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The Luang Say Residence
Ranked #1 of 71 Hotels in Luang Prabang
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 January 2014

Large suites in pretty grounds. We enjoyed the a la carte breakfast. A little way out of the centre, but there is a shuttle in the evening. The restaurant food was good, but there are more local places in town. Staff helpful, and the little bedtime gift is a nice touch.

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank chapyBristol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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280 - 286 of 625 reviews

Reviewed 9 January 2014

I really liked this hotel.. Our room ( Pioneer Suite) was lovely and spacious, and considering we had a roll-away bed in there for our daughter, there was still room to move around comfortably. The 4 poster bed was so comfortable, even the roll-away bed was good. The little treats left in the room for us, always made us smile. This is one place that did actually have “milk” to use instead of that powered stuff you use instead of milk. We had a wee balcony so could sit there and have a cup tea and look at the garden. We loved the huge bathroom, the only drawback is the shower area, the water comes out into the rest of the bathroom. Put a floor mat there and it soaks it up, but a little ledge would help solve this problem. It was our birthdays (both of us) a few days before and on our first night there (we ate in the dining room) they brought out a delicious birthday cake for us. So sweet. We ate all our meals here, breakfast was part of our package and we ordered whatever we wanted for dinner. We also had cocktails in the lounge/bar. We thoroughly enjoyed all of our meals here and the service that the lovely staff gave us. The doors to the restaurant were open, but certainly no problem to close when it got cold. We found prices for all wines expensive over Thailand, Loas, Cambodia and Vietnam, but cocktails and spirits were priced reasonably, and something we were okay to pay. (Sometimes it worked out cheaper than what we would pay at home). As we had a guide and driver, we never had an issues with were the hotel is situated, I can honestly say it never seem to take long to get into town. The pool look inviting, but we never used due to the weather and so busy with tours. I don’t remember having any issues with the wifi in the room, I know there certainly no issues in the dining room. Not all the staff speak or understands English, but they certainly tried to help or would get someone who did understand. I never had an issue with this, as how is anyone meant to learn without trying. The staff were all lovely and smiling and made the start of our travelling holiday enjoyable.
We stayed here mid/Late Dec. Would love to go back again.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Sammi B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2014

As others have said a quiet (early Sept, it was) luxury hotel. Stayed in a villa which was very comfortable and spacious, and walking though the garden a delight - even in the rain! I found it inconvenient to get to town and too far to walk, though there are other options. Food was good but too europeanised for my full enjoyment. Recommended for what it is, if you want luxury out of town, with F&B priced to match.

Room Tip: The stand alone villas in the gardens are great
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Chris5_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2014

As a journalist assigned to review this hotel, I would say I recommend it if you're looking for a quiet place to laze around, whiling away in a colonial style. The food is really good here and the room is very comfortable, but what I love the most were the serenity it provides and the care (like placing a little bedtime gift on your pillow each night).

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
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Thank Chidsu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2013

What a treat this hotel was. Colonial elegance. Set amongst beautiful gardens (where the plants are identified with name plates), this restful and calm hotel is magic. Rooms are immaculate and very well planned. Huge bathroom with double basins. A little bed time gift each night is a treat. The restaurant has a very good mix of Eastern and western food and the service is good (limited English speaking staff). Reception staff are fabulous, very helpful and like to have a chat about the area and town. This hotel is located a little away from the town but is a quick car ride and more than makes up for this by the overall atmosphere of quiet and calm. Elegant, top notch service and peaceful.

Room Tip: All rooms have balconies overlooking the gardens.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank LVJS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2013

Contrary to what you might expect, the Luang Say Residence is located in a residential/small businesses area on a through road.

Entering Laos means that you have to stand in line to buy a $36,00 per person visa. Therefore it takes a while to get through immigration. We were one of the last in line and when we finally got through, it seemed that our bag, which we had seen being loaded into the Bangkok Airways aircraft in Bangkok, was not there. We found out that 7 random bags, including ours, had been offloaded again in Bangkok, due to weight-and balance problems and was supposed to be deliverd to us the next day in the afternoon.
We had arranged a pick-up from the airport by the hotel ($9,00 per person one way). The LS employee and the driver went out of their way to help us to buy some contact lense solution and toiletries, as everything was packed in our suitcase: They drove us around town to do our necessary shopping.
The next day they drove us back to the airport to collect our suitcase.

The LS Residence is a French colonial style building, built 3 years ago on a plot of land where there used to be a residence that once belonged to the Royal family.
It has a beautiful and airy lobby and we were greeted with a cold towel and a very nice cold drink.
Our room was an Explorator Suite # 604, located in the main building over the lobby up one flight of sweeping stairs. For disabled people not suitable, as there is no elevator.
The room was large with a dressing area and a well appointed bathroom with two sinks, a large bath and a huge walk-in shower with double shower heads.The beds were very, very good.
There also was a spacious terrace/balcony with easy chairs, but......no view! The view was blocked by white blinds hanging over the full length at the end of the balcony. It seemed our room was above the kitchen and the service entrance, and therefore there was no view to speak of so it was blocked. Very disappointing! If possible, avoid Suite 604!
There are 4 Explorator Suites and I think 24 Pioneer Suites, the latter being in 6 smaller stand alone buildings/houses scattered over the property. All have terrasses and balconies, with a view!

Breakfast in the morning is a la carte and very good, with an abundance of choice.
We had dinner at the restaurant twice: Very good quality, but rather expensive, compared to what you pay for dinner in one of the many good restaurants in town. Although the hotel was full, on both nights there were no more than 8 to 10 people having dinner at the hotel-restaurant.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served both in-and outside, on a nice verandah and the restaurant is opened all day..
There is a nice bar and library. But again drinks are very expensive, compared to the prices you have to pay elsewhere.
The swimming pool looked nice and inviting, with plenty of sunbeds available.

Overall service is very good; sometimes a little unsure. Apart from two people at the front desk, Ms Ae en Mr San, the reception staff didn't speak English very well and sometimes it was not easy to get a question answered. Espacially the reception staff should speak basic and better English, as they have to answer all kind of questions and give directions to the guests.
One morning we had asked for a wake up call at 05.20 in order to see the elm giving ceremony at 6.00 am, but although it was written in capital letters in their book, none was given: We suspect because the receptionist on duty hardly spoke any English.
Free but from time to time unreliable WiFi all over the hotel.
We loved the turn down service with the nice little gifts. A beautiful touch.

As mentioned, the hotel is a little out of town but their free shuttle bus is available upon request.
Furthermore there is a regular tuk-tuk service to and from the Post Office in the evening (till 21.00 latest departure back to the hotel)
Also free bicycles are available and it's a nice 15/20 minutes ride into the center of town.
Tuk-tuks are available everywhere, just make sure you agree on the price before setting off!

All in all, the Luang Say Residence is a very nice hotel at an average location. The grounds are beautiful and very peaceful and there is an organic garden.
The level of service is excellent.
As we did not want to prepay the room without the possibility to cancel, we had to pay the full rate of $550,00 per night, including breakfast (free cancellation till 14 days before arrival). In hindsight overpriced, also because of the lack of view we had from our Suite and by far the most expensive hotel we stayed in during our trip to the Far East.. Furthermore: $9,00 per person per way for the less than 10 minutes drive to the airport......??

Too bad we had no chance to speak to the manager about that: We have not seen or met him during our stay.

The hotel was 5 star luxury, but the room was not more than 4, because of the lack of view! We might have expected more for the price we had to pay. Hence "very good' in stead of "excellent".

Room Tip: Explorator Suites are located in the main building, over the reception area and are very spacious...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank AmsterdamFrancis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 November 2013

Stayed for 2 nights at the Luang Say en route from Siem Reap (Cambodia) / only portion of our trip in Laos before heading to Hanoi. Arrived in evening storm-- flight was a bit bumpy on the way down! And now the review:

Met by Luang Say hostess/staffperson at the airport (together with driver). She was excellent and we really appreciated 'the full treatment" after the edgy flight (esp given there was a plane crash week before in the southern part of the country on same airline). BTW getting on the spot visa at airport was no big deal- just have your passport photo plus USD (cash) for the visa (it was $35 plus $1 processing fee for US citizens).

We are 3 adults traveling together-- a couple plus a close friend.

At the hotel we were met by the General Manager (French guy as many are at hotels in Indochina) who informed us that the Explorator suite we had booked was not available. Mind you we booked this in February/March 2013 and had 2 sets of written confirmations since I had read this had happened to one or more people before so I was trying to guard against this happening to us. This was part of their so-called "package / no refunds or changes" which saved a bit of money. He gave us 2 Pioneer suites which, to be honest, worked out better financially so that we could be in 1 suite and our friend in the other. And we rather appreciated the privacy since this was already well into a 2-week plus trip. STILL, I would suggest to others to book the Explorator Suites since they are in the main manor house and very very large on the 2nd floor with a panoramic view-- very "Indochine"/French colonial as I had imagined it. I know the GM looked at my face and could tell I was still pissed so he kinda just averted my gaze. My guess is that there was a couple who might be staying longer than we were or whatever and decided he wanted things to play out. Again, financially and privacy wise probably the best but you get my idea.

The accommodations were extremely nice / well done. The bed was PARTICULARLY wonderful-- probably one of the better king beds on our Asia trip.

Dinner-- hmmmmmm......as part of this package 1 dinner was included and you choose from the 3 course western or local menu. Note to everyone-- NEVER EVER bother to keep to these fixed menus. This happened to us one other time in Europe-- at a Relais et Chateaux place outside of Venice. We had a fixed dinner included and it was a limited menu. What a disaster as my partner has a limited palate (and I can eat anything). The Europeans (and now this includes this place since it is usually run by Europeans) think they are doing you some sort of favor if they are discounting anything. (in this regard the States really has the edge here-- they don't begrudge giving a discount if that was the agreement beforehand) I had promised myself after experience in Venice in 2008 that I would not do that again-- but here we are in 2013 and you sometimes just forget the past. BOTTOM LINE: the food at the in-house restaurant is excellent if you have the run of the menu (and we had an amazing lunch the next day). I should have just said I would like to see the regular menu and just paid the going rate / no constraints. (if the package says you can choose anything on the menu then that's the way to do it-- kinda like Travcoa does but we like traveling independently for the most part).

The bar at the Luang Say-- while a bit pricey (well, compared to New York City area pricing nothing is really that surprising-- well, except for London or Paris or you try to get a proper martini in Scandanavia for less than USD 50). The drinks were incredibly well-mixed and interesting. I'd go back in a heart-beat. The staff really tries hard and does well in my opinion.

The pool is large (I swim laps so appreciated this fact) and someone came down from the manor house nearly immediately to provide a cool towel and bottled water. We had lunch by the pool and we ordered a la carte. The food was excellent.

Forgot to mention-- the a la carte breakfasts were wonderful. I got kinda sick of those buffets (sometimes amazing variety but getting up every 5 minutes gets old after a while). The service by the restaurant folks was excellent. Of course you have to speak slowly and just be happy you don't have to know Laotian!

Final Answer: the pricing of the Luang Say was among the most expensive of our trip to Asia-- but given where you are it was worth it. Just pay the going rate and reserve the Explorator Suite / reconfirm the week before you get there so there is "no misunderstanding" and order off of the normal menu and you should have an excellent time.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank wolfgang333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Luang Say Residence

Address: 4 - 5 Ban Phonepheng | Phou Vao Road, Luang Prabang 856, Laos
Phone Number:
Region: Laos > Luang Prabang Province > Luang Prabang
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Luang Prabang
#3 Family Hotel in Luang Prabang
#5 Romantic Hotel in Luang Prabang
Price Range: £137 - £323 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Luang Say Residence 4.5*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Quaintly located in a lush landscaped garden, this luxurious property provides 5 colonial style buildings that include this fully decorated boutique resort. Other than leisure travelers, this property is also a perfect base for guests on transit since it’s only a short drive away from the airport and downtown. All the 24 suites are fully equipped with a flat screen television, personal mini bar, in-room safe and WiFi internet access. Featuring numerous onsite facilities such as a large swimming pool, dining room, library, foreign exchange service and laundry service. For explorations, guests can walk down the tree lined streets where you will find a wide range of restaurants, cafes, vibrant handicraft markets and the famous, Mekong River. The city also boasts its 32 protected temples and the famous attraction, Haw Kham Royal Palace Museum – which you should not miss. The Luang Say Residence awaits your visit. ... more   less 
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The Luang Say Residence Hotel Luang Prabang

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