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Saynamkhan River View
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Reviews (194)
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All reviewswooden houseadjoining restaurantbalcony patiothe main streetasian breakfastnight marketthe ground floorbreakfast providedbasic amenitiesunesco world heritagethe location is perfectnamkhan riverwould stay againearly morningwalking distancebamboo bridgetak bat
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Reviewed 5 November 2012

We stayed here a week in room 107 - the biggest and best in the hotel - while my husband was recovering from dengue fever. The room was so comfortable, there was a patio for him to sit outside, and the staff wokred their schedules around ours for cleaning and breakfast. In addition, they were very helpful in assisting our visits to local medical facilities (DON'T get sick in Luang Prabang) and helped us evac to Bangkok by calling airlines, arranging transport, etc. when my husband had complications. Details: comfortable bed, great air con, hot water though a hand held shower, nice linens, mini-fridge. Well prepared breakfast though the same fruit, pancake, bread, and juice every day. Fair prices for a hotel laundry. The location on the Nam Khan River is lovely. I highly recommend this hotel and would stay here again if I were to return to Luang Prabang.

Room Tip: There are two parts to this hotel; the stuco part and the wood house part. Rooms in the wood house cost more, but the two ground floor rooms have a patio which we really enjoyed. Room 107 is the biggest and best and has a tub.
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Donna B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 November 2012

The Saynamkhan was referred to us by another traveller and we were very happy with the recommendation.

The location is great, right on the edge of the inner city, and across the road from the Nam Khan river. Our room had a great view of the river and the restaurant where breakfast was served had several tables on a balcony/patio where you could have your coffee in the morning and enjoy the peaceful view.

Most parts of the inner city, and the boats on the Mekong are only a few minutes walk from the hotel. We would stay at this hotel again on our next visit to Luang Prabang.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank TaLRoberts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2012

I really liked this hotel. It was centrally located, the staff were very helpful and they spoke reasonable English. The night staff seem to spend their downtime studying and writing essays. The are keen to engage native English speakers as this helps them improve their language skills.

We chose two wooden rooms on the ground floor in what I assume was the old part of the hotel. The rooms are quite charming, and have a real Laos/ colonial French feeling.

The windows and doors had shutters and extremely efficient air-conditioning. After a hot day on the river or going to the caves it was a pleasure to close the shutters, have a warm shower and enjoy the air-conditioning in a darkened room.

Of special mention is the manager is Mr Yann. He engaged us soon after our arrival and made us feel very welcome.

I mentioned to him that I had not made ongoing flight bookings to Vientiane and back to Siem Reap. He accompanied me to his local travel agent (the White Elephant) in the main street.

He reminded the staff of various discounts that were available and made sure they were offered to me. It required a slight readjustment in our trave plans, but the air fare savings are considerable.

All in all, this was everything I required. Small enough tp establish some rapport with staff, and local knowledge freely given.

Room Tip: Personally I would stay in the ground floor wooden rooms, 106 or 107. There is a delightful outdoor room with an umbrella covered table and hedge just high enough to ensure privacy. The only downside is that some noise comes through the ceiling from the upstairs room, but that is usual short and transient.
  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with friends
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4  Thank georgemurray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 September 2012

i thought this place was amazing. it had a real community feel about it. the guy behing the front desk was a bit rude but everyone else was lovely. you all ate on your balcony together for breakfast and they closed your shutters at night. it was so peaceful i just wanted to stay there forever. its in a litle shady corner overlooking the river and is just a short walk to the main street. i would highly recommend this place its lovely!!!

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Rebecca V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2012

Several weeks prior to our visit to Luang Prabang to visit our family and friends we made our personal phone call from Singapore to the Saynamkhan Hotel for a nine night stay. This reservation was made by my Loa wife who was born and grew up in Luang Prabang (I am a Westerner who had lived in Luang Prabang for a number of years), therefore there was no problem communication in the Lao language to a male Lao receptionist. My wife clearly and specifically stated that we had two young children under 3 years and that we would like to book the rooms with Singaporean Dollar Rates and NOT American Dollar Rates and that we would pay with Singapore Currency ( we now reside in Singapore ). This was reinforced that it was going to be Singaporean rates as we could have gone to a nearby and better hotel for the American dollar rates. He said, that there would be no problem and he would proceed with our reservation – we also told him that we would not take breakfast there (thus another saving for them) as we had made other arrangements. We requested the Old Wooden room attached to the main brick building as it was slightly larger than the main rooms in the brick building and it would suit the two young children better. I may also add that my wife’s Lao sister was with the reception man while my wife was on the phone from Singapore, and she was witnessed to this conversation in regards to our booking and she identified the male receptionist, but unfourtanly she was out of town when we were checking out.

When we arrived we were never asked to show our passport, nor did they ask for a deposit and nor did they show us the rates of the rooms. The only “extra “was one mattress on the floor next to our bed for our 3 year old. We gave them extra business by having my wife’s Loa family stay in two rooms for two nights while they visited us and their grandchildren. They stayed in a small end room in the main brick building.

I wanted to pay them on the day before we left as our plane left early in the morning and this would make it easier for all concerned. My wife gave the full amount to the receptionist and as agreed upon it was in Singapore Dollars. He accepted it, but we needed change from the $ 400 SGD and he was going to get this from his Manger/Owner ?. My wife went back later, and the Western Manger/Owner of the Saynamkhan Hotel was very rude, and gave the Singaporean money back to my wife, and said he would not accept this as it has to be in American Dollars. My wife was upset and informed me about this, and I requested to speak to him and explain about our prior agreement.

The Western Manger/owner became aloof, arrogant and completely inflexible about our explanation even when we informed him that the communication was from one Lao person to another Loa male Receptionist and so there was no misunderstanding of this arrangement. We based our decision to come here, even though we could have gone to a better Guest House than the Saynamkhan Hotel if we had paid in American Dollars – the only reason we were here was mainly for location, and we had stayed there several years ago. He was totally inflexible and unaccommodating and would not believe my wife, and he said that his female receptionist had not agreed to Singapore Dollar rates (he continued to state it was “she “who took the reservation – in the nine days we stayed here, there was no female receptionist).

This conflicting issue continued for almost half an hour, in a shoe box outdoor reception area, with only an overhead canopy to stop the weather elements. It was now pouring with rain, my wife is six months pregnant, and we have a 20 month old child and a three year old waiting outside as he continued to be obstinate, insensitive, and completely rigid in all matters pertaining to this money issue. He more or less implied that my wife that she was not telling the truth, and that his receptionist would not have made this error. He also went on about all the “extras “he had provided such as the mattress on the floor for our three years old (this was already agreed upon with the children using a single “bed “ ). We had no breakfast there, and the toiletry we barely used until the last two days or so. Our children were well behaved for that age, and there were no other extras, unless he included the two small bottles of complentary water to which most Guest Houses provide in Luang Prabang.

After close to 45 minutes and without any gesture of good will or comprise or better still to admit that his receptionist may have made an error in communication about the Singapore Dollar rate. With our children now getting restless, the rain was still pouring down, my Loa wife been told that she was not telling the truth, and now her father would soon be arriving to spend that last night to spend with us to see his grand children – I had had enough, and I told him that he was basically breaking every professional rule in the book for guest hospitality, and not once did he indicate that they/he could be wrong and nor did he offer any gesture of good will to rectify this embarrassing situation that he put our family in .

So in the end, I said , I would split the difference between the Singaporean Dollar and US dollar and I would pay for my wife’s family’s room visit in US Currency and we would cancel her father’s room for that night ( we located him at a nearby and compatible guest house for less money than the Saynamkhan Hotel ) . Even then after much deliberation he was very hesitant to do this, and only with the encouragement of his Lao male receptionist did he reluctantly agree to my compromise. The bottom line for this Manager was always about the Dollar, I may also add that the male Loa Receptionist did look uncorfortable when we spoke about talking to the Receptionist who registered us into the Saynamkhan Hotel.

Never have I witnessed such poor management, insensitivity, arrogance, inflexibility, accommodation in the running of a hotel that caters to the guests/tourist welfare – there was a total disregard for the guest rights and feelings, and there was not one ounce of hospitality by this Western Manger/Owner – I am still not sure of his position, as he never once demonstrated any form of greeting or acknowledgement to us in the nine days that we stayed there. I may also add that the Saynamkhan Hotel was almost empty during this time period.
As aside, we had to have the staff spray for mosquitoes; we were infested with Gecko (lizards), rain water flooded through our ground floor doors into our room. Guests moved directly upstairs from us before we left , and you could hear all their movement as the floor boards had no insulation ( and they were not noisy guests ), and the town Roosters who are very close by , did naturally crow in the very early hours of the morning for all to hear.

I had informed this Western Manger/Owner of the Saynamkhan Hotel that I may write this review in the Trip Advisor when I get back to Singapore , this did not deter him , and I also informed him that he was breaking every basic tourism/hospitality rule possibly in running a successful and hospitable hotel. This review may have had a more of a positive twist if he had made some gestures to meet us half way to resolve this issue, and or stated that there had been a lack of communication from his staff, and that I will make sure our staff learns from their error and not to put all the blame on their customer. Clearly this Western Manger did not believe the old adage that the customer is always right. Perhaps that is why the Saynamkhan Hotel has had similar bad reviews , and is currently in the lower third of all the Hotels and Guesthouse in Luang Prabang.

In conclusion, our nine day stay in Luang Prabang was very good, and this one bad experience with the Western Manger of the Saynamkhan Hotel does not reflect the authentic hospitality of the Loa people. There are many good and reputable guest houses in Luang Prabang (My Dream Boutique Resort, Lotus Villa Laos, and the award winning Mekong Riverview Hotel to name but a few) with a wide range of prices. Please take the time to read these TA reviews as it may help you with your choice of hotels because the wrong choice could but a damper on a good holiday in Luang Prabang, Lao.

Room Tip: Try the main buidling but the rooms are smaller but better and make sure your rates for the room are confirmed on arrival - you can still hear the roosters though
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank aril12_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
yann m, General Manager at Saynamkhan River View, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2012

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your lengthy comment. You have mentioned that having lived in Luang Prabang for a number of years before (as you clearly stated) it should be known to you that in Lao PDR, most establishments only accept Lao Kip, US Dollars and Thai Baht. Besides having trouble with banking in the different currency into our bank account and hard for our staff to identify the currency they are not used to (counterfeit etc), it is advantages for you to be charged in US dollar as the SGD is higher than the USD ( SGD1 : USD0.7985 thereabouts).
You have mentioned that you have stayed at our hotel before and in addition requested specifically for the old wooden rooms (we emphasize the word ‘old’) and again what puzzles us is your complaint of insulation and noise when you knew that these are old wooden rooms. As for the geckos and roosters, we did write to them to move somewhere else but they replied that they are part of the natural surrounding in Lao PDR as well as in Asia and we should accept them as they are.

With all the points raised by you, and we having not collected a deposit from you, you have every right to decide to look for an alternative accommodation but you decided to stay for the whole nine (9) nights. We also felt dissapointed that you have threatened us by wanting to write tripadvisor if we did not accept your SGD (you forgot that we too have the option to reply to any comments to clarify in Tripadvisor) and you will not pay us and will walk out if your request was not accepted within 30 minutes. We are thankful to our local police who intervened and made you settle your bill.

Thank you.

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