Muangthong Boutique Hotel Luang Prabang

Im in need of some serious anger management this morning.

When we checked out of the Hotel they gave us the bill (in Kip) which should have been $372 but they added an additional 3% to the bill for using a credit card ( they charged the same additional fee for debit card also).
So instead of the $372.09 ‘Total price’ quoted in my bookings.com confirmation i actually had to pay $384.

Not a great deal extra I know but we hadn’t expected an additional charge.

Then to cap it all, I had a text from Halifax Credit card to say I had now ‘gone over my credit limit’ so I would be charged. When i got to the airport i tried to transfer some money from my bank account to pay off some of the balance on the card but a combination of poor wifi and not knowing the sort code resulted in a lot of frustration and swearing before it was eventually resolved.

So now it looks like I’ve paid an additional 3% charge here, the usual 6% charge for the privilege of drawing my own money at home and an additional fee for going over my credit limit. A real bonus!

Perhaps we should have expected problems with the Hotel. On several occasions they reneged (or at least tried to renege) on the agreed contract.

Like when we asked for the ‘Free’ Airport Shuttle to take us to the airport and they said it would cost us $12.

We showed them the copy of the booking agreement and they said it was wrong and tried to convince me that the one on their screen (which was in Laos so I couldn’t read it) didn’t include a free trip to the airport, only collection. There were a lot of phone calls made before they grudgingly agreed to take us at 1400hrs.

But they insisted (a bit spitefully) we leave our room at 12 mid day as this was check out time.

Again I referred them to my agreement which allowed me a late check out of two hours free of charge and they eventually conceded.

We were very disappointed with this Hotel.

It wasn’t cheap at $74 per night but it wasn’t good value for money.

The main criticism was the noise.

We could hear every conversation from the room next door and, as it turned out, from the room below which we discovered when two ladies asked for an early morning call. They were up at six am and so were we.

We were also in a road front room ( which was nice enough with a large balcony over looking the front garden) but opposite was a family house where they played loud music from early morning till late at night. They also had a party whilst we were staying which involved lots of shouting and children crying. Not a great combination.

The bathroom smelt very damp and was regularly visited by mosquitos. (We bought a spray and used it several times a day to avoid being bitten) but the extractor fan was noisy and failed to overcome the problems.

There were no spare plug sockets in the room so we resorted to unplugging the TV in order to recharge phones. There was one accessible plug above the fridge but we kept an electronic mosquito repellent plugged in there.

None of the doors and windows made a proper seal so there were gaps where mozzies could get in but in a building like this that is to be expected.

What really annoyed us was the apathy of the staff. They really didn’t seem to want to help.

So, when i complained about the bed (which was the hardest thing I’ve slept on short of a floor )I wasn’t surprised at the lack of support.

I asked. “If there was any way they could change the mattress on our bed as it was so hard it was making my hips sore”?

After some initial communication problems, which required a very rough sketch of a bed with pen and paper  and the word ‘Hard” written on it, they said.

“No problem”. They agreed to put an additional cover on the bed.

“Could I also have a softer pillow as the one provided was making my neck ache”?

Again they agreed to get house keeping to change the pillow. The big fat thing they provided was like sleeping on a roll of carpet.

Sadly when we arrived home later that evening nothing was changed.

So, a second visit to reception was needed.

The new person there knew nothing about my problem, so I went through it all again. He agreed to get additional covers put on the mattress and to change the pillow. Result!

Well, not really. They did put an additional quilt over the mattress which helped but they didn’t change the pillow. When I raised this with the guy the next morning he said. ‘Sorry’ but  he didn’t seem to think it necessary to do anything further and the pillow never got changed.

As a regular user of bookings.com Ive been offered some ‘Genius’ Perks ( like the free airport transfer) such as a welcome drink, late check in/out and free bicycles.

So we asked if we could have two bicycle’s for the day?

Sadly we were told they ‘didn’t have any bicycles’.

Strange as the guest welcome book in the room said they had bicycle for rent?

So, back down to reception.

‘Ah, those bicycles”. “Sorry, we only have 5 and they are gone”.

At this point I would have expected them to help us source some bicycles from some where local, but no. We were told to walk in to town where we would find bicycles for rent.

So, not only was it not free (we eventually had to pay $7 a day each for bikes from Tiger Tours but they were good quality Mountain bikes) but we also had to sort it out without any assistance from the Hotel staff.

Given this Hotel is some way out of town, (it took us 10-15 minutes walk) bicycles would have been a great way of exploring.

There were other odd thing’s too.

Like they wouldn’t change $10 into kips for us, and they said they didn’t organise any trips?

We organised a trip to the waterfall with a local taxi driver (35,000 Kip each) on the street rather than through the Hotel. Basically the Taxi driver needs 200,000 Kip per trip so if he can get 5-6 people the price per head comes down. We ended up sharing a Taxi with two Guys from Portugal Who spoke great English and we ended up going for a drink with on the evening. And a Dutch Girl who failed to return to the Taxi at the end of the day so never paid her share. The driver recruited 4 additional travellers on the return journey so we were a little compact.

Driving is at best erratic and not for the faint hearted. You sit on benches in the back of a pick up truck with a canvass cover and hold on to anything you can. The drivers job is to try and shake you loose. It’s a symbiotic relationship but it works.

All in this Hotel was over priced, and didn’t deliver the basic standard of service expected.

The staff were at best indifferent and ineffective needing some advice on customer service, big time.

Think seriously before you book this one., there are better Hotels, much nicer Hotels and much more convenient Hotels available.

Muangthong Hotel. Don’t bother.

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3 thoughts on “Muangthong Boutique Hotel Luang Prabang

  1. Oh, the “intrigue” in traveling to the Developing, or perhaps not even quite there yet, world and staying where the locals stay. Obviously, to really travel, you must visit the hinterlands. When you consider the alternative–staying in the capital, and at the Ritz, Marriott, etc–you just might as well stay home. But just think of how much money you will retrieve when you write about your: “Adventures in Paradise.”

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