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“An expensive mistake”

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Symoungkoun Guest House
Ranked #109 of 257 Luang Prabang B&B and Inns
Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
70 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“An expensive mistake”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 14, 2010

I'm not sure if my less positive review (versus the other reviews on this page) is purely due to being significantly overcharged for our room at New Year but as far as I know, most places were charging a premium and there were better value places about. If I'd only paid $10 - $15 then it would have been an OK room but I expected much more than we got for $30 a night.

Our room was on the ground floor and didn't have a window (which we don't mind but they're usually the cheaper rooms). The room was quite tatty and small with twin beds, a TV with a couple of English channels, and a small bathroom with showerhead. Decor was nothing special.

Location was quiet, yes, but a bit of a walk from the main street of restaurants and bars and the night market. Staff were friendly enough.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank Burntwood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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55 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    9
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    5
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Families
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Business
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
121 reviews
82 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 218 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 27, 2009

This guest house is located at the northern end of the peninsula very near the tourist part of the town and directly opposite the Wat where the monks gather alms. We arrived on a slowboat from Pak Beng at 5:45pm and found a tuk-tuk at the top of the pier to take us straight to the place. We had room 4 at the front with one double and one single bed, air-con, tv and private shower-room/toilet for three nights over Christmas at US$15 per night. Staff were very helpful and courteous and spoke good English. The temple was a little noisy at 4am but we got used to it. Although basic, it was perfectly suitable for us and excellent value for money.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank charliechariot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Zealand
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2009

Not really much more I can add,good value for money,5min walk to river,friendly staff. Staff it appears have been told not to be so enthusiastic over trying to book tours. If tours are booked,they are the same price as travel agents etc. Also the hotel arranges pick up service to take you tour bus or boat,no extra cost. Airport pick ups can be arranged.The manager of this guest house also manages the MuongLao Guest House,which I have stayed in as well. Its a little bit dearer,but still good value. See Trip Advisor write up.He also manages a restuarant within walking distance of both hotels,but nearer to the Symoungkoun Guest House. I have found that with many years of travelling to many countries,that if you have any problems that irritate you or cannot be fixed by reception etc ask to talk to the manager,in this case Mr. Tharvone. Will stay again. Ray New Zealand

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rayko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
28 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2009

I stayed at Symoungkoun Guesthouse for 4 nights in July 2009 with my girlfriend. Our room was good but basic - we had a bed for two, a private bathroom, a TV and an air conditioner. We found everything to be very clean and safe, and the staff at the front desk was very friendly and helpful in general. Contrary to other reviews, we were not touted a single time during the 4 days we stayed there (although we always knew where we were going and probably looked self-sufficient, so that might have helped). For the price I thought it was a good enough deal - it may not be the cheapest room you can get in Luang Prabang, but at least you know you'll be staying at a pretty good place. Also, the guesthouse has a fridge in the lobby with water and Beerlao available, both of which are reasonably priced. In terms of location, the guesthouse is on the main road (Sisavangvong) in Luang Prabang, only 5 minutes from the real "center" of the action but far enough away for it to be quiet at night, except for the occassional day where the monks start drumming around 5AM (which we only noticed one day we were there and which didn't manage to keep us both awake). My only complaint is that the bathroom could have been better - it's one of those bathrooms where the bathroom is also your shower, the drain is inconveniently located on the opposite corner of the room from where the showerhead is, and the bathroom window (which isn't too big) isn't sealed from the outside (it consists of little open "vents"), which makes the bathroom muggy and could let bugs get in, although we didn't seem to have any problems with that. Nevertheless, overall we had a very good experience and I'd recommend it.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank axcxtxixoxn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2009

I second all the previous reviews: quiet yet relatively central location, cozy rooms, very clean. Symoungkoun lost points, though, due to the sporadic availability of running water. It felt like there were more times without water than with, making it sometimes difficult to wash our hands, brush our teeth, and take showers.

Symoungkoun lost even more points due to constant solicitation by staff members, as mentioned by the previous reviewer. We stayed here six nights, and no matter what time of day we passed by the reception desk, a staff member always asked, “go to waterfall tomorrow? Go to cave?” even though we explained that we’d already been. On our last night, we finally took a staff member up on his offer and arranged transportation through him to the airport for the next morning. Well, come our final day, there’s no transportation and the other staff know nothing about our arrangement with the fellow from the night before. It was easy enough to arrange new transportation, although they initially wanted an exorbitant rate that we managed to talk down. This situation really isn’t specific to just Symoungkoun, though. Expect to be majorly hassled in all of Luang Prabang.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank GoLizard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 11, 2009

Overall, this hotel is clean, cheap, and nice as all the other reviews have said. The AC in the rooms work well and the satellite TV is a nice perk to have in a foreign language since there is not much to do here at night. There isn't a big party scene here.

My one complaint is that everytime we entered or exited the hotel, the workers/owners of the hotels would ask us where we were going in an attempt to book us a taxi, tour, or plane tickets for commission. While we know that this occurs in most establishments in Southeast Asia, we were just so annoyed as we stayed here for 4 nights, and they must have asked us over 15 times! Each time, we'd kindly deflect there advance by telling them "we'll think about it" . One day, I even patiently explained to one of the front desk people that it was irritating that he touted us so much. He mustn't have understood me completely since he replied with "so do you need a tuk tuk to the airport tomorrow"!!!

anyways, this hotel is very nice and a good bargain. you can't go wrong. You may be able to avoid the touting if you go to a higher end hotel. Just my 2 cents.

By the way, there is no internet/wifi available here. but there are many hotspots and internet cafes nearby

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BWMarkland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2009

My 3-day stay in Symoungkoun guest house has been very refreshing. What I like most about Symoungkoun is it’s serene environment – it’s quiet and peaceful yet very near to the night market (~5-mins stroll away), riverside, massage centres, restaurants etc. In fact, it’s almost right opposite a vat – further accentuating the Laotian atmosphere.

The room is very clean and neat, equipped with a TV, air-conditioning, fan and an attached bathroom (with hot shower). Very cozy indeed! Love it! The staff speaks fluent-enough English; are friendly and accommodating – they take additional effort to ensure that guests have a memorable experience….. Kudos to you folks at Symoungkoun!

Overall, Symoungkoun’s value-for-money and it’s cool for anyone seeking a cozy environment to recharge, rejuvenate and be inspired…. Check it out yourself then. Have fun!

  • Liked — It's serene environment
  • Disliked — Can't think of any...
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank LoneTraveller2197
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Symoungkoun Guest House

Property: Symoungkoun Guest House
Address: Sakkarin Road | Ban Khili, Luang Prabang 06000, Laos
Location: Laos > Luang Prabang Province > Luang Prabang
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #109 of 257 B&Bs / Inns in Luang Prabang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Symoungkoun Guest House 2*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Symoungkoun Guesthouse is located along the mainstreet of Sisavangvong. It has 6 rooms right in the city and near to amenities such as banks/ATMs, restaurants/pubs, spa/massage, internet cafe, tourist office & tour agencies. Other famous attractions such Royal Palace Museum, Phousi Hill, Night market and a dozen of temples are all within walking distance. Every morning there are not less that 500 novices/monks walk past this guesthouse for the traditional alms giving, unique in Luangprabang. ... more   less 
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