Facing the famed Mekong River, located in a former palace, this boutique hotel maintains a royal standard by providing the extras that make the difference between average and superb. Even before we arrived, we received several welcoming emails confirming our reservation over the New Year holiday plus one inviting us to the hotel's complimentary gala celebration. The evening began with a cocktail reception that featured a performance of traditional music and dance and continued with a carefully prepared, five course gourmet meal.
While the dinner was a grand gesture, it was the little touches that meant even more. In addition to the celebration, we received a keepsake of Laotian art. Then there was the daily breakfast buffet that included homemade specialties and a variety of delicious hot and cold dishes to cater to the diverse tastes of its international guests. Even on cool mornings, it was possible to dine on the terrace facing the river -- braziers filled with burning embers kept us warm and comfy.
All upscale hotels provide robes, slippers, luxury toiletries and turn down service, but here, instead of just candy on the pillow, there was a tiny, handmade straw artifact - a rice basket, a sea weed catcher - all with a card that said hanging it on your door would bring prosperity to your home. Every evening, the staff also placed a unique device in the room that kept away insects and other critters.
Another big plus is that at sunrise every morning, on the street behind the hotel, there's a parade of saffron robed monks carrying bowls to receive offerings from the local people and tourists who want to participate in the ritual. (Hint: Do not miss this once-in-a-lifetime experience.)
On the surface, the hotel has everything we require: location combined with a competent and generous staff, a pleasing atmosphere, tasteful, comfortable furnishings and a well maintained property. But here, it was the little touches that really enhanced our experience and made it so extra special.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the heart of Luang Prabang, surrounded by the golden spires of the town’s famous Buddhist temples is Victoria Xiengthong Palace, the last residence of the Laos Royal Family. This beautiful boutique property has been lovingly restored to its former glory, and once more sits proudly on the banks of the Mekong River. The 26 elegantly appointed rooms and suites capture the essence of Laos’ unique culture and style, with local materials and fabrics used throughout. Look out upon the majestic Wat Xiengthong – the town’s most famous temple, or simply sit back and soak up the ambience of this UNESCO protected palace, the perfect place to discover the wonder and charm of Luang Prabang – the Jewel of Indochina. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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