La Residence Phou Vao
Luang Prabang, Laos
Luang Prabang, Laos
The gorgeous La Residence Phou Vao was the former guest house of the king. The main building is an elegant wooden floored building which leads out onto a pretty infinity pool with spectacular views over the valley and to Mount Phousi. Even when it has all the modern conveniences, it still keeps an old world charm about it.
Sleep Our room is spacious with dark wooden floors and a private outdoor terrace. Furnishings are exemplary and high quality, perhaps with the exception of the old tube TV. From the room and the balcony we can see the little red roofed houses against the backdrop of the signature misty hills of Luang Prabang. There is a sense of peace and serenity about it. When did you last hear the roosters crow and smell incense mixed with frangipanis in the air?
Dine The breakfast had a wide selection of fruits, pastries etc and eggs made to order. The attending staff, immaculately dressed and some in traditional Hmong dress looked elegant! Dinner around the pool, overlooking what appears in the night as floating pagoda, is magical. The area has lots of candlelight, warm fires in pots to keep the chill off, and lanterns in the trees. However we opted for the 500 Candle private dinner, which was truly memorable - especially when the hot air lanterns were launched into the clear night sky – it is simply wonderful!
Relax The hotel’s Mekong Spa is probably one of the best in the region. The custom-designed spa treatments are based on traditional Laotian herbal remedies. Try the steam room, its made of limestone and at the end walk down the stony path to splash water from traditional earthenware urns, feels great. We finished with relaxing in the pool.
Explore The morning visit to the alms collection by the Monks was a great experience. Later, an excursion to the waterfall with a picnic for two left us in awe. The setup was incredibly romantic and a bit over the top in a pampered sort of way. Not only did we have our own guide but also a waiter to set up the table with white linen and silver and the meal included a centre piece.
One More Thing What truly makes this place so special is the combination of understated elegance and an incredible attention to detail. Even the departure at the airport is associated with checking in our luggage and ensuring that everything is taken care of. It is the small things that make a big difference.
There are only three international airports in Laos; Wattay International Airport in Vientiane, Luang Prabang International airport and Pakse International airport. You can fly from Vientiane to Phnom Pen, Siem Reap, Kunming, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. From Vientiane you can also travel to Luang Prabang by boat. Lao Airlines is the national carrier and monopolises the majority of flights in and out of the country, though many code-share with other air carriers.