourselves very lucky not to have had something stolen that day. We were very disappointed that our report was merely shrugged off.
On a positive note, the grounds and pool were very nice.
Overall, however given our exerience, management's "don't care" attitude, the room's unfortunate cleanliness and poor staff attitude, we would suggest that there are much better options for hotel stay in Luang Prabang.
Other travellers we spoke to at the Luang Prabang hotel agreed with our assessment and those who had also stayed at the Vico hotel in Vientiane suggested the situation was very similar there.

  • Liked — Good pool area
  • Disliked — Dirty hotel, bad service, potential for theft
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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25 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    2
    13
    6
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, CA
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2007

I checked the "Overall experience" box as "Above average", although I've never stayed in other hotels in Luang Prabang, so I don't really know what "Average" there is. We spent about a week in this hotel, in two different rooms. The first one was dark and pretty dismal, with only a limited view out onto a trash-filled back yard. We asked to be moved to another one (much nicer, same price, $60USD) with a balcony on the front of the hotel, and liked it a lot more. Both bedrooms were clean and nicely decorated.

The bathrooms in both rooms were not clean and the tub/shower stalls were covered with grot, soap scum and black mildew. We looked once in the cabinet under the sink and made a point never to look again. There was ample hot water and good shower pressure, though.

Most important: Consider carefully whether you really want to eat the "hot" food at breakfast if it is only lukewarm. It can make you sick even though it tastes OK. The cold cereal and fruit is a safer bet, and even better is eating somewhere else, which costs very little and is worth the walk.

As others have noted, the hotel is a long way out of the center of town (in a residential area), but we also didn't mind since the weather was fairly cool and tuk tuks were always available. Walking home at night always seemed safe to us as well, and it was great to see people where they lived instead of just in the touristy part of town..

  • Liked — Room had a view of Mt. Phousi and a nice balcony
  • Disliked — Bathroom was really disgusting and breakfast had food safety issues
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2007

We switched to this hotel from another in Luang Prabang because Muang Luang has a pool. The pool was very nice, in a garden area with palm trees.

There is nothing luxury about this hotel, but it is difficult to compare with American hotels. I would compare it to a Travelodge in quality.

The room was very large with a GREAT balcony with 2 chairs and a table, which overlooked Mount Phousi. The room had a refrigerator, western-style marble & wood bathroom, which had a bit of mildew on the shower curtains. The room was very quiet, which is a big switch from most of the LP hotels - no noise from tuk-tuks or motorcycles, even though we were right on the front of the hotel.

Airport shuttle was FREE, which saved us $5 each way. You can order an in-room massage from the front desk for US $8, which is higher than the rate in town, but the convenience is worth it. Breakfast was eggs, baguette, fresh fruit, juice, and coffee/tea, and was included in the room price.

The biggest drawback is that it was a 10-minute walk to the main tourist area, but it felt safe, even at night. A tuk-tuk would cost about $1 to the main restaurants, so it's no big deal.

I would certainly stay here again. If you like a nice pool, this hotel is a MUST, especially in the brutal summer. The staff was great, and most spoke good English, which can be a challenge in Laos.

  • Liked — the pool
  • Disliked — the location (although it was still very good!)
  • Stayed June 2007
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Illinois
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
50 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
139 helpful votes 139 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2007

I spent two nights at this hotel in Dec 2006 as my base for Luang Prabang. An enjoyable stay overall.

Positives:
- The hotel is in a quiet neighborhood off the main roads in LP. I heard no street noise from my ground-floor room.
- My room was quiet as well; I heard no noise from other guests.
- We were greeted with delicious cool juice on arrival, very nice in the warmth of the afternoon.
- I loved the dark hardwood floors in my room, polished and cool to the feet.
- The staff was friendly and eager to please.
- Although the breakfast buffet was modest overall, each day there was a delicious rice or noodle dish. These looked quite bland but were actually flavorful and a nice treat, since I prefer not to eat Western breakfast food when I travel. I also enjoyed the open-air dining room with its views of the gardens and pool. I didn’t find it too cool to eat outside in December, but I’m very cold-tolerant.
- The bed was comfortable and the room was very clean.
- At first I didn’t like the location, since it was about a 10-minute walk to the center of town, but it was an easy, pleasant walk and I ended up enjoying the peaceful location quite a bit (see item #1 above). I walked back alone after visiting the night market and felt perfectly safe (I am female).

Negatives:
- Although the room was air-conditioned, attempts to lower it to my preferred (admittedly very cool) temperature resulted in large puddles of water on the floor under the vent. 20C turned out to be the lowest setting that would keep water from collecting. (That was the setting, at least; the actual temperature that “20C” produced was warmer than 20C, according to my small travel thermometer.)
- The lighting by the bed was weaker than I would have liked.
- If you want a huge variety at the breakfast buffet, this is not the hotel for you.
- Nor is it the hotel for you if you want to be right in the middle of all the action in the center of town.

In summary: I enjoyed the hotel despite the less-than-desirable things I’ve listed. Laos is still learning how to handle its popularity with tourists, and part of the charm of this hotel was that even though things weren’t perfect, the staff was trying their best to please and to make the hotel comfortable. I would happily stay here again if I return to LP.

  • Liked — Peaceful neighborhood
  • Disliked — Air conditioning
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, CA
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2007

We chose this hotel because it was one of the few which had rooms available during the Christmas/New Year's high season when most of the rooms in this town are booked up. We were able to reserve a room with no deposit by emailing the hotel directly.

The hotel offers free convenient airport transfers (a $5 value) and is walking distance to the historic district (about 10 minutes away).

The hotel's free breakfast is outside, which can be uncomfortable during cold Luang Prabang winter mornings. The hotel has a safe at the main desk (but specifically disclaims responsibility for anything kept there!) The hotel usually takes credit cards but their machine was broken when we were there and we had to pay cash.

The hotel has a pool which might be nice during warmer seasons.

The hotel is listed in some guides as "luxury" but I would classify it more as moderate. Its rates have remained more affordable than some of the fancier hotels in town. (We paid $60/night, including airport transfers.)

  • Liked — We could reserve a room by internet
  • Disliked — Somewhat run-down; a little far from town.
  • Tips/Secrets — Consider skipping breakfast and going to the nearby JoMa cafe instead
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
135 helpful votes 135 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2006

I stayed here in 2003 with a group (and this hotel handles a lot of group tours) and thought it was fine then but this time I wanted to stay on the Mekong. All of the places I tried (about 6) were booked and I should have been (but was not) adventurous enough to arrive without reservations (many of the guest houses here do not take advance reservations via internet) so I reserved a room at the Mouang Luang.

It's really quite a nice hotel and only a 5 minute walk from the night market. The excellent and attractive JoMa coffee is nearby too and the Lao Development Bank where you can exchange money (I recommend that you do it on a daily basis in small amounts as you cannot sell it back nor can you use it at the airport duty free). You can use dollars to pay for many things so bring a stack of new ones and fives. They will not accept old worn out US dollars.

Back to point. The hotel is clean with quite a pleasant atmosphere, I would say it is a 3-star hotel. It is a bit overpriced but not expensive by western standards (I paid $56. per night). Keep in mind, however, that you can get rooms in very nice Luang Prabang guesthouses for $12 US. The Mouang Luang has a clean and appealing pool. Breakfast is decent, buffet style. The staff is courteous to a fault. There is a safe in the room. TV with CNN, HBO, Cinemax, BBC, etc. The polished wood floors are lovely, the marble bathrooms are large (a bit worn but fine.) In-room massage is available for $7.US (It's $3.US everywhere else though). The bed was too soft for my taste. There was a spotlessly clean balcony with a table and chairs. I can't complain about the hotel. I think what you pay for is the space, the security guard posted outside the entrance and the attractive public areas and manicured grounds. Of course you have air-conditioning here too which you may not always get in a guest house. I recommend this hotel as a very pleasant and safe mid-range option. If you have a larger budget, there are fancier places located more in the heart of town or on the river. There are also much less expensive places located in every part of town. Despite all of that I would stay here again.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
282 helpful votes 282 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2005

Nice, clean hotel about 10 mins walk from the main sights of town such as the Night Market and the monks morning procession. Small pool in the garden, continental breakfasts. Rooms a good size, good clean bathrooms and lots of hot water.

  • Stayed February 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Muang Luang Hotel

Address: Bounkhong Road, Luang Prabang, Laos
Location: Laos > Luang Prabang Province > Luang Prabang
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #51 of 66 Hotels in Luang Prabang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Muang Luang Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 35
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