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“Much more than just a stopover!”

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Sanctuary Pakbeng Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Pakbeng
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 May 2014

We arrived at the Pakbeng Lodge boat dock just before sunset on route to Luang Prabang on the Shompoo Cruise from the Houy Xai/Chiang Khong- Laos/Thailand border crossing. After a short hike up from the riverside with hotel porters carrying our baggage we reached Pakbeng Lodge perched high above the riverbank overlooking the Mekong below. I have to say that it is probably one of the best hotel locations I've stayed in. Our comfortable room was beautifully furnished with minimalist traditional Lao decorations but had a modern clean en suite bathroom. The view from our balcony was amazing looking up the Mekong with its islands and changing colours as the sun went down.
We had a 5 minute walk, before our included dinner, down to village which had an outback feeling but was showing signs of developing tourism. Dinner was excellent - Lao cuisine with French influence - served by friendly and attentive staff in a wonderful open plan bar/dining area with an outdoor deck looking down on to the river.
I would certainly recommend the Pakbeng Lodge for its location, ambience and service. My only regret is that this was an overnight stay and we had no time to explore the elephant camp across the river.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Colin G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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106 - 112 of 355 reviews

Reviewed 11 May 2014

Pakbeng Lodge is beautiful lodge, located on the Mekong riverbank with absolutely breathtaking views .
GM Mr. Stan and his team go out of their way to make your stay at comfortable as possible.
Both lodges and restaurants are well designed, perfectly clean and have well assured the nicest beds in the region.
Nice complimentary breakfast with waffles and homemade bread.

Because of the remote location of Pakbeng, you will arrive late afternoon and will have to leave early morning. Instead of just staying overnight, I highly recommend to stay an extra day/night to enjoy what Pakbeng lodge has to offer. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Mekong elephant camp.
Elephants are treated with great love by both management and caretakers. You will not find a similar experience in the region where you will can take a beautiful ride and can even bath in the mekong with the elephants!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Aitg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2014

We stayed at the Pakbenhg Hotel for one night as part of an organised tour and were very impressed. Admittedly the visit didn't start too well with a steep climb from the boat mooring up to the Hotel (although there was plenty of help available for luggage) but thereafter the stay was very good. Once up the hill the location and views over the Mekong were lovely. The rooms were decorated completely using bamboo which made them somewhat dark- additional lighting would certainly have been a benefit. Although there wasn't air con, the netted windows provided adequate ventilation. There also wasn't any TV which we didn't find a problem as there didn't seem to be many English channels available generally in the area. The shower was served by an individual gas boiler that was very efficient but a bit sensitive to control. The hotel is located 5 minutes from town that has lots of backpacker guest houses and some interesting and quirky shops. As a medium sized group we found that there wasn't enough seating in the lounge area so some of us had to stand, service at the bar was also a bit variable- I had to go and find someone to serve me another drink during dinner. The food was excellent by the way.

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking the river ideally on the upper floor
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank BobBonHere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2014

We saw this place as we went past on the river and knew we wanted to stay there. Although we are on a budget, after seven hours on a boat, we decided to treat ourselves, saving money by not taking breakfast and intending to purchase something in the morning from a local cafe. Upon check in, we were advised a complimentary breakfast would be included after all and we would be driven back to the pier in the morning in good time.

We were bought welcome drinks and taken to our upgraded room, right at the very highest level of this beautiful hotel. The views and the silence were stunning. The room was wonderfully appointed, and l adored the French infusion in the architecture. It really added to the class of the room. It was lovely to open up the entire wall to the balcnony and view the Mekong from bed.

We went to get a drink in the upstairs bar, again overlooking the Mekong and got chatting to the manager, a lovely French man who was very concerned we had everything we needed. We mentioned we were intending to go out and get some dinner. Five minutes later, he came back and said as we looked so comfortable, we could take advantage of a complimemtary set menu for dinner if we wished. Which we did! The staff were so friendly - l was surprised to read other comments lamenting them for not speaking English more proficiently. As we are in another country, in my opinion, it is not for the staff to learn our language, and politeness can still be conveyed though smiles and gestures. We had at least learned the Laos words for hello and thank you so managed to get through a very pleasant meal before taking our glasses up to our balcony for a great nights sleep.

Breakfast was plentiful! Waffles to start, followed by eggs, toast, fruit and juice. The only criticism l would make is that a hotel of this calibre could offer real milk as opposed to coffee mate. That is the only criticism l have of the entire stay.

I would not hesitate to stay again.

Stayed: March 2014
Thank thumpergirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stanislas F, General Manager at Sanctuary Pakbeng Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 5 April 2014

Dear Thumpergirl,

Thank you very much for making the Pakbeng Lodge your stopover in Pakbeng. Writing on behalf of our team, we are very pleased that you had a wonderful stay with us. I have passed on your review to our staff and it is one of the best motivation tool.

With our best regards,

Stanislas Fradelizi
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2014

This hotel is really all about the location and the view!
It is beautifully located on a hill and it has several buildings.
Our room was on the top levels ( quite a climb indeed).
The rooms are really beautiful well decorated, very comfortable and yes you can see the Mekong river from your bed!
Staff is nice but only a few do speak English.
Dinner was simple but nice too.

But.....
... Unfortunately it is quite noisy... The rooms have huge ventilation rasters covered with gauze to keep the bugs out. This means that you hear all the outside noise: in our case the kitchen,mthe bar and the waiters talking loudly to each other. Also the surrounding dogs barking, that one bird who decided to sit in the tree right in front of your window and mostly the roosters in the morning. Tens of them starting early in the morning... In other words: earplugs are adviced!
Another minor thing is that, this hotel has no airconditioning but all the rooms do have ceilingfans BUT at 10 pm the generator goes at half speed and there seems toe just enough power left for a few lights. So the only way to get a bit of cool air is by opening the window which is an open invitation to the mosquitos to attack you freely...
In other words great hotel but we hardly slept....
Too bad really!

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank terrencets
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2014

Plus Points:
- sunset view from the balcony is very special
- restaurant is a pleasant surprise considering the resources available to them (in the middle of nowhere-ville on the Mekong river)
- staff help guests to transport luggage up the VERY steep hill to the reception where you are greeted with a refreshing drink

Areas for Improvement:
- electricity and wifi is intermittent and not a given at this location. When you pay top dollar, you expect these as standard. For the price paid, they should have an effective back-up generator for when power outs in the area.
- guests have to be very careful with doors and shutters due to Mosquitos!
- no fridge or tv!!! (I guess that this is a power issue)
- staff really are VERY local. I should empathise more because if I was in their situation (seeing fat western people spending less than 12 hours in their town whilst spending the equivalent of a months' wages), I would also find it hard to swallow. Fair enough, based on the remoteness of the location where they live, I guess the expectation levels should change but if management could get them to smile more it would make a big difference.

Overall Take-away:
We stayed here as our stop-over on the Shompoo Cruise from Luang Prabang to Houay Xai.
This really is the only "hotel" available in town, unless you are willing to brave a home stay / B&B... not great value for money as they've cornered the market place. Instead of staying here, I wanted to risk it for one night in one of the local b&b's... My wife didn't want to take the risk so this proposal got over-ruled!

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank MatthewScrivener
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stanislas F, General Manager at Sanctuary Pakbeng Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 5 April 2014

Dear Mr Scrivener,

As mentioned in your post, there are indeed many electricity shortage in Northern Laos, especially in our remote location. In this effect, we do have 2 back-up power generators, and we do keep them on as long as the main power does not come back on.

Speaking on behalf our the Pakbeng Lodge team, we thank you very much for your visit,

Sincerely,

Stanislas Fradelizi
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2014

This was the only hotel during our trip in Laos we wished we had not booked. Although we did not wish for it, we were booked at the Superior part of the hotel which is pure French pretentiousness. Its price/performance ratio do not match at all: the architecture of the rooms is just stupid with dark shades incorporated in the window which turn the idotically designed rooms into a prison - does blocking the beautiful view. The walls seem to be out of paper, as we could hear every word spoken outside. The staff was just hopeless, as its level of Englis is below zero. With all its allure of being a superior hotel, the management should do a better job in training its staff. Talking about the staff: somehow they seem to be surpressed and unhappy. The French management might be an explanation as the young French guy who greeted us a the jetty,spoke arrogantly about the staff. We found this strongly disturbing. The food at dinner was more than average, but the breakfast bag given to us for the continuation of the Mekong river tour, very generous. Even thoug it was not ready as promised!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank SabineBaden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stanislas F, General Manager at Sanctuary Pakbeng Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 14 March 2014

Dear Mrs Baden,

I was surprised reading your harsh words regarding the Pakbeng Lodge. In my 2 years in Pakbeng, I have never seen such a negative review with strong feelings. We, at the Pakbeng Lodge are here for no other reason but to bring a positive and relaxing experience to our guest. Exceptionally, since your experience was so dreadful, we are ready to give you a full refund, please do contact me directly at gm-pakbenglodge@sofimek.com.
We thank you for you constructive review are we are always ready to improve our services.

Sincerely,

Stanislas Fradelizi
General Manager

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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 Sanctuary Pakbeng Lodge

Address: | Ban Done Khame, Pakbeng, Laos
Region: Laos > Oudomxay Province > Pakbeng
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Pakbeng
Price Range: £74 - £120 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Sanctuary Pakbeng Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sitting by the bank of the Mekong, Pakbeng Lodge is halfway between the World Heritage Town of Luang Prabang, and Huay Xai, the main border crossing between northern Thailand and northern Laos, both towns reachable within a day by cruise.Attached to each of the Lodge's 20 Superior Rooms, 8 Deluxe Rooms, and 2 Suites, is a large terrace overlooking the river.The Lodge is an ideal point of departure for walks in the forest of an hour or a day, towards villages off the tourist roads. (Please see our section on Excursions.) It faces the Mekong Elephant Camp, which is dedicated to the protection of elephants in Laos. There, a wonderful opportunity exists to discover the life of an animal that contributes a strong element to the traditional culture, by participating in a walk or with their morning bath.The Pakbeng Lodge suggests you stay a few days in this protected area far from the beaten tracks. You will appreciate the comfortable atmosphere, the picturesque sunrise and sunset over the Mekong, and the comings and goings of the different boats that dock near the Lodge's beach. Your visit will consist of utmost relaxation but also of unusual encounters- an immersion into traditional Lao life. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pakbeng Hotel Pakbeng

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