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“Good Location, Nice Staff”

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Phounsab Guesthouse
Ranked #24 of 259 Luang Prabang B&B and Inns
Gdansk
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Good Location, Nice Staff”
Reviewed 9 February 2012

Located on the main street, just 20m from the Night Market. Very helpful and nice staff, clean rooms, very nice bathroom. Laundry available in the hotel (10.000 Kip) - price same same as everywhere else on this street.
There was a problem with internet connection (very often the connection was lost). Two days in a raw there was a blackout (from 9:00 a.m. - 03:00 p.m.), however it was a bigger issue, because there was no power on the whole street.
Free coffee, water and some fruits.
Little bit overpriced (however it is a general problem of Luang Prabang).

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Maciek_Wanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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61 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
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English first
Northern Virginia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 January 2012

I stayed here for four nights in mid-January. The Phounsab has an excellent location on the main street that runs through Luang Prabang, less than a half block from the start of the night market. There are travel/tourism agencies, restaurants, cafes, money exchanges, shops, and internet cafes surrounding the Phounsab. The National Palace Museum is one block to the west and Wat Mai another block further west. From the Phounsab, virtually all of old Luang Prabang is walkable, although tuk tuks are readily available outside on the street.

The Phounsab itself is accessible directly from the street. You enter through the front, past the reception desk, through a passage to an inner courtyard. There are two buildings, the front one seems to have three rooms with private balconies that look down into the courtyard. I didn't stay in this building, so all I could see was that the balconies seemed very nice with two chairs and a table and that the entire wall leading out to the balcony was glass with glass door. Floor to ceiling draperies could be drawn closed to block out the sun. Through the glass, I could see a large bed, probably queen size.

I stayed in the building further back from the street, which had eight (or maybe ten, it was hard to tell) rooms, half on the ground floor and the other half on the second floor. Running along the entire length of both floors were verandas set with two chairs and a table spaced at intervals for each room. Although these seating areas were not private (separated) for each room, they were still quite pleasant and I saw many other guests relaxing in their set of chairs, working on the laptops or reading.

I stayed in a room on the second floor. The room contains a queen-sized bed dressed in very good quality cotton bed linens, a wooden writing desk with chair, armoire with TV and mini-fridge, two drinking glasses, and two bottles of water replenished daily. There is another open armoire to hang clothes (with a half dozen hangers). There is a wooden stand to place your suitcase and small bedside tables on either side of the bed, both with small (dim) bedside lamps. Lighting in the room was adequate except for reading in bed at night (I had to keep all the lights on in the room, but I also like lots of bright light when reading). I never turned on the TV so I don't know what channels it had, but there was a TV remote.

The bathroom was a fairly decent size with sink, toilet, and a large shower that had both a hand-held head and another one of those waterfall shower heads. There was hot water in both the shower and the sink. Water pressure could have been a little better, but it was certainly adequate. Bathroom amenities included two little packets of soap (replaced daily), and two little packets of liquid (one was shampoo, I don't know what the other was for - all the writing was in Laotian). There was also a plastic box with some cotton buds (Q-tips) in them, two coffee mugs to serve as bathroom glasses, and a toothbrush holder. The towels (two bath and two hand) were serviceable.

The room has two windows on the back wall that could be opened with the inner mosquito screens closed to provide light and fresh air but keep out larger insects. (They weren't much help in keeping out the gazillion of smaller insects that managed to find their way into the room and onto the bed. I eventually resorted to going to the pharmacy across the street to buy a bottle of insect repellent and spraying it all over the windows and screens every morning - with a spritz over the duvet - to try to keep the bugs out, for which I was moderately successful.) These windows look down into an alleyway, which separate the back wall of the guesthouse from what appear to be local residences. I could see a cage with a monkey in it (which was made annoying little cries throughout the night). Since the Laotians still cook using the traditional charcoal clay cooking stove, once dusk falls, the smell of the burning charcoal is prevalent and you have to close the windows to filter it out. From this back building, I didn't get much street noise, but I did get the noise from the local residences, especially early in the morning, which might be bothersome for a light sleeper.

Overall, I found the Phounsab to be a nice, no-frills, and very functional guesthouse. The room was clean, the dark wooden floors gleam, the bed linens were really very nice. I tried to book through their website, but the link directed me to Agoda. Oddly, when I made the reservation through the Agoda website, I got a message saying that I would pay once I got to the guesthouse, but when I arrived to check in, I was told that my payment had already been made through Agoda. The rate came out to $40/night. Breakfast is not included, but that is definitely not a problem with the cafes, bakeries, and restaurants that open up early to serve breakfast. On my last morning, I noticed that that they have hot water for tea and coffee in the courtyard, but that wasn't explained when I got there (nice enough staff but very short on explanations).

You can also request airport transfer through the hotel e-mail address. The cost is $10 for the airport taxi (a large air conditioned van) to pick you up at the airport and take you to the guesthouse. Pay the taxi driver directly. Upon departure, I asked the front desk how much a tuk tuk to the airport would cost it I was given a cost of 50,000 kip (about $6.25), which I arranged for, but I think you are better off doing this independently. The tuk tuk driver was the friend of the person who happened to be at the front desk at the time I inquired and I found it rather irregular that another couple was going to share the tuk tuk with me but that they were also charged 50,000 kip together (not individually). It didn't make much sense because the tuk tuk should have been 50,000 kip total whether one person or six.

If you are going to observe the alms procession, position yourself in front of Villa Santi, which is maybe a seven to ten minute walk east of the guesthouse. I tried three different locations and this one is by far the best. (And if you are going to participate in the alms procession, find a reputable guesthouse or restaurant to prepare the sticky rice for you. The street vendors who try to sell you a large basket of sticky rice for a dollar use very poor quality rice that is notorious for making the monks sick.)

Room Tip: The guests with private balconies really seemed to enjoy sitting outside, but the rooms in the other...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Anon100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zaandam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 January 2012

The Phousab Guesthouse is in the center of everything. On the main street, next to the night market and a lot of restaurants and shops. We stayed almost two weeks in Phounsab guesthouse and liked it very much. Room with own balcony on the backside. Reception very friendly and helpful. The wooden floors looks like mirrors by the very intense polishing. The room had no television. Is that a loss? Not for me. There is one frigidaire which you share with three other rooms. No problems. Day and night you have hot water for coffee or tea.
The price was very reasonable for a room with balcony in just this place. So I can recommend this guesthouse very much

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Hessel29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris, France
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 December 2011

Many times in Luang Prabang and I found just this last november (2011) the place where to stay in Luang Prabang. From the welcome till the room discovery, Phounsab Guesthouse will enthusiasm you. Big and clean room with nice furniture. A comfortable mattress, the charm of the wood, air con, cleaning everyday, a quiet but central place. The owner is a lovely lady who will appreciate to share with you. Do not hesitate anymore if you are on this page, you will not find better for this price.
Definitely the place where I will go back.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Coupcoeur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 December 2011

Stayed here for 3 nights and really enjoyed the overall experience. The rooms were clean, bed comfortable, hot water running, and very close to the night market/phu si/other attractions, yet quiet enough to sleep in. The morning alms procession is also right down the street! We got the rooms to the back of the guesthouse, so that may have lended to the peace and quiet. If i come back to Luang Prabang, i would definitely come back to stay.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank mushu1218
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
70 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 November 2011

Great little guesthouse right in the heart of Luang Prabang. Very convenient and comfortable.

We moved here after 3 nights at Thongbay. Thongbay was very nice but less convenient as we had to take a tuk tuk back or wait for the shuttle.

Love this little guesthouse for the service and very reliable hot water. The room was clean and everything worked. The staff were helpful and friendly.

Highly recommended.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jtravels70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luang Prabang, Laos
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 7 November 2011

The Phounsab Gueshouse is located in the center of Luangprabang, It is next to All Lao Services Company and close to National Museum, Phousy Mountain and a lot of restaurant a long the main road. Now Phounsab Guesthouse is presented the new building, the styled is integrate between modern and Lao style. The rooms are clean, safe and full facilities and is very important that the owner is very nice and casual.
For more information please contact directly to Mrs. Tengone Khomsonelasinh, email address: tengone123@yahoo.com or visit website: www.phoun-thavy-sab.jimdo.com

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kone_phong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Phounsab Guesthouse

Property: Phounsab Guesthouse
Address: Sakkarine Road | City Center, Luang Prabang 06000, Laos
Region: Laos > Luang Prabang Province > Luang Prabang
Amenities:
Free Parking Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #24 of 259 B&Bs / Inns in Luang Prabang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Phounsab Guesthouse 2.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are the best kept secret in accommodation in Luang Prabang. Do you want everything Luang Prabang has to offer to be easy access for you? Do you want a safe, quiet, clean and serene room to come back to every day? No need to compromise. Our location is second to none, yet the guesthouse rooms are situated in a beautiful quiet courtyard away from the main road. Everything you wish to do and see, is at your fingertips here (No need to deal with Tuk Tuk drivers): * Early morning monk alms parade is on the main road just in front of the guesthouse. * all the travel agencies to book activities (elephant rides, sight seeing, rent motorcycle, bicycle etc) are next door. * All the restaurants are next door to the left of us. * Lao message parlours and spas are to the left of us, including wonderfull Lao herbal steam sauna (after 4:30pm). * Royal palace, theater and Phousi mountain are to the right of us. * Ferry to cross Makong river and hike (or bicycle) to temple with magical views of Luang Prabang is one block away. * Night market entrance is to our right. Including Fruit shakes, crepes, sandwiches. * Two mini-marts are infront of guesthouse, for your convenience. (open to 11:00pm) * Can park motorcycle and bicycle inside safe guesthouse courtyard. Though the entrance of the guesthouse is on the main road, a long corridor leads to the beautiful and serene courtyard, where your rooms are in total silence. (Also away from temples beating drums at dawn). Our rooms are newly renovated, clean and relaxing with A/C and refrigerator. Hot water and tea and coffe are also available. We welcome you ... more   less 
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