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“Promising but flawed”

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Sofitel Luang Prabang Hotel
Ranked #4 of 68 Hotels in Luang Prabang
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 August 2012

My family and I were just in Luang Prabang and we stayed at this hotel in their Governor's Suite.
The grounds and rooms were very peaceful and beautiful. The beds were very comfortable! The staff were extremely effecient, helpful and charming. The food was good.
BUT...the airconditioning system was dreadful. Although it was very effective, it continued to drip condensation from all the vents throughout the day and night, making placing anything in the room a lottery of whether it would be soaked in the morning.
The staff tried their best to rectify this but I think the design or implementation is at fault. Also when it rained, parts of the roof leaked, making brownish drips in many places.
This being an old prison, there were a lack of proper windows in the rooms (so prisoners cannot escape easily!), making the rooms very dark in the day.
They try to solve the mosquito problem by fogging the property and although we were warned about this, the fogging came into the rooms as well. My family had to quickly run away to town!
Despite all this we still had a pleasant stay there, mainly because of the very pleasant and friendly disposition of all the staff.

Room Tip: Make sure your stuff don't get dripped on!
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Toke52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kevin O, General Manager at Sofitel Luang Prabang Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 9 September 2012

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments and observations following your recent stay at our Hotel de la Paix. While I was pleased to note that overall you enjoyed your stay with is, I did note, with disappointment, some of the challenges that you had to endure.

You are correct in as much as it would seem the design, rather than the implementation of the airconditioning vents, is where the problem lies and I am truly sorry for all the inconvenience the condensation drips must have caaused you. The constant exposure to the hot external air with the opening and closing of the room doors makes it near impossible to prevent this. However, we have engaged an expert to advise on how best to address this problem and I hope a solution is not far away.

As for the leaks in the roof tiles, this is a direct result of having to use UNESCO specified tiles rather than today's "modern" tiles. for want of a better expression. The tiles that we have to use are extremely brittle and it is almost a 24/7 job keeping up to date with the location of cracked and broken tiles. Having seen your observations, we immediately addressed the matter and I thank you again for bringing this to our attention.

I am sorry to know that the "fogging" managed to seep into your Suite: this is unusual and so I went into the same Suite when they came to fog again. I must have been lucky as I must confess, I was unaffected. Never the less, in the future, we will endeavour to make sure that all access points into our Suites (especially when occupied) are closed prior to the Fogging machine coming into the proximity of the accommodations.

On a more positive note, I was delighted to know that our staff played in integral part in the overall enjoyment of your stay with us and I will take pleasure in sharing your comments with them at our next employee day.

In the meantime, should your travels bring you back to Luang Prabang, we would be delighted to have you come and stay with us again: when that happens, please don't hesitate to let me know so that I can personally handle the room assignment and ensure that any potential leaks and issues of condensation are addressed.

Until that time, I remain,

With all good wishes,

Kevin M. O'Hagan
General Manager,

gm@hoteldelapaixlp.com

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Reviewed 25 August 2012

Fabulous room, staff very friendly and always willing to help. Loved the massive shower, with the choice of the overhead rainwater shower or the handheld (slightly lower) for a woman, we don't want to wash our hair everytime we shower, and however cool the overhead fixed is, its very limiting even with a showercap, esp with long hair. Ok enough on that, but this place got it right! Thanks! The free minibar is great. Just 2 can of beer per day and soft drinks but still its good and a nice touch, the beds were very comfy. We had a twin room. The location of the hotel was great. The food was "ok". Arrival at hotel and shown to room, great. A few things about the room. For a twin room host should assume its not a couple, thus a curtain to the shower/bath area would have been nice, when my buddy was showering, I couldn't leave the bedroom area, even to use the bathroom or I could see her showering. For couples that's cool obviously but we are 2 ladies in our 40s. There is nowhere to dry swimclothes/towels... Just nowhere.. Suggest putting one of those pull out string hang rails above bath to the wooden door, or.. Some rails.. Which would be in keeping with the look. There is no tv guide, just to see the channel options, when getting ready to go out to dinner its nice to flick to news channel, bbc world I eventually found on channel 49. For local tours. Even if not hotel sponsored, a list of options/ideas/prices in the room would be nice. For the pool area, when weather is nice, leave some small menu with beer/soft drinks/ snacks on the tables by pool. Have someone pass by to check if people want refreshments. My last day, at a peak was 10 adults and 5 kids at the pool. Good business for the hotel perhaps. (the plate of fruit and the glass of cold water at the pool was, again a nice touch (free).The towels at the pool, although clean were clearly bleached and looking well worn. (Room towels were good). The cutlery in the restaurant... has anyone tried to cut something using the knife to hold the meat still.. They're super trendy cutlery but really hard to use. The breakfast juice. Its not fresh juice, except for the watermelon (well maybe im wrong but the orange was full of bits and sweetened). The breakfast was ok. Nothing amazing. The lunch/dinner choices were better. All in all. I would come back here. I just felt like a few simple touches could make a difference. And from the other tripadvisor reviews, I'm happy to see management reading and responding to peoples reviews. Local places to try, S Bar for a drink, Utopia at sunset, for food we tried Lao Lao Garden, very nice, and Couleur Cafe, The waterfall with the bear reserve is defo worth checking out, but not in the rain. And take a walk up the phu si mountain for sunset.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank H S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kevin O, General Manager at Sofitel Luang Prabang Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 9 September 2012

Thank you so much for the obvious time you have spent in sharing your thoughts and observations following your recent stay at our Hotel de la Paix. I was really pleased to know that we have many things right and, believe it or not, was equally pleased to know of the many things that we coud do better.

You are absolutely correct about there being nowhere to dry swim-suits and the like: while I hate the chord across the bath, we are looking into making wooden hanging rails, just as yiu have suggested.

I agree with your comment on having a TV Guide in the Room: In truth, we have tried to do this on several occasions, but I can't tell you how many times the channels have changed without prior notice, For reasons that I have never understood, the powers that be controlling the programme feed seem to change the distribution adinfinitum.

Thank you to for the recommendation of a listing of Tours, Activities and prices. This is in process and just as soon as the proof reading and then the printing, they (together with a Guest Services Directory) will be in every room.

You are again right about having a Poolside Snack menu: actually, the plan has always been to have Service Staff on Duty at the Poolside in those peak hours (with menus and recommendations) however, I clearkly have not been successful here so perhaps I will resort to menus on the sidetables.

The Pool Towels have seen batter days and new ones have beenn ordered: we are just waiting for delivery.

Your comments on the cutlery are well noted and we are in the process of changing them: as with the towels, it is a case of waiting for the delivery.

I was disappointed to read your thoughts on ouir breakfast: sadly, you are not the firts and so we have already taken steps to upgrade the items, but more specifically, have more variety on a daily basis. As for the juices in the morning, I can assure you they are all fresh. In the case of the orange juice, yes, we do mix it as the quality of the fresh oranges currently is not great: the juice is very pale and also very bitter.

Once again, thank you for taking the trouble to share your comments: I trust by our answers you can see that we have treated them with the seriousness thay deserve. I hope, the next time you return to Luang Prabang, you will come and stay with us again, so that you can see, first hand, the progress that we will have made, all thanks to the comments and recommendations of valuable guests such as you.

In the meantime, I remain,

With all good wishes,

Kevin M. O'Hagan,
General Manager.

gm@hoteldelapaixlp.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2012

We are all used to staying in large multi storied hotels, but this is just so refreshing.Expansive gardens in an old French colonial fort. The ceilings are seriuosly high. The staff were freindlky and always stepped out to welcome us back or wave us off when we went exploring. Nothing was too much trouble.with fresh fruit while you were by the pool .We went in monsoon season and whilst it rained it did not dampen our enjoyment of this establishment or the whole area. Breakfast was served from an al la carte menu and not the "all you can eat buffet" which was a nice touch. You can find less expensive establishments but this was worth every Kip.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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Thank nortonmaggie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kevin O, General Manager at Sofitel Luang Prabang Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 9 September 2012

Thank you for taking the time to share with us your thoughts and observations following your recent stay at our Hotel de la Paix. I was pleased to know that we measured up to your expectations and that you enjoyed the experience.

I was especially pleased to read how much you appreciated the performance of our employees: they are, of course, so so important to any success in the Service Industry so when I read how well they have done, it makes me very proud.

I do hope that your travels will bring you back from Hong Kong and that we will have the pleasure of your company again. Until that time, I remain,

With all good wishes,

Kevin M. O'Hagan,
General Manager.

gm@hoteldelapaixlp.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2012

Hotel de la Paix is not the cheapest hotel in town but we feel we had great value for the money we spent. We (2 adults and a 14 year old son) stayed for 1 week in the first half of August - rainy season - in a "pool suite" and it was blissful. Although the private pool is not very big it was great to be able to relax and play games without worrying about causing annoyance to other guests as sometimes happens at the main pool. Even the occasional rain was not a problem.
The hotel is a converted prison, beautifully done and scaled to a comfortable balance of people and space. There is only a ground floor (1st floor?) so no dodging around looking for the next lift (elevator) or wandering around corridors in the wrong direction.
The biggest asset is the staff. They were absolutely great without being intrusive or servile, just genuinely wanting to help.
Breakfast was included in our deal and the menu was fairly extensive - we had Lao dishes as well as western and it was always good. 1 evening meal we had was good too.
If you want to visit 3 Nagas restaurant/hotel in the old French part of Luang Prabang there is a free car service as the hotels are related.

Room Tip: The rooms/suites with private pool are better if you want to splash rather than do lengths.
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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Thank ljkjp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kevin O, General Manager at Sofitel Luang Prabang Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 9 September 2012

We were delighted to read that you and your family enjoyed the experience of staying at the Hotel de la Paix and thank you for your kind comments, especially those about our employees: they are especially appreciated.

I recall that you had been unwell and so I hope that the rest and relaxation provided at the Hotel helped in some small way towards a full recovery. hould your travels bring you back to Luang Prabang, we would be very pleased to welcome you and I will ensure that you get the other half of the Eggs Benedict for Breakfast. Until that time, I remain,

With all good wishes,

Kevin M. O'Hagan
General Manager

gm@hoteldelapaixlp.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2012

The Hotel de la Paix is beautiful - a spacious courtyard is surrounded by rooms decorated with fresh white linens, dark wood and warm grey tiles. I loved the aesthetic - the rooms felt modern, stylish, crisp and clean.
My only gripe as far as the accommodation was concerned was the bathtub - it was tiny. Sadly so, because it sits on the terrace behind a set of doors that can be opened to the outside, allowing you to bath in the open air. The shower on the other hand was excellent.
We were a bit disappointed by the restaurant and felt that the quality of the food did not live up to the surroundings (I love the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in the dining room) or equal the quality of some of the other meals we enjoyed in Luang Prabang. Breakfast was good, but not exceptional.
We had a spa treatment which was fantastic! A decadent experience. We also enjoyed their complimentary bicycle service and loved cycling around town.
The hotel really set itself apart by how it dealt with a complaint we had. We had booked a pool suite. However, on our first day there the pool pump broke down leaving the water in the pool a dark green. The pump wasn’t repaired until the last day of our stay and we didn’t swim in it at all. When we mentioned this to the staff at check-out, they didn’t hesitate to charge us the rate for a standard room and added an additional discount. We were very impressed with how they dealt with the problem and for this reason alone I would recommend the hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank JezebelleH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kevin O, General Manager at Sofitel Luang Prabang Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 9 September 2012

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your comments and observations of our Hotel: I was pleased to note that overall you enjoyed the experience of staying with us and taht overall, our services lived up to your expectations.

I was however, disappointed to read that you thought our Food and Beverage could have been better: Ideally I would have been delighted to disuss this with you more as it's opinions, such as yours, that can only help us to reach the high pinnacles of guest satisfaction that we strive.

I can't apologise enough for the inconvenience that you were exposed to with regards the swiiming pool: sometimes, trying to get spare parts delivered into Luang Prabang on a timely basis can be quite a challenge. While too late for you, your experience has made me ensure that, from now on, there are always sufficeint spare parts of items that need to be imported. I am glad however that our resolution to the situation met with your approval.

I do hope that this unsatisfactory experience doesn't unfavourably prejudice your decision on returning to our Hotel de la Paix should your travels bring you back to Luang Prabang. If you do, please do let me know so that I can personaly ensure that the Pool in your Suite is in full and proper working order. Until that time, I remain,

With all good wishes.

Kevin M. O'Hagan
General Manager

gm@hoteldelapaixlp.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2012

All we can say is WOW!
Let's start with the welcome at the airport. The driver has in-ice cold towels, very welcome in the heat of Luang Prabang, and some water.
At check in, the manager came out to meet us. As our daughter was asleep, the staff took us directly to our room and we filled the check in form in our room. Appreciated !
We stayed there for a few nights and it was perfect from the beginning to the end.
Our suite was a regular one and lovely with the outdoor bathtub and little garden and very spacious bedroom.
Their is a completely stocked mini bar with beers and sodas included in the price of the room. The breakfast was delicious and the ambiance and service were just wonderful.

Thanks to all the hoel de la Paix staff for the hospitality.
This is a place you HAVE to experience. Amazing.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank alexandretsuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kevin O, General Manager at Sofitel Luang Prabang Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 24 July 2012

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experiences at our Hotel de la Paix with us. We were delighted to know that you enjoyed your stay and that our efforts were instrumental in your enjoyment of the Luang Prabang experience.

I recall your daughter suffering a little from travel sickness and so I hope the journey home was not too difficult. All of us here at the Hotel de la Paix hope that should your travels bring you back to Luang Prabang that you will allow us the opportunity to be of dervice to you and your family again, Until such time, I remain,

With all good wishes,

Kevin M. O'Hagan
General Manager

gm@hoteldelapaixlp.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2012

An amazing hotel set in beautiful grounds. The suites are very spacious and comfortable, the staff are friendly and attentive and we had a great meal in the restaurant . Thanks to everyone at the hotel for a memorable stay.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Matt B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kevin M O, General Manager at Sofitel Luang Prabang Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 19 July 2012

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and views of your experience following your stay at our Hotel de la Paix.

I was delighted to see that our efforts were instrumental in ensuring that had a memorable visit with us. I was especially pleased that our service team, both in Service and Production measured up to your expectations and I will be sure to share your comments with them at our next Employee Meeting.

Should your travels ever bring you back to Luang Prabang we do hope that you will allow us the opportunity to be of service to you again. Until that time, I remain,

With all good wishes,

Kevin M. O'Hagan
General Manager

gm@hoteldelapaixl;p.com

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 Sofitel Luang Prabang Hotel

Address: Ban Mano, Luang Prabang 0600, Laos
Phone Number:
Region: Laos > Luang Prabang Province > Luang Prabang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 68 Hotels in Luang Prabang
Price Range: £161 - £352 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sofitel Luang Prabang Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Once the French Governor's Fort, the "all-suite" Sofitel Luang Prabang now oozes colonial style and splendour fused with contemporary elegance in one of the finest resorts in the region. Situated on a heritage site in the former royal capital of Laos, the hotel is close to the major tourist attractions. Large courtyards, landscaped gardens, a reflecting pool and fireplaces provide a welcome retreat in all seasons. Individually designed suites create sanctuaries of private space and sumptuous comfort, revitalising the soul. Natural LeSpa therapies and gourmet dining at the Governor's Grill capture the essence of Laos, drawing on its culinary and wellness traditions. ... more   less 
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