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“Charming riverside residence with fabulous suites”
Review of Mekong Estate

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Mekong Estate
Ranked #39 of 71 Hotels in Luang Prabang
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 January 2010

I spent almost a week in the Mekong Estate over New Year with my girlfriend.

The suites are fabulous with amazing balcony views over the Mekong. The location is much better and, in some cases, better value for money, than places like 3 Nagas in the town centre. The owner, Mr Khampagne, is a very nice man who took both of us separately to and from the airport for our flights.

I wandered onto his back lawn unannounced in search of rooms and found myself joining him and his friends for Jim Bean, Lao whisky and Beer Lao!

You get a nice breakfast delivered to your room and maid service. There is a great 25m pool. It's possibly the coldest I've ever been into but it was still lovely once you were in the water. There were also free bikes to get into town.

I would thoroughly recommend the Mekong Estate. The only things to be aware of are that as a former private residence it is surrounded by local farms and the roosters are pretty vocal from 5am onwards. The hot water was also a bit hit and miss in our suite. Neither of these minor issues detracted from a wonderful holiday here.

I also recommend the lychee cocktails at Aspara Hotel - amazing - and the food at L'Elephant, although it is pricey. The restaurant at 3 Nagas was very poor - indifferent food and near non-existent service when we visited. The restaurants that double up as Laos cooking schools are a very good, cheaper option and the pastries at JoMa patisserie are delicious. Also enjoyed the elephant riding tour we went on.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank tpsontour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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122 - 128 of 187 reviews

Reviewed 3 January 2010

We stayed at the Bambou 3 downstairs apartment, only 20m from the pool. Don't stay at any of the Mekong Estate owned places in town, as the whole charm of this place is that you have your secluded, grassy oasis away from the hustle.
Our room was more like an apartment, with our Lao maids delivering breakfast each day. This is not a hotel, but the manager was more than happy to help wherever needed (lift into town, laundry etc). He even arranged for home delivery of a special dinner for a young couple and baby for New Year's Eve!
We were also invited (twice) to free drinks by the pool with all the other guests. The pool was not much used, as December/January does get a bit chilly in the water, but would be fantastic in hot weather (October is the best month to visit).
Bicycles are free, and it is a 5 minute ride into town (and we walked a few times as well).
While not cheap (compared to some of the guesthouses in LB), we agreed that it was well worth while (and yes - the sunset view over the Mekong is amazing).

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank George W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 December 2009

My husband and I recently stayed three nights in their lovely Garden Loft. The entire property is stunning and has a beautiful infinity pool with an unparalleled vista of the Mekong. You should know that this hotel is not in the center of town, but a 5-minute tuk tuk ride away - which can be good if you want to avoid early morning monk chanting. The 15-minute bike ride into town is totally flat and absolutely charming (they have a stable of bikes at guests' disposal). Francoise and Kampang are very amiable and excellent hosts. The ensuite breakfast included some of the best croissants we've ever eaten!

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank RedSpinner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 December 2009

The good things: The people are low key, welcoming, informed, stylish and truly want the guests to feel at home. The site design is aesthetically lovely with care for small details. I stayed for 4 nights. This is the least amount of time that one should book for there to really get a sense of place. I would recommend at least a week. The hotel bicycles are just great - so much fun to go for a pedal around town. The basket on the handlebars is handy for after a night market shopping spree too.

SouSou/Francoise took me to her favorite masseuse in town; and then as we walked she showed me some of the Luang Prabang local community details. I truly got a much better sense of place. We at dinner in town together too. She knows everyone in town and I got a great sense of community by being with her. The next morning we met at a local cafe for breakfast where she and her friends always meet on Sunday and I was fortunate to be invited to lunch with Monsieur Dovat, the architect, that day as well.

The level of care for all of the guests is being the call of duty, it comes from a true love of Luang Prabang and heartfelt generosity.

The not so wonderful aspect: Being amidst the local village homes, there are some audio drawbacks if your room is close to their property line. The roosters crow just way too early and the neighbors may play music that doesn't quite compel relaxation....colorful one may say. Do note that being among the locals is a positive thing in my mind...it's just that my room was too close to them and the architecture, while well detailed aesthetically, isn't designed for this acoustic dilemma - especially if you want to sleep in.

Also there is no insulation between the floors in the building I was in. So the upstairs neighbors voices were quite clear and every footstep or movement of a piece of furniture was quite an invasion. So opt for a top floor if you can...

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled solo
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Thank guinevereleigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2009

We stayed for 3 nights at the Mekong Estate. We didn't realise it but the hotel manager will offer to pick you up from the boat pier or the airport for free if you wish. Instead we opted for a tuk tuk, first of all it was difficult to make ourselves understood that that was where we wanted to be taken as this place is a bit out of town. Our second worry was where we were going - the guest house is at the end of a dirt track complete with chickens, cats, dogs, litter and lorries.

That said the view from the guest house is amazing and an absolutely beautiful place to stay. We were the only people staying in the place when we were there which meant it lacked a bit of atmosphere but this added to the serenity. The rooms are large and well equipped. We had fresh flower decorations.

The one drawback is that this is not a hotel and there is no reception. This sounds fine in principle but when you are the only people staying and we had repeated problems with the hot water - little more than a trickle of cold water on more than one occurrence in a 3 night stay it was beginning to wear a bit thin. Worse still when we did eventually find the manager to come and fix it we were told it was our fault and that we should run it for longer..... (we had run it for at least 30mins....) The wifi also didn't work at all during our stay but this was a minor problem.

One of the great things about the accommodation was that there were bikes we could take out each day and a dip in the pool at the end of each day was heavenly.

This is certainly a beautiful place to stay but if you do its worth getting the general managers phone number just in case you have problems with the hot water!

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank carolinesenior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2009

We stayed for five nights and booked the day before we arrived in Luang Prabang from Bangkok.

We dicided on Mekong Estate based on the helpfulness of Mr Khamphanh, the owner. It was a rush booking and he managed everything for us over the phone and internet.

I was hesitant because other reviews said there was no airconditioning, that's not the case all Villas have airconditioning - a must for us.

Part of the service is transfers to and from the airport, which took the stress from us, being first time visitors. And the transfers were effortless, even the 5.30am trip to the airport to catch our 8am flight back to BKK.

Physically, Mekong Estate is magnificently built, architecturally designed. Particularly like the generous use of wood, including floor boards, windows and doors. Mr Khamphanh designs and builds the wood furnitures too.

All villas have large glass and wooden doors that open fully to the Mekong.

What we liked best about the Mekong Estate is that it's not like a hotel room, we get our own space and we weren't bothered unless we wanted attention, like when we wanted our washing done... this was sent to the local laundry and there was not mark up.

Breakfast was a nice three course affair too with fruit, eggs (cooked at your request) and warm croissants, served with juice, tea or coffee. You could have it anywhere on the premises, including the gardens.

There's not TV, stereo which was heaven for us, so the only noise we heard were the occassional boat on the Mekong, crowing rooster or sometimes the locals talking. Although we especially appreciated free Wifi which I needed to keep up with work when I had to log on.

We were looking for a quiet retreat from it all to recharge and were lucky enough to find the Mekong Estate.

More pics and photos are at my blog http://www.thangblog.com/2009/11/mekong-estate-luang-prabang.html

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Thang2166
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2009

It's not an hotel, it's not a guest house, it's just a place as any other! In front of the Mekong you admire the river life and enjoy the fantastic pool. The room (of course with a mekong view) are decorated with local furnitures or made by the owner himself!
The Mekong Estate is located closed to the historic center (5mn in bicycle which you can use freely) and the owners of this paradise will help you to organise your visit of luang prabang. Thanks to everybody and specially to Khamphanh!

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ricmy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mekong Estate

Address: Ban Saylom | Mekong River Bank, Luang Prabang 06000, Laos
Region: Laos > Luang Prabang Province > Luang Prabang
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#7 Romantic Hotel in Luang Prabang
#10 Spa Hotel in Luang Prabang
Price Range: £97 - £322 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Mekong Estate 3.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mekong Estate lives up to its name with five stately Lao-colonial style villas, all with a stunning vista of the majestic Mekong River and mountains. Each of the property's 10 well-appointed rooms and suites has a river view, private terrace and kitchen, and is designed to be your home away from home. Founded in 2005 as the first residence service in Luang Prabang, guests get to discover a local atmosphere and home-style comfort, an experience unparalleled to staying at a hotel in town. The rooms boast ample space, light, character and charm. Spacious living extends to the outdoors with verandas, immaculate tropical gardens, a 25m long swimming pool and of course, the property's namesake river. Quite simply, we have the best view of the Mekong in Luang Prabang; watch the world drift by and let time stand still. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mekong Estate Luang Prabang

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