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“Style and tranquility”
Review of Amantaka

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Amantaka
Ranked #28 of 69 Hotels in Luang Prabang
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
158 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
“Style and tranquility”
Reviewed January 9, 2013 via mobile

This was once a French colonial hospital, built in the early 1900s for officers suffering from malaria and other ailments. It has been converted with enormous style. The long wards are now elegant suites set around a rectangular pool and huge lawn. The low buildings have Oriental terracotta roofs. Long white porticoes stretch in front of rows of French windows, shuttered and painted in khaki. Much of the furniture is of ruddy teak from Vientiane, but sadly there is little manufacture in Laos, and the wicker chairs, ceramic dinnerware and the rest have to be imported. Nevertheless, the essential style is minimalist oriental, and very beautiful it is. The visionary who recreated this venue as a sublime hotel is the Amanresort founder Adrian Zecha who, despite being nearly 80, has just bought back his chain from an Indian real estate company. It is often good news when creative intelligence and the ideal of service take over from the bean-counters. Amantaka is, of course, expensive, but on our three-day visit was truly wonderful. Included in the room price were a Baci welcome ceremony, a half-day walking tour of the city, a private Lao dinner for two, with wine, in the little terrace behind our suite, a one-hour Lao massage, a Mekong river cruise in a private barge, use of a private car and driver, and lectures on Lao arts and ethnology, gold leaf stencilling and gold thread embroidery, and rising at 5 am to offer glutinous rice to passing monks. There were no extras whatsoever, other than a legitimate charge for laundry; no hidden surprises, such as charges for wifi or deck chairs and towels. This was exceptional stress free hospitality. Some months ago a Tripadvisor reviewer commented on aspects of service; it seemed to me that all these had now been resolved. This is a fine hotel in one of the world's finest chain of boutique hotels.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Horace4590
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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173 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
New York
Level 5 Contributor
46 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2013

I always wondered what heaven would feel and look like. I envisioned each and every one of our senses filled with a joy that was so unimaginable. it would be hard to articulate into words.The sheer essence of our being would be elevated to a happiness we've never known. This, my dear travel friends, is Amantaka. Like so many of you, we have traveled the world and are fortunate enough to have experienced some truly over the top adventures with remarkable properties and service. They all pale in comparison to the Amantaka. From the moment you arrive, you are welcomed by the most wonderful people you'll ever meet. Beyond their excellent service orientation, it's their soulful spirits and kind hearts that have the most profound effect. You know immediately, that you have arrived in Nirvana. The suite (more like a villa) is detailed to perfection, the food is prepared so precisely to your order, you feel like you've traveled with your own personal chef (thanks to Rob, the property's brilliant Head Chef.) In addition, the superb service team in the restaurant was outstanding! We were fortunate to have the expertise and delightful personality of Khek each day! We looked forward to waking up and heading to breakfast, just to see his smiling face! The private tours offered by the hotel are too exceptional to be called "tours". They are more like a privileged peek into the extraordinary culture of magnificent Luang Prabang. The Mekong river sunset cruise aboard the Amantaka's private long tail boat is without a doubt, the highlight of our stay. It can be combined with a visit to the Pak Ou Caves (another amazing site!) to make for a wonderful afternoon adventure. A sweet young man named Thep was our cruise guide for the day.He made our day feel so exceptional, we lost all sense of time. Spending the afternoon with him was just as wonderful as seeing the sites.The hotel will also organize an "Alms" experience for you, supplying the sticky rice. Waking up at 5:30am to join in the moving ritual of feeding the monks, will enrich your life for sure. Another must is the Baci blessing. Everything the Amantaka organizes for you, guarantees you will be fulfilled beyond your expectations. The entire team at this property, has somehow managed to give new meaning to the word, "service." From the moment you are greeted by Gary, the general manager, it's clear you are about to be enveloped into a world of wonder. Berenice, the front office manager, exudes a charm and professional manner that is far beyond her young years. Once you meet her, you feel touched by a magical spell! She is exceptional in every way and is now considered a family friend! And somehow, Yai, the front office supervisor, has the ability to make you feel like you are the only guest on the property. She is seamless in her ability to address every need possible. A great asset to the Aman team! This is not just another wonderful hotel stay. It is an experience that you will remember forever. No matter what destinations your bucket list includes, Amantaka needs to jump to the #1 spot!! We feel blessed to have had that opportunity. You will too!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank 80Countries
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level 4 Contributor
18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2012

The hotel provides a tranquil and beautiful base for exploring this amazing little town. The transformation from hospital into hotel is astonishing, with the preserved room with high ceilings and verandas surrounding a beautiful courtyard and pool. The spa, gym and yoga center are excellent - and the restaurant serves a perfect combination of Lao and western cuisine, under the leadership of the watchful eyes of Vuko. If you have to pick just one Aman, let it be this one.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DilagentDD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Risch, Switzerland
Level 6 Contributor
252 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
Reviewed November 18, 2012 via mobile

Having done quite a bit of travelling all over the world, spent remarkable holidays in a substantial number of Amanresorts on four continents, we would rate the Amantaka in the first three of best hotels. We werw stunned by its architecture and our lively pool suite, enthusiastic about an extraordinary Laotian dinner, and in awe of the serenity and beaming presence of the staff. As mentioned by others, we delighted in an extraordinary massage.
Amantaka is as good as it gets.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Christina B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hanoi-Vietnam
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2012

Save the last night in Luang Prabang after 3 night in Souvannaphoum hotel.

As a Vietnamese family of 5, we was offer 50% discount from the public rate. and F.O manager even upgrade us to the Suite to suit five of us.

Check-in: Great!

Room: Fantastic! Massive room even with 2 extra beds.
We enjoyed our own swimming pool

Bose speaker CD player and Bose speaker with an iPod touch: great!

I love the concept of fabric was all linen, actually my wife like their napkin very much

Really like the room is cleaned each time we went out: Different

Staff: Very friendly and helpful. There's always a guy to welcome us with a cold town: nice touch

Wifi: The broad band was slow (same to everywhere we are in Laos)
But it's not border much!

Breakfast: Charged!!! what a surprise. I recon it should be inclusive, that's a much!

Over-all: A nice experience with Amantaka Luang Prabang

Come back: Yes

Recommend: Family, Max of four.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank greenmangohanoi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
293 reviews
85 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 242 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2012

We visited in Oct 2010 not long after Amantaka had opened, and coming from Amansara in Siem Reap it was far less polished. The property itself is lovely, especially the dining area, the Lao food deliciously light, sweet and spicy (I've not been able to find a decent imitation even in the culinary Mecca of Singapore) and the Lao people were sweetly deferential, but not so well drilled as at the Amansara: a mix-up with a guide meant we left an hour late for a tour on our last day and the Lao food my wife had learned to cook while the rest of us were elephant-riding had to be wolfed down so we could make our plane.

We were also unfortunate enough to be the victims of robbery: it seems it was an inside job as items were stolen from a locked room (and this is where we learned to alway use the safe - we had assumed Aman just wouldn't have dishonest staff). Gary the manager was mortified and in the end waived our rather chunky extras bill in lieu the part of our loss which the insurance wouldn't cover: I am prepared to believe this theft was the one-off he said it was. We mourned not so much the loss of our camera, which we replaced, but its memory card with the pictures of the Mekong boat trip to the Buddha cave which was certainly the highlight of our stay. Fortunately my wife's daily obsessive Facebook uploads meant those were about the only pix we really lost.

All the same, I'd recommend this place to anyone who wants luxury in Luang Prabang: whilst other hotels closer to the centre of the town offer better value and convenience, nothing else has this sense of space and occasion.

Room Tip: As a family of 4, we stayed in the Amantaka pool suite, which was superb with a separate bedroom for...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank MacDaddyinSing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed May 1, 2012

We just LOVE this beautiful property. The property is unique as it's a historical building and the management really put lots of thoughts to make the AMANTAKA experience extraordinary. The breakfast was great too, you can choose whatever on the a la carte menu. My husband had Lao breakfast every morning and he could never have enough of it. I cannot see why some other reviewers didn't enjoy their time here.

We did several excursions: the Kuang Si Waterfall, the trip to minority villages, the cruise with Pak Ou Caves. They were all well-organised and breakfast at the top of the waterfall was simply amazing. We visited the organic farm and had a vegetarian lunch there too. It's nice to know that the hotel cares a lot about the environment and people, although the all vegetarian lunch was a bit bland for me. I enjoyed all the activities we did with Aman, but if i need to name one the best, I'd say it's the river cruise with picnic lunch. It's romantic to have a glass of wine on hand and simply watch the world goes by. The scenary was nice and peaceful. You really learn what benevolence really means when you come to Laos.

Room Tip: If you value privacy, book yourself a pool suite.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Evivi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Amantaka

Property: Amantaka
Address: 55/3 Kingkitsarath Road | Ban Thongchaleun, Luang Prabang 1090, Laos
Location: Laos > Luang Prabang Province > Luang Prabang
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #28 of 69 Hotels in Luang Prabang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on a large garden estate, Amantaka is housed in graceful French colonial buildings in the UNESCO protected town of Luang Prabang. Airy and elegant throughout, the décor and furnishings reflect the town's French colonial history. Situated just south of Phousi Hill, the resort is within strolling distance of the boutiques, bakeries and restaurants lining the town's main street. The fabled night market, the picturesque banks of the Mekong River and the former Royal Palace are also nearby. ... more   less 
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