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“A beautiful, peaceful haven” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Zen Namkhan Boutique Resort

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Zen Namkhan Boutique Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Ban Xieng Lom
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A beautiful, peaceful haven”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 January 2014

We stayed at modest accommodation for most of our time in Luang Prabang, but splurged for three nights at the Zen Resort to celebrate our wedding anniversary and the new year. We're so glad we did! The location is beautiful and secluded, the scenery is breathtaking, the staff - especially Kham Sane - are very accommodating, and the food is delicious with a great range of options (including vegetarian options). Our bungalow was private and spacious with a balcony overlooking the river, and the bed was incredibly comfortable. We took our cue from our surroundings and just relaxed for most of our stay, apart from a four hour kyaking trip down the river, via the Tad Sae waterfall. We were even lucky enough to see elephants bathing along the way. Our only disappointments were not being able to have a Japanese bath (no longer in operation) and deciding not to get a massage (as the massage room is not very private). Overall though, it was a wonderful 'retreat like' experience and one of the highlights of our trip to Luang Prabang.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank PixMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
indianajone27, Owner at Zen Namkhan Boutique Resort, responded to this review, 29 January 2014
Dear guest, Kopchai! to take the time to write your comments on our resort and give us your feedback. I am happy to be able to share our dream with you. Please note we offer massage in the room and we plan to built a special room for massage near the waterfall where it's more private.
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221 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (41)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Dhaka City, Bangladesh
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2014

Really enjoyed this resort. We stayed 3 nights in mid-Dec when there was a cold snap. The rooms on the river were beautiful, the food was fantastic and the ability to relax all day long here was well worth the money. The fire pit was an added bonus during the cold weather. Great hosts as well. We were confused for breakfast as we thought it was included but were given menus with prices each morning. I did not order a full breakfast thinking it was a bit $ only to find out it was included in our price. Otherwise, a perfect stay.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SaraLat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
indianajone27, Owner at Zen Namkhan Boutique Resort, responded to this review, 7 January 2014
Dear guest, thank you to take the time to gives us your impression about our resort. I am happy that you appreciate what we did and share the beauty of the nature of Laos and its tranquility. I am sorry about the confusion for the menu of our breakfast, we put the price for the guest coming from outside. Our breakfast it's included in the room. Thank again on the name of all our staff. Luc
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Level Contributor
15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 December 2013 via mobile


the resort offers beautiful bungalows with great views in an absolute quiet surrounding. the owner and his wife as well as the staff were very friendly. the swimming pool is beautifully located with a perfect mountain view. the kitchen was the best we got during our whole journey. we did very relaxing trekking tours and hope to come back one day.

Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Renate S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
indianajone27, Owner at Zen Namkhan Boutique Resort, responded to this review, 14 December 2013
Dear Guest, Thank you to take the time to give us your impression & feeling about the resort. Its encourage us and our staff to Keep Going and to give our best to serve our clientele!
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NY, NY
Level Contributor
33 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 November 2013 via mobile

Tripadvisor reviews don't do Zen justice. Beautiful location of our bungalow overlooking river and mountains. Very helpful and knowledgeable Quebec/Lao husband and wife team who built and run the resort lovingly. Wonderfully refreshing fresh water pool without chlorine, the perfect finish to an excellent massage and wood fired steam room. Great kayaking on Namkin River with kayaks supplied by the resort, and very good hiking from the resort too. Good food. And only 1/2 hour from the center of Luang Prabang for a fraction of the cost of town hotels and resorts. Our only regret is that we spent our first 2 nights staying at a "fancy" resort in town, leaving us only 2 nights at Zen. Unless you need lots of "pampering", stay at Zen.

Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank discriminator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
indianajone27, Owner at Zen Namkhan Boutique Resort, responded to this review, 28 November 2013
Dear guest, we really appreciate your comments. We know it's impossible to give satisfaction or to please to everyone. But a what a comfort to our moral when customers appreciate what has been achieved and the efforts we have put. thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us.
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St. Jean de Gonville, France
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 November 2013

The hotel is a wonderful hideaway, really an eco-lodge with individual
villas, chalet style, in the forest or near the Nam Khan River. What the
website does not emphasise is
that the Elephant village and the neighbouring village of Xieng Lom are only
a half-hour walk away, and that the hotel’s boat (pirogue) can take you in
ten minutes to the Tad Sae waterfalls. It was fortunate for us that after
the heavy rains in October, the many separate tiers of falls were
magnificent, the swimming was great, and rides on the elephants and
bathing with the elephants were available. The hotel has a beautiful natural
swimming pool overlooking the mountains; you can also wander round the
gardens, admiring the many
butterflies or sit overlooking life on the river. The hosts, Jean-Luc and
Moon are welcoming and informative and the friendly, smiling staff, led by
Mr Kham Saen, looked
after us very well. Moon is a fantastic cook and serves a wide range of
Asian and European dishes cooked to order using fresh produce. The hotel is
at the moment twenty
minutes from Luang Prabang, not a big deal but next year this should shrink
to ten minutes when the road works are finished.
We had a marvellous six nights in the Zen Namkhan Boutique Hotel.

Room Tip: We appreciated the air-conditioned rooms
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tpraml
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
indianajone27, Owner at Zen Namkhan Boutique Resort, responded to this review, 28 November 2013
Dear guest, thank you so much to take the time to give us your feed back. It's not easy to please everyone but we try hard! Your comment encourage us to continue to work hard to make the stay of our guest at zen Namkhan unforgettable. Thank you again on the name of all our staff.
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Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
40 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 October 2013

Zen Namkhan Resort is a fabulous little find. Located just outside Luang Prabang and with the most beautiful mountain views, this is a place to unwind, relax and enjoy nature and tranquility.

The rooms are clean, quiet and very comfy and they are beautifully furnished and decorated. We sat each afternoon on the verandah of our room, or in the upstairs lounge, and watched the slow change from day to night. Fantastic!

The service is great and the staff really friendly and welcoming. The natural pool was probably a little too natural for me. We visited in September and it was very humid and damp. The pool had a algae growing all over the bottom and sides and swimming made it float to the top. Eeergh. I just didn't put my head under the water!

Possibly the only negative I could add, and this is probably more a cultural thing and my issue more than anyone else's, but there were two little monkeys in a cage near the entrance. They really require a larger cage with more things to stimulate them. The Manager did say he would look at a larger cage but he may have just been keeping me happy. I hope if I return that I find the monkeys housed in a more appropriate enclosure. :)

This is certainly a little luxury you should try to book.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Muhoh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
indianajone27, Owner at Zen Namkhan Boutique Resort, responded to this review, 12 November 2013
Dear Guest, First thank you to take the time to share your experience at our resort and send us your feed back. I will like to give more information regarding your mention about the cage of the monkeys. The size of the cage come from Florida Caging Regulation (see: Monkeyzone, a website speciliazed in monkeys cage). For the size of our monkeys (we call them Bonny & Clyde) they said: (Spider or Capucin) For one or two animals, a cage of six feet long by six feet wide by eight feet high prefererable walk-in, with three parallel swinging bars. Actually our cage exceed those dimension by 1 foot. I can said they are in cage for there protection otherwise they will be hunted by villager! For the swimming pool I am sorry for the inconvenient of the green algues I have to admit at that time I had only one pump the other one I was in repair waiting for pieces coming from France. But since everything it's in order and we clean and clean again the swimming pool. I cannot avoid to green algues it's part of the ecosystem of the ecologic swimming pool but we working hard to limit the inconvenient Please receive my Best Regards.
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Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
120 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 October 2013

We recently stayed at this charming resort for 3 nights during our visit to Luang Prabang. The resort is about a 20 minute drive from Luang Prabang village (and that will be even less once they finish a fantastic new paved road).

The hotel is situated in the middle of nature, overlooking the beautiful mountains, the surrounding jungle and the Nam Khan River. It was so peaceful and tranquil - the perfect escape from a busy life and a chance to rejuvenate. Watching the fog roll across the river in the mornings, was simply breathtaking. We stayed in the Plenitude bungalow - accessed by a hanging bridge. It was hair-raising to cross it but we felt very adventurous indeed! Note that you do need a degree of fitness to get to this bungalow - it is a fairly steep walk of around 7 to 10 minutes. For those who are disinclined for a bit of exercise, we suggest you choose one of the other villa's as they are closer to the main building and do not require the hanging bridge crossing. The Plenitude bungalow has air conditioning but we never needed to use it as it was cooler in the evenings. It was nicely furnished and there was a small mini bar fridge with a few items and enough room to also keep your own snacks or drinks. The balcony surrounding the bungalow, was beautiful and large (the owner also gave us a hammock to string across the balcony which we really enjoyed). We spent many hours just taking in the beautiful views of the mountains and the river - watching the fishermen catch fish or the buffalo wander across the shoreline. Apparently when the river is lower, even elephants can be seen walking along. Please remember that you are in the middle of nature and that means you will certainly meet the critters who also live there. From butterflies the size of your hand, to unique beetles and yes even the odd spider or two. Accept their presence and enjoy the opportunity to see them in their natural environment. They are all harmless! There is also a mosquito net so you sleep with that closed and all is well for those who get a bit jittery ;). And if mosquitos bother you, they also provide mosquito coils in the room.

The quality of the home cooked food was very good and we enjoyed the option to select what we wanted for breakfast too. Their homemade jams made with the fruits from their own fruit farm, were delicious! We found the restaurant menu to be very reasonably priced (sometimes under-priced in our view - especially the wine which they are only charging at cost and not even making a profit on!). Way too generous ;)

The natural swimming pool was just gorgeous. What an amazing concept and with the most beautiful design - the water was crystal clear and that is achieved without the use of chemicals as they allow nature to do the filtering and cleaning. It is like swimming in a natural stream as the pool overlooked the mountains and the beautifully landscaped gardens. Note that the Japanese baths are no longer in operation but a new steam room has just been built right next to the pool. We look forward to using it during our next visit ;)

The thing which sets this place apart are the owners Luc and Moon (oh and their friendly and most adorable dog Chansone). We really enjoyed speaking with them about everything and anything - they were very engaged with their guests yet also unobtrusive. We were given complete privacy yet we knew they were at hand should we need anything. Also their manager (argh we forgot his name) was very friendly and peaceful. And Moon's cooking - as mentioned above, was really done with a lot of love and care.

We highly recommend this place for nature lovers and people who want to escape the rat race. It is fairly isolated but that is what makes it so very special and unique. No it is not perfect but somehow this adds to the charm. A place like this is a labour of love and it was clear to us that Moon and Luc were always seeking new ways to do things and were not afraid to seek the input of their guests. This impressed us as it demonstrated their concern for the comfort of their guests and the overall concept of this property. We would chose this lovely resort above those standard dull big-brand mass market hotels any day. We can't wait to visit again but this time with friends in tow. This place is too good to not show off!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MrsSuisse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
indianajone27, Owner at Zen Namkhan Boutique Resort, responded to this review, 5 November 2013
Dear guest, Thank you & thank you! Your comments encourage us to continue to serve our guest the best we can... We are not perfect and sometime it's impossible but we try hard!!
When I have a chance to have a good communication with my guest and be able to share MON COUP DE COEUR for Laos I can said it's my return on investment!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Zen Namkhan Boutique Resort

Property: Zen Namkhan Boutique Resort
Address: 082, Ban Xieng Lom, Luang Prabang 06000, Laos
Region: Laos > Luang Prabang Province > Luang Prabang > Ban Xieng Lom
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Ban Xieng Lom
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Zen Namkhan Boutique Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Luang Prabang at 12 km form the center, it's the perfect place to enjoy the breathtaking on the Namkhan River and mountains. You will be able to enjoy the NamKhan River with a serene boat ride, kayak or Trek around the Resort and Tad Sae Waterfall or doing yoga and meditation. We just finish to built a new steam room next to our swimming pool. The beautiful onsite restaurant offer excellent choice of menus, using ingredients from organic produces like herbs and vegetables. Unwind at the Ecological chlorine-free pool after a tiring day. Zen Namkhan Boutique Resort is a perfect sanctuary for leisure travelers who seek for sophistication within a serene environment. Please note the new road to Luang Prabang it's almost completed. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Zen Namkhan Boutique Hotel Ban Xieng Lom

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