I picked my second hotel on my trip to Luang Prabang, Laos, carefully, after selecting a few from online reviews and inspecting them in person after my arrival in town. The Villa Deux Rivieres came out on top for the mid-range hotels in the old town and my stay confirmed them as a top pick – I recommend it for the price category and would stay again in a heartbeat.
Location: The Villa Deux Rivieres is located on the quiet Nam Khan River in the old town of Luang Prabang. You can enjoy river views from some rooms and the restaurant – which was one of the reasons I chose the hotel: Being able to relax with a river view on the balcony or over breakfast is on of the best ways to spend time in Luang Prabang! And from the hotel, it’s a short walk to Wat Xieng Thong, the alms giving ceremony in the morning and all the other sights in town. Some online commented noted that it was “far” but that seemed like an odd comment to me – while it is not as centrally located as the 3Nagas, the walk to the Royal Palace on the other side of the old town is 15 minutes and all the other sights are less than that. Besides, you are in Lao PDR, so “Please Don’t Rush”, take your time and enjoy the great walks around town and along the river!
Service: The service at the hotel was very friendly throughout my stay. The front desk had shown me the room previously and answered all my questions. They checked me in quickly, took me to my room and demonstrated all the features. They were ready to assist with any questions and requests throughout my stay and had a smile each time I returned to the hotel. Housekeeping was quick and thorough. They were quiet in the morning and respected my wishes to have the room made up when I was gone to tour the town, having it ready each time I came back to work or relax in the room. The staff at the restaurant was equally attentive, took my order for breakfast quickly, brought the food to the table outside and refilled coffee.
Room: The room was the other reason I chose the Villa Deux Rivieres and I was very happy with it during my stay. I chose the river view room upstairs that faces the Nam Khan River and has a little balcony upfront. You can enjoy the views from your room and I also worked outside and had coffee after a day of walking, relaxing on that balcony.
The room was decorated with lots of dark wood for the floors and furniture. What I liked best was the tasteful local art on the wall, the touches of color and the soft lighting, making for an overall very pleasant environment. The queen-bed had comfortable sheets and mattress and I slept well in it. There was a small work desk and sitting area, as well as a small closet. There was a small, laptop size safe as well as a coffee/tea maker and small fridge. Another feature I was excited about was the small balcony overlooking the river – it had just enough space for two chairs and a table, but you’ll have to squeeze by to get to the chair. You can beat the “office views” though!
The bathroom was held in beige/brown mixed tiles, a nice change from the typical single-color walls.The soap and shampoo provided were rather basic, the towels were nice and clean.
The room did show some wear and tear – not enough to dampen the experience, but a little pain for the wood and oil for the doors wouldn’t hurt. The airconditioning was cold and quiet, just the way I like it. The free wifi was reasonable at 1.5Mbps, although the slowest of any of the hotels I stayed at in Laos.
Restaurant/Amenities: The room rate included breakfast in the morning and it was served a la carte in the restaurant facing the river, with indoor and outdoor seating. I picked a seat out front each morning to make the most of the views! The croissants were crunchy, the fruit fresh and the great coffee came from a proper espresso machine, making for a good start into the day (and frequent refills). They offered a choice of local and Western hot breakfast items, although my ham & cheese omelette order was a little lost in translation: let’s just say it had all the right ingredients, but the assembly and presentation was unusual as you can see from the picture 😉 All of it tasted great and I enjoyed it each morning.
Conclusion: I picked the Villa Deux Rivieres carefully and I’m glad I chose it. You get a beautiful room that makes great use of the riverside location with nice views. It’s tastefully decorated to give it a local, boutique hotel flavor without the boutique hotel price tag! The service was friendly, just like in most of Luang Prabang and the breakfast was very good with some of the best croissants I had in Laos! Service might not be quite as sophisticated as at the more upscale hotels, but at half the price of those, I’ll happily recommend the Deux Rivieres. At a rate of $79/night including breakfast, it falls into what I’d consider the “sweet spot” for Luang Prabang: It’s a significant upgrade in room and breakfast from cheaper guest houses and you get a great location and stylish room, without paying for pretentions of the boutique hotels twice the price. If you don’t care about the river views from the room, you can save some money by picking one of the inside rooms for $25/night less and get a great bargain!