Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao
What We Love
- Breakfast is included in the Jetsetter rate
- The infinity pool has views across a green valley to the gold stupa atop Mount Phousi
- There's a free shuttle to/from town
- The serene garden spa with its own pool and separate villas
What To Know
- A 10 percent service charge per night will be collected at the Jetsetter checkout
- It's about an eight-minute car or tuk-tuk ride into town, or a 25-minute walk ending in a steep driveway
- Hotel decor is romantic and traditional, far from trendy
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
This uber-romantic Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. boutique property is the perfect base for visiting the mystically beautiful town of Luang Prabang, once the royal capital of Laos, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its 32 historic temples. Set on a hillside, Belmond La Residence Phou Vao evokes the nostalgia of French Indochina. The wood-beamed two-story white stucco buildings are surrounded by gardens, pathways are strewn with frangipani and bougainvillea blossoms, and pink water lilies bloom in ponds. Guests are met on arrival with cold lemongrass-scented towels, water and snacks by a discreetly attentive staff; the result is a hotel that feels more like a home.
Bed & Bath
Guestrooms are decorated in rosewood and teak, with gleaming wood floors and white beds draped in gauzy mosquito nets. In the bathrooms there are immense green terrazzo tubs, and tall vases of tuberose perfume the air from wood vanities with double sinks. Bowls of local fruit are changed daily.
In the morning the restaurant offers French pastries, crepes, house-made yogurt and jams made from such exotic ingredients as tamarind and papaya, as well as Asian fare and a full American breakfast. Don’t miss the spicy Lao sausages. By night the poolside dining area is lit with strings of floating candles. La Residence can arrange guided tours of nearby waterfalls, boat rides up the Mekong River to caves filled with hundreds of images of the Buddha, or dawn excursions into town to offer food to monks from Luang Prabang’s temple abbeys. There are regular shuttles from the hotel into town, making it easy to shop, dine at any of the town’s surprisingly good French or Lao restaurants, and wander the sleepy streets, visit the temples or sit by the river.
In the Area
Take a pirogue up the wide Mekong to see hundreds of images of the Buddha in the caves at Pak Ou, stopping on the way back at villages to try rice whiskey and visit silk weavers. In Luang Prabang, tour the 32 historic temples, especially the 500-year-old architectural masterpiece Wat Xieng Thong, and visit the night market for silk, cotton and hill tribe crafts; don’t miss the town’s handful of high-end boutiques. For panoramic views of the historic town, climb Mount Phousi, across from the Royal Palace, which lies on a peninsula at the junction of two rivers, the Nam Khan and the Mekong.
How to Get There
Just returned from a week's stay at this lovely hotel we used as a base for exploring Luang Prabang and surrounding area. A genuine big thank you to each and everyone of the team who gave us a warm welcome and cared for us with such great attention to detail, perfect service (without being intrusive) and wonderful food. Our room was beautiful and overlooked the infinity pool which framed an incredible mountain view. A complimentary car service into town which is only a few minutes away yet seems a million miles away when you are nestled in the comfort of the hotel.
We stayed 4 wonderful days in this lovely boutique hotel and were thoroughly spoiled by Michael Haefner and his team. They couldn't do enough for us, dressing us in costume and taking us in the early morning to give rice (alms) to the saffron coloured monks. The hotel had it's own boat with a butler and they took us up the Mekong for a sunset cruise with drinks. The food, the spa, the pool all was just beautiful and the driver took us into town and night markets all with good humour. We have stayed in many special hotels and are seasoned travellers but this hotel had such an "ambiance" and friendly feel to it. Thank you Michael and your fabulous team.
We had the best time in this very special Resort. Luxurious, personal, relaxed and always feeling very welcoming by the lovely smiling staff. Our room had the most fantastic views over the garden and the hills.Their shuttle service was great and very much appreciated by us specially the very personal ones.Thank you all for making our stay so memorable.
This is the first time we experienced a Belmond property and if this is anything to go by, we will definitely be back. The standard of service is impeccable, with everyone from drivers, front desk, restaurant waiters and support staff all engaging and attentive to your needs. The hotel is located on a hill, and we were upgraded to a mountain facing room, with a wonderful view of the golden stupa, rolling hills and swimming pool. The breakfast is fantastic, and you have a choice of western or Laos specialities. The hotel has a free shuttle to restaurants and this is a great convenient way of getting to their recommended places to eat. Fantastic short getaway for us, and we are are looking to stay at the rest of their properties in the region. Perhaps if we were to find one thing which we thought was out of the ordinary was that we were charged USD4 for 2 glasses of hotel ice water by the pool. We gladly paid, but thought for a hotel of this standard, this would have been free as a service to guests.
This hotel is special. From the superb infinity pool and dining area, that look out over the hills, to the well appointed rooms. The staff are happy, welcoming and keen to look after you, to ensure your stay is exceptional. The cocktails are great too, my favourite - Thai Oasis!