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“I FOUND NIRVANA”
Review of Mekong Estate

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Mekong Estate
Ranked #39 of 68 Hotels in Luang Prabang
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 13, 2010

Finding Mekong Estate in Luang Prabang was like finding my "Nirvana". We stayed there for two weeks and have been home in Australia for three. Not one day goes by when I don't think about it and wonder about the reality of moving there forever.
Staying at Mekong Estate gives you the chance to experience quiet and private accommodation in the luxury of your own "home" with uninterrupted views of the Mekong River and your own private 'sunset' every evening from the endless pool surrounded by the garden of Eden.

Go out your own gate and there lies the friendliness and cultural experience of Lao people, getting on with their lives but welcoming newcomers with a smile and a "sabaidee". The fence between the two only acts as a physical barrier but not a barrier between the warmth and friendliness on both sides of the fence giving you an experience incomparable to other accommodation.

I cannot recommend Mekong Estate any more than just to say IT IS HEAVEN ON EARTH, along with the food in Luang Prabang, the cooking school at the Tamarind, the smiles of the children and the tangerine robes and black umbrellas of the passing parade of monks.

To Mr Khamphahn and his crew at Mekong Estate, we long to be back and once again, thank you.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank diannesolo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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99 - 105 of 181 reviews

Reviewed September 18, 2010

We arrived in this lovely place after 3 days trip from Vientiane and The Plane of Jar. What a surprise for our family (2 adults and 2 adolescents) and also for the taxi driver when we arrived at The Mekong Estate, a lovely and amazing place just near the river.
We stayed 5 nights in the confortable Garden Loft equiped with a kitchen, nice balcony overlooking the Mekong river.
In August the river is full of water and we passed hours waching longtails, boats, children swimming in the river.
Swimming pool is very nice, 25 m, just near the river and our children spent hours swimming in the afternoon, after the visit of temples, town and markets. It was hot, expecially in the afternoon and the swimming pool was very important for us to motivate ourself, and the adolescents, to visit all the interesting places in the neighbours.
Mekong Estate is 1,5 km from the center of Luang Prabang and you can reach the city by tuk tuk or by bicycle, they provide to all the guests. The trip from house to city is interesting and we've appreciate passing local houses, markets, businnesses. During the day it was very hot, expecially in the afternoon, but in the evening it was amazing.
The owner and his staff are very kind: they provide us a laptop and also a mobile phone with a very cheap phone card (4 USD for 2 calls (15 min each) to Switzerland).
We warmly recommend this hotel, witch would become soon "your house in Luang Prabang".

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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Thank Gabriella1963
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2010

Imagine a place that embodies all the pleasures and comforts of elite boutique accommodations but, by virtue of its location, offers more authenticity than you'd get at a guesthouse in the middle of Luang Prabang.

From the moment Khamphanh meets you at Luang Prabang airport, you instinctively sense Mekong Estate will be a stellar experience. You've visited the website a zillion times before your stay, stared at pictures of the infinity pool that runs parallel to the Mekong River, looked at the floor plan of your riverside apartment. With all that anticipation, the orientation of the site once you get inside exceeds your expectations.

A couple of items to keep in mind that I found to be serendipitous -- but might bother some travelers.

First, this isn't a traditional hotel with a front desk. It feels more like a rental. Personally, I loved the anonymity of slipping in and out of the estate on my bicycle. On the one or two occasions I needed to communicate with management, I either e-mailed (you're outfitted with laptop and wireless upon request), or found Khamphanh on the grounds. But if you're a traveler who appreciates the comfort of knowing there's someone at the other end of the phone at all times, this might be an issue.

Second, the estate is 1.5 km from the center of town. I was only somewhat aware of this when I showed up -- and that mile proved to be a blessing, an endless album of the kind of images you eternally hope for when you travel.

Most folks who show up in Luang Prabang stay in the center of the town's very compact center. At Mekong Estate, you ride your bicycle into town, passing by local businesses, navigating the road alongside motorbikes, tuk-tuks and cars. You wave to children, take in the local scenery and stop at a roadside sundries stand for some water. If you take the long way back, you might pass by a fierce game of Boci Ball being waged by some neighborhood men. You stop, watch and cheer. Your final approach to the estate is on a bumpy, dirt road inhabited by local families, which means you might breeze by a freshly slaughtered pig that's just been gorged. You might also get stirred by roosters at 530am. These are the realities of life in this neighborhood. I wouldn't trade them -- and once you enter that gate with your bike, a truly unique guest experience awaits.

The units are roomy, delectably appointed, comfortable, equipped with a kitchen, sitting room, smallish but very functional bathroom and a balcony overlooking the Mekong. Each morning -- at the time of your choosing -- breakfast arrives at your door. The infinity pool is at your disposal day and night, and it's tempting to spend hours perched on the far shelf of the pool that overlooks the river.

One of the better ways to judge a hotel or accommodation is the length of time it takes for it to feel like home.

In the case of Mekong Estate, that duration was a nanosecond.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled solo
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2  Thank kfastuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2010

We stayed in this stunning homely estate overlooking the Mekong for 4 days and could have stayed there for weeks! The view, the atmosphere, the staff, the architecture, the design, the infinity pool, the garden....everything is beyond words and was exactly what we were looking for.
Perfectly located to discover Luang Prabang and its area it offers a heavenly retreat after a busy day out there. TukTuks could be conveniently booked to take us to the restaurants and bars in the evening a few minutes away and the staff was ready to help with anything.
The house was stunning and airy, the design and decoration is splendid and fully uses the local materials and traditional know-how but at the same time offers modern comfort if and when we needed it.
We can't wait to come back soon.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank EdPiolet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2010

I was moved to tears when the first morning I discovered the view of the Mekong river flowing in front of us.From our terrasse, we could enjoy the beautiful, wild , mysterious river, full of its own life. The whole residence with its beautifully furnished,comfortable individual apartments, theswimming-pool, the trees and flowers, the kindness of the staff, the proximity of the Lao houses and people in the area, made our stay unforgettable. We used the bicycles to go to the center of Luang Prabang, it was very easy and pleasant. The town and the mountains around, the presence of the monks in the temples or in the streets make the place holy and magic and unique.We are already looking forward to going back, and highly recommand Mekong Estate.

Stayed: August 2010, traveled with friends
Thank fracassine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2010

We had the chance to spend some time in the Mekong Estate, we have been warmly welcomed and enjoy this peaceful place... The swimming pool is awesome and the flats are charming !

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank Dtakaten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2010

If you're a bit skeptical about all the over the top reviews you have read about this place, well don't be.

It's as good as what everyone says it is.

Probably even better once you get to experience it first hand.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank eric.ny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mekong Estate

Address: Ban Saylom | Mekong River Bank, Luang Prabang 06000, Laos
Location: Laos > Luang Prabang Province > Luang Prabang
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Family Hotel in Luang Prabang
#7 Romantic Hotel in Luang Prabang
#9 Spa Hotel in Luang Prabang
Price Range: $125 - $218 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Mekong Estate 3.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mekong Estate lives up to its name with five stately Lao-colonial style villas, all with a stunning vista of the majestic Mekong River and mountains. Each of the property's 10 well-appointed rooms and suites has a river view, private terrace and kitchen, and is designed to be your home away from home. Founded in 2005 as the first residence service in Luang Prabang, guests get to discover a local atmosphere and home-style comfort, an experience unparalleled to staying at a hotel in town. The rooms boast ample space, light, character and charm. Spacious living extends to the outdoors with verandas, immaculate tropical gardens, a 25m long swimming pool and of course, the property's namesake river. Quite simply, we have the best view of the Mekong in Luang Prabang; watch the world drift by and let time stand still. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mekong Estate Luang Prabang

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