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“Roomy, good location.”

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Sayo River Guest House
Ranked #152 of 264 Luang Prabang B&B and Inns
Surfers Paradise, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Roomy, good location.”
Reviewed December 13, 2012

Opposite the Mekong River, I found this hotel so pleasant and relaxing that I extended my stay twice and was reluctant to leave. However, much of that feeling could be due to the laid-back atmosphere in this town. Combine a lovely laid-back town, with pleasant gentle people, and a large airy room with a great view, and you've got magic!
My room was upstairs (1 level) and had a large balcony overlooking the street and the river with chairs and table provided for the balcony. The room was large and clean, and the wifi worked well. There is very little provision for hanging clothes, but that didn't bother me.
I happened upon this guesthouse after staying one night on the other side of the old city, which I wasn't happy with due to no windows in my room and high price. I went walking the next morning to find an alternative. The manager at Sayo took me in his car to collect my heavy luggage once I'd seen the room and we'd agreed on price. I found the staff adequately friendly, other than one grumpy young man who had to get up from the floor upon which he was sleeping, to tend to my inquiries one morning.
I paid $30 AUD a night and was happy to do so (the other place wanted $45 for a balcony room!) The price was due to rise in November (high season), but the manager continued to charge me the $30 for as long as I stayed.
There are no tea or coffee facilities in the room, but free coffee and tea is available downstairs by reception at any time of the day or night as are the books and other reading material. (A help-yourself basis).
There's a lady in the next street (turn left when leaving guesthouse, then left at next street) who washes clothes very cheaply. I think it's equivalent to $1 per Kilo, which is better than paying per item. She does a great job.
I WAS told that cash payment was necessary, as is the case in many properties in LP. It's a nuisance I agree, but one we can happily accept if it means this town will remain less "commerialised" aka "spoiled" for a little while longer. Another inconvenience is the small amount one can withdraw from an ATM at any one time. I overcame this challenge by going into the bank and asking them to do a withdrawal of a larger amount for me, for which I wasn't charged. Our greedy banks in Australia charge each time a withdrawal is made, which makes withdrawing multiple times in order to get adequate money out of our own accounts, can be expensive.
The manager recommended the Riverside Travel Agent opposite the "Big Tree" in the same street, and I booked a "tour" to the caves with him. At the caves I had to pay an entrance fee! Also, the "tour" operator, or longboat driver, first stopped at a village, and we all went ashore to see streets of stalls selling the same made-in-china stuff that one sees at the markets (in the main). Then, after the caves, the longboat driver suggested we all pay him an extra bunch of money (can't remember how much) and he will take us up an adjoining river or contributory, which, due to two of us wanting it, we were all obligated to do, in a way. He claimed wonderful views etc etc. That took us about 15 minutes and it was nothing to write home about. I wasn't impressed with this "tour" due to non-disclosure of extras, (common, I know), and wouldn't recommend that travel agent.
I would recommend this guesthouse, and would stay here again in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Maxine S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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111 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
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Jordan
Level 5 Contributor
43 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed November 20, 2012

I stayed here for four nights with a couple of friends. We had a room upstairs which was really lovely and extremely spacious, so great for a triple room. The room was also bright with plenty of windows and a nice view. There was a small dining/seating area by the windows, which overlooked the river, so it was a great place to relax after a long, hot day. The only negative is that the owner/manager and staff were not so friendly, which is a shame because everyone else at the several other guesthouses we checked out were so hospitable and friendly but we opted for this one as the size was great for three people. The location is also really good, with many cafes along that side of the river but also a short walk from most other attractions. But the old center of Luang Prabang is quite compact so anywhere is convenient.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank reemk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dhaka City, Bangladesh
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2012

I loved the guesthouse itself and our room, and the price was right ($40 for an upstairs room with a balcony and two chairs). However, there was no breakfast included, and most of the guesthouses include breakfast. That didn't bother us too much because we found some great breakfasts, and the day the Sayo started serving breakfasts (high season began), it cost $5 more and wasn't as good as others for the same price. I loved the location, too - right on the Mekong and on a quieter street. Now for the minuses - I was not told I had to pay cash and had planned on using a credit card. The response to my complaint was "Change money at the ATM". That is fine and dandy, but not everyone has an ATM card and some don't have lots of money in their accounts. The owner's attitude was really offputting. In fact, the attitude of everyone who worked there was too lackadaisical. The day we did eat breakfast there because of a very early start was uncomfortable because the woman who made the breakfast muttered the whole time, as if we were really causing her an inconvenience. The manager was fairly friendly, but even he looked put out at times.
I would recommend this place, but hope the owner reads the recent reviews and recommends an attitude change. And he MUST let people know they have to pay cash!

Room Tip: Ask for an upstairs room so you have a view of the Mekong and a great little verandah.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Christine H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 185 helpful votes
Reviewed October 28, 2012

I stayed in this guesthouse on October 8th, 2012. Previously, i had a plan to stay there for 2 nights, the first time i came by tuktuk from terminal that day, i met unfriendly guy and i decided to stay only 1 night. i didn't know exactly, was the guy the owner or one of guesthouse's staf. But it seemed that the staf unfriendly also. I booked a downstair room by agoda and if i'm not wrong, the price ( included of administration fee is arround usd 34-35). The room was so basic even i thougt that it was too big for 1 double bed, 1 table etc.
After checked in, i asked the 'guy' and also other staf, did they have map? they said they didn't have, but they can help me to find it for 40,000 kip. While waiting for the map, i asked them some places like 'Joma bakery', night market and others. But, again..., it seemed that they didn't like to answer it. They said, so many restaurant and cafes arround their guesthouse and i can get many kind of food, then why should i prefer 'Joma'? Well i thought that they may suggest me anything, but i have the right to make decision where would i take lunch or dinner.
They show me 'the map that they have' and i was so surprisse because of its condition. That wasn't a new one, that wasn't a good one. I thought that many people has used the map, and maybe, that's not their willing 'to tear' it in some parts. I even can't read some of the text in the map. It wasn't worth to pay for 40,000 kip! I asked them a new map but they were little bit angry and said to me that i will pay more than 40,000 kip to get 'the map with the same condition like they have' in other places. They took back the map from the 'reception desk' and kept it. It was so funny because the guest who stayed next door to me room also said that she wasn't statisfied with the service when we talked each other. i just can smile, said thanks and decided to go arround without their map. That was impossible to ask some 'basic information' anymore from them.
For me, their attitude deliver the message : what you pay is just for the room. if you need some information and wanna talk to us, you have to pay more.
hopefully that just happened to us, not to others.

Room Tip: Choose downstair room, because it is just a few step from the reception desk.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank lucyliestiyo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Luang Prabang hotels

Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 4 Contributor
47 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2012

Sayo has three Guesthouses in Luang Prabang. We stayed in two of these.

Initially for 2 nights at one close to the Presidential Palace: Very central location with decent places for breakfast close by. Quiet street as well, which was nice. The room we stayed in was slightly dated, but more than good enough for what we needed.

Subsequently we found they had a place overlooking the Mekong and after checking out prices, the guest on the Mekong was definitely value for money as it was cheap but very well equipped, with very good rooms and free coffee and tea. Had nice little balcony with table and chairs which we used a lot to have our Crepe dinners.

The staff in both places are helpful when asked but aren't overbearing.Location is still pretty central. For $15 a night for double room I recommend it to anyone wanting to stay close to the river without paying extortionate prices.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tonyrfsa09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luang Prabang, Laos
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 24, 2012

Very pleasant. We are three women staying in the large room upstairs. Beautiful views overlooking Mekong. Small dining area, fridge, services daily and a huge very clean bathroom. We are staying for a month so were able to negotiate a special price. An extra bed was even moved into the room for us and there is still pleanty of room to accommodate three single people. The room has aircondioning as well as two fans. After a while the reception staff do relax and are very nice. I would recommend this place as it is aneasy walk to just about everything. Enjoy!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Chrisie66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2012 via mobile

Massive nicely furnished room, 2 big beds so we took 1 each :) mosquito nets, big clean bathroom, stocked fridge, tv, wifi, book swap. BEAUTIFUL view over Mekong and few steps down the bank to sit on the shore and watch the sun go down. Bliss. Nice staff who make u coffee whenever u want!
Only thing to note is if you're going to be out late, let them know, u have to holler over the locked gate for a few minutes to rouse the night guy!
I'd stay again for weeks at a time!

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Becci D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sayo River Guest House

Property: Sayo River Guest House
Address: Vat Xieng Thong area, along the Mekong River, Luang Prabang 0600, Laos
Location: Laos > Luang Prabang Province > Luang Prabang
Hotel Style:
Ranked #152 of 264 B&Bs / Inns in Luang Prabang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Sayo River Guest House 3*
Number of rooms: 39
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Also Known As:
Sayo Guest House Hotel Luang Prabang

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