“A serene mountain escape in northern Laos, with treks to remote hill tribes, great fusion food and thermal pools”
The 10 rooms are named after local hill-tribe communities, and decorated with their distinct colour themes. They are spread between beautiful timber and bamboo houses, and furnished with jewel-coloured cushions, locally woven textiles, lampshades and traditional art.
There are 6 Garden View rooms. Lenten and Akha are twin-bedded and feel light and airy with silvery white walls, polished wooden floors, high vaulted ceilings and small balconies looking out to the lawn. Their bathrooms have showers only. The other 4 rooms (Tai Leu, Lao, Hmong and Khamu) sit perpendicular to the river, also facing the garden. These rooms have recently renovated bathrooms with large tubs and separate showers. As a result, we thought they were the best-value rooms.
The 4 River View rooms have large balconies and are vast inside. Ceilings are extremely high, and with retro-style furniture and brightly coloured fabrics, they are more eclectic in design. Their terrazzo bathrooms are huge with double sinks and oversized bathtubs. Katou and Lamet are furthest from reception and feel very private; they would work well for a family or 2 couples as they have the added benefit of a shared lounge area with a coffee machine. We stayed in Katou and had the most peaceful sleep in the comfy queensize bed.
Your stay includes breakfast and dinner. The dining area is rustic and open with a large deck overlooking the river - it has an African safari-lodge feel, and in cooler months they light a fire pit for aperitifs. Dinner is an impressive affair, with a daily changing 5-course set menu (though they can cater for dietary requirements). The food is a fine fusion of traditional Lao and French flavours; think brochette of pork with lemongrass or fish pudding cooked in a banana leaf. Everything is beautifully presented and we enjoyed every mouthful, particularly the Asiatic apple crumble, which had pineapple in the fruit mix and peanuts in the topping.
For an additional charge, dinner can be served in the private sala on the small island opposite the resort, accessed by a rope bridge lit with oil torches. If you're here for a special occasion it's definitely worth it - we had pre-dinner drinks here one evening, surrounded by dozens of lanterns and candles.
Lunch (extra cost) at the resort is also a set menu, including dishes such as green papaya salad, Khao Pat (pork fried rice), Pad Thai and pasta. If you're out for the day, ask for a picnic - we were really impressed with our scrumptious spicy beef and rice cooked on a portable gas cooker overlooking the most beautiful rice terraces. For a change of scene there are simple restaurants within walking distance.
Breakfast is a Western meal, and less impressive than lunch and dinner, though certainly filling. We were offered a basket full of fluffy breads, croissants and pastries, plus eggs and bacon.
The hotel offers a range of excellent activities, which include the following:
Families are welcome. The hotel can provide baby cots (free of charge) and rollaway beds for 2-12 year-olds (supplement charge), or children aged 0-12 can share the bed with their parents for free. Due to the nature of the excursions, the remote location and the limited variety of children’s food, the resort is best suited to active older children who love the outdoors, although you will need to pay full adult rates for 12+ year-olds.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available