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“it's all about money”

Villa Aphay Guest House
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Villa Aphay Guest House
Ranked #193 of 257 Luang Prabang B&B and Inns
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
“it's all about money”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 July 2014

The guesthouse itself is great: nice room, AC, tv, bathroom, ventilator, clean, awesome location, kind staff, it looked like a great deal really.

However the owners like money, in fact they like it so much that they relentlessly push their guests (us and others) to buy their excursions, to take their van, daily inquiring about our plans and explaining their offers. Unfortunately a kind 'no thank you' does not work here, it only made them more eager to sell: every time you walk by they come up to you. Inappropriate and unnecessary, it annoyed us so much we made an effort to book every little thing elsewhere.

Having our laundry done here resulted in a scam: the male owner lied to our faces when asked if he had a dryer: we walked out in the afternoon and saw our clothes drying outside in the street. I do not care how you dry my clothes, just be honest and do not make things prettier by lying. They blatantly charged us more than the actual weight of our laundry, switching our nice laundry bags for worn out bags and feigning not to understand we want our bags back. We wondered why our clothes were a bit stif and less soft: after smelling our clothes we realized they had not used detergent... We simply took our laundry elsewhere after this.

Last but not least we had recommended this place to people we met whilst traveling and they also booked rooms. The male owner did not inform them about check out time and when one of them checked out too late he charged her with half the costs of an overnight stay. She ended up leaving in a hurry after we tried reasoning with him, it made no difference to him: he waved some paper in front of us and called me a bad person.

Both owners insist you pay everything immediately, even if it is something as little as a drink whilst you just paid for your stay and laundry. Coming from Amsterdam and having worked in tourism, I am used to all kinds of awkwardness and funny misunderstandings. This is different: it's all about the money at Villa Aphay, when we left the male owner turned his head away and did not great us. His employee stood next to him and was very polite, luckily staff is not influenced by their greedy bosses.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ollie V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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27 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    4
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    4
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Business
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Paris
Level Contributor
34 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 January 2014 via mobile

We had room number 7 which was large and clean with comfortable bed but we realised surprisingly during the night that the windows don't have glass! The night was not that cold so it wasn't such a problem but the next day we were quite troubled until midnight by a lot of noise and music coming from the bars around the GH...
The wifi network is available only in the hall and not in the room.
The owners are nice but a bit too pushy to sell packages where they obviously get commissions.
Overall ok stay considering the price but definitely not the best.

Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank NLegend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Haarlem, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
105 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 December 2013

We stayed one night and were pleased with the rooms, good location and the fact that we could book our next transport to Vang Vieng from here. The guesthouse is opposite Wat Visoun which is the oldest temple in Luang Prabang. It is easy to walk to the centre, the Mekong and all the nice places for lounging and drinks are just around the corner. Hive and Utopia are highly recommended as is L'Etranger.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tanja V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 December 2013 via mobile

I stayed here for one night two years prior, however had little intention of returning to this guesthouse again (although I was happy with it last time).

We stayed two disastrous nights at two separate guesthouses next door to utopia bar and we walked past asked if they had rooms decided to stay. We pay 80k for a night in a small room with a ceiling fan, exhaust fan double bed and hot water.

We pay 40k a night less than our previous guesthouse and are glad we made the change.

First, at the moment its quite cool in luang prabang so air con isn't needed, even our fan was only turned on once briefly...

Second the bed isn't so bad. I cannot do tough matresses but the bed was comfortable albeit not fantasticly soft.

Third hot water. Neither of our two previous houses had good pressure hot water so this was a welcome change.

Now a word on the owners. They are lovely and nice, if a little annoying at times but for the place its no problem unless you are extremely anti social with issues talking to people.

Location is great but please beware, walking through wat ahpay isn't cool.

Also the ceiling fan, someone complained about it... the fan switch has two side settings. You don't need the swing rotation on at all if that's your thing so complaining about something that you can shut off is childish and arrogant.

We stayed 7 nights.

Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank -Davobr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boulder
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 July 2013 via mobile

We made the mistake of booking 5 nights for Villa Aphay on agoda. Don't do it! Our experience went from okay to bad to worse.

When we first arrived it seemed okay, the young front desk guy and the male owner are very nice. We were happy to find the location is close to cool restaurants and bars like Hive and in the same alleyway as Utopia. The room was very small, just fits a double bed, and God awful hot with just a fan and no vent. Still we thought, cheap room, what can you expect. We heard from friends that right around the corner is another hotel that has AC for the same price. Boo.

The bed was the WORST bed in Southeast Asia, and we've been traveling for two months. It felt like sleeping on a sack of rocks. I barely slept between that, the heat, and the stupid rotating ceiling fan that blows in your face every 10 seconds. Still, we tried to suck it up and accept that we had a cheap room...

After two days I was so tired it was ruining my trip in luang prabang. Since we already paid 5 nights we asked for our money back. They said no since we booked on agoda. They suggested we flip the bed. We actually did that, just as bad. Ok, how about changing rooms? They said we would have to wait until the last night. At least the room they changed us to had a vent that sucked out hot air and a slightly less painful bed but still bad. Why there was such a since in rooms I don't know.

Amidst all this I had them do my laundry. The female owner told me that my clothes weighed 4kg which is crazy. Everywhere else has been 1.5kg. When I questioned this she said, oh its extra for machine drying which is [--] because all my clothes were drying outside! We argued for a little then I just ended up paying. Reviewer before me also had a bad experience with owner and laundry. It left a bad taste in my mouth that she was so blatantly dishonest!

Overall there are better places to stay with honest people, similar prices, and actually comfortable rooms. I would not recommend it.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ryina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Luang Prabang hotels

Thunder Bay, Canada
Level Contributor
115 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2013

Our room was great -- it was exceptionally clean, as was the entire property; it was nicely furnished (many places in this price range are quite spartan); and the bed was the most comfortable that I have slept on in a long time. Another plus -- the owners (and the young guy who mans the desk during the night)are very friendly, helpful, and accommodating. One thing we didn't like -- wifi didn't work in our room only in the hall. Our room had AC, the hall didn't -- need I say more.

We had a great impression of this guest house right up until we left. This place also offers mini van transportation and we liked them so we wanted to support them. We had a 6 hour trip to make and decided to use their service. The dad said his son would drive us, the son clarified that to say he would only drive if two more people signed on (we're a group of four and he needed six to make it worthwhile). That night when we bought our tickets we were told that there was six and we would be using the guest house van (I assume with the son driving as that had been the agreement). The next morning we met the other two people and they were under the same impression we were -- guest house van, son driving. Next thing we know they're gone (we still had sometime before we were to leave so we were doing some last minute things) and we are being picked up by a tuk tuk and taken to the mini van station. Once there we loaded 12 (yes 12) people into the minivan. Instead of a comfortable ride with seven we had an uncomfortable ride with twelve -- and no explanation from the guest house! (I'm guessing that our guest house took a commission and farmed us out! That's the thanks we get for trying to support them.) Anyway, Montezuma's revenge had struck me the night before and I was still having some stomach problems, so I asked to sit in the front. I was told I could not. That was unfortunate. Then Everyone's stuff was put on the roof -- no problem there until we saw the tarp used to cover everything. Unlike some of the drivers who actual had a tarp big enough to cover everything (and did a thorough job of covering everything), our driver's tarp was to small to cover everything and he wasn't inclined to get more tarp or rearrange things so that everything would be covered. Rain was forecasted -- had it rained some of our stuff (books, gifts) would have been ruined and everything else would have been wet. Needless to say my impression of our guest house changed -- and not for the better!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TBSuz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 June 2013

The rooms and location are pretty good for what you get. The older man who owns the guesthouse is very sweet. Unfortunately I had an incident with the other owner. I was charged twice for my laundry. I had already paid in advance and told the woman that very politely. She ended up screaming at me and saying I didn't pay. In the end I just paid twice to avoid the hassle of her and the rest of the staff working there surrounding me saying I didn't pay. A very unpleasant experience.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Cherish Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villa Aphay Guest House

Property: Villa Aphay Guest House
Address: 57/4 Phomathath Road, Luang Prabang 0600, Laos
Region: Laos > Luang Prabang Province > Luang Prabang
Hotel Style:
Ranked #193 of 257 B&Bs / Inns in Luang Prabang
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Villa Aphay Guest House 2*
Number of rooms: 9
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