Sofitel Luang Prabang
What We Love
- The Jetsetter rate includes daily breakfast, round-trip airport transfers, free drinks from the minibar, a fruit basket and a welcome drink on arrival and a turndown service with local delicacies
- Sabai, a library with plump leather armchairs, doubles as a snazzy cocktail bar come sundown
- A genuinely friendly staff
- The history: It’s a former prison with award-winning modern architecture
What To Know
- Room service is available from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
- Guestrooms are modern and minimalist
- It’s a 5-minute ride into town
- In order to coordinate airport transfers, guests must inform the property of flight times prior to arrival
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Once a prison, the property has been lovingly transformed into the Hotel de la Paix Luang Prabang, a chic retreat with a cool, minimalist vibe. The watchtowers of the prison remain and provide an exciting dose of intrigue, as well as plenty of privacy. Black-and-white photos of monks and the local area adorn the walls of the public spaces; the suites are all arranged around a courtyard, which has a 25-meter swimming pool and a reflecting pool edged by shaded loungers and a landscaped rose- and frangipani-scented garden.
Bed and Bath
Bangkok-based architect and designer Duangrit Bunnag has injected a low-key dose of Laotian cool into the 23 suites, which come with private walled ivy-clad gardens or small pools. All come with cool, modernist leather sofas and muslin-draped beds, and they have walls decorated in candy cane rainbow stripes to add color. The large bathrooms have tubs with a unique indoor/outdoor design (just make sure you light an anti-mosquito coil first), meaning you can bathe alfresco; they also come with rainfall showers. Two suites have direct access to the watchtowers — a perfect location for private dining with a view.
Kaipen, the all-day restaurant, is a good place to try local dishes such as thick beef curry cooked in coconut milk and lotus seed, or Mekong river fish, grilled buffalo and fresh zingy salads. Want to fine-tune your skills in the kitchen? Sign up for one of the cooking classes at the on-site Ka-Toke Cooking School. Be sure to carve out some time to relax by the swimming pool or pamper yourself at Spa Indochine. Set in a replica Lao village at the back of the complex, with freestanding wooden stilt houses, this is a spa fit for royalty; it offers a full range of holistic treatments, such as Lao coffee scrubs and traditional Lao massages. And if you’re looking for something a bit more active, you can borrow one of the hotel’s bicycles and explore the area.
In the Area
In the predawn darkness, kneel along the route traveled by monks each morning accepting alms. Be sure to buy fruit, crackers or other food offerings the night before, then immerse yourself in this ancient tradition. Visit some of the 32 ancient Buddhist temples that are packed into the old city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Browse the handicrafts night market, which sets up each evening along Sisavangvong Road in the old city. Be sure to check out the amazing array of street food in one of the side alleys near the southern end of the market. Book custom tours to visit gorgeous local waterfalls, ride through the jungle on the back of an elephant, or learn the art of Hmong batik and weaving, among other adventures.
How to Get There
Really enjoyed our stay here - all the comforts you’d expect from a Sofitel from the welcome to the beautifully appointed rooms. The swimming pool and the gardens are beautiful and the rabbits are cool too. The only disappointment for us was the Governors Grill - the meal choice was very limited and breakfast not quite as good as it should have been having said that the staff were very friendly.
This resort was remodeled from the previous French governors house. The suite was luxuriously renovated. Pool and gym was open in 24 hours. Breakfast was fantastic with a variety of Laos local cuisines. 15 minutes by walking to night market. Overall, that was a top-notch hotel. However, be careful of the difference of reservation information between the hotel received and the third party. If you booked through the third party make sure print the original reservation voucher. Fortunately this issue I experienced was solved perfectly finally. The frontline staffs were friendly and worked efficiently.
This is quite a tricky review to write. We loved our time in Luang Prabang and we have no complaints or problems with the Sofitel but somehow the hotel didn't really do it for us.
To be positive for a start, it is a lovely looking hotel, beautifully laid out with very nice gardens. The rooms were interesting (different layouts compared to most hotels) and well equipped. the staff were all very good - no complaints at all.
But somehow and for a reason we can't quite put our finger on we found the hotel lacking in some way. It may be that we had been spoilt with our previous 2 hotels in Siem Reap and Da Nang/Hoi An, both of which were exceptional? It may have been because we had to move bedrooms at midnight on our first night due to dripping water through our bedroom ceiling onto our bed, (not a complaint, the hotel staff managed this very well - immediately making a different room available to us)? Maybe it was because it was so quiet in the low season so had no vibe? Or maybe it was the 'Sofitel' factor! (I have found with a number of Sofitel hotels we have stayed in recently (in Hanoi and Dubai) that they are fine but still leave us a bit flat.
We had a couple of small gripes - breakfast was limited in its menu (although nicely prepared) and we were asked ('sold') 3 times to come to local dinner with local dancing in the restaurant, including once at 5.30 in the evening when someone rang us in our room, which seemed a bit desperate, especially since each time we said our dinner plans were already in place! But neither of these were disastrous, just observations.
We look forward to visiting LP again at some stage - but next time we will be finding a high quality independent boutique type hotel - I think these types of hotel are far better associated with this kind of destination than the chains.
On the basis that there really is nothing wrong with the hotel, we have rated it 4 star - but unlike other hotels we have stayed at in the region, we won't be rushing back.
Sorry Sofitel LP - you didn't do anything wrong - we just weren't that fond of you!
The service was perfect, intimate, friendly and private, beautiful setting for all occasions. The staff went out of their way to help and advise. The room was lovely, clean and comfortable. Quiet and yet relatively easy to go and visit the sites.
My husband and I just returned from a wonderful 5 days in the Sofitel Luang Prabang.
We would like to recommend this hotel to our fellow travelers. The hotel is set in an immaculate garden in which nestled within are the swimming pool and a pond. It is a wonderful spot to unwind after a day's exploring the city and its surroundings. The rooms are very clean and very nicely decorated the bed, well, it will be difficult for you to leave the bed in the morning as it is extremely comfortable, and the pillows are the best we came across.
The Governor's Grill is wonderful relaxing place to have your breakfast or any other meal. Just recently the hotel has started to offer a special night in which you get to sample the local Lao cuisine with local dancers performing an array off different ethnic dances. At first we were a bit uncertain as we usually don't like to take part in such occasions, but we decided to give it a go and where very glad we did. The evening was mails away from a tourist trap, quit the contrary, the food was very nicely presented and very tasty, you can ask for refill if needs be, and the dancers give us the fill as if we are a part of a big family to the point they got all of us dancing by the end of the preference. Everything was conducted very peacefully and not at all overwhelming.
We would like to thank everyone in the Governor's grill especially Miss Melia and Miss Ali, how did their best to make us fill welcomed and at home. We would like to thank Mr. Puthapong Purushahansa, director of guest experience who did his upmost to insure that we had the best time at the hotel. And last but not least, we would like to personally thank Mr. Kevin Jung, front office manager, and all his team, who always with a smile answered our very many questions, made sure that all our trips where booked and on time, recommended good restaurants and catered for every request .
All the team went out of their way to insure we had the best time possible, and for that we would like to thank them all very much