Maison Souvannaphoum Hotel
Travel Blogs from Luang Prabang
... Can't be worse that that awful dirt road ride." Hmmm...wrong. It was like being on a rollercoaster for 6 hours non-stop. First, we left an hour late. We have no idea why, but it seemed like they were overbooked. We just sat there, in the hot mini-van, waiting to go. We didn't want to get out for air because then we could lose our seats (even though we had pre-purchased tickets, this seems to be a bit of a joke.) About 2 hours in, I knew this wasn't going to be a ...
... witness the long procession of monks taking alms from the local community. This apparently was their only meal for the entire day. As massive foodies ourselves....we say hats off to them, Buddism is no picnic. We spent the rest of the day exploring the town and getting anyone from monks to mannequins to hold up a sign we'd made wishing Jessie a very happy birthday. We made many a friend in the process including a tuk tuk full of clapping and singing Thai ...
... mahout (elephant trainer) commands and ride our own elephant bare back before bathing our own elephant in the river. This would set us back One Million Four Hundred and Forty Four Thousand Kip, which sounds more than it is, it was only £100. So our day begun by getting picked up in a mini bus by our ultra nice guide for the day (forgot his name) along with 2 others that we would be doing the day course with, 2 Japanese/American girls. We arrived at Elephant ...
... were too loud.
I slept much better during the night and we were up just after 6am and prepared for an early morning exploration with Tjeuji. I was first on the zipline out of the hut and got very wet from the spray coming off the damp line. We took another line, then hiked quietly through the jungle, listening for animals. At the top of another zipline we waited, listening for about 10 minutes, but we unfortunately didn’t hear any gibbons. At the next zipline ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
- Shuttle bus service
- Swimming pool
- Room service
- Free parking
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TravelPod Member ReviewsMaison Souvannaphoum Hotel Luang Prabang
This was our favorite hotel on a 6 week trip to 5 SEA countries. It has a wonderful colonial atmosphere and is very well kept. The staff is simply outstanding, very well trained and very friendly without being overly humble. The Manager Serge from Switzerland is a great guy. He is fun talking to and always available when needed. Great location near downtown and next to a beautiful monastery. Food is excellent.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Maison Souvannaphoum Hotel Luang Prabang
Service lets it down
The hotel is in a great location and is very pretty. However, our stay was spoiled by the poor service. Nothing major - just lots of little things that became a bit of a tiresome pattern. For a the price, I would have hoped for more. We had a first floor room (with balcony) which was very nicely decorated, but maybe a little small. On the plus side, we had dinner one evening in the hotel and the food was very good. The hotel pool is lovely.
More than charmed!
This hotel is a romantic, charming, French colonial getaway that offers warm hospitality, great ambience and wonderful food (at Elephant Blanc).It is a clean, immaculate, beautiful and graceful place, full of history, well maintained grounds with impressive buddhist sculptures,a lovely swimming pool,giant jackfruit trees and various orchids (pink, orange, purple and red) that leave you breathless and more than willing to just sit on your own private verandah after a bit of sightseeing and soak it all up while recalling the old world days of Luang Prabang.
There are 3 suites available in the main building and a choice of garden rooms with verandah (first floor) and verandah rooms with (you guessed it) verandahs (second floor) in the larger, longer building. We stayed in the latter and were more than satisfied.If you love history and old world charm, then you'll love the rooms.We most definitely did!
It's location is unbeatable, as you can easily walk to various temples and the old quarter. It is also near a delightful French bakery (JOMA) and right next to 2 very nice Wats. Moreover, you can easily reach the daily night market in less than 10 minutes on foot.
My wife and I really loved this place and made some wonderful friends with the staff at the hotel.One thing to note is that this is not a 5 star resort and nor does it try to be.None of the rooms have a bath except for one of the suites.This was not a big deal to us though as we made up for it by going to the Angsana spa, which was and is great.
I must say that if you are expecting 5 star service in a 4 star hotel in a developing country like Laos then you will probably be disappointed. However, you will be hard pressed to be put off by this year old Angsana resort if you love places that are blissed with atmosphere, boast white French colonial buildings amongst lush green along with peace and serenity. Truly a wonderful place and we will be back soon to indulge in its glory!
Good location & fair deal
stayed here for 3 nights over the weekend, liked the location (walking distance from pretty much everything--actually right at the beginning of the Eastern part of town)
got there and was checked in by error to their equivalent of the presidential suite (the Maison Suite, the Prince's old bedroom)-- was very excited about my apparent good luck/karma for about 10 minutes & took lots of pictures before moving to a much smaller room that had a nice view of the garden and the pool & didn't face the main road (as the suite did). They did offer me 3 hours of free bike rental per day which I didn't take up coz walking the town was really quite pleasant
For a hotel that charges $160 for the cheapest room I was slightly disappointed to not see any conditioner or lotion around (they sell them in the shop). There are quite a few restaurant choices in town but did manage to have a couple of very delicious papaya salads by the hotel pool.
had dinner at La residence phou vou (Pansea) one night, for an extra US$40 a night, the view from the infinity pool was impressive and the rooms are supposed to be quite spacious, but M.S.'s location from what matters--- is much better
what I loved about this place (this hotel & Luang Prabang) was the staff/service/smile
Enchanting hotel, wonderful city
The hotel (a villa, really) is one of the nicest places I have ever stayed. We booked a verandah room, overlooking the garden and pool, and it was ideal. The staff are excellent. Breakfast, next to the pool, was fine. You can hire bikes at the hotel and it is a great way to get around the city. I believe an early explorer referred to Luang Prabang as Utopia - and I think he was right. I would definitely stay at this hotel again.
The hotel has been recently renovated and relaunched by a Thai hotel group (Angsana). It is in a great position close to everything, is very smart and the staff are very pleasant and helpful. The rooms are large and well equipped, and combine comfort and style very effectively.
The hotel generally and the bedrooms particularly are not especially well soundproofed, and this may be an issue for some as the adjacent road is quite busy. Food and drink at the hotel is very firmly at Western prices, and given that access to all the restaurants in the town is so good seems to discourage most guests from using the hotel bar and restaurant. We certainly felt that the staff were just a little too well trained in encouraging guests to stay in the hotel and therefore had the opposite effect. Nonetheless, it is a quality place to stay in a fantastic and fascinating area.
Nice place but booking mixups
I booked the hotel early for a special occasion in October which I knew would be busy. There are several nice places in town but this seemed to be the only one with a pool, and it is a hot place at this time of year.
I booked online with a certain online booking agency whose name is like an eight legged sea creature. All seemed fine. However imagine my horror when a week before I rang the hotel to see if I could add a day to find out that the booking had not reached them and they were full! So, I guess , were most nice places so close to my visit.
After some expensive calls to the US online travel agent from Asia who showed no concern whatsoever, despite the fact they had taken almost $1000 of my money, the hotel found a room for me. It was not the best room but I was grateful. The lesson is try and book direct if you can or at least don't use the firm I did.
The hotel is indeed nice, well decorated and restful and the service fine. The position is good, although it is on a road. My only gripe is the musak in the restaurant which is relentlessly horrible and repetative (one day they played what sounded like an Andrew Lloyd Webber track and nothing else for hours). Perhaps they feel this is what westerners want - I'd rather hear the birds sing.
The other places in town looked nice, but on the small side, and I would say the pool is a real bonus if you are doing a lot of walking and touring.
Look out for the Lemongrass winebar and restaurant on the Mekon - not well promoted but a real find.
One of the best hotels we've stayed at
The Maison Souvannaphoum was one of the main reasons our trip to Luang Prabang was so memorable. We stayed 3 nights in August 2005 after staying two nights at a resort hotel outside the city. We were so glad that we made the switch! We felt really relaxed and pampered.
The room was on the small side but it was very clean, comfortable and modern. The staff always brought towels, flip-flops and fruit kabobs within minutes of arriving at the pool. They served little cookies and ice teas in the lobby in the late afternoon. The turn down service included a snack by your bedside. They served a delicious breakfast and the staff was always friendly and helpful.
By far the most excellent hotel I have ever stayed in. The service was impeccable, so warm and friendly - I have never met such wonderful hotel staff. The room was so beautiful (I stayed in a verandah room with a gorgeous balcony overlooking the pool) it simply took my breath away. The food was by far the best I have eaten in the whole of Asia. The welcome and departure gifts given to guests are just a tiny example of why this hotel is superb. I was torn whether to review this hotel or not as I wanted to keep it a secret (!) but the hotel deserve to know how wonderful it is. It is a little corner of paradise and I shed a tear when I left.
I was totally charmed
My experience was just the opposite. I think the timing was perfect. I arrived just after the grand opening of the hotel. I opted for a Garden Room on the ground level cos I was absolutely thrilled at the idea of chilling out in my own verandah. I never got a chance though because I was out most of the days, exploring the town. There is a main street in front of the hotel and a backlane that leads to some houses, you can find a wat (temple) on this lane. I don't recall hearing any traffic though, when I was back in my room at night. It was kind of quiet, actually, and peaceful. I had a really good rest. The staff was eager to please and so warm and friendly too. At night, when they put up the lanterns, the hotel looks like a fairyland.
Overall, this is a quaint, pretty town with lots of temples and villages on the outskirts to explore. It's a throwback to Chiang Mai in the 60s. The town is very laid back, as if it's trapped in a time warp. I find that charming.
Do try to get up early one of the mornings for alms offering. It's a great experience, and after that, you can visit the wet market just behind. They sell all sorts of fresh produce, and some exotic stuff like snake meat, buffalo skin. I literally went mad at the night market ... there were so many things at very affordable prices that I didn't bother to bargain. Am definitely going back.
The Hotel Souvannaphoum is in the process of completing a major rennovation and is now operating under the name "Maison Souvannaphoum". We stayed for three nights in January 2005.
The hotel is beautiful and the rennovations are stylish and attractive. They have added a swimming pool and completely redone all of the guest rooms and public spaces.
The employees are some of the most charming and friendly I have ever met. They are eager to be of assistance but require much more training before service reaches a high standard. The French general manager of the hotel seems very competent and I'm sure he will achieve good results here.
Unfortunately this hotel suffers from a serious noise problem. There is a busy street in front of the hotel and another street runs next to most of the guest rooms. Motorcyle noise is constant from 6 am until midnight or later. The noise was too much for us and we decided to move to a different hotel.