Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao
Positioned in the hills above the former royal capital (and now UNESCO World Heritage site) of Luang Prabang, this Orient-Express property is a charming luxury spa escape. As the first of its kind in the area, the Mekong Spa relies solely on local organic gardens and farms for ingredients that fuel its traditional Laotian herbal remedies and therapies, from the ambitiously titled Jet Lag Delight to the gentler Seven Flowers Royal Treatment. Guest suites contain rosewood furniture and Laotian cotton sofas, and are surrounded by fragrant frangipani. Sit by the freshwater infinity pool, laden with emerald tiles, while taking in the goose-bump-inducing view: lush mountains studded with golden pagodas and shrines.
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From Food & Wine , SEP 2005
Bordered by the Mekong River and a tributary on three sides, Luang Prabang has about 50,000 residents, who live in colonial houses along the town's narrow streets and in the surrounding hills. Visitors can stay in guesthouses—converted French-colonial mansions with river views—for about $50 a night. I stayed at Le Résidence Phou Vao, a small, exquisite hotel about a 20-minute walk from the town center....MORE