Sign in

Forgotten your password?

Sign up for free Smith membership

×
abc
Forgotten your password?

Enter your account email address and we’ll send you a link to reset your password (it should only take a few seconds)

Sign in

×
Are you sure you want to sign out of Smith?
×
Show
Hide

iFrame []

URL:

Hotel Highlights

  • Secluded all-suite retreat, four with private pools
  • Spa for indulgent pampering
  • Gourmet Lao tucker and a cooking school on-site

Overview

When Lao tradition harmoniously marries contemporary style, you get Hotel de la Paix Luang Prabang, Managed by Accor, a Unesco-protected mansion with an storied past. This sleek retreat with its sunny courtyards, glassy pools and aromatic gardens features a spa and cooking school, too. There’s no sign of the property’s detention centre history, though; just a luxe spa and fine-dining restaurant in a relaxing, all-suite hotel.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Hôtel de la Paix Luang Prabang with us:

Return airport transfers

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Hôtel de la Paix Luang Prabang

Advance purchase: 10% off

Facilities

View Gallery
Hôtel de la Paix Luang Prabang - Luang Prabang - Laos

Need To Know

Rooms

23 suites.

Check–out

12pm, but flexible subject to availabilty (after 3pm there's a half-night charge; after 6pm, you'll need to pay for a full extra night). Check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $175.83, excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates include à la carte breakfast and afternoon tea and selected complimentary minibar treats.

Also

Let the hotel's Leisure Concierges tailor activities to suit your mood, with a host of special-access, local experiences on tap. If you can't bring yourself to leave the premises, the spa and the in-house cooking school are seriously tempting.

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout, spa, yoga pavilion, cooking school, boutique, library, bikes for guests' use. In rooms: flatscreen TV, preloaded iPod, minibar, toiletries, free bottled water.

Our favourite rooms

Set around a central courtyard, the spacious suites are a seamless blend of restored Unesco-listed colonial buildings, in trad Lao architectural style, and newer additional spaces. All offer fabulous high ceilings, dreamy net-draped beds, drenching rain showers and sinuous baths, plus private gardens. We adore the four corner Pool Suites, which include your own lap pool and a bath and shower that open up to the outdoors. Two (suites 9 and 22) even feature dramatic watchtowers for romantic dining while taking in eye-popping mountain views.

Poolside

A 25-metre outdoor swimming pool graces the spacious sun-trap of a central courtyard, fringed by guest suites so you can dive straight in. Contemporary wooden day-beds and two handy alfresco showers line the surrounding terrace.

Packing tips

Bring cool and stretchy kit to make the most of the yoga pavilion – monk-packed, mountain-backed Luang Prabang is enough to bring out the spiritual in anyone. Active types should also pack clobber for mountain biking, trekking or kayaking.

Also

Smoking is permitted but only in dedicated areas.

Children

Welcome: baby cribs are provided for free and extra beds for older children cost US$36 a night. Babysitting is available with staff from US$5 to US$12 an hour, with a day's notice.

Eco‐friendly

Food here is local, seasonal and organic where possible, and the hotel is committed to recycling and avoiding using plastic toiletry bottles. Guests can make use of free bicycles and donate to local schools through the hotel's charity programme.

Food & Drink

View Gallery
Hôtel de la Paix Luang Prabang - Luang Prabang - Laos

Hotel Restaurant

Enjoy authentic Lao and French-influenced international cuisine at all-day restaurant Kaipen, named after the tasty river weed which locals love to fry with sesame seeds. Set in a two-storey traditional wooden Lao-style house overlooking a grassy courtyard, the restaurant recreates a village feel, but once inside it's all purring ceiling fans, sleek wood and clean lines. Delicately flavoured dishes include Mekong river fish, ping kouail (grilled marinated buffalo) and gorgeous coriander, mint and watercress salads, with fresh ingredients drawn from the hotel's own organic garden and nearby markets.

Hotel Bar

Fancy a cocktail? Then make for the sultry, dark-hued Sabai lounge and library, at the back of the main courtyard. The name means 'relax', and chill out you shall, with a little help from the choice selection of books, magazines and drinks on offer. Contemporary black leather armchairs suggest stylish intimacy, with chic accessories and an inviting fire for winter warming. Pluck an illustrated tome off the inky-wood shelves, sink into an enveloping pew and ponder love, life and everything over a crisp G&T.

Last orders

Dinner is served from 6pm–11pm, with 10.30pm the cut-off for last orders in both the restaurant and bar. The outdoor Pool Lounge dishes up a light cravings menu until 5pm.

Room service

Order breakfast in your room from 6.30am–10.30am, or tasty morsels from the full in-room dining menu from 11am–10.30pm, mirroring the dishes at Kaipen. Laotian stuffed rice crepes and delicious noodle soup are a taster of what's on offer.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Informal by day, but feel free to up the ante at night. Floaty tropical gear will serve you well in Kaipen; work beach chic at the alfresco Pool Lounge.

Top table

Come evening eat out on Kaipen's courtyard lawn under the stars or retreat to the privacy of your own suite garden for private dining.

Local Guide

View Gallery
Hôtel de la Paix Luang Prabang - Luang Prabang - Laos
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

So you've been pampered to within an inch of your life at the hotel's spa, where local therapists offer massage, warm stone treatments, reflexology, facials and mani-pedi indulgence, harnessing spices, coconut and even coffee to bliss you out. The four spa rooms perch on the upper floors of two trad wooden houses, ensuring a rustic village feel. Next up book a Lao culinary class at the in-house cooking school Ka-Toke opposite, where half- or full-day courses are teamed with visits to local markets.

The hotel's tailor-made activities also take in bicycling through local villages, picnics or jogging by the Mekong River, and dawn visits to see the city's revered saffron-robed monks receiving their daily alms in the town's Old Quarter. A World Heritage tour, exploring Luang Prabang's heady mix of French colonial architecture, royal residences and historic temples is also a must. Kayaking, river trips, trekking to meet hill tribes and elephant adventures can also be arranged, as can downtime at Kuang Si waterfall and the Buddha-filled Pak Ou caves.

Feeling crafty? Then learn to hand-dye your own silk scarf or whip up paper products. Alternatively, just wander the nearby Night Market to pick up hand-made throws, delicate lanterns, chunky silver jewellery and vibrant bags, sold by locals in a slew of stalls. A short stroll away Caruso Lao (www.carusolao.com), at 60 Sakaline Road, offers a more upscale take on gorgeous Lao homewares.

Local restaurants

If you fancy heading out for dinner, treat yourself to some regal Lao cuisine at L’Elephant (+856 (0)71 252 482; www.elephant-restau.com), on Ban Wat Nong, considered one of the top tables in town by local gourmets. Don’t be put off by cheesy images of 1980s castaways, Blue Lagoon (+856 (0)71 253 698; www.blue-lagoon-cafe.com) is an elegant eatery set in a tastefully renovated Luang Prabang residence. Lao spice and French verve are served with artful presentation. For something more casual, sample street food at the tempting stalls at the evening food market off Sisavangvong Road.

Local cafés

On the Mekong riverside at 46 Ban Wat Nong, the Big Tree Café (+856 20 777 6748; www.bigtreecafe.com) has comfy lounge chairs, book-lined shelves and walls full of photos of Laotian life, as well as a lovely terrace overlooking the water. Swing by for own-label coffee, juices or tasty local, Asian and European dishes, including Korean sushi, bento boxes, tofu salad and pumpkin soup. Open for breakfast but also serving Lao Lao whisky later on, this fashion-forward venue even hosts the occasional gig by visiting muso types.

+ Enlarge
Quiet residential quarter

Hôtel de la Paix Luang Prabang

Unit 4, Ban Mano, Old Prison Road, Luang Prabang, Laos, 0600

Hôtel de la Paix Luang Prabang is nestled in the quiet residential quarter of Ban Mano, set back from the heart of Luang Prabang, but just five minutes' from the town centre. Adjacent Wat Manorom temple is handy for getting your bearings.

Planes

Fly into Luang Prabang International Airport (www.luangprabangairport.com) from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Siem Reap or Hanoi, among other regional airports. Bangkok Airways (www.bangkokair.com) and Vietnam Airlines (www.vietnamairlines.com) offer the smoothest flight connections, but Lao Airlines (www.laoairlines.com) is also a good bet. The hotel is just three kilometres or a 15-minute drive from the airport.

Automobiles

It's just five minutes' drive from the town centre to the hotel, as Luang Prabang is very compact.

Other

Several cruise boats connect Huay Xai (the bustling Mekong River port on the Thai border) with Luang Prabang, handy if you're coming from Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai in northern Thailand. Try Luang Say Cruises (www.luangsay.com), a two-day river experience including an overnight stay in rustic town Pak Beng.

Reviews

View Gallery
Hôtel de la Paix Luang Prabang - Luang Prabang - Laos

Anonymous review

by Harriet Whiting , Circumnavigating scribe

I love the effect a top hotel has on me. I don oversized sunglasses and a semi-celebrity persona at swanky St Tropez establishments. Mexican haciendas leave me wistful in a maxi dress, clutching a margarita. When I heard that Hôtel de la Paix Luang Prabang was located in Laos’ spiritual heart but used to be a prison, I wasn’t quite sure how this one would play out. As we appro…
Read more

Hôtel de la Paix Luang Prabang

Anonymous review by Harriet Whiting, Circumnavigating scribe

I love the effect a top hotel has on me. I don oversized sunglasses and a semi-celebrity persona at swanky St Tropez establishments. Mexican haciendas leave me wistful in a maxi dress, clutching a margarita. When I heard that Hôtel de la Paix Luang Prabang was located in Laos’ spiritual heart but used to be a prison, I wasn’t quite sure how this one would play out.

As we approach the hotel, huge white walls loom ominously and, at one corner, a watchtower surveys us. Being detained within those high escarpments was already making me feel like escaping, and I certainly didn’t have the wardrobe for fortress chic.

Once inside, sipping a flute of watermelon juice, my fear of confinement seems silly. We are in a spacious central courtyard, backed by handsome sparkling-white buildings that are softened by French shutters. Palm trees shift in the slight breeze and the reflection of the low hedges, dotted with cream flowers, shimmers in the landscaped pool. Mr Smith, ever the architect, has identified the distinctly colonial feel, and we learn the original buildings are conserved by Unesco, including the prison walls and watchtower which now provide a rather glamorous backdrop to the scene. I concede that the old jail, with its high roofs, slit windows and colonial fenestration, has actually created a unique canvas for Hôtel de la Paix Luang Prabang’s modern aesthetic.

Our Garden Suite turns out to be anything but cell-like. Normally first to fling himself on the bed, Mr Smith struts around investigating. He nods with approval as he switches on the silent air-con, then opens a cupboard to reveal a choice of dressing gowns. I realise I am in an intrinsically male domain: slate-grey tiled floors, dark wooden furniture, white bed linen and minimal fuss. Outside is a semi-alfresco bathroom within our private garden, including a cavernous black-tiled shower so big you could get lost in it, and a sleek bath tub set in a seductive recess. Around a corner, a pale outdoor sofa completes the picture. As I test its comfort, our own frangipani tree drops a welcome flower.

Inside, Mr Smith is living out his bachelor pad fantasies. Already the massive 42-inch television has CNN on mute and the pre-loaded iPod is humming an arrival tune as he calls room service for champagne on the double. This room has a bold, seductive feel and has certainly put Mr Smith in charge, leaving me to loll on the plump bed, swathed in white drapery (probably the only concession to a curve). I muse on how quickly my hotel persona has switched from inmate to a sultry bachelor pad accessory.
As dusk falls, the courtyard becomes a sea of flickering lanterns and an impressive night sky stretches endlessly above us. We follow the pathway towards the back of the hotel, slip through a passage in the rear wall and find ourselves in what appears to be a rural Laotian village surrounded by lofty wooden houses, perched on traditional stilts. We sit down at an alfresco table laid for two, and a waiter pulls a chunky, clay pot of glowing coals closer to keep us cosy.

Knowing we are in the capable hands of the hotel chef, we ask for the Laotian menu. Slightly at a loss as to why the hotel’s Kaipen restaurant should be named after a lowly river weed, we try this intriguing delicacy served in delicate fried slivers with a chilli dip. We taste the local barbecued buffalo too, and a spicy papaya salad with red sticky rice, which we mould into balls with our hands, Lao-style.

Although prison life is treating us extremely well, we escape for a while. After a morning fry-up, adorned with an enormous banger and proper baked beans, we borrow vintage bicycles, complete with baskets, to explore the outside world. Luang Prabang is ridiculously pretty: a peninsula sat between two fast-flowing rivers and criss-crossed by little streets blooming with bougainvilleas. It’s a serene place, thanks to photogenic orange-robed monks and ornate temples at every turn. Stopping to catch our breath we face the mighty Mekong and watch long-tailed boats whizz in all directions. We even see the celebrated river weed being hauled into bamboo baskets and wrung out to dry.

It is also ridiculously hot, and the swimming pool at Hôtel de la Paix Luang Prabang is calling. This glittering abyss is dangerously stylish and perfectly positioned for afternoon sun and a cup of tea with house-made biscuits. Suitably relaxed, we wander to the spa where, over a ginger infusion, Mr Smith – who normally balks at such pampering – decides on a traditional Lao massage. Once he is safely ensconced in his solitary confinement, I indulge in some therapy of the retail variety at the hotel’s small boutique, where jewellery and stylish spa products are up for grabs. Afterwards, coming down from my new-purchase high, I realise with regret that Mr Smith and I are soon eligible for early release from this captivating institution.



 

The Guestbook

Reviews of Hôtel de la Paix Luang Prabang from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

No Smith members have posted their reviews of Hôtel de la Paix Luang Prabang yet. You could be the first!