“Sprawling” is not a term you’d use to describe most of the accommodations in Luang Prabang. Guesthouses and luxury boutique hotels in the city center are tucked into a low-rise grid, facades indiscernible from actual homes and temples. However, unlike most of the other hotels, the LuangPrabang View Hotel sits sprawled on a hillside, with a marvelous view of the valley and city. It’s also the only hotel here with an infinity pool and terrace bar.
Since it was low season, I was installed in a Superior Suite, which is just about the biggest hotel room I’ve ever stayed in. I mean, the bathroom is the size of my bedroom at home. In addition to the king-sized bed, there was enough space for a couch, a coffee table, a daybed, and a balcony. Still, there’s no sense of opulence – the rooms and the entire hotel is modestly decorated in wood tones and muted colors that don’t distract from the natural beauty outside.
Some of the hotel staff couldn’t really understand English, which made communication a little frustrating. One of our group didn’t receive the morning call at the requested time and was woken up an hour late. However, I could see that most of the staff made an effort to be hospitable, smiling and trying to answer us even when they didn’t quite get the question.
What I Loved
As its name suggests, the view is the best thing the LuangPrabang View Hotel has to offer. I couldn’t stop snapping photos of the sunset over the valley – from the pool, from my room, around almost every turn.
Room for Improvement
Getting to our rooms at night was difficult – and could be dangerous – because of insufficient signage and lighting along the pathways and stairs. Also, because the rooms are set in standalone buildings, we found ourselves visited by bugs. Retiring to my room at the end of day I found tiny snails at the doorway, ants swarming the chocolates left from turndown service, and geckos chirping in the roof (though none of them actually got into the room). That said, it’s unrealistic to expect a completely bug-free environment in such a natural setting.
It’s a 5-minute drive to town, but the hotel provides a free shuttle service for guests and arrangements can be made if you’re planning to catch the famous tak bat – the morning alms giving ceremony. There’s also free Wifi.
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The LuangPrabang View Hotel isn’t historic, but it’s a retreat with all the creature comforts of a modern hotel development. Prices are mid-range at ~$100/night.
I was in Luang Prabang on assignment. Most (sans out-of-pocket) expenses were covered by Tourism Authority of Thailand, but I was not obliged to write this post.