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“This was one of our favorite hotels on our 27-day tour of SE Asia.”

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The Apsara Rive Droite
Ranked #26 of 69 Hotels in Luang Prabang
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
“This was one of our favorite hotels on our 27-day tour of SE Asia.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 1, 2013

We loved the unique boutique quality of this hotel but it would not be feasible for anyone with any type of physical disability to stay here due to the rather perilous descent & ascent to the river jetty and boat and the uneven height of various stairs in the hotel itself. That said, we found this to be part of the charm (my sister is 70 and I am in my late 60s). Brita (manager) was very friendly and helpful as was Ivan (the owner). One or the other was on-site every morning and could be found at the in-town branch if necessary. Our room was clean and comfortable and we had the luxury of being a few minutes away from the old town and having a swimming pool. Breakfast was sublime, the croissants, petit pain, and baguettes on a par with the best Parisian patisseries and the setting in the garden absolutely lovely. We also ate dinner at the Apsara twice: Once at the hotel in town and once at the RD. Both meals were outstanding and reasonable--in fact, the best food we had on our entire trip (and our hotels were mostly 5-star). We had the carrot/lemongrass/coconut soup and goat tagine on the first night and several Laotian dishes on the second night. Both nights we had the fresh mango with coconut tapioca for desert, a dish so divine that my daughter had to order one to take with her when we checked out. The RD is located within easy walking distance of the bamboo foot bridge and Dyen Sabai Restuarant (a unique restaurant with table set in open huts that cascade down the riverbank in a jungle like setting). Both the bridge and the restaurant are fun and unique experiences, but once again, beware of the stairs -- not easy to negotiate especially for us oldies. (Hint: Dyen Sabai is usually crowded -- go during off hours. We went for lunch at about 3:00). We also were able to walk to the weaving & paper-making village on the RD side of the Nam Kham, although by the time we walked there and finished shopping we were too tired to walk back and took a tuk-tuk.

Room Tip: The hotel has only 9 rooms. Make sure you get an upstairs room with a river viewl
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Elaine K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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174 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (53)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
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English first
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2013

We stayed at both Apsaras in mid-February, first five nights on the LP side and then at the Rive Droite on the other side of the Nam Khan. Our son and (new) daughter-in-law met in Laos in 2009 and fell in love with each other and with Laos. They decided to marry in LP and booked the Apsara RD for the ceremony. Excellent choice. We stayed on the LP side Apsara when arranging things before the wedding and moved to the Rive Droite for the ceremony and the last several days of our stay.

In both hotels, the rooms are spacious and beautifully designed with the world's most comfortable beds. Wonderful soaker tubs, too. The rooms in the annex on the LP side are smaller, but the bathrooms are enormous, and the the street-side veranda is a great place to watch the world pass by. On the RD side, the pool is a welcome retreat in a lovely garden, the perfect place to savour the easy charm of Laos. Both hotels have an air of comfort, managing the elusive feat of being both luxurious and laid back.

The food is delicious; the carrot/lemongrass/coconut soup is divine, as is the salad dressing. I forgot to beg recipes, so I'll have to experiment to see if I can duplicate these at home. (An Apsara cookbook might outsell the Buddhas!)

The hotel provided supplies (including a tablecloth!) for a pre-wedding picnic at Kuang Si Waterfalls: sandwich makings with the most fantastic cheeses and cold cuts plus salad and fruit. They took care of other details, too: towels for drying off after swimming and booking an air-conditioned van to transport food (and people). Absolutely perfect. The food for the wedding buffet was also outstanding, with Francis happily adjusting the menu up to the day before the wedding as we discovered more wonderful items from the Apsara kitchen.

What really sets both Apsaras apart is the management team: Ivan, Brita and Francis were outstanding. We were organizing a number of events for the wedding, and they were exceptionally helpful in arranging food and transportation, helping us locate shops and services in Luang Prabang and arranging the hotel tuk-tuk for transportation when possible. On the morning we left, Francis and Ivan crossed to the Rive Droite side to wish us farewell, a very thoughtful touch.

One word of warning: if you have mobility issues, there are 70 steps down to the river jetty and 75 steps up on the other side. This is not a problem for a mobile individual of any age, but if you cannot "do" stairs, it's a long way around via tuk-tuk. Stay in the Apsara on the LP side.

For an intimate celebration, the Apsara Rive Droite is perfect.

PS: While you are in LP, make the trip to the weaving village on the RD side of the Nam Khan and Mekong. Turn left from the Apsara RD or cross the lower bamboo bridge if you are coming from LP. It's fascinating to watch the ladies weaving, and it's a special souvenir to buy a silk scarf right off the loom and carry it away in a saa paper bag made on the premises.

Room Tip: The upstairs rooms at the RD have larger balconies.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 56TravellingGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thalang
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2013

We spent 4 nights at the Apsara RD, and we had a nice experience. The staff very friendly and helpful, nice room and clean. We also had some rest at the pool. In few minutes you are in town, using the small boat to cross the river. You can avoid the stairs to the river by using the tuck tuck service (but anyway is a good exercise for your legs).

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nancy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
74 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2013

My husband and I just returned from our honeymoon and couldn't help but write a review about the AMAZING Apsara Rive Droite. Our stay at this hotel was amazing from start to finish. To start things off we were greeted by the very friendly and ever so helpful Manager, Brita. Brita welcomed us to the hotel with a smile and delicious welcome drink! The personalised touch of having the hotel's manager meet with you personally and check you into their gorgeous property, created a homely feel. This was just the start of 4 days worth of amazing hospitality displayed by Brita and her wonderful staff.

We stayed in one of the upstairs rooms that overlooked the pool, Nam Khan river and beautiful scenery. These rooms are highly recommended. The rooms were spacious, modern with Laotian influences, the bed was very comfortable and the French colonial doors leading out to out balcony added that authentic touch. The bathrooms were always very clean with a huge bath tub. The staff even decorated the room as they noted it was our honeymoon.

From start to finish, we couldn't have been happier with The Apsara Rive Droite. On our second last day I fell off my bike and injured my arm. Brita and the staff went above and beyond, providing ice to reduce the swelling, and even a free Tuk Tuk to the hospital for an x-ray. All staff knew us by name and were willing to do anything to assist us during our stay.

Over all, I couldn't have been happier with this hotel. It was certainly the best choice in Luang Prabang for us, and a gorgeous place to stay for our honeymoon. The location was excellent, being a short 30 second boat ride from the centre of town. The boat trips were not a hassle at all and you could always walk to the Bamboo Bridge or Old Bridge if you preferred. Thank you Brita and all the other staff for making our stay such an enjoyable one!

Sarah and Tim.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sarah163
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 27, 2012

We recently had the pleasure of 5 nights at the Apsara RD, and it was a delightful stay and travel experience. For the first night or two, we never saw another guest and felt as if we had an entire villa to ourselves- quite a novel and enjoyable experience! I read many TA reviews before choosing the Apsara RD for our stay, and appreciate previous guests' reviews and comments. Serendip2010's excellent recent review was spot on with our experience, and I'll just add or reinforce the following:

-the location is superb. Don't be putoff by the boat ride. As others note, it is truly 30 seconds across. Any time we needed transport (which was quite often), the driver was there at the boat on either side within 2 minutes and we putted across. The boat ride is also quite fun (come on, you're in a feeder river to the mighty Mekong!), and adds to the overall experience. LP does have its own hustle and bustle of tourists (having come from Hanoi, that is of course relative!) and we treasured the moment we landed at our serene shore.

-yes, the stairs are steep on both sides of the river bank. But the stairs to Mount Phousi are steep, and the stairs to the bamboo bridge (not to miss!) are nearly ridiculous. After a visit to LP your glutes will thank you as they shape up after a few days up and down! And if you have trouble ambulating, LP might not be the best destination for you.

-the staff are very, very kind and accommodating, but never intrusive. Brita was most helpful in suggestions and coordinating our early morning departure. We had to be at the Apsara across the river to be picked up at 6:30am. Rather than our having to pay for a tuktuk, we settled our bill the night before and they took our bigger bags over for us then and had the boat man putt us over at 6am with our little bags. They also offered to have breakfast for us before we departed. Other acts of kindness - since we were not using our return transfer to the airport (included in your room rate) they arranged a taxi for us to the post office at no expense to us (and we sent dirty clothes home to make room for all of our new purchases!).

-One reviewer commented on some noise from the staff. Yes, but it's all part of the travel adventure for me, and being in a new and - let's face it - exotic location. The "noise" was simply people talking, and if you are in need of the sealed walls and sterility of a chain luxury hotel, then go there. (After LP we went up the Mekong and then into Chiang Rai, where we stayed at one of those chain luxuries, and I nearly cried I missed Apsara RD so badly!) If you want to experience a slice of charming LP amidst local luxury, I don't see how you can do better than Aspara RD.

-The pool is lovely (if a bit chilly for our spoiled western blood, but that never stopped us!) and helps set the hotel apart from the others in its class.

-Don't miss the textile village on the RD side of the river. Outstanding quality, and we came home with arms full. Lovely wats along the walk there.

-Breakfasts were very good. Excellent coffee. We also ate lunch several days and it was delicious and oh so easy to step onto your dining patio....

If you are fortunate enough to visit LP, I highly recommend Apsara Rive Droite. You will never forget it.

Room Tip: We had a second floor room, which affords a view of the river and across to LP. For me, I much pref...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TravelElixirofLife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 22, 2012

We recently spent a week of our honeymoon at the Apsara Rive Droite in Luang Prabang and it was absolutely perfect. The staff were friendly, helpful and endearing. The room was spotless, luxurious and every time we left the room (even for only 15 minutes!) we would returned to find it cleaned again! The location was great as it was quiet and across the river from the "relative" hustle and bustle of the town, but it was an easy 2 minute boat ride across the river and you were right in the middle of it again. Bear in mind that the stairs on either side to access the boat are steep, so not for the elderly or injured! That said, the boat adds a wonderful touch of the exotic and we loved it! We ate in the restaurants on both sides of the river and both were fantastic.
The hotel staff made every effort to make our honeymoon perfect (beautiful flower decorations, champagne, dinner and a special cruise) and we just couldn't recommend them enough. We will be back!

Room Tip: Upstairs rooms were fantastic for an atmospheric view.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rachel K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 29, 2012

We stayed at the Apsara Rive Droite for 6 nights in early November on a swing through Siem Reap and Luang Prabang. We really liked the room, the staff, the intimate size, the view and, ultimately, even the location across the Nam Khan River from the most historic part of town.

As some others have noted, if you are physically challenged by steep stair climbs, the steps to the boat across the Nam Khan are daunting. The boat trip itself is a snap -- thirty seconds, I'm not kidding -- but the climb up from the river is hard with, for instance, a bad knee. And since the tuktuk ride does involve some pre-arranging and a few miles' trip, you might think the hotel is a bit far from the action. At least I wondered about that. But the location is, I now believe, perfect.

By being across the river, you are, in fact, somewhat removed from your fellow tourists, and I don't mean to sound snobby by saying that that's not altogether a bad thing. (As someone else said, there are a lot of tourists -- though we still loved the town and our time in Laos). With the view across the river toward the historic city, a nice pool, cold Beer Lao and an extremely friendly and eager-to-please staff, hanging out on the balcony at the hotel proved to be a fine part of the stay. It also turns out that the hotel is just a mile or so down the road from a village (Ban Xangkhong) that has a some great weavers (look up Chanthasarn Pong on Facebook) and Sa papermakers. The artisans are demonstrably eager to sell stuff to tourists (and tourists do show up in vans), but we loved the people, the craftwork was itself great (we bought a bunch), and the shops are just a pleasant stroll down a dirt road from the hotel.

Our Luang Prabang drill was to have breakfast at the hotel -- it was well-prepared, delicious and ample, though the menu was fairly Western and didn't change day to day -- and then pop into town for sight seeing, some shopping, a truly fine lunch, and perhaps a massage o' the day. Then retreat to the hotel to swim, read and relax until, perhaps, a sunset cruise on the Mekong, a stop at the night market, another great meal (we especially liked Son Prao!), a tuktuk ride home through the tropical air . . . . It was pretty dang mellow, a great vacation if not the most adventurous we've had, and Apsara Rive Droite was a nice part of that.

A couple more details: The beds are comfy, the bathrooms generous and well-equipped, the pool clean and cool. We had a few issues with seriously garbled messages (my Lao is terrible, so we had to resort to English), but we liked the staff *a lot.* It was sad to go.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Serendip2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Apsara Rive Droite

Property: The Apsara Rive Droite
Address: Ban Phan Louang, Luang Prabang, Laos
Location: Laos > Luang Prabang Province > Luang Prabang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#13 Luxury Hotel in Luang Prabang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Apsara Rive Droite 4*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Glamorous rooms, all with their own veranda or terrace. Connected to the town centre by our own boat, the Apsarian Queen, it’s easy to get right into the heart of town. You can spend the morning going to the temples, shopping or just exploring the side lanes and an afternoon in luxurious idleness by the pool. We also have bicycles and our own tuk-tuk available for guests' use. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Apsara Rive Droite Hotel Luang Prabang

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