Raising the bar on Luang Prabang’s artistic sensibilities.
Luang Prabang has a chic new address for affordable luxury: Souphattra Hotel. Lovingly decorated with just the right amount of stylistic Lao touches, it is subdued enough not to be distracting but contributes to a unique artistic space for quiet contemplation.
The layout and design of Souphattra is the brainchild of noted Thai architect, Sarayut Fongvanaluck. Occupying a space just outside the downtown area, he conceived of fashioning modern French colonial buildings, but with all of the modern conveniences, all the while keeping with UNESCO’s strict building regulations.
On entering the hotel from the bustling street, you are greeted by welcoming staff and ushered into the lobby, decked out in white walls and black wood furniture, with elements of design in gray and blue, lending a clean cooling feel from the tropical heat. The ebony chairs resemble howdahs, or elephant saddles, a throwback to when Laos was known as the Land of a Million Elephants. A comfortable sitting area to reflect on days past as the palm leaf fan spins overhead, circulating air from the lobby’s vaulted ceiling.
Just behind the lobby is Lao Derm Restaurant, a branch of one of Vientiane’s most famous Lao food restaurants. Hotel breakfasts are served here, but you should also try the lunch and dinner menus. The chefs here incorporate the freshest of local ingredients to bring the most savory traditional Lao dishes to your table, depending on the season, such as an organic catfish stew with pickled bamboo shoots, or a special minced beef laap salad recipe from distant Houaphan province, accompanied by purple sticky rice.
Meals and snacks may also be taken around Souphattra’s impressive 25-meter swimming pool, tiled in beautiful turquoise. Loungers and umbrellas provide a spot to rest and enjoy the placid ambiance in between dips. The nearby pool bar also serves an array of cocktails and refreshments to keep you cool in the warm sun.
Souphattra also offers spa services for those who really want some deep relaxation. A variety of treatments are on offer including massages and scrubs to help you maintain holistic wellness on your journey.
Last, but certainly not least, the hotel’s 37 guest rooms sit in three colonial-style buildings, each with uniquely Lao accents fitting in the hotel’s artistic timeline where each building’s décor hearkens back to various eras of Lao history. The Historic House is decorated with touches reminiscent of Laos’ golden age of prosperity in the 14th-17th centuries showcasing ancient Lao motifs. The Colonial House represents the era when Laos was a part of French Indochina and has elements from the time French explorers first ventured to this region, such as artistic sketches of houses from that time period. Lastly, overlooking the pool is the Artisan House, showcasing some of the modern ethnic diversity that exists in the country, with highlights such as Hmong skirts splayed out into eye-catching circular wall hangings.
Divided into Deluxe Rooms, Pool View Rooms, Junior Suites, and the large Souphattra Suite, the rooms exude contemporary elegance and the comfortable beds ensure the most restful sleep. Rooms also have their own verandas with seating, so you can enjoy the views over the pool or the city. Some rooms even have connecting doors, adding ease for families traveling together.
Souphattra Hotel brings a new level of artistic flair to Luang Prabang without sacrificing any comfort. Its historic charm will keep you coming back again and again.
Souphattra Hotel is located in Naviengkham Village in Luang Prabang.
+856 071 211 222
Lao Airlines has daily flights to Luang Prabang from Vientiane, Pakse, Bangkok, Siem Reap, Hanoi, and Chiang Mai.
Text BY Jason Rolan
PHOTOGRAPHS BY Phoonsab Thevongsa / Souphattra Hotel