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Reviews (355)
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All reviewsla foliethe riverexplore the islandwooden bungalowsswimming poolair conthree nightswater buffalobolaven plateauvat phouspent nightsgreat poolstunning locationfree of chargeboat ridewonderful placeday trip
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Reviewed 8 March 2015

Semi-rustic resort on a car-less island in the Mekong opposite Champasak; they provide complimentary ferry service from and to the mainland with luggage from either bank on the way in and out, but additional trips need to be paid for and are rather expensive.
There are two units per (rough wooden) cabin; the room decoration is rather strange (French Louis XIV prints in South Laos ?), the walls are thin (the presence of neighbors is heard). There is no fridge in the room, but ice cubes from filtered water are provided readily on demand.
There is no hot water in the wash basin: the instant heater is for the shower only; the shower curtain is not very efficient: the floor will quickly get wet. Somewhat haphazard WiFi is available in the main house only. During our stay, the pool filter was out of order (waiting for a spare part from Bangkok).
The restaurant is relatively expensive (1.5 to 2 times other hotel restaurants in Lao), with a choice of western or Lao dishes; the food is surprisingly bland (even the Lao dishes), but try their excellent chocolate mousse for dessert !
Breakfast is western with some Lao options; the first 2 days were buffet, then a la carte: base + 2 options only. The excellent home-made bread should be pointed out: it is truly delicious. We didn't like the fact that the best (i.e. with a view) tables appeared to be booked in advance (the night before ?).
The staff was very friendly, but their concern for our well-being could sometimes be somewhat overbearing.
The high prices of everything (remember that you are stuck on the island since there are no ferries at night) are justified both by the distance and by a claim of positive contribution to the local villages: it is true that they employ a lot of local staff. Note that all prices are in US $ and that there is a 4% surcharge if paying by credit card.

  • Stayed: February 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Emile_Grom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
axelwolkenhauer, General Manager at La Folie Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 12 March 2015

Dear Mrs Emile.
Thank you so much for your balanced review which I have appreciated very much. You seem to have extracted all the good points about La Folie and justly mentioned some items of contention in need of attention. I am sorry that we had the problem with the pool filter during your stay but the problem was solved immediately after we received the spare part from Bangkok, everything back to normal and clear now. Yes you are right our food must seem bland to some tastes but as 90% of our clientele is non Asian we had to separate the hot chilly from the meals and serve it separately , most guests including myself cannot stomach hot food. Thank you for understanding that we cannot compete with prices at hotels that have a much easier infrastructure available. Many of our guests chose to eat locally and there are several places now where you can do that on the island, here you will find authentic Lao cuisine with all the local spices. One we recommend frequently is Mr Mee’s place, full of character and worth trying in the village next to the resort. One last thing I would like to correct, we do charge a Credit Card fee as everywhere in Laos but only 3% not 4% as you mentioned. So finally please let me thank you for your comments, we do hope one day you and your family will comeback to Laos again and perhaps to La Folie as well, everything is changing so very quickly now sometimes not always to the best.

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Reviewed 7 March 2015

We stayed in the large Residence for 5 nights - we grandparents, our son and daughter in law and their 3 and 5 year old boys. It was perfect: comfortable, relaxed and with a huge terrace overlooking the Mekong and the hills beyond. It is a real and quirky house just outside the main hotel, not just another identikit hotel room. We were part of friendly village life as we had to walk along the same dirt track as the school children and the people who lived on the island up to the hotel for meals. We had bicycles to use to go around and visit the rest of the island. Perfect: no cars, amazing views, funnily idiosyncratic boats with black sunshading umbrellas and cane arm chairs to pick us up from the mainland, helpful staff (especially welcoming Sarah) and a very easy going but efficient feel. We all loved it.

  • Stayed: February 2015, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank ZedScotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2015

Stayed here for 2 nights having arrived by the hotels own boat from across the river. Welcomed by Sarah who was most charming and spoke good English. Had a lodge overlooking the Mekong which was comfortable and well appointed. Only thing really lacking was a fridge although water was provided (as do all Far East hotels) with ice on demand. Great to wake up to the bird sound and watch the cows strolling along the river bank in the early morning. Beautiful pool which was never overcrowded. Free wifi available but only in the main reception / restaurant - this was explained when we arrived.
Food in the restaurant was good and whilst the staff were attentive and always smiling, only a couple spoke English which could be entertaining at times. Bicycles provided free of charge if you wanted to get about - well worth a cycle ride to see the real Laos.
By Laos standards this was an expensive hotel - the clue is always there when everything is priced in US Dollars, but as it was only a couple of nights, well worth it and a hotel we will always happily remember.

  • Stayed: February 2015, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Robbiebgg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2015

'Me' our driver was waiting at Pakse airport to pick us up as arranged with the hotel. A 40 minute journey to the quayside and then a 20 minute boat journey to the island.A tractor and trailer transported us across the sandy beach to the hotel. It seemed excessive as I was sure we could have walked up the beach to the hotel , however as we later discovered it was far too hot to walk more than a few yards over the sand!
Sarah the assistant manager greeted us enthiastically and took us to our room. Our lodge adjoined another and had an amazing view over the Mekong - I almost cried it was so beautiful! It was lovely so hear the birds ,watch the butterflies and cows cruising over the beach and do not a lot !
However , we walked into the village , to be greeted enthusiastically by most of the children and adults.'Me' also has a little restaurant where you can get drinks and a meal .
Another time we took a slow peddle around part of the island on the free bikes. We also went to Wat Phou which cost us $10 for the boat across the river and then approx $ 10 for a tuk tuk there and back . The entrance fee was 50,000 kip each. We spent a couple of happy hours exploring this amazing pre Angkor site . We were there at 9 am and recommend getting there early as it was getting busy and hot by the time we left.
Ok, the hotel doesn't have TV's , fridges or coffee making facilities in the rooms but that didn't bother us. The WiFi was intermittent but it is an island in the middle of the Mekong.
Food was pretty good offering western and Laotian options , bit on the pricey side but supplies
mostly have to come across the river.
The hotel adopts a environmentally friendly attitude , recycling its waste , contributing to the local schools and health centre. It was was also the cleanest area that we encountered on our trip.
Staff we friendly and helpful without exception. A special mention for Sarah who for her smily helpful attitude.
A lovely relaxing end to our Laos trip - thank you!

Room Tip: I think all the rooms have the same amazing outlook over the Mekong !
  • Stayed: February 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank rainbow67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2015 via mobile

We had read the reviews, good and bad, on tripadvisor, as well as the robust responses from The Managing Director and went with an open mind, knowing that the reviews here are often extreme; love or hate.

The location is impressive. On the banks of the Mekong which, in Dry Season, means there is an expansive & uninterrupted sandy beach in front. As you're going to an island you arrive by boat, then are picked up by a traditional tractor to take you to the hotel. A great way to arrive! Sarah, the excellent and very helpful Manager was there to greet us.

Bedrooms:
Rooms are raised, wood-cabin-style, with two accommodations per cabin. Rooms are well proportioned and ours (cabin 7) had 'chocolate box' Boucher prints and french posters on the walls. There's a sturdy aircon unit and a king size bed, but only room for one bedside table on one side; slightly annoying as one person has to leave items on the floor.

No telephone, kettle or fridge, tho a bucket of ice is delivered to your room each evening. There is a good sized balcony, ours looked over the sands towards the Mekong. The bathroom had a large power shower that worked just fine. As others reviewers have mentioned before, there is only a cold tap in the sink.

Due to the construction of the cabins, you can sometimes hear voices from the adjoining room, particularly when they are in the bathroom as these share a party wall.

Poolside
The pool is clean, well sized and just the right temperature. However, lounger tables are distinctly wobbly, with slats falling off. Rattan Chairs have saggy seats and the decking looks like it hasn't been sanded and remained in some time. Overall this space is in need of some regular maintenance and attention.

Restaurant
Serving Western and Lao cuisine was priced on the high side at US$21+for a western main and US$10+ for Lao style. I suppose not surprising when there is no competition around. We would gladly accept the price if the result was outstanding but overall it was disappointing for the price. Nothing wrong with it but nothing to write home about. Staff are all, without exception, smiling and trying to be helpful.The trouble, as we see it, is that food is bland and staff aren't well enough trained. This proves problematic when dealing with customers with issues. During a busy dinner we saw meals going to the wrong tables, meals being served without cutlery on the tables and people waiting for food whilst other people in their group had their meals. Water should be replenished without needing to ask. Asking for the bill took a few goes. We understand and appreciate that the hotel supports the local economy and employs local staff, but for the price we are paying we would expect a significantly higher and consistent level of service. At other hotels throughout Laos where we stayed during the same holiday, we saw staff recruited from the local community. In remote areas, and did not encounter the same level of difficulty we, and others, had at LA Folie. Poor Sarah the manager was running around constantly, 'fighting fires'.

We spent two nights at La Folie and were glad we had booked another hotel locally for the remainder of our holiday. We write this review having moved across the Mekong to stay at the hotel almost opposite (20 mins by boat), the River Resort. This hotel is in the same category as La Folie, and around same cost (in some instances, cheaper) - and is just wonderful. It's hard to understand how La Folie justify their position as a 4 star 'Superior standard' resort. We understand and appreciate that they maintain high 'Eco' credentials, and donate to the local community, but we found that this was certainly not a superior experience. It's was distinctly average.

Stayed: February 2015, travelled as a couple
1  Thank bobbyVAM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
axelwolkenhauer, General Manager at La Folie Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 1 March 2015

Dear Mr. bobbyVAM.
I follow the good reviews and the bad ones, so I appreciate the time it must have taken you to write the comment on Tripadvisor, sadly in running a hotel in a remote location Done Daeng with all the problems I do not possess this luxury of time. As I have said before, there are things we can rectify immediately and others have to wait until the high season is over. I will definitely take your suggestions and disappointments at heart, considering that our staff was doing their best at a time of high occupancy. You have evidently done your research on Tripadvisor and an studied my replies so no need to go in to detail of our pricing. However one point I like to make which explained the difficulties working with Lao Staff. The decking around the pool is new and was laid in June 2014 We used the most expansive UV and weather resident paint but all in vain as the maintenance staff did not follow the instructions I had given on the proper use of the paint ( lost in translation perhaps). So you rightly commented on the result, we will repeat the exercise in low season. This is what is commonly called an expensive work therapy, I could give you many more examples. I apologize for the fact that we have disappointed you and hope that future guest will see La Folie for what it really is, a stunning and unique place to spend a few days enjoying the peace, the Lao county side and its people, without preconceived ideas from Tripadvisor.

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