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“jungle experience in Laos”

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Kingfisher Ecolodge
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“jungle experience in Laos”
Reviewed January 25, 2013

We stayed in a individual bungalow, with a view on the surrounding wetlands, with water buffalos and elephants, which, together with the nearby village, and the colonial bungalows gave you a jungle experience that is really worthwhile. Beautiful surroundings, and common parts, elephant ride, relaxing and quite atmosphere, far away from all the touristic activities.
Food is good, but pricey, personnel is correct, but not the friendliness one could expect.
Details could be better, like breakfast till 9, and if you ask a coffee at 9.05 you have to pay extra (2,5€ for a coffee from a heated can...)

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ecrispie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maxit, Owner at Kingfisher Ecolodge, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
We would like to thank the guest for his nice review of our lodge, however we would like also to point out that we have never refused to serve a breakfast even when the guests arrived after 9am, which is the time limit reported on our menu, and the coffee is always refilled during breakfast (if requested) for guests staying in our comfort bungalows.

In any case I would like to inform the reviewer, and the other readers, that our filtered (fresh) coffee (which, of course, is kept in an electric heater in order to keep it hot) is sold, out of breakfast, at 10.000 kip (less than 1 euro) and an espresso coffee at 15.000 kip (less than 1,50 euro) and not at 2.50 euro as written in the review.
The above mentioned prices can be found, since ever, on our website where everybody can read our complete food menu, including relevant prices so that there can be no doubts.

Regarding the lack of "friendliness one would expect", it is not clear to me what the guest exactly mean since we are speaking about an accommodation business service, in any case at Kingfisher Ecolodge we believe in discretion, and our staff has been trained accordingly, however we are always ready to respond to clients' questions and requests for information, even when the questions are of rather private nature, as other reviewers have previously reported.

With our best regards.

Massimo Mera / Owner of Kingfisher Ecolodge
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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108 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
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Maisons Alfort
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2013

We stayed three nights there on our way to Si Phan Don. The bungalows are great, quite sacious with all wooden furniture, looks like old time. From there you can see the wetlands, with elephants and buffaloes (especially at sunrise).
The restaurant and bar are fine, with some italian dishes, good location above a pond.
The hotel arranges trips (prefer the one day elephant safari through the jungle, and avoid the half day to the temple by the "elephant highway").
Downs : the price of the excursions, and the difference in bungalow locations (prefer 3 and avoid 4). Perhaps the attitude of the staff, less smiling than elsewhere (but maybe this is a quality).
Also beware of the massage : 40 minutes for 50 000 kip instead of the posted one hour for 35 000.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank jlbrillet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maxit, Owner at Kingfisher Ecolodge, responded to this review, January 7, 2013
We would like first to thank the guests for the positive review about our lodge and here below reply to a few points.

Concerning the activities prices we give, on our website and in the room information book, a breakdown of the price paid by clients, as one may see (especially with the elephant safari) a large part of the money paid is going to the local community, after that we have fixed and variable costs to sustain and of course a profit to gain.
As reported by other guests to us, we are certainly applying lower prices and a more genuine experience than in Luang Prabang (the only other place that one can have a one day safari with elephants in Laos, as far as we know).

Regarding the massage we would like to point out that it is not a service provided by Kingfisher Ecolodge but by the local villagers (that's why guests have to pay directly to them), we just help the local community by advertising the possibility to have a massage and with price (35.000 kip) and time (1 hour) clearly written on the room information book and in the reception area therefore the guests should have paid only the written price (if not wanting to give any tip) and in case of problems report to our reception in order to help with translation as the villagers do not speak any foreign language.

We will instruct, once more, the villagers about what they have to deliver and at what price when coming to the lodge to provide a massage (actually this is the first time that we hear of such problem) but we would like to precise again that that we cannot be held responsible for a service provided by a third party.

Massimo Mera / Owner
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witley
Level 6 Contributor
104 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed August 15, 2012

We spent 2 nights at the KingFisher Eco Lodge. It is important to remember that this is not an hotel, and as such offers a wholly different experience. You will have to adapt to the swamp type noises at night and share your environment with the wildlife and bugs. The rooms are beautiful and the food very good. The staff were pleasant and attentive. The elephant trekking is a must. If you are a wimp, avoid this place, otherwise try out what we believed was a most rewarding experience! The owner took the time to speak to his guests to explain the origin of the project and listen to custmer feedback.

Room Tip: All the rooms were good.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank WitleyCarlton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maxit, Owner at Kingfisher Ecolodge, responded to this review, August 26, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your nice review of our lodge and I completely agree with you about Kingfisher Ecolodge not being a "normal" hotel but a more of a place where people can experience a closer encounter with tropical nature which, of course, may not always be pleasant for some people.

Many greetings to you and your family from all of our staff and we hope to see you again.

Massimo Mera
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Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2012

This was our first stop on this return visit to Laos and we were tired from the usual frenzied activity prior to departing on holidays. We couldn't have picked a better place to sit back and allow normal life stress to slip away. We stayed the first night in the shared eco house (we booked last min and that was all they had available) and then moved for two nights to the comfort bungalows.

The ecolodges were good but we are not big on the bathroom sharing thing. We adored the comfort lodges - I think they look better than any pics we saw. Lay out great - functional yet really lovely. Bed comfy - loved the vast expanse of glass so we could wake up and look straight out to the plain and those gorgeous elephants.

We spent hours on our balcony - one of us in the hammock, the other on the chair. Restful, peaceful bliss.

Massimo is a gracious host and he ensured that everything went very smoothly for us. The food was also excellent. It really was a perfect way to start our holiday, thank you Massimo and all your lovely staff

Room Tip: Suggest opting for a comfort bungalow if your budget allows
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank cloeyhome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maxit, Owner at Kingfisher Ecolodge, responded to this review, March 2, 2012
Dear Guests,

Thank you very much for staying at Kingfisher Ecolodge and for this nice review.
Of course I cannot but agree with you that the comfort bungalows can give a much better experience while staying at our lodge.

They were designed for that while the eco rooms were built later on to meet the request of people having a lower budget available for their trip as we thought that we should give everyone the possibility to stay in our lodge but, on the other end, one cannot pretend to have the same for a much lower price :)

I, and all the staff, hope to be able to welcome you again in another occasion.

Best regards.

Massimo Mera
Owner / Kingfisher Ecolodge
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Durango, Colorado
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed February 29, 2012

I spent two nights in one of the eco-houses, with two rooms per building and shared bath. The setting itself is beautiful and tranquil, and it was fun to see the elephants grazing in the meadow beyond the lodge. The views from the shared houses are somewhat obscured by random vegetation and the grounds are weeding and poorly kept relative to the higher priced bungalows. The first night I was there a large group of men stayed in the rooms across the path from me. They were very noisy, and I could smell their cigarette smoke and hear their radio playing into the night. They left lights on in the shared baths and there were insects everywhere. The next night they left and the place was much more tranquil. The walls are very thin and you can hear everything in the adjacent rooms. I believe that my experience would have been better had I splurged on a bungalow.

Room Tip: Splurge on a bungalow.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank ugogrrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maxit, Owner at Kingfisher Ecolodge, responded to this review, March 2, 2012
I would like, as usual, to thank the guest for the review.

I'm sorry to hear that your experience at our lodge has been spolied by bad behaviour of other guests, unfortunately we cannot monitor what's happening in each room therefore everything is left to the level of respect between each other and we can't do much more.

I completely agree with you that staying in one of the comfort bungalows would give a much better experience than staying in the eco rooms (especially when there is unpolite people staying next to you) but I also understand that not everybody has the necessary budget for the more expensive rooms thus having to find a compromise.

Regarding you comment ".. views from the shared houses are somewhat obscured by random vegetation and the grounds are weeding and poorly kept relative to the higher priced bungalows", as you may have noticed we do gardening only in the area close to the reception/restaurant and a little near the bungalows by choice. There is a very thin layer of soil above the rocks in this area (if not flooded during the rainy season) thus being very difficult to grow anything if not natural existing vegetation (weeds as you call) or by adding a thick layer of soil.
Furthermore the watering of such a huge area around all the rooms would use (better, waste) thousands of liters of water every day, for such reason and since we decided to have an "eco"
approach in our lodge we have left everything as it was if not for some cleaning now and then, you should see how would be overgrown the area if we wouldn't do that, especially during the rainy season.

With regards.

Massimo Mera
Owner / Kingfisher Ecolodge
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Lugano, Ticino, Switzerland
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2012

Just came back from an holiday trip to Laos and Kingfisher Echolodge has been a wonderful two days experience. The lodge is very charming, immersed into nature, peacefull and away from touristic circuits. Don't miss one day elephant trip in the jungle! It is great, the boy who guide is smart and shows a lot of curiousities about plants and nature. We found a warm welcome from the management of the lodge, Massimo and his wife are really worth to meet and the restaurant is a top quality! I deeply recommend a stop by.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Elisabetta S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maxit, Owner at Kingfisher Ecolodge, responded to this review, January 30, 2012
Thank you very much for your review, it is always a pleasure for us to have nice people like you at our lodge and we always appreciate our guests appreciation!

We hope to be able to welcome you once more in ban Khiet Ngong.

Massimo Mera
Owner / Kingfisher Ecolodge
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2012

Provides a different perspective on Laos as its away from the tourist trails on the Mekong.was initially skeptical of the location, but if you want a glimpse into the rural heart of Laos, KF Lodge is a good place. The activities are all run by residents living in the nearby villages, and most of your money goes to them, the elephants and the nature reserve.

We did two days of elephant related activities, but frankly, I think one day (considering it was only a 3 night stay) would have been enough. riding elephants isn't the easiest thing!

Room was clean, well designed, generally comfortable. My mattress was a little worn (could feel the springs) but I'll admit I'm a bit fussy.

Food was really excellent. The fish dishes were the best.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Izabellachen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Kingfisher Ecolodge

Property: Kingfisher Ecolodge
Address: Ban Kiet Ngong, Ban Khiet Ngong 16000, Laos
Location: Laos > Champasak Province > Ban Khiet Ngong
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Ban Khiet Ngong
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Kingfisher Ecolodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ecolodge located in Xe Pian National park, southern Laos, not far from Wat Phu temple. Restaurant service and eco activities available. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kingfisher Ecolodge Laos/Ban Khiet Ngong

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