Hotel de la Paix Luang Prabang, Laos - Review

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  1. Price123

    Price123 Silver Member

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    Viewing pictures is strongly recommended (it will make you want to go) - see here.

    After quickly passing through immigration (funny how there are 5 people who pass the passport to each other in order to grant the visa) and retrieving our bags from the carousel, we were soon airside where the hotel representative was waiting for us. We have always said that Changi is the best airport in the World as you can be touchdown to taxi in 15 minutes. So it also true in LPQ, although it helps when there are only 35 people arriving, with the closest flight over 30 minutes away.

    We were delighted and surprised to be escorted to a 1930s Citroen TA, which was providing our transport to the hotel. The Hotel de la Paix has the same owners as Park Hyatt Maldives, Park Hyatt Siem Reap, Hotel de la Paix in Cha Am (Thailand) and the new Hyatt Regency Phuket. It is a converted 100 year old French Fort which was once in use as a prison and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The watch towers are still there in two corners, inside the imposing perimeter wall.

    Always a sucker for a private pool, we had booked one of the hotel's pool suites (direct with the hotel). On arrival, we were quickly escorted to the room, which had been turned down prior to our arrival with a sweet rice dessert in a bamboo basket, a mosquito coil and pretty (if ineffective) mosquito net around the bed. Yes - mosquitoes are a prolific here. However, we received few bites during our stay.

    On waking, we ventured out into our private garden, with pool large enough to swim in (and a proper depth unlike in the Maldives), a day bed and sun loungers. The spacious bathroom had folding doors, so you could open it up to the elements, although with the mossie problem we didn't. Then there was an indoor bathroom area and bedroom with seating area.

    There are signs of wear and tear, but Kirsty, the GM, acknowledges this and hints of changes to come next year. Regardless, the rooms are well appointed and offer a relaxing retreat in a serene location. The complimentary mini-bar (containing soft drinks and beer) was also a nice touch.

    Food in the hotel restaurant was, in the main, ok rather than good. However, the sister property 3 Nagas (a restaurant with rooms) served fantastic food and we ate there on 3 nights (of 5). The comprehensive menu of traditional Laotian cuisine is mouth-watering and would take a long time to exhaust all the options. I fell in love with the Mekong River-Weed (rather like the Nori used in Sushi) speckled with sesame seeds and accompanied by Buffalo Jam. Despite the way that sounds and the fact it contains strips of Buffalo skin, it is a very tasty savoury dip/spread with quite a bite. The fish of course is extremely fresh (everything is called Mekong River Fish) as are the wonderful fragrant herbs. The ambience at night is simply magical with still, warm air and surprisingly little insect life. The hotel suites here are also wonderful, so on our next stay we will spend at least 1 night here to watch the Alms giving the following morning.

    We enjoyed using the spa, which offered a wide range of treatments, reasonably priced. Pookie, the spa manager, is wonderful, as our therapists. The only problem with the spa is that in needs improved sound-proofing - the noise from outside was somewhat disruptive in the afternoon. However, this problem is acknowledged and we are sure that it will be improved on next year.

    Luang Prabang is a sleepy town, which we whole-heartedly recommend visiting. We loved cycling around, enjoying the views and the slow pace of life. Our favourite activity was the Living Land experience, where you experience the steps required in making rice, including ploughing a field behind Suziki, the water buffalo. You will also be amazed how many different snacks you can make with rice. We also enjoyed visiting the sun bear sanctuary at Kuang Si waterfalls and learning about silk at Ok Pop Tok.

    On such a long trip encompassing so many different places and experiences, it is difficult to single one out, but our favourite destination was Luang Prabang. Although there is an Aman property, there are few chains and Hotel de la Paix is a great option in the town. We look forward to the planned improvements next year and to hearing more about developments in the hotel.


    During our stay, we also met with Kirsty, the GM, who we had previously met when negotiating the Maldives Do. Our interview with her is here.
     
    gleff likes this.

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