Luang Prabang is an enchanting former royal capital, and now a small provincial town in the north of Laos. The Buddhist temples, the royal palace and the peaceful countryside feel cannot fail but charm even the most world-weary traveller. And if you’re looking for a place to stay in Luan Prabang, you’ll find the Avani+ Luang Prabang Hotel quite fitting.
The charming heritage hideaway has fifty-three rooms, a world-class spa, a gym and a gorgeous black-tile swimming pool. The Avani+hotel is also just a few minutes away from the Mekong River, and it’s surrounded by temples, monasteries and markets.
The Avani+ Luang Prabang Hotel is an elegant boutique hotel. The large manor is blessed by plenty of natural light, and the decor is minimalistic — organic fibers and light wood embellish each room. Rustic wooden window blinds are a recurring theme throughout the hotel, the amenities are at a five-star level and there are hints of arts, crafts and embroideries in every corner to remind you you’re in beautiful Laos.
The high wood beam ceilings and the warm light coming from vintage light bulbs make the common areas comforting and inviting. The highlight is the outdoor pool in the middle of the compound. The black pool tiles with turquoise hues and the wooden outdoor furniture make you want to spend the entire morning enjoying Laos’ tropical weather.
Sustainability plays a vital role in the Avani+. The hotel is not only within a UNESCO World Heritage Site surrounded by waterfalls, but it also grows its own herbs and vegetables in its organic garden. The hotel’s entire operations are aligned with the Green Growth 2050 initiative, so you’ll notice efforts to reduce energy, water, waste and greenhouse gas emissions while encouraging social and community development in and around Luang Prabang. The Avani+ is taking eco-friendly hospitality to another level.
Places to eat and drink around the Avani+ abound. Still, the hotel has a poolside bar, its own coffee bar and a full-service restaurant, the Main Street Grill and Bar.
Start the day at the Coffee Club. The coffee is outstanding — it’s sourced from the acclaimed NOMAD roastery and do try the signature iced coffees and the tropical fruit frappés; they’re delicious! As for the food, the Coffee Club offers both international classics, including the prettiest eggs bene, avocado toasts, fluffy omelettes and Asian breakfast specialties, like a meaty congee and extraordinary Thai baked eggs.
Lunch and dinner at the Coffee Club are also highly recommended. Burgers, sandwiches, pasta and chicken schnitzels are all fantastic alternatives. All the herbs and veggies come from the hotel’s own organic garden.
Dinner at the Main Street Restaurant is also a lovely experience. Although you’ll find international dishes, the highlight here is the local specialties. The Tom Som Pla fish soup is beautifully spicy, and the Khoa Soi Moo or grilled pork with curry with springy noodles is just thrilling! The Avani+ really takes care of you, from breakfast to dinner and from appetizers to dessert.
What to do during your stay
Although you can easily spend the whole weekend without leaving the Avani+ hotel, don’t miss the opportunity of exploring Luang Prabang’s surroundings. The hotel offers an exclusive cruise with an elegant buffet along the Mekong River — it’s a spiritual journey through the heart of Southeast Asia.
Phousi hill is located in the very center of Luang Prabang and is the oldest natural attraction in the city. Several structures on the top of the hill form an iconic complex of Wat Chom Si. According to the legend, the entrance to the center of the Earth is located here, as well as the imprint of the Buddha's foot. At the very top, there is a Wat Phu Si stupa and a panoramic view of Luang Prabang.
If you are after more natural wonders, dive into the aquamarine water of Kuang Si waterfalls, a series of dreamlike pools that extend up a path and culminate in the 80-meter-high crown.
The historical center has a village-like feel with its pretty streets lined with French colonial buildings, Lao-style houses of local residents and old Buddhist temples are a pleasure to stroll around. The old city of Luang Prabang was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995, it is forbidden to build tall buildings in the center of the city, and the entry of trucks and large buses is prohibited here. Stop by one of the roadside cafes for some fresh-dripped French-style coffee and soak up the atmosphere of pure tranquillity.
During your stay in Luang Prabang, make sure to visit vibrant markets to try Lao delicacies and search for unique crafts. There are dozens of vendors selling gorgeous hand-woven Hmong fabrics and decorative hand-sewn items. At the food market, have some fer (the Lao version on Vietnamese phở noodle soup), fresh spring rolls and grilled river fish for dinner paired with delicious dark Lao beer.
The skyline of Buddhist temple spires lends a special atmosphere to Luang Prabang. Mornings begin in an old fashion way with chanting from the monasteries and temples, followed by the street procession of the monks collecting alms.
Have a glance at Wat Xieng Thong, a Buddhist monastery considered to be the most significant in the city, which includes a classic sim (ordination hall) and meticulous designs.