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Thongbay Guesthouse
Ranked #1 of 259 Luang Prabang B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Whats the fuss about”
Reviewed September 8, 2013

We stayed there for two nights and although we loved the character of the place there were certain things that we didn't like. Firstly, if you pay 35 dollars for a room you expect it to have aircon, our room had a ceiling fan and when it was used it sounded like a helicopter taking off so we turned it off. We were also woken up at 5am each morning by loud music coming from the property next door. It is also a 10 minute drive into town where there are far better value places to stay. We moved to a place near the river that had aircon, was 100 yards from the nightmarket and didn't have ants everywhere and paid 25 dollars.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank rbagot12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philipp E, Inhaber at Thongbay Guesthouse, responded to this review, September 14, 2013
Dear guest,
thank you for your review in the TripAdvisor. We regret that you could not fully enjoy your stay in our guesthouse. We understand that there are guests like you, who prefer to have air conditioning. Our bungalows are built of wood and have a roof made ​​of straw. Therefore it is hardly possible to install air conditioning. We have in each bungalow two to three fans on the ceiling. In our website and in our e-mails we inform our guests, that we have no air conditioning. We take your criticism seriously and have replaced the noisy fan of your bungalow with a new and very quiet one. We will also improve our information to our guests. So that all people who come to us know, that we have no air conditioning in our bungalows.
We apologize for your inconvenience and wish you a great stay in the beautiful South-East Asia.
Kind regards
Lay and Philipp
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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956 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 (220)
Date | Rating
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English first
Hanoi
1 review
Reviewed September 6, 2013

This is my second time staying in this guesthouse (first time was 2008 new year eve), but I feel the same with its garden, the bangalows, big rooms with bacony, and of course, the hospitality and services.
We got a long driving from Vientaine and arrived the village very late, the lane was not in good condition but when we get to the guesthouse, our tiredness was flew away with a nice, quiet and beautiful garden.
Located outside of the old quarter, but Thong Bay guest-house will be my best choice for the next visit to Luang Prabang,

Thank you Mr Thy, Mrs Lay and others who I can not remember your names,

Room Tip: choose the bangalow face to the river.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank tung_daotrong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviewed September 5, 2013

We stayed at the Thongbay guesthouse as part of our visit to northern Laos. It was certainly the highlight of our entire trip. We couldn't have asked for a better bungalow than the family one we had overlooking the river. It had everything we needed and more. The garden and the views were wonderful, and the balcony was the perfect place both to start the day with a lovely breakfast, and to unwind at night after a day in Luang Prabang. The slightly out of town location was a plus point for us, and the free shuttle and bike hire mean there are no problems getting to or from town.

The thing that really stood out for us though was the friendly welcome and service from the staff. They all seemed to really enjoy their work and nothing was too much for them. We felt as though they were genuinely interested in us, and that they really cared about making our time in Luang Prabang a success. They even arrange transport for their guests to give alms to the monks (though I'm not sure our 14 year old son appreciated the 5.00 am wake up call!). Both our kids (14 and 11) are still wearing the bracelets they were given as we left and it was with a heavy heart that we took ours off when going back to work.

I can't think of anything negative to say about Thongbay and will definitely go back.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Caroline D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
45 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2013

Stayed there for 3 nights and aside the almost constant monks chanting from the temple opposite ( nice to hear for an hour or so, tedious after a while especially at 11pm) and the awful karaoke on the river bank opposite, this is truly a gem of a gesthouse. The owner Philippe, is extremely welcoming and helfpul and he got me a bicycle for my stay which was absolutely ideal to roam around the town at my own pace, taking in all the delightful temples and little cafes, sometimes tucked away from the main ( and only) avenue in the city centre and it's no wonder everything is so well run in the guesthouse having a guy like this at his command - along his local wife of course. I had a riverview bungalow, did not regret this choice, on the contrary i would say pay a little bit if you want to gaze on your verandha all day. But I suppose the garden bungalows are also great as the gardens are absolutely lush, well maintained and very quirky. It's probably just the lack of privacy that would bother me a little.
The bungalows are spotless, surprisingly the beds are quite comfortable despite their hardness and the shower, even if it has no pressure, do the job nicely.
This is not 5* luxurious air con accomodation but the fans work a treat and beside it's never too warm at night in Laos.
I had a 90mns body massage done in my bungalow by a wonderful lady and I would highly recommend it, the best massage in the whole of Laos!
Steer clear of the massage places downtown, they were awful.
A fantastic stay for a sole traveller, very safe and enjoyable.

Room Tip: Fork out a little more if you want privacy and overlooking the river.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank DivingFrenchie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed August 23, 2013

The Thongbay guesthouse is a cute little hotel, made up of wooden, thatched bungalows around a lusciously green garden, along the Nam Khan river.

It has a boutique feel to it, staying cheap and cheerful, a sort of cross between a backpackers mini heaven with its whiteboard breakfast ordering board and its cool vibes, and a relaxing, green and natural resort perfect to unwind after a long day trekking.

The bungalows are average size, and fully made of wood. There is no AC, but the fans are well enough to cool you down, even in the summer heat. The bathrooms are lovely too.

I never had breakfast there, simply because the Cafe Bat Van Sene was too much of a temptation (I went there 3 times!), but it seemed to be very good. I did have some food there too. The Red Curry with rice was divine, the french fries very good too.

It is a little out of town, which is a disadvantage sometimes, but you cannot hold that against them, it is clear from the moment that you book that it isn't central. They have a free transfer service, which is perfect.

I recommend this little gem. Definitely worth a visit!

Room Tip: Get a river view! Totally worth it!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Danteforcolombine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2013 via mobile

We've been traveling for five months and the staff at Thongbay are the nicest we've met. The grounds are beautiful with many relaxing options to sit and enjoy the scenery- on your balcony, in the garden, by the river, you name it. The food is great (especially the curries) and less expensive than options in town. But the best part is the staff- everyone is very friendly, helpful, and extremely nice. The only drawback is the distance from town, but they provide free shuttle service in the morning and evening so it's not a big deal.

We wound up staying for 8 nights and were sad to leave!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Jotro999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saratoga, New York
Level Contributor
36 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2013

I recently stayed at Thongbay Guesthouse on a 3 day, 2 night trip to Luang Prabang. I picked this guesthouse to stay because of the Trip Advisor reviews. I was not disappointed--in fact I had a great stay at Thongbay. The friendly staff greeted me at the airport with my name on a sign. Airport pick-up is included with the price of your room, which I really appreciated.

Upon arrival more staff greeted me with juice, banana cake, and smiles. The grounds at Thongbay are beautiful. The gadens were well taken care of and there are tables to sit and enjoy the serenity of the place. I was shown my room that had a gorgeous river view. The staff made sure that I knew where everything was and knew all about their services. My bungalow slept 3 people, had a clean bathroom (with hot water), perfect deck, Wifi, and gorgeous view. There was even the nice touch of literature about Laos, the culture, and more specifically Luang Prabang. I was provided with free bottled water and a cash mini bar.

In the lobby area there was a huge board where you wrote in your breakfast orders. Breakfast was delivered at the time you specified to your deck each morning. I loved having my coffee while overlooking the river. There were also free shuttles to and fro town. The distance from town is a bit beyond walking, but the shuttles were great. The shuttle driver even dropped me off at a place I needed to go instead of the normal drop off point. They were so accommodating. For a small fee Thongbay will also drop you off at the airport.

Overall the unique location and friendly staff make Thongbay an ideal guesthouse. I enjoyed staying away from downtown amidst nature.

Room Tip: The rooms with a river view are more expensive, but worth it.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank TravelGirlKate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Thongbay Guesthouse

Property: Thongbay Guesthouse
Address: Ban Vieng May, Vat Sakem, Luang Prabang 0600, Laos
Location: Laos > Luang Prabang Province > Luang Prabang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 259 B&Bs / Inns in Luang Prabang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Thongbay Guesthouse 2.5*
Number of rooms: 16
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Thongbay Guesthouse Hotel Luang Prabang

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