Laos, Luang Prabang – Villa Senesouk

We arrived at our guesthouse and loved the location, very central and directly across the road was a beautiful temple, Wat Sensoukharam, which is lovely during the day and then well lit up from dusk until the gates close at 9pm.Wat Sensoukharam_Luang Prabang_LaosWhile the main township of Luang Prabang is lined with guesthouses it was quite hard for us to find a suitable room type for our family of four. After emailing a few we found Villa Senesouk could add an extra mattress to a family room that usually consists of 1 x large bed and 1 x single bed for an extra $5 US ($7.25 NZD) per night. As we would be there during the ‘high’ season the downstairs room would be $45 US ($65.26 NZD) per night or there were upstairs rooms with a balcony for $50 US ($72.50 NZD) – of course we went with the downstairs room and then had the extra $5 US per night for the mattress.Villa Senesouk_Luang Prabang_LaosWe arrived at around 4.45pm and the extra bed wasn’t in our room ready so we had to wait for this to be arranged and then the single bed was pushed next to the larger bed and the mattress then put on the floor next to them. With all the beds lined up next to each other there wasn’t much room left to move around and for the mattress we received a pillow, one sheet and a very thick heavy blanket and were told it would be made up correctly the following day. We left the beds in this pushed together formation for the first night but quickly changed them the next morning to seperate the beds and maximise the space much more. After being out for the morning we returned and the beds were made up except for the mattress, so we had much discussion with the staff about getting another sheet and a thinner blanket. We finally got there after being told there was nothing else available, which we found odd as the guesthouse was no where near full.Villa Senesouk_Family Room_Luang PrabangThe beds were hard, as we have come to expect in Asia and we found out on the first night that the shower head bracket was actually broken as it fell down when the water was turned on, so hand held showers it was. We advised a staff member about the shower the following morning and waited for it to be fixed. While Villa Senesouk’s website states “come to visit us: we speak English, French & Thai” we only encountered one staff member, occasionally there in the evenings, that spoke reasonable English. After three days of the shower not being fixed we began to remind someone each day about it but by the end of our 9 night stay it was still hanging around.Villa Senesouk_Broken ShowerWe found the staff to be very disinterested in their work and would barely acknowledge us or wish to interact, which was a real shame as this really effected our stay and will stick in our minds for all the wrong reasons. It was a bit of a surprise as the communications via email before we arrived had been prompt and helpful. They provided complimentary tea, coffee and filtered water in the lobby area and the Wi-Fi was reasonable for the first 5-6 days but then a bit slow and erratic.

We mostly walked around the main township as there is a lot close by or hired bicycles for 20,000 LAK ($3.64 NZD) per bike per day. Distance to –

  • Night Markets (East entrance) – 650m
  • Royal Palace Museum – 700m
  • D & T Supermarket – 1.2km
  • Kuang Si Waterfall & Sun & Moon Bear Sanctuary – 30km (About a 45-60 minute drive as the road is narrow with many potholes and quite a lot of traffic)

There are many tuk tuks and minivans that are parked up or cruise the streets if you wish to go further afield. We hired a minivan and driver for an 8 hour day for 200,000 LAK ($36.36 NZD).

Price – $72.50 NZD per night