“Unremitting elegance, a spoiling spa, and a pool with a view make this temple of oriental chic impossible to resist”
The hallmark here is an impeccable simplicity (don’t come looking for clutter). You’ll find whitewashed walls, contemporary four-posters kitted out in crisp white linen, shiny teak floors and a wall of glass opening onto shaded balconies or terraces. Here you get 2 opium-bed loungers embedded in wooden frames. In between, there’s a small coffee table with sparkling tea pots, so sip your Earl Grey, read your book, snooze through the afternoon.
All suites at La Residence are gorgeously airy and spacious, and come in the same cool style. They are categorised by their view (prices rise as the views get better), so choose from Garden View, Mountain View, Mountain Pool View or top-of-the-range Phou Vao Suite. We had a Garden View Suite and loved it, but Mountain View rooms are not much more expensive, so you may want to splash out on one of these. We felt the Mountain Pool View Suites were a little less private, and thought that the 2 Phou Vao Suites would be best suited to those staying long periods of time due to their separate sitting areas.
Inside, you get cushioned sofas, good lighting, TVs and mini-bars that are hidden away in pretty wooden cabinets. There are bowls of fruit, too. Big airy bathrooms are equally wonderful and come with polished rosewood surfaces, huge wall mirrors and terrazzo baths in green with overhead showers; all come with robes, slippers and soothing oils.
A fabulous breakfast is served in the Phou Savanh restaurant and is accompanied by a newssheet that brings you up to date. You help yourself to a huge buffet breakfast. Dig into fruit salads and freshly-sliced fruits, assorted jugs of freshly-squeezed juice, cold plates of cheese and ham, hot plates of bacon and eggs (and even baked beans!), then a raft of patisserie, all of which is baked in the kitchen: pain au chocolat, croissants, baguette, brioche, even chocolate cake.
Throughout the day a menu of light snacks offers pasta and salads, sandwiches and burgers, onion tarts, spring rolls and home-made potato chips. If you want something more substantial for lunch the dinner menu is available, too. You eat either in the airy dining room, where glass doors retract and open the room up to views of distant mountains, or out on the terrace, which is lit by candle lanterns at night; if the temperature cools, they light coal fires to keep you warm. Try stuffed bamboo shoots or foie gras, wok-fried Mekong perch or magret de canard, tropical fruits or tarte au chocolat. It’s all delicious and there’s a good wine list to enjoy. All meals can be brought to your room, or you can opt to dine amongst 500 candles or in a secluded pagoda upon request. Unwind with a sundowner in the Doc Champa Bar, which overlooks the pool and has an impressive wine and cocktail list.
Luang Prabang has some of the best food in Indochina with a clutch of excellent cafés and restaurants from which to choose; the streets at night are alive with tourists and locals. Staff are more than happy to recommend restaurants and make table reservations.
The hotel is child-friendly, with extra beds and children's menus available, but the pool is not supervised. Under 2s go free; 2-12 year olds pay 50% for food and beverages; over 12s pay normal rates.
All rooms can fit an extra bed or baby cot, but we'd recommend the Phou Vao Suite as it comes with a sitting room that features a single sofabed as well as being able to fit an additional bed or baby cot.