Travel Blogs from Luang Prabang
We bid Vietnam farewel with a flight out of Hanoi, destination Laos. It wasn't until we got our boarding cards that we saw that i had typed Robertson wrong on the ticket as Roberston. Cue panic from me, until we realised at every check point no Vietnamese person noticed, phew! Will teach me to be more careful with my typing...
A little …
We decided to start the day with a lovely breakfast looking out from the Apsara early so we could head off to the waterfalls. We had a beautiful journey getting to see the landscape out of LP and into the villages, the lush green hills and the small villages reminded us of Vietnam, which of course makes sense! We arrived and walked through the …
... all. The bus back to Luang Prabang was a total nightmare mind you- cramped isn't even the word- where the boot should have been they'd just shoved in another 3 chairs! Just aswell it was only 3 hours eh!
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews The Apsara Luang Prabang
Great little boutique hotel
Great hotel. It's a kind of designer wet-dream of how you'd do an Oriental boutique hotel if you had the time and money. Our room (4 - in the main wing on the top floor) was airy, spacious and had a lovely bath. Very creaky floor - if you need to get up in the night without waking your partner, forget it! The staff are friendly and efficient without being too OTT. The restaurant is great - the best food we had in Laos, although (I think) not typically Lao at all. There was some kind of egg plant, peanut and coriander salad that was one of the most tasty things I've ever eaten. Good position too - cut through a side alley a few yards away and you're on the main street.
Why stay anywhere else in L.P.?
We stayed at the Apsara Hotel for 4 nights this past November. Although we heard about it from Lonely Planet's website, they are also in the book Hip Hotels. And deservedly so! The hotel has a chic, cool vibe to it, with interesting art on the walls and splashes of colour in the cushions and hanging lamps. The staff were incredibly friendly, giving us advice on whatever we needed. They always greeted us with a smile and chatted with us. The restaurant at the hotel was amazing. We ate supper there twice and lunch also. You must try their profiteroles! The bartender makes a mean margarita and Vodka sours - I haven't been able to replicate them at home sadly. The hotel is in easy walking distance of all the great shops, the Night Market and of course all the temples! We rented bikes one day (for $1!) and I highly recommend doing that. We also took a cooking class at the Tom Tom Cheng restaurant and had so much fun. They do all the hard work preparing it, and you get to do some stir-frying and then eating!! It was delicious! I concur with some of the noise comments posted earlier - we were awoken by roosters each morning (or at 3am to roosters that can't tell time) and there was some construction going on a block away. But I always travel with earplugs so I wasn't overly bothered. The hotel is one street off the "main street", so I think it's probably quieter than other hotels. We had room #1 and had no issues with noise from the hotel itself. It was certainly one of the best places we stayed on our trip.
The Apsara, la miglior scelta di Luang Prabang!
Sono stato a The Apsara Hotel di Luang Prabang per sole due notti lo scorso mese di agosto, ho trovato l'hotel una delle migliori sistemazioni della città! Innanzitutto non aspettatevi un albergo tradizionale, le camere sono ricavate da un palazzo di vecchie abitazioni lao-style, ristrutturate elegantemente e arredate in modo da offrire agli ospiti un'atmosfera classica ed orientale pur offrendo tutti i comfort! Le stanze più belle sono le 3 o 4 che stanno al piano terra, ognuna fornita di un terrazzino privato che dà sulla strada e guarda il fiume! Le camere hanno un bellissimo letto, grande e comodo, un ampio armadio, uno scrittoio, ma il pezzo forte è il bagno, con un piatto doccia grande e confortevole. La reception e il ristorante si trovano nella palazzina accanto, e sono piacevolmente arredate. La colazione è all'occidentale, il pezzo forte è la caffettiera di moka e un delizioso piatto di frutta fresca. The Apsara è un hotel romantico e confortevole, situato sulla parallela della via principale, a 5-10 minuti di passeggiata dalla strada principale (quella dei ristoranti ma anche del Night Market, fulcro della vita di Luang Prabang. La direzione dell'hotel mi ha anche organizzato una gita di mezza giornata sul Mekong, per visitare le grotte sacre del Mekong e il delizioso villaggio che loro chiamano Whiskey Village, e si è preoccupata di contattare un tassista che mi ha portato in giro per visitare i meravigliosi templi della città. Se tornassi a Luang Prabang, la scelta non potrebbe che essere The Apsara!
The Apsara is a wonderful find in Luang Prabang and I would recommend it as the best place to stay in town. The staff are excellent (we found them to the best in town, both in terms of hotels and restaurants), the owner is extremely welcoming and helpful and the rooms are large, clean and full of character (they all have super high ceilings, are bright and sunny because of the French doors that lead on to a balcony, and have dark wood furniture and nicely decorated bathrooms).
Also, the restaurant had the best food in town, and a wonderful atmosphere. And the room prices are reasonable ($55-75 per night depending on whether your room is upstairs or downstairs), especially for such a high standard of service and accomodation.
The only downside to the Apsara is that it is noisy because it is on a 'main road' (keep in mind though that a main road in this town means that a car or moterbike passes every 30-60 seconds in 'rush hour'), but this is something that can't really be avoided if you're staying in Luang Prabang town. All the hotels are on one of the 3 main roads. So in general you must be prepared for some street noise if you're going to stay in Luang Prabang town.
Lovely but noisy
This is a very nice hotel run by a Brit in a nice area if Luang Prabang. The room are spacious -- the three of us could easily have shared a room. The beds are comfortable, the bathrooms large and well-appointed, and the continental breakfast is fine. The only negative is the noise -- for a small town, Luang Prabang is busy at night. We had quiet from about midnight to 3, and then the motorbikes and roosters would wake us. This hotel is one street removed from the main street, which was a very good location, and I am sure is quieter than the main street was. It also gave us a less touristy experience, as it was in a "real" neighborhood. I would stay here again, but bring a "white noise" machine. For what it is worth, you can plug in your iPod and camera without adapters or converters (the hotel uses 220 volt AC and an American plug fits the outlet). Not far away is the unfortunately-named S&M massage, which is clean and does a lovely 1-hour traditional massage for $3 with no hanky-panky. Others on the main street (Pizza Massage, for instance) were not nearly as recommendable.
Nice room, even nicer staff
My wife and I stayed at the Apsara for nearly a week recently after arriving in LP and walking all over town looking at guest houses (with prices from $15 to $60 a night) as well as some of the nicer hotels in town including 3 Nagas and Villa Santi.
For the money (we paid $65/night), the Apsara was among the nicest hotels we've stayed at in our 3 month trip. The room we had (#5) has a beautiful fluffy bed, down conforter and pillows, a small balcony, and nice shower with separate bathtub. The high ceilings made the room feel very big.
But really, our favorite part of this hotel was the extremely friendly and super helpful staff. Their english was good and they all greeted us each morning and evening with a kind smile and genuine interest in what we were doing each day. The young manager on duty (named "Aye" but not sure how spelled) offered us a slightly reduced rate since we were staying so long (our room is normally $75) right when we arrived, and through the week we were there helped to arrange bus travel and guesthouse help in Vang Vieng and Vientiene.
Near the end of the trip I got a case of food poisoning and we had to change plans as I was holed up in the room, which Aye was happy to help with. He and his staff eagerly took care of me, bringing tea to the room, recalling guesthouses, etc.
Really the only criticism my wife and I have about the hotel is that right across the street there is a public area where a family pretty much lives their days and evenings. They have fires going, the kids play games, the dog barks, the adults loudly tell stories, etc, and this basically goes from early morning til fairly late at night. The hotel even writes about it in their guestbook saying that these are our neighbors and we must respect their lives and if necessary adjust our schedules to wake and go to sleep early.
The other thing is our room (#5) is situated right above the hotel restaurant so from about 5pm to 11pm you can feel the bass beats through the floor of our room. I'd suggest another room if you think that may bother you.
But otherwise I really recommend this hotel for the quality and price. 3 Nagas and Villa Santi are much more expensive and from the looks of things probably nicer as well, but we felt that the Apsara was just perfect.
I almost didn't stay at this hotel after reading the review posted here, but I am very glad we did. It is a charming, boutique hotel in the heart of Luang Prabang and within walking distance of everything. After a month of traveling through Thailand and staying in comparatively priced hotels, this was our favorite - the cleanest by far, a fabulously huge shower and the most stylish. So much so, you don't miss the mod cons like tv or little shampoo bottles. There were no signs whatsoever of any bugs despite having a lovely river view.
A real gem in this glorious city
My wife and I stayed here last month and loved it. Although not five star, the hotel has great charm and the rooms must be the largest in town. High ceilings, hard wood furniture, colourful fabrics and quality towels,sheets etc. We even had feather pillows which is unusual in a room charging only 65 USD. What we loved most of all was the kindness and helpfulness of the staff. The food was also delicous and finding an establishment with a sophisticated wine list was complete heaven after a week up country!
Bed Bugs, broken air con and foul smell
Initially we thought this hotel looked fantastic. It was only whilst staying there we encountered problems. There were bed bugs, a foul smell coming from the drains in the bathroom and the air con did not work very well.
The staff at the hotel told us they would also book us a mini van direct to vientiene for 10$ each. However 10 mins before departure she told us we had to change a Vang Vien and pay more money. We were told the mini van had air con and it did not. Also when we arrrived at Vang Vien there were no mini vans so we had to get a local tuk tuk for 4 hours. We could have booked a mini van direct with a travel agent for 15$ each. We put our trust in the hotel and in was abused.
Such a lovely place
I thought this place was very romantic. It's on the more sleepier side of Luang Prabang. Luang Prabang is on a small pennisula-so everything is in walking distance. Many great temples, restaurants, and shops nearby. The night market is around a 10-15 minute walk from the guesthouse.
The inn/guest house has about 5 or 6 rooms. I found this one to be the nicest. So if you stay here you may want to ask for this one. As the other rooms are more plain, but we stayed there in April 2004. I looked at their website ---- and it looks like they have made some renovations. The rooms have air conditioning and fan, but in Laos the electricity can go out anytime. When we were there, the bathrooms were very basic and small. There was a small daybed in the room-so technically sleep another person or child. The steps to the second floor were kind of steep. If you are into luxury-than you should stay at the Villa Santi Hotel, which is more expensive.
They have a lovely simple breakfast. Grilled baguettes served with homemade tropical jams, papaya, mango and banana. Very nice with some Lao tea.