The Best Luxury Hotels in Luang Prabang, Laos
The Nam Ou, a tributary of the Mekong River, winds its way through the verdant Luang Prabang Province | © robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
The Unesco-listed Luang Prabang was the royal seat of Laos until the 1970s. Today, it continues to draw in visitors with its rich history and serene beauty – and a selection of gorgeous hotels. Hilltop mansions, luxury-camping retreats and the former childhood home of the first president of Laos make up a smart selection of places to stay. Here’s our pick – bookable with Culture Trip.
Set against the backdrop of the sacred Mount Phousi, at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers, the quietly beautiful Luang Prabang is steeped in spirituality. In the early mornings, you can observe tak bat, the long-standing Buddhist ceremony where monks from the many temples in the area walk the streets collecting alms (donations). Despite its compact size, the city is also popular with high-end hoteliers, giving jet-setters more reason to stay.
Rosewood Luang Prabang
5/5 (4 Reviews)
Courtesy of Rosewood Luang Prabang / Expedia
Built with indigenous materials and designed with French and Lao sensibilities, this stunning hilltop resort is a work of art in itself. Choose from 17 palatial riverside rooms and villas, or embark on a glamping adventure in one of the six luxury tents – each with a large deck with plenty of seating and elevated views over the pin-drop-quiet valley.
Luxury, Boutique Hotel
4.3/5 (70 Reviews)
Courtesy of The Apsara / Expedia
Named for a celestial nymph in Hindu and Buddhist culture, this modern resort sits on the banks of the tranquil Nam Khan River and offers comfortable lodgings in a beautiful setting. Rooms feature vivid colours and include local touches such as Lao textiles and artwork. For food, the in-house restaurant, Paste at the Apsara, serves inventive plant-based dishes, such as crunchy cured rice balls with kaffir-lime zest and red-curry paste, as well as in-depth tasting menus.
The Belle Rive Boutique Hotel
Luxury, Boutique Hotel
4.8/5 (112 Reviews)
Courtesy of The Belle Rive Boutique Hotel / Expedia
On the banks of the Mekong River, this chic hotel is ideally placed for walking to attractions such as the Royal Palace, Wat Xieng Thong and the Night Market. Each room opens up to peaceful river views and features natural materials, such as wood and ceramics, for that added earthy feel. Enjoy an all-you-can-eat breakfast on the hotel’s riverside terrace, under the dappled shade of swaying coconut trees.
My Dream Boutique Resort
Boutique Hotel, Resort, Spa Hotel
4.7/5 (213 Reviews)
Courtesy of My Dream Boutique Resort / Hotels.com
For those looking for an idyllic tropical getaway, you’ll love the wood and flagstone interiors, bamboo furniture and lush greenery at the elegant My Dream Boutique Resort. The well-dressed rooms come with private balconies and floor-to-ceiling glass doors that flood the interior with natural light. After a day of adventure – the hotel can arrange homestays in local Lao villages, waterfall trips and floats along the Mekong’s tributaries – indulge in a therapeutic massage at the spa, or take a dip in the large outdoor pool.
3 Nagas Luang Prabang – MGallery
4.6/5 (85 Reviews)
Courtesy of 3 Nagas Luang Prabang – MGallery / Expedia
Named for the mythical half-human, half-cobra beings, this opulent hotel comprises three structures built in the atmospheric Indochine-era style. Tucked within wood-shuttered, whitewashed walls are 15 spacious rooms, each beautifully decorated with dark woods and silk weavings and featuring serene views of the surrounding gardens. While the hotel loans bicycles for free, you don’t have to venture far to enjoy delicious food. The in-house 3 Nagas Restaurant serves Lao classics such as khoua kai sai khing (stir-fried chicken with ginger) or mok paa (fish steamed in banana leaves).
Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao
Luxury, Chain Hotel
Courtesy of Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao / Expedia
This five-star retreat sits atop a hill, complete with resplendent views of the viridian mountains surrounding Luang Prabang. With just 34 suites, expect privacy and exclusivity. Each room features large picture windows, and some include an outdoor terrace. For a romantic meal, book a 500-candle dinner at the gazebo near the lily pond, set to the sounds of traditional Lao music; it’s one of many above-and-beyond experiences – including sunset cruises, visits with a village shaman and more – offered by this stately Belmond stay.
Sofitel Luang Prabang
Resort, Garden Hotel
4.7/5 (102 Reviews)
Courtesy of Sofitel Luang Prabang / Expedia
Formerly the French governor’s private residence in the 1900s, this refurbished property now houses 25 villas with shuttered windows, hand-carved bed frames and exquisite Lao textiles. Each comes with a private garden; the best include a private pool. If you’re feeling peckish, visit the acclaimed Governor’s Grill, which sources local ingredients, or try your hand at traditional Lao cooking at a workshop taught by the hotel chefs.
Avani+ Luang Prabang Hotel
4.6/5 (67 Reviews)
Courtesy of Avani+ Luang Prabang Hotel / Expedia
As it’s only a five-minute walk from the mighty Mekong River and several heritage temples, this luxurious hotel is the perfect base for exploring the Unesco-listed town. Yogis will appreciate the peaceful pavilion on the hotel lawn, while those with green fingers can lend a hand at the hotel’s rooftop garden before learning to prep classic Lao dishes. Back in your room, comfort comes courtesy of plush, expansive beds, rainfall showers and twin vanities.
Resort, Garden Hotel
4.7/5 (170 Reviews)
Courtesy of Satri House / Expedia
This colonial-era mansion is where the first president of Laos lived as a boy, and at the turn of the millennium, it underwent a complete makeover, transforming the estate into a boutique hotel. Hidden among pond- and palm-dotted grounds, you’ll now find 28 character-packed rooms and three suites accented with local Lao artefacts and antiques. During your stay, you can take a dip in the large outdoor pools, catch up on your reading at the library or savour a cocktail at the garden bar. You can also book a trip on the Satri Boat for a languorous cruise down the Mekong at sunset.
Kiridara Luang Prabang
Courtesy of Kiridara Luang Prabang / Expedia
This stylish four-star stay is in the heart of Luang Prabang, giving you easy access to key attractions such as the Royal Palace, the 18th-century Wat Mai and Mount Phousi. The 24 pared-back rooms, each with a balcony or private garden, are soothing and neutral, accentuated with modern art pieces. Tuck into a satisfying meal at Chef’s Table Luang Prabang Restaurant, or pamper yourself with room service. An outdoor pool is a great foil for the tropical heat.
Le Sen Boutique Hotel
4.8/5 (127 Reviews)
Courtesy of Le Sen Boutique Hotel / Expedia
Adjacent to the Night Market and within 30m (98ft) of the famed Wat Manorom, this beautiful property is set around a leafy courtyard and a large outdoor pool. Rooms offer a home-from-home vibe, with luxe touches such as a free-standing tub in the executive suite and an outdoor terrace where you can enjoy a leisurely breakfast.
Suite Hotel, Spa Hotel
Āman is synonymous with high-end luxury, and its Luang Prabang property is no exception. At the foot of Mount Phousi, this charming resort stretches out across a historic garden estate, with 24 lavish villas, most of which come with private pools in enclosed courtyards. The concierge can arrange local experiences, such as meditation classes, silk-weaving workshops and even a photography masterclass with pro snapper Hans Berger.
This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Regina Beach.
These recommendations were updated on June 15, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.