Rosewood Luang Prabang’s symphony of culture and comfort,
Luang Prabang sits at the nexus of culture and relaxation, so its emergence as a top luxury destination was a foregone conclusion. This charming town, nestled at the base of forested mountains overlooking the majestic Mekong River, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995, attracting a discerning clientele seeking the perfect blend of heritage and tranquility. While the town saw a growth in luxury accommodations there was always room for one more gem – Rosewood Luang Prabang.
A Design Masterpiece by Bill Bensley
perched on a hillside, cradling the gentle Nam Dong River. Renowned American architect Bill Bensley, famous for his remarkable and whimsical designs, lent his creative genius to this extraordinary project. For Bensley, every space tells a story, and Rosewood Luang Prabang is no exception. The property is a tribute to Auguste Pavie and other 19th-century explorers who first surveyed Laos, capturing the spirit of Luang Prabang’s rich culture and its history as a crossroads for diverse ethnic minorities and explorers.
A Tapestry of Experiences
The heart of the resort, the Great House, serves as the main dining area and lobby, inspired by the residence of Auguste Pavie, an adventurer and diplomat who helped win the hearts and minds of the Lao monarchy by leading them to safety during an invasion. According to local lore, he loved the coolness and nature of this spot and maintained a residence where the Great House currently stands.
Each villa and room is a captivating tribute to an explorer of a Mekong expedition in the late 1800s, filled with mementos and artifacts creating a tapestry of history and culture that envelops guests in a rich learning experience. The most anticipated feature of Rosewood Luang Prabang, though, is its six hilltop tents, each dedicated to an ethnic group from the area, adorned with distinctive ethnic textiles and antiques.
Royal Cuisine and a Bar that is a Bridge
Dining in the Great House is a culinary journey into the historic royal courts’ cuisine, masterfully overseen by the hotel’s chef and with an emphasis on farm-to-table dining. The menu showcases the rich flavors of Lao dishes, prepared from scratch with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. Try the impressive Royal Lao set dinner served on a large naga water serpent platter.
The Elephant Bridge Bar is another unique experience within the resort, set on a covered bridge that spans the Nam Dong River. As you cross the river to your room, you can stop for a drink amid elephant-themed decor, paying homage to the country’s history as “the Land of a Million Elephants.” The bar offers creatively crafted cocktails infused with local herbs and spices, prepared by an internationally lauded Lao bartender.
Although there isn’t a fitness center, guests can enjoy a lovely riverside swimming pool and walk the shady paths that snake through the resort. Due to the resort’s intimate size, itineraries are tailored to each guest’s preferences, allowing them to immerse themselves in local culture, visit waterfalls, trek in the jungle, cruise on the Mekong, walk with elephants in the forest, or even learn Buddhist meditation.
The Sense Spa: A Sanctuary for Rejuvenation
No Rosewood property is complete without a world-class spa, and Rosewood Luang Prabang is no exception. The Sense Spa comprises three tents overlooking the river, set above a stream. An ingenious glass panel in the floor allows guests to watch the stream flow underneath as they enjoy their treatments.
The spa offers a variety of treatments, including ancient Lao remedies that utilize herbs and plants. Rosewood Luang Prabang is more than just a luxury resort; it’s an immersive experience that allows guests to delve deep into the heart of Laos and discover the rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty that defines this enchanting destination. It’s a place where the past meets
the present in perfect harmony, offering a unique blend of heritage and luxury for the modern traveler.
For bookings or more information, visit: rosewoodhotels.com
Text by Jason Rolan
Photographs by Rosewood Luang Prabang