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“Delightful and relaxing”

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Kingfisher Ecolodge
Eden
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Delightful and relaxing”
Reviewed 26 January 2014

My wife and I stayed for three nights in one of the excellent lodges. Beautifully fitted out and very tastefully appointed, well maintained and clean. The lodge is true to its claims of being eco-friendly, and also directly supports the local village. The view of the wetlands from our lodge was beautiful, and the peaceful and easy walk to the village each day was wonderful, particularly when an elephant crosses your path. The staff are very helpful and professional and the food and drink in the restaurant is outstanding, particularly as it is a remote location. This is a very peaceful place and the gardens are a delight. The lodge provides detailed information about its location and environment as well as a breakdown of where the proceeds of its business are spent. I have no hesitation recommending this place to anyone.

Room Tip: If travelling in the cool season, the lodges can get very cold at night so bring warm clothing. The...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Brendan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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108 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
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English first
Abu Dhabi
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2013

On the way back from 4000 islands to Pakse, we stayed at the Kingfisher ecolodge for 2 nights. There are few other places available in the neighbourhood of Kiet Ngong in the Se Pian NPA but not so many.
We were with 2 families (4 adults / 5 kids) so the bill was rather high to Lao standard at the end of the stay, but the location and place itself is just outstanding. Quality of the bungalows (the real ones and the eco ones), was just great. We also had a dinner which was excellent - decent Loa food.
At the end of the day, don't stay there for the Loa backpacker experience but the wetlands in Se Pian or worth the visit as are Kiet Ngong's inhabitants, the elephants being the most famous ones.
We were travelling in wintertime with 12 deg.C at night, so bring some additional covers with you ...

Beware, things are changing fast as everywhere in Laos ...

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank GoHAbuDhabi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maxit, Owner at Kingfisher Ecolodge, responded to this review, 1 January 2014
Thank you for your review.

I would like only to precise that our prices may be rather high (even if it is a quite subjective matter) not only because you won't find another location like ours in the neighborhood but essentially because we have higher costs than the others.

All our supplies must be purchased by us in Pakse town (if not in Thailand) that is 60 km away, of which 11 km of bad dirt road, and it is not delivered to our place as it happens in town or 4000 Islands.
Only in 2012 we spent around 6.000$ just for fuel and car maintenance and I can assure you that for a small place like ours it's a huge sum.
Every time we need the assistance of a technician we have to call someone from Pakse with all the added costs (when they are willing to come).
Our water supply is from underground water which is full of iron and we spend good money to filter it, we don't receive a cheap bill every month.
Maintenance of wooden buildings, if you want to keep them in good shape, is also rather high especially in a sub tropical climate and close to a wetland.

The above are just a few examples, not least the fact that being in such a secluded place we do not have a high turnover of tourists like in other places as 4000 islands or Pakse, especially during the low season which is, for us at least, lasting up to 7 months a year therefore if we want to remain open, and eventually have a small profit, we have to apply such prices.

Regarding backpackers, we are not intended for that segment of the market, that's why we advice backpackers inquiring our prices to look at the nearby village where they can find cheaper accommodation run by the villagers.

Please note that I'm not complaining about your comment on our prices but I believe that most of the time people do not think about this particulars that are usually known only but who's carrying on a business like ours so i thought that it may be good to write it down also for the benefit of other readers of this review.


Best regards.

Massimo Mera
Owner and manager of Kingfisher Ecolodge
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Ghent, Belgium
Level 6 Contributor
835 reviews
176 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 173 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 December 2013

Owner is a very unfrienly italian man, who control many times his staff. And so even the staff is not frienly. The owner cannot work togheter with his lao staff, he is Always giving orders!
But at this moment (end of 2013) there is not an other choice in Ban Kiatgong.
The confort room is big and has a big terrace, looking on the wetlands. It is very quiet.
The hot water is making by solar energy and also the electricity is maded by photovoltaic cells.
Everything in the room look clean, but under the surface, it needs a big cleaning.
Included breakfast and wifi, wifi only near the reception.
The lodge sells excursions, but it is much more cheaper and better for the village, if you go direct to the village.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank LouenStephan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maxit, Owner at Kingfisher Ecolodge, responded to this review, 1 January 2014
Thank you for your review.

I'm not going to be "politically correct" in this reply therefore I would like to inform you that If you read some older reviews you will see that many people said the opposite of what you wrote, but they are surely wrong.

As you may know, but I'm not sure, there may be unfriendly hotels owners in SE Asia (but never bad as me and my staff) as well as there are many unfriendly and demanding guests that we have to endure so often that the unfriendliness become automatically mutual.

Then you should have also wrote what was this "unfriendliness", because if the problem was lack of professionalism (like we didn't reply to your questions) you are right to complain, if you needed something else (like me coming to you to explain the story of my life as I did hundreds of time already when requested) I remind you that we are just an hotel with restaurant, what you paid for.

It is also rather funny to hear someone complaining that a manager is giving orders to his own staff, most probably you never run a business of your own, especially in rural Laos.

Best regards.

Massimo Mera
Owner and manager of Kingfisher Ecolodge
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Cumbria, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
148 reviews
144 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 182 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 December 2013

Stayed 2 nights in a comfort bungalow. There were very few other quests staying- hence it was very quiet. The view from the room was lovely, as was the view from the restaurant.

The bungalows are very spacious and clean, Good shower, but there is no where to sit inside apart from on the bed. The lighting was rather inadequate and it was a case of reading by torch. Nice hammock and table and chairs on the balcony- but after dark there were too many insects to sit out.

Had a walk around village, found the villagers to be pleasant and welcoming, did the Elephant ride to Phou Asa, It was a nice place to just relax.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank westmorland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
York UK
Level 6 Contributor
196 reviews
79 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 January 2013

We arrived at the Kingfisher Lodge after driving for 8 hours or more! We were given one of the new lodges which was very comfortable and had a spectacular view of the countryside . Two elephants washed and played in front of our balcony( complete with hammock) for long periods of the day.it really was lovely to relax in comfort after long hours on the road as we drove from the north to the south of Laos. The food in the restaurant was good and the service offered by the staff was excellent. I truly did not want to leave this morning to continue our travels.

Room Tip: Ask for the new lodge - number 3!
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank TrishYorkUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maxit, Owner at Kingfisher Ecolodge, responded to this review, 30 January 2013
All staff at Kingfisher Ecolodge greatly appreciate this nice review of the lodge, it is always highly rewarding when a guest demonstrate such a satisfaction for his stay with us.

With our best regards.

Massimo Mera / Owner of Kingfisher Ecolodge
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Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2013

We stayed in a individual bungalow, with a view on the surrounding wetlands, with water buffalos and elephants, which, together with the nearby village, and the colonial bungalows gave you a jungle experience that is really worthwhile. Beautiful surroundings, and common parts, elephant ride, relaxing and quite atmosphere, far away from all the touristic activities.
Food is good, but pricey, personnel is correct, but not the friendliness one could expect.
Details could be better, like breakfast till 9, and if you ask a coffee at 9.05 you have to pay extra (2,5€ for a coffee from a heated can...)

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ecrispie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maxit, Owner at Kingfisher Ecolodge, responded to this review, 28 January 2013
We would like to thank the guest for his nice review of our lodge, however we would like also to point out that we have never refused to serve a breakfast even when the guests arrived after 9am, which is the time limit reported on our menu, and the coffee is always refilled during breakfast (if requested) for guests staying in our comfort bungalows.

In any case I would like to inform the reviewer, and the other readers, that our filtered (fresh) coffee (which, of course, is kept in an electric heater in order to keep it hot) is sold, out of breakfast, at 10.000 kip (less than 1 euro) and an espresso coffee at 15.000 kip (less than 1,50 euro) and not at 2.50 euro as written in the review.
The above mentioned prices can be found, since ever, on our website where everybody can read our complete food menu, including relevant prices so that there can be no doubts.

Regarding the lack of "friendliness one would expect", it is not clear to me what the guest exactly mean since we are speaking about an accommodation business service, in any case at Kingfisher Ecolodge we believe in discretion, and our staff has been trained accordingly, however we are always ready to respond to clients' questions and requests for information, even when the questions are of rather private nature, as other reviewers have previously reported.

With our best regards.

Massimo Mera / Owner of Kingfisher Ecolodge
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Maisons Alfort
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2013

We stayed three nights there on our way to Si Phan Don. The bungalows are great, quite sacious with all wooden furniture, looks like old time. From there you can see the wetlands, with elephants and buffaloes (especially at sunrise).
The restaurant and bar are fine, with some italian dishes, good location above a pond.
The hotel arranges trips (prefer the one day elephant safari through the jungle, and avoid the half day to the temple by the "elephant highway").
Downs : the price of the excursions, and the difference in bungalow locations (prefer 3 and avoid 4). Perhaps the attitude of the staff, less smiling than elsewhere (but maybe this is a quality).
Also beware of the massage : 40 minutes for 50 000 kip instead of the posted one hour for 35 000.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank jlbrillet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maxit, Owner at Kingfisher Ecolodge, responded to this review, 7 January 2013
We would like first to thank the guests for the positive review about our lodge and here below reply to a few points.

Concerning the activities prices we give, on our website and in the room information book, a breakdown of the price paid by clients, as one may see (especially with the elephant safari) a large part of the money paid is going to the local community, after that we have fixed and variable costs to sustain and of course a profit to gain.
As reported by other guests to us, we are certainly applying lower prices and a more genuine experience than in Luang Prabang (the only other place that one can have a one day safari with elephants in Laos, as far as we know).

Regarding the massage we would like to point out that it is not a service provided by Kingfisher Ecolodge but by the local villagers (that's why guests have to pay directly to them), we just help the local community by advertising the possibility to have a massage and with price (35.000 kip) and time (1 hour) clearly written on the room information book and in the reception area therefore the guests should have paid only the written price (if not wanting to give any tip) and in case of problems report to our reception in order to help with translation as the villagers do not speak any foreign language.

We will instruct, once more, the villagers about what they have to deliver and at what price when coming to the lodge to provide a massage (actually this is the first time that we hear of such problem) but we would like to precise again that that we cannot be held responsible for a service provided by a third party.

Massimo Mera / Owner
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Additional Information about Kingfisher Ecolodge

Property: Kingfisher Ecolodge
Address: Ban Kiet Ngong, Ban Khiet Ngong 16000, Laos
Region: Laos > Champasak Province > Ban Khiet Ngong
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Ban Khiet Ngong
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Kingfisher Ecolodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ecolodge located in Xe Pian National park, southern Laos, not far from Wat Phu temple. Restaurant service and eco activities available. Surrounded by greenery and natural beauty. A great place to relax or explore the local area ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kingfisher Ecolodge Laos/Ban Khiet Ngong

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