La Residence Phou Vao
Luang Prabang, Laos
Luang Prabang, Laos
LUANG PRABANG, LAOS
Belmond La Residence Phou Vao in Luang Prabang, was the former guest house of the king. The four, two-story white stucco buildings are surrounded by gardens and pathways strewn with frangipani and bougainvillea blossoms. Set on top of the hill, it commands a widescreen view of Mount Phousi and the surging mountains beyond. Guests are met on arrival with cold lemongrass-scented towels and water by a discreetly attentive staff; the result is a hotel that feels more like a home.
Set in two acres of lush tropical gardens, La Résidence Phou Vao has 34 rooms and suites. Each room and suite is decorated in rosewood and teak, with gleaming wood floors and white beds draped in gauzy mosquito nets. Large bathrooms have immense green terrazzo tubs, and wood vanities with double sinks. Private verandas with opium beds overlook the little red roofed houses against the backdrop of the signature misty hills of Luang Prabang.
The two serene pools at the La Résidence Phou Vao include the main infinity pool by the restaurant with views of the mountains, and the dipping pool next to the Condé Nast award-winning Mekong Spa. The indulgent and soothing treatments are based on traditional Laotian herbal remedies, using locally produced organic essential oils. The resort’s Phou Savanh Restaurant looks out across the mountains, and has Lao and Western favourites.
Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao LUANG PRABANG, LAOS
Stay There are 34 rooms and suites at Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao, all with wonderful views. The Garden View Rooms are on the ground floor and have a private terrace shaded by tall trees. Mountain View rooms have dramatic views of Luang Prabang and the mountains beyond, as well as the magnificent Phou Si Temple. The Pool View rooms have views of the infinity pool that is beautifully lit at night. Rooms feature a King-sized bed or two twin beds with luxury rosewood and natural textile furnishings and a spacious bathroom with free-form terrazzo bath.
ChildCare Children are welcome to stay at the La Résidence Phou Vao but there are no specific facilities available for them. Baby cots are free, extra beds for older kids are at a charge. Children meals and babysitting can be arranged upon request.
Dine The Phou Savanh is the main restaurant at the La Résidence Phou Vao and serves Laotian and French influenced cuisine. Buffet breakfast dishes up a large choice of fresh pastries, artisanal bread, homemade jams and quality coffee. BBQs are available at lunchtime and some favourites include Mekong Fish fillet, rice paper spring rolls and pan-fried chicken and beef tenderloin. In the evening enjoy your meal in the romantic lantern lit gardens.
Relax Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao’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, it’s made of limestone and at the end walk down the stony path to splash water from traditional earthenware urns, feels great. The stunning 13-metre freshwater infinity swimming pool has views of the lush valleys and glittering golden pagodas below.
Experience The concierge at the La Résidence Phou Vao can arrange the morning visit to the alms collection by the Monks or an excursion to the waterfall with a picnic. The setup can be incredibly romantic and a bit over the top in a pampered sort of way. Not only will you have your own guide but also a waiter to set up the table with white linen and silver and the meal included is a centre piece.
Location Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao is located on a hill overlooking the UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang. Once the guest house of the former king, La Residence, retains its elegance and offers a serene environment from which you can easily visit the fascinating sights in the city.
Getting There Take an international flight to Luang Prabang. Lao Airlines is the national carrier and monopolises the majority of flights in and out of the country, though many code-shares with other air carriers. La Résidence Phou Vao is located just 4 kilometres away from Luang Prabang International Airport.
When to go The climate in Luang Prabang remains tropical. The best time to visit is in the months between November and mid-March. During these months the days are pleasant and the nights are chilly. Thereafter the temperature begins to rise and March to May gets very hot. The monsoon arrives in the month of April and peak in August but continues until mid-October. Travel is difficult during these months. Avoid travelling during March-April and August.