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“Don't trust them”
Review of Mahout Lodge

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Mahout Lodge
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
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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 reviewResponded 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.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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18 - 24 of 25 reviews

Reviewed 19 February 2010

Our family of four recently spent one night at the Mahout Eco Lodge in conjunction with doing the 2 day Mahout course (All Laos). We all enjoyed the course very much - my husband will be raving about it for years to come! The chance to spend 2 days riding elephants in such a lovely spot on the river really is something very special that we will not soon forget. (We also visited a village and spent several hours kayaking - really great!) But in regard to more pedestrian issues such as the Eco Lodge facilities - it appears that they are going through some growing pains. The bungalow we stayed in was very nice, clean and had a large bathroom. But they seem to be expanding and building more bungalows (to meet growing need?). I'm not sure how they will grow the lodge if they do not acquire more elephants as this is why people come. They currently have 10 elephants that work all day when they are busy. (The group that came in after us was overbooked and they were having to do some shifting around of activities to accommodate all of the guests - as there are a finite number of elephants to use.) Although our group received exactly what we booked for and we were fairly well organized the whole place seemed to be run by the mahouts -many of whom do not speak English. It was difficult to tell who was responsible for running the lodge. The grounds which are set on the river are lovely and yet there was quite a bit of litter strewn about (?) and the structure formerly used as the restaurant is now being let fall into disrepair (so it appeared to me). Long story short, I would recommend the Mahout course and spending the night but with the caveats that you book in advance for the course and if problems arise you insist on what you have paid for.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled with family
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Thank caveguy66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 November 2009

I booked a one night stay in the eco lodge. i must say this was the best $90 dollars i have evr spent. The lodges themselves are beautiful. The location and veiws are second to none. We arrived in the early afternoon met by one of the staff, he took us on a pleasant trip up the river to see the elephants, Later we went tubing down river. The dinner was superb and the staff were very friendly and helpful. And of course the elephants were the stars of the show. My only regret is that i didnt stay longer Tommy Flaherty England

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank tommo53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 June 2009

we booked the 2 days/1 night Mahout course through All Lao Service Travel Co and were very happy with our stay. Nothing beats bathing an elephant, it was a fantastisc experience. However the rest of the trip (we went tubing and kayakking as well and spend a lot of time on the elephant riding through the forest) was also very amusing and pleasant.
The lodge itself has a very scenic location right across the river and the room is beautifully decorated. Keep in mind tought that your lodge is actually out in the open (=no roof) and that your shower is outside. which brings about the usual friends at night (insects/spiders/..). We didn't mind this at all (comes with sleeping in the jungle), however it is important to know when you book the trip.
We paid 90 usd pp which is a lot of money (certainly in Laos), but we were overall very happy that we took the trip. We really believed that it was worth the money.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Michalinho13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 January 2009

We loved the 2 days in the Mahout Eco Lodge and the Mahout Course. It was really a unique experience. We have some upsides and some downsides, with which we hope to help the Camp to improve their services.

The time you spend on the elephant is a great way to get to know you're elephant and the beautiful area, allthough, even if you practise you're commands, the elephant is smart enough to know it's route.

We really liked our guide, who was very kind and helped us learning the commands. It was a pity that we weren't really introduced to the Mahouts, with who you spend you're time on the elephant. Overall they seemed a bit bored, sleeping, smoking cigarettes even on the back of the elephant and calling with their cell phones.

About the money you spend: we think it's really worth the 85 dollars p.p. The lodge is amazing, beautiful decorated and in a really idyllic place near the river. The lunch and especially the dinner we're great and more than enough for us. We we're a bit disappointed about the fact that we had to pay 5000 Kip to feed the elephants banana's. It's not much but it should be included.

The bathing with the elephants was a highlight of our trip and we we're glad we could do it in the afternoon instead of in the cold morning. The next morning we had to get out of bed really early because we would bring the elephants to the camp. We had to wait for an hour in the cold for our Mahouts...

Later that day we went kayaking and visited the Tad Sae waterfalls. All really well aranged and worthwhile. (though nothing beats you're time with the elephants :-)

At last, we wonder if there is another way to teach the (young) elephants. We saw one with his ear bleeding and our guide told us it was because he was naughty while teaching him something. We we're quite shocked. During our time on the elephants they we're treated very well, as far as we can say.

Khawp jai lai lai Mahout Eco Lodge/All Lao Service for this opportunity to learn more about/from this beautiful elephants!

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank RenM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Google Translation

Room Tip: Pode ser que falte água nos chalés
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
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Thank Suzana_ag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2015
Google Translation

  • Stayed: May 2015, travelled as a couple
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Thank Maheude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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 #110 of 163 Speciality Lodging in Luang Prabang
Price Range: £16 - £41 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
Also Known As:
Mahout Eco Hotel Luang Prabang

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