We booked two rooms with the Ancient Luang Prabang two months before our family of 4 arrived off the night plane. As we checked in, we were asked whether we wanted to pay for our 6 night stay up-front, or later. If later, we were told we had to leave our passports with the hotel. This hadn't happened anywhere else in SE Asia and we were surprised... but it was late, we were all tired and we went along with it, opting to leave our passports, not wanting to make a 6-day commitment without even having seen our rooms.
In the darkness, our rooms looked lovely. Lots of polished wood, white linen, soft lighting and a great view over what looked like a quiet street from the upstairs (double) room. But the children's room, downstairs, opened directly onto the street... which meant they were in a nicely appointed cave, with no view out of the room whatsoever unless they wanted every passer-by to share whatever they were doing. I didn't feel happy about the distance between our rooms & the lack of air and light my children had access to. I thought the hotel could have given us rooms on the same floor given the 2-months notice they'd had prior to our arrival.
However... the following morning we were offered a very limited western-style breakfast menu (very ordinary) and left for the day. On returning in the afternoon, we realised there was a chainsaw operating constantly across the road (a construction site?) and a popular local hang-out/shop directly across the road. The volume of noise built up as the light faded. That night, karaoke began in earnest at full volume and my daughter began vomiting.
After a difficult night, we realised the children's room - with very limited air flow and light - was unsuitable for illness as the room was dark, dank and fetid. The two beds faced the street, immediately in front of the doors, so there was no way we could open the doors and get air into the room without essentially inviting the street in. We discussed the situation with reception - a nice guy - who explained there were no other rooms available. We nodded and thanked him, without making any fuss. If there were no other rooms, what was the point in complaining? Privately, we decided to look around and find more a more comfortable hotel....
Directly after breakfast, the receptionist approached us and asked us to pay for our rooms then and there. We reminded him he had our passports and had been given the option. He then said his boss wanted us to pay up-front.
We were offended but paid for our two nights, set off into the street and almost immediately found a much lovelier, far more welcoming, infinitely more pleasant hotel overlooking the nearby river.
In all, we have rated the Ancient Luang Prabang harshly because of the lack of consideration for customer comfort and well-being. The rooms are lovely, but the hotel is badly situated and uncomfortably set-out, giving little privacy and having unusually loud neighbours. Out of interest, two other travellers left at the same time we did and moved into the same hotel we found (a new hotel called Burasari Heritage) for their week in Luang Prabang. All of us felt conned by the fact the Luang Prabang didn't inform us of the major differences between their two hotels and weren't interested in making us comfortable.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Comfort and style, combined with location, give the Indigo House Hotel a unique, boutique feeling. Plan your stay with us, and you will find yourself at the center of cultural activities of the city, surrounded by breath-taking sites and with easy access to some of the most amazing Buddhist temples, monasteries and markets. Let us pamper you in one of our 12 rooms, exclusively designed for your comfort and relaxation. We stand apart from other hotels because we don't just promise exceptional service, we deliver it. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ancient Hotel Luang Prabang
- Ancient Luang Prabang