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“Lovely stay at Ban E-Tu Waterfall Resort”

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Baan E-Tu Waterfall Resort
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Paksong
Reviewed 12 June 2013

Our 3 night stay at Ban E-Tu Waterfall resort was a highlight of our time in Laos during May 2013.
From when the accommodating and generous owner Khambay picked us up from Pakse airport and took us for a superb local breakfast until he left us down at Don Khong Island after a big day trip and dinner a few days later, we enjoyed wonderful hospitality and feel we experienced a wonderful cross section of what the south of Laos offer in food, sights and culture.
The resorts tour program allowed us to visit many special local eateries, amazing waterfalls, tour through the Bolaven plateau and visited the Champasak area, benefiting from being with a Laos speaking returned resident who has a deep appreciation of his region of birth and the traditional cultures and developing cottage industries.
Our room was a lovely bungalow set above the waterfall with lush plants all around. The grounds require a gardener, but this will be addressed in due time and the atmosphere is very natural.The room was very clean and nicely furnished with the fluffiest, whitest towels of all the accommodation we stayed in during our 5 weeks in Asia. It was very comfortable with a large balcony, beautiful timber floors, 2 walls of windows, one side being screened so that you could sleep with the windows open. No air conditioning required due to the altitude and although a very hot time of the year when we stayed the ceiling fan and open window were adequate, which was a lovely change. The relaxing sounds of the waterfall were all you heard at night.
The breakfasts were a little hit and miss, but we appreciated that it is fairly isolated and the resort staff are still being trained. The dinners there are fine and all this will continue to be fine tuned.
Annette, the resorts 'jill of all trades' is doing a fantastic job of raising the housekeeping and laundry standards and training the young local staff to take pride in their work and to meet the owner's ideals of what the resort can offer. There are many exciting plans in the pipeline to enhance the experience for day guests to the waterfall as well as those staying at the resort.
We welcomed the open and friendly interactions with our hosts and learnt so much more than you otherwise would as independent tourists.
We loved our second visit to Laos, but our first to the south, and our stay at Ban E-Tu facilitated us making the most of our time there. I highly recommend the resort and would stay again.

Room Tip: The bungalows closest to the waterfall are the best rooms
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank havaholiday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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33 - 39 of 91 reviews

Reviewed 5 June 2013

The food at the restaurant is really good, and the youth who work around here are helpful. Wifi's good too.

However for more reserved female solo travellers, be mentally prepared with the manager's effusive hospitality who might be too forward for some to bear.

Make sure you travel further out to see the more spectacular waterfalls in the area. I recommend hiring a guide on your own before coming to this place.

Fair-trade coffee -- really nice!

Room Tip: As near the ground level as possible, as some of the rooms require you to go up the hills a little.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank Zinks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 June 2013

For the second time, we spent the night in this beautiful resort during Lao New Year .We definitely wanted our family, for their first time in Lao, to fly back with beautiful stages and places in mind.
But staying at E-Tu is not only about sleeping in a peaceful and high-standard bungalow in the middle of the nature, it is also about meeting really nice people.
Finally, one last advice : should you not have time enough to sleep (and again, this would be a great mistake), just have a quick lunch there : it is the best food we have ever tried in Laos. Their Pineapple-chicken salad is just amazing.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank SPJL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2013

Lovely hotel, situated on a coffee plantation surrounded by nature. It has it’s own lovely waterfall where it is possible and lovely to go for a swim (at the foot of the waterfall). It is a bit of a climb to get to the waterfall and back but the views are priceless. Bungalows are built surrounded by trees en greenery. Nice to sit on the balcony and watch for birds. There is a nice restaurant with good meals. Rooms are nice, beds and shower are good. All the staff come from the local surroundings so in a way it is also supporting the local economy. At the highway is a stand to buy fair trade coffee. We loved this place: two big thumbs up.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank NoBodySPerfect1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2013 via mobile

The rooms and location of the family-run resort are excellent. Very clean and comfy beds. While sitting on your balcony, you feel like you're in the middle of nature with the noise of water falling down and the sounds of the insects. There's a very calming and relaxed atmosphere.
The staff and especially mr. Khambay go above and beyond to make your stay as comfortable as humanly possible. I had the best time while staying here and therefor came back to spend my last night in Lao. Lao-people are known for their hospitality, but at etu-resort they give it a whole new meaning.
They serve nice local food as well as western food in the restaurant of the resort for reasonable prices.
Tip: arrange a trekking to the waterfalls by a local guide via mr. Khambay: this is the best!

  • Stayed: March 2013
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3  Thank Reneevankraaij
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2013

I do not know which planet Matthew S is from but his review could not be further from our experience. My wife and I were travelling inLao with our son and his Chinese girlfriend. This resort was as good as anything we stayed in on our travels and certainly one of the most beautiful settings.

It is isolated so you need to plan accordingly and the resort will arrange tours, treks and one young couple from Europe had stayed ther several weeks and they were thrilled with it all.

The owner, Mr Khambay is an honourable person and there was no evidence of "child" labour. He does employ young people from poorer families and spends a great deal of his time training them. The "foreign" worker was a French Canadian woman working there out of choice and I am sure she would not stay if ther was any question of exploitation.

Inevitably there was the odd breakdown in communication, as much our fault as theirs but the underlying desire from all there was to be helpful and everyone was very friendly.

The food in the restaurant was good but sometimes some items were unavailable because there was no possibility of instant supplies as Pakse was 35 km away and local villages did not have much in the way of shops.

I would have no hesitation of recommending this resort as a base for exploring this fascinating area of Lao.

Room Tip: Try and get one of the rooms 01 to 07 to save a bit of a climb up the hill.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank Stan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2013

Well what can I say, an old coffee plantation turned into a "resort" surrounded by valleys of green and waterfalls...beautiful yes, but its more than meets the eye...

The rooms are nice I must admit but something seemed off, when I woke up for breakfast after a late check in, a foreign "worker" told me if I wanted breakfast just ask one of the children "who was sleeping on the floor" to make you a pancake. I was wondering what does this woman do working here?

I ended up just serving myself a coffee, and for being a resort their choice of breakfast was appalling, child labour pancake, no juice just sugar water and cut pineapple and serve yourself coffee.

I was hoping to get some laundry or get some intonation about the place but its a ghost town for services or employees. I just walked to the nearby towns to make the best of this remote location.

When I returned late in the day, the room wasn't clean, the restaurant was dark with children on the floor, in which I guess I could have woken them to make me something and there was still no one at the front desk.

I called the manager and asked if I could check out and I would go to a guess house in pakse, but he offered me to stay for free and they would make it up. So they moved to a cleaned room and sent a team of children to clean up the pervious room. I really wanted to leave at this point because they didn't offer any food in this location besides the child labour restaurant which they made them open so I could eat.

I felt terrible and ashamed to be staying an supporting this place, the exploitation of the children who need to work just to sleep on the floor is appalling, and I knew I was apart of it.

No taxi would pick me up from this location and the owner said he would drive me im the morning to the bus stop. That night I stayed up with a local boy who worked there since he was 13, telling me all the injustices of his life, tho he was content and I believe it was because he never knew better. How can a place which makes and charges so much give so little back to the locals, yet the foreigner workers live a much easier life.

The next morning my free room was still charged, I mentioned it to the owner who's word isn't what I thought and still charge me half price, he brought me to the bus stop and put me on the wrong bus, which I guess I should have doubled checked since he couldn't be trusted.

So if you want to keep you eyes closed and still continue to support this exploitation of the Lao children, go ahead, it's a nice room in a nice place. But if you wish to be human, avoid this places and spend your money on a guest house and a local school or temple. The shame will stay with you during your travels otherwise

  • Stayed: March 2013
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2  Thank Matthew S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Baan E-Tu Waterfall Resort

Address: Km. 35, Number 13 Pakse-Paksong, Paksong 1608, Laos
Region: Laos > Champasak Province > Paksong
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Paksong
Price Range: £21 - £30 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 37
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to "Baan E-Tu Waterfall Resort" where waterfalls are at your backyard! After renovation in May 2014, we are now ready for full service with hospitality. Be relax and enjoy in the nature where fauna and flora are carefully preserved. You can hear birds and cricket sing along with the chant of waterfalls that happen to be just in your backyard while fragrance of herb and spice drift through the air from our kitchen "Jong Kum" restaurant that wait to serve you with fine local clean and tasty cuisine under concept "Farm to table" Coffee, one of the main quality products of south Lao , is also ready to served in our cozy open air restaurant or at your balcony. Imagine sipping Lao coffee in the ambient forest of green..breathing fresh air..what more you can ask for!! We encourage you to learn local culture as well! Touring coffee garden, visit organic farm, trekking , elephant bathing watch and visiting temple is available upon your request. Clean and comfortable room is provided for your good night sleep.Wi-Fi and hot water is provided in our resort. Our friendly staffs are more than happy to assist and service you. Come and visit us soon!! We are looking forward to seeing you. -Baan E-Tu Waterfall Resort Team ... more   less 
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