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Cafe de Laos Inn
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Reviews (108)
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Reviewed 23 August 2011

Little boutique hotel, situated on the nam kee river, beds are very nice, bathrooms a bit small, the rooms are quite dark, all tropical hardwood, location is excellent, right on the river, breakfast is so so.... not much there, but the location makes up for it. I find it a bit overpriced during high season but its just like that...

i found some similar hotels on the same river which are not mentioned on any website for a third of the price..

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Deepsapphyr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2011

Beautiful hotel, charming decoration, good towels, delicated soap & shampoo, quiet rooms, located in a nice neighborhood where the buddhism monks walk at the sunrise. Friendly and helpful staff. A very good price-quality relationship, highly recommended!!!

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled solo
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Thank Titina2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2011

We stayed at the Chang Inn for three nights at the end of our 2 week Vietnam/Laos holiday. It is located at the quiet end of town (although compared to most of South East Asia all of Luang Prabang is quiet) on the main street. Everything is easily within walking distance in Luang Prabang but the Chang Inn is particularly well located. We had room 4 which is above reception at the front of the hotel, but did mean we were able to see the monks taking alms early in the morning as they walk right past the hotel.

The Chang Inn is based on an old house, and so undoubtedly suffers from the noise issue that other reviewers have mentioned. Whether it is particularly bad at the Chang Inn, or not, I can’t judge without experience of the others. However, we were disturbed by all of the following; phone ringing in reception, “sounds” from other rooms, tuck-tucks outside, the emergency “power cut” alarm, the morning call to alms drum / gong, and innumerable other things during our stay. The power seemed to be cut quite often resulting in the emergency light coming on, and the air conditioning going off.

The room itself was a reasonable size, although probably feels smaller than it is due to the dark furniture and dark wood ceiling. The bed was huge, comfortable, and with nice clean linen. However, it is missing a few very basic amenities. There is no TV (which suited us fine), no tea / coffee making facilities (again not a problem for us), and no bedside reading lights. This was more of an issue and is something the hotel really should look to remedy. The bathroom was small with a large walk in shower, and lovely shampoo, soap etc. Perfectly adequate in other words.

The Chang Inn is undoubtedly very pretty and quaint, and is filled with lovely pieces of furniture. It has a wonderful calm ambience in no small part due to the staff. One of the other reviews called them “the nicest staff in any hotel anywhere”. I would go further and say they may be the nicest people anywhere. Although there is undoubtedly a language barrier, they are always smiling, ever willing to try and help, and calm and calming as so many Lao are. A real delight and a huge asset to the Chang Inn.

Breakfast is served either in the rear garden or the front terrace area, and is a choice of American or Continental. We only ate in the hotel for one of our mornings which perhaps tells you something... The American breakfast includes your choice of eggs (the omelette was ok, but no better), and bread with butter and jam. In a town that contains some excellent bakeries, and widespread knowledge of how to cook proper baguette and croissants it wouldn’t be hard to improve this significantly. The coffee, as almost everywhere in Luang Prabang, is sublime. Smooth, nutty - almost chocolattey - and oh so smooth it really is as good as they say. I always take coffee with milk, but the lack of a bitter taste means that you don’t have to in Luang Prabang. Try it! The orange juice was also very good indeed. Freshly squeezed, and it tasted amazing with a wider citrus flavour than just orange.

The greatest strength of the Chang Inn is the fact that it is not very westernised. As is often the case it is also it’s biggest weakness. With a few changes I think this review would be glowing, and imploring readers to go and stay there. They really need to think a bit about soundproofing and try to make some changes to the structure without losing the character of the hotel - this is somewhat forgivable in an older building. Less forgivable is the lack of decent lighting in the rooms. Lovely bedside lights can be had for $5 in the market. The breakfast could easily and cheaply be ratcheted up a few notches. It is with a heavy heart that I can’t really recommend the Chang Inn as a place to stay. There are many wonderful and reasonably priced hotels in Luang Prabang, and I sadly find it hard to believe that some are not a better choice.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank RSE2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2011

Five and a half years ago we stayed at the lovely Apsara hotel down the road and for this return visit we thought, foolishly, that we would try somewhere different, and looking at the price of the rooms, slightly more up market...we shouldn't have bothered.
We knew that the hotel was on the main road and, given the growing popularity of Luang Prabang, that there was likely to be more traffic noise so we were prepared for that and the ambient 4am 'temple sounds' that come with staying in this part of the world.
We weren't however prepared for room 4...it is a delux river view room and the listed rack rate on the hotels website is US$190 (fortunately we actually paid slightly less, but not much, by booking through Agoda). The room was above reception and overlooked the bar/ drink preparation area; this meant that staff were working and chatting till late in the evening and then again early next morning. Additionally there was no hot water pressure and so it was only possible to have a cold shower and, because the whole building is made of wood, every sound travels through the building...showers, toilets flushing, TV, talking etc.
The following morning we asked to change rooms and initially they told us the whole hotel was full. This was clearly not true (as we obserevd in our next 3 nights) and about half an hour later thay had managed to find us another room. Room 17 didn't overlook reception and it did have better water pressure and it was obviously in the next price bracket up but I would say none of the rooms are worth the hugely inflated prices that the hotel charges and the owner is clearly trying to cash in on the popularity of Luang Prabang.
The staff are friendly and smiley but speak very little in the way of other foreign languages and are clearly being given very little/ no training for their jobs. The breakfast location, overlooking the river, is lovely but the food isn't and the cheapness of the owners is exemplified by the tiny plastic sachets of flourescent pink, sugar flavoured jam and the staff measuring out tea by the cupful, unwilling to put teapots on tables. The rooms are dark, mainly because the walls on the first floor are made of wood and the window are small; but, this is made worse because the only way to get any privacy is to close the shutters or the curtains...a problem that could be easily solved by putting up some flowing net curtains. The rooms are stuffed full of an odd selection of furniture in quite strange, and at times, unusable arrangements...despite this however, both the double rooms we stayed in only had one bedside table and one bedside light! It seems like the rooms are designed by people that have never stayed in hotel rooms before...and looking at the huge gaps round the main door frame, not built very well. We had lots of mosquitoes in the room but no coils or candles to get rid of them. There are no safety deposit boxes in the rooms, the fridges are barely cold and only contain water, there aren't enough lights in the right places, the only mirror is in the bathroom and there are no other facilities like a pool or a spa. It is clearly not worth the money that they expect you to pay and it certainly doesn't offer the service that you would expect from a hotel in this price bracket.
My advice is to stay at the Apsara...room 17 also had an odd drain-like smell that appeared and disappeared at random but we couldn't face complaining again....

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank HongKongHevans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2011

After reading the reviews on the site, I wasn't particularly surprised to find myself in a small dark cave of a room after arriving at the Inn late at night. It was so small that the door hit the bed when the staff attempted to take my bag in. But the bed was also extraordinarily large.

It was also incredibly dark to the point that I couldn't find my clothes in my case even with the light on. Rather than endure a painful 5 days, the next morning I requested a change of room. I was shown a fancy one upstairs, which I was told was $US30 extra per night, which was excessive. But also for the same money one across the hall which due to the room layout was not only much lighter but also appeared pleasantly roomier.

The location of Chang Inn is great. It's located amongst far more expensive hotels at a quiet end of the old town street. It isn't somewhere that you would spend hours hanging around during the day - it really is an Inn... a pleasant place to sleep and have your breakfast before going to explore the city and beyond.

The staff were friendly, but rather shy. However any requests I made were responded to in a friendly and efficient manner. The breakfast is simple but adequate and served in a lovely courtyard. The decor of the hotel is unique.

This hotel isn't high end, it's simple and quaint, but it definitely has soul and the location is great for walking everywhere in the old town with easy access to the Mekong and tour guides for anything further beyond.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled solo
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2  Thank Ms_CC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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