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“Unforgettable stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Thongbay Guesthouse

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Thongbay Guesthouse
Ban Vieng May, Vat Sakem, Luang Prabang, Laos   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 230 Luang Prabang B&B and Inns
Zürich
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Unforgettable stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

We spent 7 nights at the Luang Prabang Thongbay guesthouse during our wonderful family trip in Thailand and Laos. Thongbay is more than a guesthouse: being a hotel with a beautiful garden and thatched wooden bungalows, it is an oasis of kindness and relax in a romantic and quiet location along the Nam Khan river.We were in two different bungalows facing the river before and after our trip to Pakse, the first time in a pretty bungalow with one extra bed and one mattress for our younger child, and the second time although we did not book in advance, the staff was able to arrange for us an even prettier family bungalow with four beds. In both cases the bathroom was spacious and comfortable, and the terrace facing the river relaxing and quiet.The staff at Thongbay is the best you can imagine. With them, you feel like at home, the breakfast (à la carte) can be booked (including time) on a whiteboard at the reception the evening before, and it is served on the terrace by the nice ladies of the guesthouse.The staff is lovely with children - and with the parents as well! There is a regular free shuttle service to downtown and back, but a 20-minute walk on a secondary road easily bring you on foot downtown and back. We took this shortcut several times with a torch and we had no problems, even with children and stroller. Once a week the staff offers a trip at dawn to attend the ceremony of food offering for the monks. The Thongbay family has an own carpet close to the temple, and prepare sticky rice for the monks as all inhabitants of Luang Prabang. We will never forget Thongbay - never will our children. The guesthouse is held by a swiss-lao couple (not in Laos at the time of our visit) and the staff speaks good english. Keo, Vanh, Net, Thy and all Thongbay friends: we definitely
hope to see you again!

Room Tip: garden view bungalows are nice, but river view ones are top!
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  • Stayed October 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
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658 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    518
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    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 (159)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2012

My husband & I stayed with another couple & we thoroughly enjoyed Thongbay. The bungalows were very comfortable & private. It was a very relaxing stay after a busy 2 weeks through Laos. The staff were lovely & wanted to practice their English skills.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Queensland
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012

We stayed 4 nights early October in a river view bungalow with another couple of friends. The guesthouse was amazing, only a short tuktuk ride to town with lovely views from our balcony across the river watching families go about their daily tasks. Loved the breaky on the balcony each morning at a very reasonable cost. The best part was on our first morning the resort family invited all the guests to come along and participate in the offering to the monks, this was very special and the highlight of our stay. I can say that the noise from the bar across the river was a bit of a concern on the first night of our stay, but seemed to improve on the other evenings. The staff was excellent and very helpful, nothing was too much trouble, they also arranged transport for us to the waterfalls nearby. The hardest part was saying goodbye.

Room Tip: River view bungalow is the go
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Singapore
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2012

We stayed here for a few days with our two little kids (20m and 6yrs). The bungalows by the river have a lovely view, but I would not recommend them with toddlers as you constantly need to watch them so that they don't fall down the stairs or from the terrace. Additionally, you can hear cars rattling across a (wooden?) bridge all night and we had loud party music from the other river side on one night. I think the garden rooms might have been way quiter.
Apart from that, it is a lovely little place with nice food, very friendly and helpful staff that were very good with our children as well. The hotel is providing free transfer to town which is helpful, as it would be too far to walk.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Woking, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2012

We stayed 4 nights at the beginning of October. We had a river view bungalow. The garden view bungalows looked very nice too but the view from ours was hard to beat.

The tuktuk ride from town, the last portion of which is down a bumpy dirt road, is well worth it for the sheer relaxation. We loved lazing on the balcony of the bungalow, where you can ask for food to be brought from the hotel restaurant (not particularly cheap but decent enough fare).

The staff here are lovely. Very friendly and helpful. We were sad to leave when they lined up to wave us off at the end of our stay!

There are a couple of things to be aware of if you plan to stay here. One is that you will be staying in a wooden bungalow with reed roof. Ours had a fan and mosquito net over the bed. This combination (with repellent spray as well) seemed to work well in preventing/minimising bites at night. You will be staying in amongst nature in the garden, on the banks of the Nam Khan. This might be a consideration if you're squeamish about the presence of animals such as lizards and mice. Personally I loved the natural (ish) setting and I accepted all that it entails.

The other thing is the presence of more than one karaoke bar in the vicinity. One of them in particular seems to have a powerful sound system, which is clearly audible at Thongbay Guesthouse. I expect the degree to which the bars are audible varies with the location of your bungalow. If my memory serves, the karaoke always stopped by midnight and did not take place every night. It didn't disturb me but if you retire early and are particularly sensitive to music such that it affects your sleep, this may be a consideration for you.

If you have some time in LP, I would suggest staying at Thongbay as well as somewhere in town, then you get the best of both worlds (easy access when in the town centre and ultimate relaxation out at Thongbay).

We liked it so much at Thongbay that we tried to change our travel plans to allow us to stay an extra night but it didn't work out.

Room Tip: We had a river view which was fantastic. I'm sure the garden view bungalows are lovely too but I...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2012

As step six in our trip in south east asia we stayed three days at this most relaxing place.
We had a bungalow, more like a traditionnal house, facing the river and it was enchanting. Laos is a stress free country but there it was les than less than less stress, so zen. I can't say better. We loved everything, from the feeling of warmth in the bungalows, the view, the calm. Our bungalow was very nicely decorated with local flair and craft.
There is a lot to say about this place, great staff and location, but I will say this, it suited our mood in the best way possible, the hardest part was leaving the place.

Room Tip: If you can afford it take one of the bungalow facing the river
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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Bridgetown, Barbados
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012

What a great place, after a stay in a hotel room which could have been anywhere this was just what was needed. Our bungalow had a view across the river so we could watch farmers tending their vegetable patches and the fisherfolk setting their nets and drifting by. In the morning in the distance you could watch the hustle of life as people made their way to work across the bridge, and all that over breakfast as well. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful and the shuttle into town is a great benefit. The fact that the Guest House is not in town was for us an added attraction a sit allowed us to get away from the bustle of life when we wanted.

  • Stayed October 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Thongbay Guesthouse

Address: Ban Vieng May, Vat Sakem, Luang Prabang, Laos
Location: Laos > Luang Prabang Province > Luang Prabang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 230 B&Bs / Inns in Luang Prabang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 16
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Thongbay Guesthouse Hotel Luang Prabang

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