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“Maybe avoid the accommodation here?” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Mahout Lodge

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Mahout Lodge
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
62 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Maybe avoid the accommodation here?”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 July 2013

We in fact did the all-day Elephant riding experience and saw the bungalows for rent to stay ... but I wouldn't stay anyway, too far from LP and I think one day is enough. A person we met in LP started the 3-day experience and left a day early after questioning what they were really doing here (helping the elephants). I didn't want to share or tell my kids because we all had a good time. Stick to a day or 1/2 day visit, actually as I say a day may well be enough. Got the impression that except for groups the accommodation is not alot used in any case.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
Helpful?
Thank Noufy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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21 reviews from our community

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    6
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ravenshoe, Queensland, Australia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 June 2013

We completed a 3 day Mahout Course and this was, as my son said 'Epic', Yes this is as amazing as mentioned by others.
But when we returned to our Accommodation in Luang Prabang we discovered that we had been Robbed..
One person (hopefully only one) had destroyed our experience and left a foul taste in our mouth......
I will say, if you are staying at the Mahout Eco Lodge the rooms do not have security boxes or dead locks, nor are there alternate security measures provided, it seems by our experience that they were not after valuables but cash. My wife had over US$200 + 700,000 kip taken from her bag and my son about AUD$120 from his bag. The days are full and your money is vulnerable so PLEASE DO NOT TAKE MUCH CASH with you.
Further more we informed ALL LAOS TRAVEL (owners of this facility) of what had taken place and the Manager showed little empathy or concern.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mike B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 July 2012

We stayed in the bungalows, which provided a very serene and relaxing environment as the bungalows have a veiw of the river and the rainforest. The rooms were very nice as they were made from polished teak with matching furniture, however lacked air conditioning. Bungalows would not be suited for the elderly due to the large steps, slippery pathways, and the sweltering heat. The bungalows are not fully sealed off - large gaps in the floor and ceiling, so be prepared to share your room with lizards's and other wildlife.

Although we did enjoy our stay and the mahout elephant course is an amazing experiance there were many problems with the services provided.

Originally in emails with hotel management, we were told that our package included three meals per day per person, however when we arrived at the lodge we were expected to pay for lunch and dinner for three ond the four days we stayed at the lodge. We were overcharged on one occasion for dinner and double charged for drinks on a seperate occasion - when trying to dispute the dicrepncies, the staff member disregarded the my complaint.

The most annoying thing about our stay was the fact that larger groups were always given priority over us, meaning we were often left waiting for the larger group to either finish an activity before we could start, or we were just left waiting for them to show up before we could begin an activity. One incident involved another group that we were sharing a transfer with - we were going to the airport and were already running late as the hotel did not arrange transport on time (which we had requested the day prior) and the other larger group was being dropped off at their hotel, which was not on the way to the airport. Even though we were runnning over 45 minutes late and had asked the tour guide to drop us off first, the other group was given priority and dropped off first.

Overall the stay was fine and the experiance was very good, but be mindful that activities run on the hotels schedule not yours, so don't be surprised if you find yourself waiting around for them to be ready/organised.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank kirrabell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 March 2012

Did the 2 day mahout training and stayed one night here. Just a perfect place after a perfect day w/ the elephants. The little boat ride to the island where the lodge is pretty nifty. Had a great guide throughout - Thor, he's wonderful and his English is great. There was only one other couple staying. Worth every penny. Elephants! Food that the tour fed us pretty uninteresting, considering how fantastic Laos food is.

Room Tip: Make sure you're right on the river so that's all you see when you're when you're ly...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Champion55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 February 2012

First off let me say that the cabins at the location at Mahout Lodge are wonderful. Beautiful views and plenty comfortable enough without making your feel that you have been shut off from the surrounding setting.

Unfortunately though we booked for several nights and it seems that the lodge is mostly geared up just for people who have booked one or two day treks with the Elephants.

One of the problems then is that the food is severely limited. Neither is us are picky, and in fact we did most of our eating on street stalls and small family run places in Luang Prabang. We both live in Asia so it's not like we were hankering for Western food. However the food, while fine for refuelling if you there for a day, was an issue. Some examples - the sweet and sour soup my wife ordered appeared to have been made by adding water to ketchup and adding sugar, the chicken and basil stirfry I ordered came with celery leaf instead of basil. Meat and noodle dishes arrives with meat dropped on top of boiled noodles. On the first day when we ordered a stir fry dish the ping of the microwave was audible. Sliced onion on a sandwich came with the skin still on. All the kitchen staff were very friendly and the prices were very reasonable but we'd have been happy to pay more for something a little better.

I've lived on Thai beaches where every meal was cooked in a single wok by the wife of the owners and the food has been fantastic despite limited resources - so there isn't much excuse for a place like this just a few minutes out of a large town.

But basically this is the problem with this place. The cabins are at the quality/luxury end of the market and the rest is backpacker.

Our problems started when we arrived in LP. We planned to stay in town the first three nights then move to Mahout Lodge. When we contacted the Lodge they said they had no record of our booking - despite us having made it online some months earlier. Only when we sent them a copy of our booking form and sought out their in-town office, did they relent. We then arranged our pick up from out hotel. When it was 45 minutes late we tried their phone number and no one answered. We eventually tracked down another number to be told "another ten minutes". We were then picked up by a tuktuk which dumped us just out of town where we were piled onto a bus already fall of trippers. They later said their bus had broken down but nobody called our hotel to tell us they'd be late.

We had originally planned to do the elephant ride - reckoning that their half day elephant trek and morning bathing with the elephants would be enough for us. As we were booking it we checked just how long it would be. We were told the trek was an hour and the bathing was "just 15 minutes". The price was $60. There is no way we were going to pay that much for a little over an hour - especially when it was being advertised as a clearly misleading "half day".

Some other issues the "eco" bit of the lodge was hard to pin down. There seemed to be just too many trees cut down for this to be fair. Not to mention the incessant burning of leaves - surely if leaves fall in the jungle you let them lie that's part of the eco system, no? In addition every day there were two more plastic bottles of water left in the cabin. Great but at the end of the week we had a dozen bottles - not very eco. Couldn't they refill them? Did they need all those lights all night? They even came on our balcony every night to insist that we put our lights on and those under the hut and at the bottom of the steps. It was so light with all those lights that if you woke up in the middle of the night it was hard to tell if it was morning.

As for the elephants we continued to toy with the idea of riding them. We were finally put off the day before the end of our trip when we found one elephant on virtually no length of chain on its own in the trees. Looking again at the site for both the lodge and All Laos Elephant Camp there appears to be no information as to where these elephants comes from. If these are "rescued" elephants then I think they need to be much clearer about this - otherwise questions need to be asked. Apologies if there is any information I am missing.

Just a quick mention for a couple of the staff who were very nice. Warren Chong who worked at the office was very apologetic about early mishaps with the booking and pick up. Also on the last two days at the Lodge at young Laotian guy was working who had excellent English and was both helpful and friendly. The staff in general were very nice. They were also very accommodating when we wanted to go into town and return. However we were told on our first day that a new road had been built which meant we no longer had to cross the river to reach the road. However, not once did they use this new road. It meant getting in and out of a rickety boat every time we wanted to go into town. Also we had hoped to hire motorbikes but having not been taken on the road on our side of the river we weren't sure what the terrain would be like so we didn't risk it.

To sum up, a beautiful place to stay the night, but not a place for a longer term trip. We found ourselves thinking of all the things they could provide but once we were there it was backpacker basic beyond the lovely cabins. Just as importantly I think both Mahout Lodge and All Laos Elephant need to be a little bit more transparent about a lot of things - pricing is one and secondly what they do that justifies the "Eco" name and also some information on the origins of their elephants and how they are treated would help.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ourmanwhere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Swanton, Vermont
Level Contributor
124 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 April 2011

We really enjoyed our staf at this elephant camp along with a full day of touring ethnic villages. Our guide, I think it is spelled Ka, was WONDERFUL. He spoke excellent english and was ready and willing to help us in any way needed. The lodge is charming, well located to Luang Prabang yet felt like it was in the middle of nowhere. Our price of 200 dollars, gave us a full day of sightseeing with our guide and driver, dinner and lunch, water and treats, a night in our own private teak cabin with western bathroom and toilet and ceiling fan. Was a little hot at first, but cooled down nicely at night, and we loved listening to the jungle sounds. The next day we spent an hour washing our elephants in the river, a real highlight, then had a filling breakfast with more than enough food for a normal sized person (a jab at the previous reviewer intended), and then a 90 minute walk on elepahnt back thru the jungle. We could have stayed for an afternoon of relaxation on the river, but had planned on just going back to our hotel in Luang Prabang since we had the room paid for and wanted to take a nap since we had to get up so early. Everyone at the property was smiling and friendly, and I highly recc. this experience for anyone that can handle no AC for a night. Thanks so much for a great experience!!! Jay and John

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank rgehring
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 January 2011

Had the opportunity to stay overnight at the Mahout Lodge (part of All Laos Elephant Camp?) last week and do some elephant riding as well. The camp is set out on a nice piece of land on a site accessible only by boats run by the camp. While at the camp one is completely dependent on provided camp facilities and food.

This dependency is exploited by the camp, and that makes the place untrustworthy.

We discovered that they had two menu cards at their one restaurant with hugely different prices. Innocent guests get fleeced via the higher priced menu card unless they know!!! All this at a place where you have no options, so a boiled egg at 10,000 kips is what you have to pay if you want that egg.

Our experience with the elephant rides also showed a lack of ethics. The staff insisted that money for the ride be paid upfront, and after we had done that we got a ride that was 50 minutes long instead of the 80 minutes promised when the ride was sold. And even that short ride missed sections that they had said would be done when they had shown us the promotional pictures.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sewals
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
elephantlp, Manager at Mahout Lodge, responded to this review, 11 March 2011
The nature of any distant or remote resort is that the guests are 'dependent' (in the reviewer's words) upon the resort for their meals. Our Mahout Lodge includes two breakfasts in our cabin rates of $35-45 (USdollars) per night and which also includes complimentary round-trip van transfer from central Luang Prabang to our resort and back. This breakfasts already incudes 2 eggs, 1 sausage, seasonal fruit, butter and jam, and coffer or tea per person.
The reviewer ordered an extra 2 eggs each for their breakfast and it is hardy exploitation if they are charged 10,000 Lao kips or apporximately US$1.25 for TWO eggs each per person; NOT the 10,000 Lao kip PER egg as claimed by the reviewer. One does not go to a resort, order extra items, and then complain about the price afterwards, especially over an item that cost them US$1.25 each. If the reviewer did not want to pay 10,000 kips for 2 eggs each, then they shold have inquired about the cost before ordering them rather than using it as a pretext to make charges of untrustworthy or exploitative in a complaint review to malign our resort. The Mahout Lodge rejects their claim that there are two menus with different pricing since there is only ONE as has been the case from our opening in 2007.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Mahout Lodge

Property: Mahout Lodge
Address: 13/7 Sisavangvong Road, Luang Prabang 0600, Laos
Region: Laos > Luang Prabang Province > Luang Prabang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #88 of 135 Speciality Lodging in Luang Prabang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Mahout Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 36
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Come and experience the peaceful serenity of The Mahout Lodge situated on the banks of the Nam Khan River and surrounded by incredible jungle. On the outskirts of Luang Prabang, an incredible UNESCO designated World Heritage destination, you will find 16 idyllic chalets each with their own bathroom and private balcony. Each is different with either 1x King Bed, 2x King beds or a family chalet with 4x King Beds in total. Inspired by Laotian culture these cabins are rustically charming, surrounded by beautiful gardens and ideal for the adventurous spirit and authentic traveler. Our majestic 20 room Resort will be open in October 2015. Beautifully designed each room has a private balcony overlooking the Nam Khan River, a mini bar, air conditioning, private bathrooms and full hotel services. Surrounded by jungle it is a peaceful haven to watch elephants play and renew your mind, body and spirit. Join us and wander the gardens, watch the elephants, enjoy our swimming pool, café, bar, and restaurant, and/or book one of our many tours we have on offer here at the Mahout Lodge. Learn how to be a mahout (elephant caretaker), kayak or bamboo raft down the Nam Khan river, hike or mountain bike, visit hill tribes and villages, or simply rest and relax. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mahout Eco Hotel Luang Prabang

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