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“Don't go there in winter”

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Chanthavinh Resort and Spa
Ranked #60 of 71 Hotels in Luang Prabang
Reviewed 4 January 2014

If you love the Mekong River - stay at that hotel. The setting is really beautiful and you will surely always enjoy the boat trip across the river when you arrive there. But there are also some disadvantages to that striking location: If you want to leave your hotel room just to go for a short stroll around the beautiful town of Luang Prabang you must plan it. Although the people from the hotel are quite willing to give you a boat- and minivan shuttle trip to the city center and back (which lasts about 20-30 minutes) there are still some limitations: it is almost impossible to stay downtown after 10 p.m. and during the day you must sometimes wait quite some time at the meeting point downtown (Salt & Pepper Restaurant).
Don't go there in winter! We stayed there in late December and early January and with temperatures as low as 6 degrees at night (which admittedly might not always be the case) our "DE LUXE room" was extremely cold and uncomfortable with a light but chilly breeze blowing from the Mekong through all the leaks and holes of the building which has not been built for such weather conditions. There is no possibility to heat the rooms and an additional light blanket is the only help that you are offered (if you stay in bed). Forget the swimming pool at that time of the year and don't look for any Spa comforts. Although the hotel still is called a Resort & Spa hotel on the internet there is no Spa any more, Has it ever existed?
The hotel staff are quite friendly but they do not speak English (with one exception) and there is really a lack of professionalism (waiting time for the meals, cold bacon for breakfast, no changing of the bed sheets,cleaning of the mouldy shower curtain etc.).
The prices for accomodation and especially meals are quite high in comparison to the other Luang Prabang hotels and restaurants.
So the rating could have been even lower, were it not for the beautiful Mekong scenery...

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank oldgerman66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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15 - 21 of 64 reviews

Reviewed 29 December 2013

You will do well to find better views from the riverfront terrace. Panoramic mountains and the magical Mekong will take your breath away. Many will find that enough to stay there. The rooms are spacious and the grounds are attractive. The box, if you like is designed very well, it's the contents inside that need some work:

The shower holder is situated just above the bath taps for some bizarre reason, so you have to hold the shower with one hand. The manager tried to reason that this was because the hose lengths cannot be found in Laos, but we found 'normal' showers elsewhere in Laos. One morning the shower was so cold we had to skip them completely (temps around 10c). The buffet breakfast was served outside and which was fine but many items were often cold as staff let the heaters go out. Breakfast options were limited and disappointing for the costs you pay. The coffee was the worst I have ever tasted - staff confirmed they were using cheap Laos coffee beans. One morning we went down later for breakfast (10 am and it should be served till 10.30) and they had already cleared away for some reason. No safe in rooms so you have to take and collect belongings twice a day. Room TV's are the size of postage stamps. Food takes an age and more to arrive even when there is no one else there.

To even things up the boat and bus transfers to town are very flexible and they will basically take you over anytime and pick you up. The staff generally work hard (though they do need to try harder to smile now and then).

To summarise, we got the impression that there was a distinct lack of leadership at the resort with a bunch of young lads essentially running the show. The show however is not producing the quality to match the cost.

Room Tip: Ground floor river view rooms have the best views. Bring warm clothes in December -it gets VERY cold...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TriggerHappy88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2013

I choose carefully via trip advisor to choose this hotel, out of town yes, but here in Luang Prabang so it is just a few minutes from the city, this is not Paris or New York, 10 minutes max driving to get there....another few minutes to cross the Mekong with the hotel boat, nice and peaceful, and you arrive in a garden of Eden, beautiful garden park, superb swimming pool, staff at your every needs, smile on all faces, such a pleasure. Food is great, price is standard.

Room Tip: Ask for upgrade upon booking
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank denissimonnet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2013

The hotel is located on a bank of Mekong river, in front of the town. And this really makes it's location unique, especially having breakfast in the restaurant of the hotel, which is hanging high over Mekong river, and observing the mist, raising from the water.
Hotel offers a river crossing boat and this makes each trip to the town exotic and exciting.
Such lonely location makes the athmosphere of the hotel really calm and relaxing.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ludmila K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2013

Initial thought was what the hell have I done.
The river crossing and a [--] of steep stairs each side make any trip into town difficult.
A night out on the town is out of the question

As with any resort that has no competition (once you are here you are stuck)
Alcohol and food prices are steep.
Rooms and grounds are great
If you want to relax and not go anywhere else it is perfect
Downside was that tour groups appear to take prescedence over other guests
No food in the rooms as owner afraid it will attract ants.
Will leave early even though I have paid for 6 nights.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank BrutusAustralia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2013

The hotel is situated on the Mekong River, but downstream and on the opposite side of the river from the town. This makes for a bit of a hike every time you want to go in to Luang Prabang. The hotel offers a ferry ride and car to a central location in the town centre, but prefer that you stick to their schedule of pick up times. However, they will collect you at other times if you arrange it through reception. The last pick up from the town to the resort in the evening is around 10.45, and the first trip to the town in the morning is 8am. Therefore, if you have any designs on observing the daily alms giving ritual in the town centre, then forget it. You will not be able to get there!
There are also steep sets of stairs to take you down the river bank to the ferry and then up the other side to the resort itself. This is fine for young legs, but I had 2 70+ year olds in my party, who found it very difficult to negotiate the stairs, especially as many of the stairs did not have a hand rail. If you have any disability in regard to walking, I think this would not be a suitable hotel at all.

The resort itself is lovely. Friendly staff, good food at reasonable prices, a swimming pool (just recently finished), and good sized rooms with comfortable bedding. The hotel is surrounded by pleasant gardens, and does have a wonderful view over the river. Most relaxing and enjoyable.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank lyn057
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 December 2012

We were upgraded to the deluxe suite which means a huge room, nicely appointed, with a balcony overlooking the river.

The Good: stunning loction right on the Mekong. No other resort nearby means its quiet and tranquil (except of course for the omnipresent sound of construction we encountered throughout our travels in the region). Large, beautiful grounds. Nothing finer than a Laotian coffee on the balcony while watching the fishermen and local commuters drift by. The staff is very friendly, the manager is onsite and everpresent and their english is good. The breakfast buffet is perhaps the finest we had on our trip, though its worth noting it wasnt offered on our first night when we were among only one or two other guests at the hotel.

The Bad: a minor quibble here... inexplicably the quality of the bathroom and shower fixtures didnt match the luxury of the rest of the suite. There were bug parts litering the duvet cover. The non-buffet breakfast was limited in choice and in execution. The biggest problem: some will no doubt complain about the distance from the main part of Luang Prabang. From the center of town, you take a twelve-minute van ride, then a six-minute ferry across the river, then a rather steep climb up what might be two or three flights of stairs. It's not something you want to do four or five times a day and requires you to schedule your day. However: despite the staff giving us a schedule for ferry crossings, they were happy and willing to accomodate any request during the day and night, from pick-up to drop-off. Perhaps that may change when there are more guests to accommodate. And we found the journey a very small price to pay for the exquisite setting and quality of the accommodation. Indeed, the ferry across the mighty Mekong was a highlight rather than a drag.

The Bottom Line: In our three weeks in four countries we voted this our favourite hotel. But a good tip might be to stay at a more central location in LP for your first night to get your bearings, then move to this hotel afterwards, when you are craving peace and quiet.

Room Tip: If you CAN, ask for an upgrade to the villas because they're more spacious. But the location of...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank brunseye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Chanthavinh Resort and Spa

Address: Ban Chan neu | Chomphet District, Luang Prabang 712345, Laos
Region: Laos > Luang Prabang Province > Luang Prabang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #60 of 71 Hotels in Luang Prabang
Price Range: £34 - £121 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Chanthavinh Resort and Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 33
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