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“Loved the Mekong”

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Mekong Riverview Hotel
Ranked #3 of 71 Hotels in Luang Prabang
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 5, 2010

This is a great boutique hotel in a fantastic location overlooking the confluence of the Mekong and the Nam Khan rivers. We were there over Christmas and the kind owner, Urban, invited all the guests to champagne and canapes in reception. We also saw the owner lop off the top of a champagne bottle with a huge sword! (I kid you not) The other guests staying were a great bunch and we bumped into each other regularly while exploring small and compact Luang Prabang. The staff were exceptionally friendly - Laos people are humble, honest and show kindness rare to see in the world these days. Breakfast was great - tasty omelettes and wonderful pancakes - something I looked forward to each day! The only minor quibble I had (which prevents me from giving this hotel five stars) is the damp problem in our room - something needs to be done about ventilation to prevent mould in the bathroom. The hotel is so good though, we didn't mind too much. When walking through Luang Prabang we were glad we had a riverside hotel despite it being a bit far out of town - a shuttle service compensates from the lack of proximity.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Londoner016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MekongLuangPrabang, Daniel, General Manager at Mekong Riverview Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded January 24, 2010

Thank You for the review. I didn’t have the pleasure to meet You as I was away on a short break in Sweden. I would like to comment the ventilation problem that we had. We have now installed new bathroom ventilation and it works much better. We have also improved ventilation both above and under the rooms. A new routine we now have is to leave all vacant rooms open all day (doors and windows). I think we have almost solved the problem. Thank You for staying with us.

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717 - 723 of 876 reviews

Reviewed December 26, 2009

The Mekong Riverview has much going for it but its rating as Trip Advisor's #1 location in Luang Prabang is unwarranted.

Pros: Absolutely lovely staff f. Owner invites guests for wine in the lobby which was a nice touch. Breakfast was very good, if not a bit cramped...it's served in a small room which also serves as the lobby. (The Mekong is expanding next door.) The beds were very comfortable. Location is great - on the river but LP is small so there are many places even closer to town. Basically, the strategy here is to charge you a premium by Laos standards (We paid 190 a night) and give you all the amenities like free bike and a golf cart to drive you one-way to dinner or whatever. But you'll see that everything is so close you rarely need either and if you do need a taxi, its dirt cheap.

Cons: The only room to get here is the LARGE UPSTAIRS room. I actually confirmed a king bed but the first night we were the room downstairs, queen. The room was a massive disappointment after so many lofty reviews. Although on the river the door of the room opens straight into a stone wall with a small footpath in front used by the upstairs guests. So, it's dark and you have people walking by your window. The location on the river is a mixed benefit. At sunset, there are literally buses of tourists outside the window stopping to look at the view. Summary: downstairs room sucks for the price. Upstairs, there are currently two small rooms (really small!) and one large room with a better view and more room. Strangely, all the rooms were the same price. A French couple staying in the small room upstairs were simarly perplexed by the Trip Advisor reviews and moved into another hotel after 1 night which they said was a much better value.

Would make more sense for this place to be priced about 20% less.

We moved after three nights to the Belle Rive down the street - amazingly huge, bright room priced at $150 a night. That hotel is officially open next month and we thought it was very lovely. Great views and better value that the Mekong.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Sweetmelon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MekongLuangPrabang, Daniel, General Manager at Mekong Riverview Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded January 24, 2010

Thank You for the review…good and bad. As I was in Sweden during Your visit I didn’t have the opportunity to talk to You in person. I’m sorry You didn’t find Your stay value for money. We have two smaller rooms, one upstairs and one down stairs. All other rooms are 26m2 or bigger. We have together with the owner made the decision to listen to Your suggestion and the smaller rooms are now priced differently, I agree with You.

Regarding the walking outside Your room… It was not the upstairs guests. Upstairs guests can’t access this veranda/walkway. It was our staff making a shortcut. All walking is now forbidden outside this room if we have guests staying there. Thank You for this important comment.

Regarding the tourists in front of the hotel…As we have the prime view and photo spot in Luang Prabang in front of the hotel there can sometimes be more visitors than acceptable, I agree. We have now together with the police made a non parking zone in front of the hotel and our security officer and myself are politely sorting this problem out the few times it happens in peak season.

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Reviewed December 24, 2009

This is a guest house not a hotel. It has few of the facilities of a hotel - with no kitchen, no restaurant, no tea-making equipment in rooms. Breakfast is run down the road from a neighbour's house and not surprisingly is luke warm and sometimes cold by the time it arrives. Staff were delightful and helpful but there are equally good places further down the road with the same view, better facilities and $50 a night cheaper!

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank Cacz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MekongLuangPrabang, Daniel, General Manager at Mekong Riverview Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded January 24, 2010

I’m sorry I couldn’t talk to You in person about this. I disagree that our hotel should be called a guest house. You are correct that we don’t have all the facilities of a modern high end hotel. One of the reasons for this is because we are located in Luang Prabang, in a UNESCO world heritage town with a unique location on the tip of the historic peninsula with limited space, controlled by building codes and regulations (good!).

Breakfast is not “run down the road”. It’s delivered from OUR kitchen located 35 meters from the hotel. The owner made this wise decision to avoid disturbance to our guests. This is done to keep distance to our guests when it comes to cooking, deliveries and visitors. Our office is also located in the same building. I’m sorry that You didn’t got the quality breakfast You were expecting. We have after this review increased the heat in our kitchen “plate heater”. Kitchen staff now has to wear gloves to handle the hot plates covered in aluminum foil.

About having no restaurant…No, we don’t have a restaurant but still we have a very nice “Veranda Menu” for room service. This is a nice menu with a selection of quality food such as salads, pizzas, sandwiches, pies and pastries.

Regarding the tea and coffee facilities in the rooms…Since it’s only a few nationalities that use this service we have it only on request basis now. We have a very good set up for this in the room if requested with a small table, modern electric boiler and all accompaniments. I’m sorry You didn’t get that information. We failed in this matter.

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Reviewed December 23, 2009

We book the hotel solely because of all the rave reviews on tripadvisor. Overall the hotel / room / staff is very nice. The owner is also very nice and helpful. Breakfast was good. The view is also good. But the price is wayyyyy too expensive, especially when compared to many other guesthouses that are also on the river front, also offer good breakfast, also have friendly staff, and are much more spacious and new. We paid $190 a night and got a small room on the second floor at the end of the corridor. The room is just TINY, with a big comfortable hospital bed (has a remote control that props you up to watch tv.) A strange choice of bed that made us feel like we were in a nursing home. The bathroom and toilet are separated and both are tiny (about 2 sq m.) After we walked the city and looked at other guesthouses, we decided to leave the next day because we felt that we were being ripped off. In a country where $50 a night would get you a suite in the middle of a garden with a view of the river and great breakfast, why pay $190 and feel like you're in a nursing home?

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank little0alien
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MekongLuangPrabang, Daniel, General Manager at Mekong Riverview Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded January 24, 2010

To be perfectly honest…this is the absolutely the first time I hear a complaint about our beds.

I give You 100% right in the comment about the price for the small room that You are mentioning. I’m sorry that we couldn’t talk about this in person and find a way to move You to another room. It’s not at all a bad room but it should not be priced as our big rooms. We have now made the correction regarding the rate. You “punished” us with a bad review and the hotel was forced to take this rate issue to priority 1. It helped and thank You for that.

I don’t give You right that You can get a quality room here for 50 USD.

Note:

Laos is not a cheap country to be a visitor in and especially not in the northern parts of the country. If you come here to experience a higher standard you should keep it in mind that the only things grown/made in Laos are: basic farm crops, handicrafts, textiles, wood products, cement, electricity, cigarettes, Beerlao (Carlsberg) and Pepsi. Almost everything else must be imported. If You are in Luang Prabang You are in a place so remote that it was not accessible by road until 12 years ago. All businesses here have to pay the same prices for products in Thailand and Vientiane (Lao P.D.R. capital in the south), plus the increased cost due to resellers, taxes and shipping. Shipping costs are much more expensive from Bangkok to Luang Prabang than from Bangkok to Europe. Anything “modern” here cost much more than in a developed country.

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Reviewed December 6, 2009

We stayed at three different hotels/guesthouse in Luang Prabang so to some extent it's a review and a comparison of the three (Mekong Riverview, Le Belair and Lao Spirit). When we arrived at Mekong Riverview, Daniel was waiting on the porch with a map already highlighting recommended places to visit and eat. On every level MR anticipates your needs whether it's offering a shuttle into town before you even ask or turning on your air conditioner before you return from a days activities so the room is cool. The fixtures and furnishings in the room were beautiful. We stayed in a smaller side room which was very comfortable. Location is great and buffet breakfast was good. MR can arrange activities as well. The weaving village I would probably pass on, the temple caves across the river I would definitely pass on and the sunset cruise on the Mekong I wouldn't miss for anything. The wireless internet was really slow but no big deal. All in all a great stay but at $US150 for the small room and $190 for a regular room I think they are a bit pricey.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Gary B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2009

After reading excellent reviews, we booked a superior room in Mekong Riverview Hotel.
This hotel is very good such as very clean, very comfortable, plenty of hot water, good matress and spacious. Also the staff are very friendly and helpful.

We felt very happy with everything in Mekong Riverview Hotel, so we would like to recommend this hotel !!!

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank honeymoonBBC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2009

One of the joys of life is to sit on the verandah of the Riverview Hotel and look down through the trees to the passing parade on the Mekong River. What a magic place!
A truly beautiful boutique hotel. Our room was on the first floor. The floorboards in the room are the first thing you notice. Slabs of beautiful timber, finely polished. Large bathroom, and amazing adjustable beds - press the remote and the pillow end rises up, the middle tilts back and the legs tilt down, like being in a comfy theatre seat.
The owner, a visionary Swede called Urban Paulson gives a personal welcome, often over a glass of chilled wine for newly arriving guests.
The local staff, including the thoughtful Buomvone have that happy knack of giving you something - like a light on your balcony - before you realise it is just what you wanted.
Would you like to go to one of the delicious Lao restaurants? An electric buggy takes you there one way in a few minutes - and it is complimentary.
But the gem is mine host, the avuncular Daniel. A personable giant Swede, nothing is too much trouble and he is full of insights into living alongside the local culture. One morning he was up before dawn in his own time to show us the hidden experience of Almsgiving in the outer suburbs. Not the commercially tainted version in the main street, but the humble heartfelt giving by local people to the community monks and the sincere blessings giving in return by the monks to the local people. We kept our distance and just watched and felt privileged to be there.
We'll be back.. to this magic place in the quiet part of town, just around the corner from the most important Wat, where the service is beyond service and the view is sensational.
Rex and Sibylle

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MikeMelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mekong Riverview Hotel

Address: Mekong Riverside Road | Xieng Thong Village, Luang Prabang 0600, Laos
Phone Number:
Location: Laos > Luang Prabang Province > Luang Prabang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Luang Prabang
#2 Family Hotel in Luang Prabang
Price Range: $121 - $264 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Mekong Riverview Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a beautiful boutique hotel with a personal touch, located on the tip of the peninsula, at the very end of the old town, on the UNESCOs World Heritage Area. The view you have from the rooms and Café/Restaurant is the meeting of great Mekong River and Nam Khan River. The Hotel is quiet and peaceful with the beautiful former Royal temple Wat Xienthong as your neighbor. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Mekong Riverview

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